Philip V (Spain) (1683–1746; Ruled 1700–1724, 1724–1746)

views updated May 18 2018

PHILIP V (SPAIN) (16831746; ruled 17001724, 17241746)

PHILIP V (SPAIN) (16831746; ruled 17001724, 17241746), king of Spain. Philip V, born in Versailles in 1683, was the first of the Bourbon monarchs and the so-called Enlightenment reformers. The son of the grand dauphin of France and Maria Ana of Bavaria, he was the duke of Anjou and consequently received a meticulous education that inculcated him with religious fervor, a strict respect for conjugal faithfulness, and an enthusiasm for reading and other artistic pursuits, such as music. Appointed king of Spain by the will of Charles II (ruled 16651700), he made his first appearance in Madrid in 1701, only to leave immediately for Barcelona, where he was reunited with his wife, María Luisa of Savoy, and where he met with the local parliament or corts. This resulted in a good working relationship between the sovereign and the Catalan Estates.

When the War of the Spanish Succession (17011714) erupted to dispute his kingship, Philip had to depart for Italy. He disembarked in Naples and personally took part in the battles that brought about the victories of Vitoria and Luzzara (1702) before returning to Spain, where he was actively engaged in the events leading up to the decisive battles of Almansa (1707), Brihuega (1710), and Villaviciosa de Tajuña (1710). His tireless energy earned him the nickname "El Animoso," which he was called from then on. The Utrecht (1713) and Rastatt (Rastadt) treaties (1714) that ended the war forced the sovereign to accept the loss of the Low Countries and Italy, the amputation of Minorca (Menorca) and Gibraltar from the peninsula, and some concessions concerning the Americas. Widowed, Philip married Isabel Farnese (16921766) in 1714. After the war the king extended his reformist policies regarding government, economic development, culture, and revision of the harshest terms imposed by the Treaty of Utrecht. He relied on a number of notable ministers, including the Frenchmen Jean Orry and Viscount Amelot, the Italian Giulio Alberoni, and the Spaniards José Patiño y Morales, José del Campillo, and Cenón Somodevilla, marqués de la Ensenada.

Philip was not always able to carry on this ambitious program on his own, since he suffered from periodic bouts of melancholy, whichled himtoabandon some governmental matters and to avoid interaction with courtiers. These infrequent episodes also resulted in various other strange habits, including sleeping during the day and performing his ordinary activities at night. As a result of his inclination toward solitude, heabdicatedin1724, grantingthecrownto his firstborn son Luís I, who governed for only a few months before his premature death. The resulting constitutional crisis regarding the reassumption of the crown by Philip V was promptly resolved by the queen's energy and the collaboration of supporting courtiers. Later, again with the purpose of alleviating the sovereign's depression, the court moved to Seville during the so-called Royal Lustrum (17291733) before returning definitivelyto Madrid.There the king spent the rest of his life, alternating, as was the custom, with seasonal stays in the other royal palaces (sitios reales).

The reformist measures instituted during Philip's reign included, in the administrative sphere, the "Nueva Planta" decrees, which established a new governmental regime for the states of the Crown of Aragón and subordinated them to royal authority; the creation of secretaries of state as an alternative to councils, which continued to coexist with the new institutions, except for the Council of Castile, at greatly diminished authority; and reinforcement and reorganization of the armed forces, with regiments replacing the traditional tercios, the creation of artillery and engineering corps, the refoundation of the Military Mathematics Academy of Barcelona, the establishment of a new recruitment system for draftees; the creation of the Royal Navy, the foundation of arsenals, the creation of a school for midshipmen in Cádiz, and new legislation regarding the enlistment of seaman.

In the cultural realm Philip V founded Cervera University and the Seminary of Nobles in Madrid. He also provided the impetus for royal academies of history, medicine, jurisprudence, and fine arts. Concerning economic development, he created various royal factories that produced cloth in Guadalajara, tapestries in Madrid, and glassware in San Ildefonso (La Granja). He also reorganized the trade with Spain's American colonies, supporting the foundation of privileged companies, such as the Guipuzcoana Company of Caracas and the Havana Company. In foreign policy, the revision of the Peace of Utrecht led to the reconquest of Sardinia (1717) and Sicily (1718), which Spain had been forced to renounce in 1714; involvement in the War of the Polish Succession (17331738) and the War of the Austrian Succession (17401748); the first Family Pacts with France (1733 and 1743); and finally, the initiation of hostilities with England that opened a decadelong conflict (17391748). Before the end of the last war, Philip V died in Madrid, and his remains were interred in the Colegiata de la Granja de San Ildefonso near Segovia.

See also Academies, Learned ; Austrian Succession, War of the (17401748) ; Ensenada, Cenón Somodevilla, marqués de la ; Farnese, Isabel (Spain) ; Polish Succession, War of the (17331738) ; Spain ; Spanish Succession, War of the (17011714) ; Utrecht, Peace of (1713) .


García Cárcel, Ricard. Felipe V y los españoles: Una visión periférica del problema de España. Barcelona, 2002.

Kamen, Henry Arthur Francis. Philip V of Spain: The King Who Reigned Twice. New Haven, 2001.

Martinez Shaw, Carlos, and Marina Alonso Mola. Felipe V. Madrid, 2001.

Vidal Sales, José Antonio. Felipe V. Barcelona, 1997.

