WDF 29.00: The Franco-Dutch War I

Here we are! In our first installment of what will be a rather considerable project - we unpack the war which raged between 1672-1678, but which began in fascinating circumstances and came to involve everything on the continent. Here we look at an unlikely starting point for the narrative: the Earl of Clarendon, Charles II's longtime minister and friend. Clarendon would come to encapsulate this new era, where old statesmen would be left behind, and the ambitions of new officials (and monarchs) would redefine where Europe went next. Let's investigate!

WDF 29.05: The Franco-Dutch War II

In this episode, we examine the War of Devolution, what led Louis to it, if his excuses and rationale were really credible, and what Spain had to say about all this. It should serve as a good window into the mind of the Sun King, and a good indicator of where we're going to go from here. Thankssssss!

WDF 29.10: The Franco-Dutch War III

In this episode, we investigate the truth behind the historical consensus. The Triple Alliance of Sweden, Britain and the Netherlands has traditionally been attributed to Johan de Witt's freak out over Louis XIV's invasion of the Spanish Netherlands, but the reality, as we'll see, is more interesting (and more Stuart) than one might expect. Sound good? Check us out!

WDF 29.15: The Franco-Dutch War IV

In this episode we further unravel the events and complications surrounding the TA and the secret articles within it. What made Louis so angry and why did Johan de Witt feel he had no choice? Also, why was Charles II smirking in the corner, waiting for everything to develop? Find out here, in our final episode of 2016!

WDF 29.20: The Franco-Dutch War V

In this episode we delve into the complicated nature of Dutch domestics; what de Witt planned to do to rid himself of the Orange influence once and for all, and how William III sought to outmaneuver his Regent rival by seeking an early appointment in a neighbouring province. All the while, Louis XIV and Charles II looked on, as they moved closer together and plotted the downfall of the Dutch Republic.

WDF 29.25: The Franco-Dutch War VI

Welcome to episode 6! Here we look at Charles, that pesky monarch, who managed to lead his country out of the doldrums of the post-war defeat to the Dutch, into the most powerful alliance agreement he'd ever known. What was more, it was top secret (so be quiet Arlington!) What was more MORE, it was to prove the greatest mistake of his reign. We explain why Charles didn't see danger, only the $ signs and the promise of revenge against the hated Dutch.

WDF 29.30: The Franco-Dutch War VII

Welcome back to the Franco-Dutch world! This week we're untangling Arlington's role in what went down in summer 1670, specifically when Minette came to Dover to finalise the details of the Treaty of...Dover. How did we get here, and how did Britain's de facto PM feel about the deal? (hint, not super). Have a listen, and lemme know what you think! 

WDF 29.35: The Franco-Dutch War VIII

Welcome to part 8! Herein we examine the journey of William of Orange to London, and we try to assess the pressures that the man was under as leader of the House of Orange. After that, we switch gears and try to unwrap the character of Louis XIV - was he really mad at the Dutch, or was it all just an excuse to get some juicy glory for himself and his reign? Find out here, and make sure you all get the book! I made it!

WDF 29.40: The Franco-Dutch War IX

Welcome to episode 9! A whole lot goes on here folks, as we unravel the remainder of 1671 and explain how in this last year of peace, various powers were making their plays either to ensure their security or to prepare for the coming conflict. Check it out, in an installment which I feel captures well what WDF is all about

WDF 29.45: The Franco-Dutch War X

With our coverage of late 1671-spring 1672 we bring our incredible story up to date and perhaps get to grips at last with how the Franco-[English]-Dutch War FINALLY broke out. Will we make it to the war here? [We do] Will de Witt persuade his countrymen to see sense? [he won't!] Tune in, as we bring our coverage to a critical watershed moment in this long running story of ours!

WDF 29.50: The Franco-Dutch War XI

In this episode the war begins! After the axe so clearly fell on the Dutch, how would they respond or survive in the face of such a terrible onslaught? Find out within!

WDF 29.55: The Franco-Dutch War XII

In this latest installment, see how the Dutch, French and British dealt with one another, as the inevitable downfall of the Dutch Republic seemed only days away in the face of a multi-pronged invasion and a national collapse. Who could stand firm against such terrors? We shall have to see for ourselves.

WDF 29.60: The Franco-Dutch War XIII

In this episode, as the French invasion seemed to stabilise across its wide front, citizens across the Republic began to speculate whether it was possible that their state may in fact survive the storm after all. With the English en route and troubles afoot though, it remained to be seen whether the Netherlands would emerge from the other side of the experience anything other than utterly transformed. 

WDF 29.65: The Franco-Dutch War XIV

In this latest episode we are greeted with a scene I haven't been especially looking forward to, but it's a story we must tell if we are to advance the story. Enjoy, if in fact you can!

