The decline

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The decline

Post  kosovohp on Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:07 am

The decline culminated in a controversy over succession to the throne which consumed the first years of the 18th century. The War of Spanish Succession was a wide ranging international conflict combined with a civil war, and was to cost the kingdom its European possessions and its position as one of the leading powers on the Continent.[33]

During this war, a new dynasty originating in France, the Bourbons, was installed. Long united only by the Crown, a true Spanish state was established when the first Bourbon king, Philip V, united the crowns of Castile and Aragon into a single state, abolishing many of the old regional privileges and laws.[34]

The 18th century saw a gradual recovery and an increase in prosperity through much of the empire. The new Bourbon monarchy drew on the French system of modernising the administration and the economy. Enlightenment ideas began to gain ground among some of the kingdom's elite and monarchy. Military assistance for the rebellious British colonies in the American War of Independence improved the kingdom's international standing.

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