The Franco-Dutch War: Louis XIV Invades the Netherlands, le 29 avril 1672
The Dutch War (1672–1678) was a war fought between France and a quadruple alliance consisting of Brandenburg, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and the United Provinces. The war ended in 1678 with the Treaty of Nijmegen. The treaty granted France control of the Franche-Comte from Spain.
France led a coalition including Münster and England. Louis XIV was annoyed by the Dutch refusal to cooperate in the destruction and division of the Spanish Netherlands. As the Dutch army had been neglected since 1648, the French had no trouble after unexpectedly by-passing the fortress of Maastricht to march into the heart of the Republic, taking Utrecht. Prince William III of Orange is assumed to have had the leading Dutch politician Johan de Witt deposed and murdered, and was acclaimed stadtholder. As the French had promised the major Hollandic cities to the English they were in no hurry to capture them, but tried to extort sixteen million guilders from the Dutch in exchange for a separate peace. This outrageous demand stiffened Dutch resistance and the negotiations gave the Republic time to flood the countryside by deliberate inundations, the Dutch Water Line, blocking any further French advance. The bishop of Münster laid siege to Groningen but failed. An attempt was made to invade the Republic by sea, but this was thwarted by Admiral Michiel de Ruyter in four strategic victories against the combined Anglo-French fleet (these events are usually called the Third Anglo-Dutch War). England then abandoned the war in 1674.
Allies had joined the Dutch - the Elector of Brandenburg, the Emperor, and Charles II of Spain. Louis, despite the successful Siege of Maastricht in 1673, was forced to abandon his plans of conquering the Dutch and revert to a slow, cautious war of attrition around the French frontiers. By 1678, he had managed to break apart his opponents' coalition, and managed to gain considerable territories by the terms of the Treaty of Nijmegen. Most notably, the French acquired the Franche Comte and various territories in the Netherlands from the Spanish. Nevertheless the Dutch had thwarted the ambitions of two of the major royal dynasties of the time: the Stuarts and the Bourbons.
Louis XIV and the Origins of the Dutch War