WDF 29.70: The Franco-Dutch War XV

Welcome to the terrible world of the FDW! It's terrible because, of course, a certain de Witt is no longer with us. However, we will have to continue on as best as we can, because there's much ground and goodies still to cover, and there's a whole load of stuff to tackle which I feel you guys will find super interesting, so let's do it! 

WDF 29.75: The Franco-Dutch War XVI

Welcome to episode 16, wherein we examine the inner workings of the Bourbon plot to make the war great again. Louis attempts to besiege Maastricht, thus enabling me to introduce to you, ever so briefly, how sieges sort of worked. Kind of. Then we touch on Charles II in Britain, leading into our next episode which will examine his experience in more detail. 

WDF 29.80: The Franco-Dutch War XVII

Welcome! This week we show you how Charles II fared in Britain over late 1673 early 1674, and how a combination of factors in the realm of British public opinion contributed to shatter the British perceptions of the war, and turn the populace heavily against the French. This trend was made worse by Charles' tactics, which in the past had included stonewalling and bare faced lies. Now though, the Dutch pigeons had come home to roost, and peace was all the British people would accept. 

WDF 29.825: The Franco-Dutch War XVIII

In episode 18 we examine the difficult days of 1674. Louis feels the pinch as the varied theaters of war compel him to divide his forces; Schomberg attempts to fight a war with the Town Watch unit from Rome: Total War, and affairs heat up along the Rhine as Turenne pulls off an incredible military feat. All of this and more is in episode 18!

WDF 29.850: The Franco-Dutch War XIX

In this latest episode, we are drawn to 1675, a year of great events and the beginning of a trend of struggle and attrition along the key conflict areas of Europe. We bid farewell to yet another great man in history, and the Great Elector of Brandenburg is given some troubling news, as he seeks to craft his legend by taking on the most formidable enemy in his state's history - Sweden. Frederick William's experience here would set in motion a chain of events that would resound throughout history for many centuries to come, as Brandenburg-Prussia stepped out onto the world stage.

WDF 29.875: The Franco-Dutch War XX

Today we jump on from 1675 and examine another heady year of the FDW – 1676, which saw stalemate ensue on all sides, and a level of intransigence set in amongst the French, as Louis became determined to hold all that he had gained, and the allies became convinced that only through rupturing the carefully crafted French defensive belt could peace be brought to bear. In the meantime, we will bid a tragic farewell to yet another war horse, and witness the war spread to pastures new.

WDF 29.900: The Franco-Dutch War XXI

In this latest episode of the FDW,  we continue our analysis of the rise of the Earl of Danby, and his plans to ingratiate his king towards Parliament in order to get the grants from that institution he needed. Through such grants, Danby believed, Charles II would be freed from such a heavy reliance on Louis XIV’s subsidies, which even though the full extent of them were not known, they were suspected. To distance his king from the French, and side with the more popular Dutch, as 1677 looked to be another hard slog for the allies, Danby sought a solution which would grant his administration some popular outcome, amidst a returning Parliament that had been prorogued for 15 months. Danby found it in the culmination of some feverish Anglo-Dutch diplomacy instigated in the first instance by William of Orange. Another marriage of Orange to Stuart, it seemed, was on the cards once more....

WDF 29.925: The Franco-Dutch War XXII

Within this episode we continue our examination of the political and diplomatic implications of the marriage – what Louis XIV thought about it, and how certain figures in Britain wished to build upon the marriage, thus making it into an Anglo-Dutch alliance, which incidentally, incredible as it may sound, would be the end result. Have a listen and make sure to let me know what you all thought!

WDF 29.950: The Franco-Dutch War XXIII

Within this latest episode we examine Charles' ongoing struggles with Parliament, and the domestic woes of Britain that saw Danby face off with the other lobby group led by Shaftesburg, Buckingham and the French Ambassador Barillon. These men all agitated for different reasons towards their stated policy of preference, but the international situation continued to advance apace of their concerns. Louis' recent gains in Ghent and Ypres remained a constant pressure on the allies, and Paris fully intended to use that pressure to its full capacity. With different agendas in play in all the relevant capitals, what remained at the heart of all this feverish activity was the Sun King, whose very whims had the power to drastically effect what the future held.

WDF 29.975: The Franco-Dutch War XXIV

This is it, the final episode in the series - a massive blowout of all we've seen and experienced so far, and a fitting conclusion to such an incredible conflict!
Within this episode, we bring the narratives together and reveal that, although it had taken all this time to arrive at such a destination, Europe was no closer to peace than it had been in 1672. While the treaties were of course hammered out, troubling clouds remained on the horizon, yet what no power could deny was the fact that behind these clouds, and around which their interests seemed to revolve, was the Sun King. If the FDW meant anything for the continent then, it meant that, amidst the failed hopes, fleeting triumphs and horrific losses, Louis XIV had definitively arrived. Let’s see how it all went down, as I take to you to mid-1678, in this, the final episode of the FDW…