Carlos MartÍnez-Shaw (Translated from the Spanish by Carla Rahn Phillips)

Philip V

views updated Jun 08 2018

Philip V

Philip V (1683-1746), first Bourbon king of Spain, reigned from 1700 to 1746. During this period Spain began to recover from the long decline it had experienced during the 17th century and to regain a voice in the affairs of Europe.

The grandson of Louis XIV of France and his wife Maria Theresa, daughter of Philip IV of Spain, Philip V was born in Versailles on Dec. 19, 1683. In November 1700 the last Hapsburg king of Spain, Charles II, died after naming Philip his heir to Spain, the Spanish Indies, the Spanish Low Countries, and Naples and Sicily. At Versailles, Philip was proclaimed king of Spain by his grandfather, and on Jan. 28, 1701, he entered Spain. He was never again to set foot on French soil.

War of the Spanish Succession

Philip entered Madrid in April 1701. In May 1702 England, Austria, and the United Provinces, fearing the possible union of Spain and France, simultaneously declared war on them. Meanwhile, Archduke Charles, the great-grandson of Philip III of Spain and brother of the Austrian emperor, declared himself the rightful king of Spain, launching the War of the Spanish Succession.

The first hostilities took place in Italy, where Philip went to protect his threatened possessions. While he was there, the British took Gibraltar; Portugal declared war against him; and Catalonia, Valencia, and Aragon rose on behalf of the Archduke Charles. Castile, Navarre, and the Basque provinces, however, remained loyal to Philip. He returned to Spain and in 1707 forced the enemy to evacuate Madrid, meanwhile bringing Valencia and Aragon under his control. In 1710 a Franco-Castilian army decisively defeated the Anglo-Austrian-Catalan army, and in 1714 Philip forced Barcelona to surrender, bringing the war to an end.

By this time the major European powers had signed a series of treaties collectively known as the Peace of Utrecht (1713-1715). Philip was recognized as the legitimate king of Spain; in return he gave up all claims to the throne of France and surrendered the Spanish Low Countries, Naples, and Sicily to the Austrians, and Gibraltar to the British.

Internal Reforms

Now that the war was over and his claims to Spain and the Spanish Empire secured, Philip turned to the task of strengthening the monarchy and introducing the reforms necessary for the economic recovery of the kingdom. With the assistance of able ministers such as the Frenchman Jean Orry and the Spaniards Melchor de Macanaz and José Patiño, Philip accomplished much. Orry gradually remodeled the royal household along French lines and began the gargantuan task of financial reform. Meanwhile, Patiño was building up the country's navy and introducing much-needed reforms into the armed forces. Roads were built and canals repaired; foreign craftsmen and technicians were brought to Spain. On the eve of his death Philip V could boast of an army that had vindicated the national honor in the field of battle, a marine force that had once more awakened the attention of Europe, and many establishments that signaled the revival of industry, trade, and the arts.

Marriages and the Line of Descent

Like his grandfather, Philip possessed the Bourbon sexual appetite, but he also had a high moral sense that prevented him from having sexual relations with anyone except his legitimate wife. Thus the young king was heavily influenced by his first wife, Maria Luisa of Savoy, who had married him, when she was 13, in the spring of 1701. Maria Luisa in turn was controlled by the cunning 60-year-old Princess des Ursins, whom Louis XIV had planted in the Spanish court to represent the interests of France.

Maria Luisa died on Feb. 14, 1714. She and Philip had had four sons, of whom two would live to succeed him as kings of Spain. On Sept. 16, 1714, Philip was married by proxy to the 21-year-old Elizabeth Farnese of Parma. She arrived in Spain in December 1714 and, as one of her first official acts, dismissed the imperious Princess des Ursins.

Elizabeth soon exercised much power over her husband. She often went hunting with him and was enchanted by the palace he had built at La Granja. This little model of Versailles was to become their favorite residence. Elizabeth and Philip had several sons and daughters. Since none of them seemed to have a chance of inheriting the throne of Spain, Elizabeth set out to look for other thrones in Italy. In this she was assisted by the powerful Giulio Alberoni, whose consuming goal was to drive the Austrians out of Italy. They were eminently successful; by 1735 Elizabeth's eldest son, Charles, was king of Naples and Sicily; another son was Duke of Parma; and a third son was cardinal archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain.

In early 1724 Philip abdicated in favor of his son Luis. It was believed at the time that Philip had taken this step in order to be free to claim the French throne should Louis XV die without a son. A few months after this abdication, however, Luis died of smallpox and Philip returned to the throne. The years passed, and Philip became the victim of acute melancholia. In the 1740s he became increasingly ill and bedridden, and on July 9, 1746, he died of apoplexy. He was succeeded by Ferdinand VI, the only surviving son of his first marriage.

Further Reading

There is no biography of Philip V available in English, and those available in Spanish are few and unsatisfactory. A very useful account of Philip and his reign, however, can be found in Charles Petrie, The Spanish Royal House (1958). Also recommended are Edward Armstrong, Elisabeth Farnese (1892), and Simon Harcourt Smith, Alberoni (1944). □

Philip V

views updated May 29 2018

Philip V (1683–1746) King of Spain (1700–46). Because he was a grandson and possible successor of Louis XIV of France, his accession to the Spanish throne provoked the War of the Spanish Succession. Philip was the first Bourbon king of Spain. By the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), he kept the Spanish throne by exclusion from the succession in France and the loss of Spanish territories in Italy and the Netherlands.

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Philip V (Spain)

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