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King William's War

King William's War, the first European war that involved the British since the time of Henry VIII, was the first episode in the long contest between England and France. The War of the League of Augsburg (1689-97) also known as The Nine Years' War, and as the War of the Grand Alliance was known in America as King William's War. Confusingly, between 1594 and 1603 Elizabeth I faced the insurrection in Ireland known to British historian as Tyrone's Rebellion and to their Irish counterparts as the Nine Years War.

William of Orange invaded England in November 1688 with 14,000 troops to prevent the formation of an Anglo-French alliance against the United Provinces. The prospect of a Catholic dynasty ruling England led the English to side with William, and King James II lost control of the capital, which was aflame with anti-Catholic rioting. William saw an opportunity to seize the throne for himself, and James escaped to France on 23 December 1688. These events were called the Glorious Revolution because, unlike that of 1640-60, it decisively ended the prospect of England becoming a state governed by an 'absolute' monarch, as had occurred in France. The accession of William and Mary to the British throne on 13 February 1689 brought about a reversal of British foreign policy towards France.

The European war broke out on 12 May 1689 when William III of England joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands (the Grand Alliance) to resist Louis XIV's invasion of the Rhenish Palatinate of 25 September 1688. The first of the French and Indian wars, hostilities in America began in 1690. Over a period of several months Schenectady, NY, was burned by the French and Indians, and colonial English forces launched attacks on Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal), Nova Scotia, and on Quebec. Following further raids by the French and Indians, the war ended in a stalemate. The Treaty of Ryswick (30 September 1697) restored the status quo ante in the colonies.

In 1690, during King William's War (1689-1697), five chaplains served with the 2500 - man militia force under Sir William Phips in an unsuccessful attack on Quebec, the first large-scale American colonial expedition.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:30:09 Zulu