From the Habsburgs to the Bourbons
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From the Habsburgs to the Bourbons book
After Charles II of Spain died without an heir, Philip V sat on the Spanish throne. The decision to bequeath the crown to the French candidate, grandson of Louis XIV, triggered a world-wide conflict. The arrival of the new dynasty caused enormous expectation among the Irish community, which to an extent was split in half between supporters of the Habsburg and the Bourbon candidates. The future of the Mission was left in the hands of a new king, who had little time to learn the intricacies of the Spanish bureaucratic apparatus. Administratively, however, very little changed, and the structure of the Mission continued operating as before. However, the Spanish War of Succession and the crowning of Anne Stuart in England had indirect consequences for the missionary effort. Philip V was entirely focused on running the war, and most financial resources were used to maintain the Bourbon armies on the field. In Ireland, the queen’s anti-Catholic policies had reduced the room of manoeuvre for priests. Ultimately, all these factors fatally undermined the Mission, and no more viatica were granted after 1707. For the second time, the activity of the Mission came to a halt, confronted by the uncertain political landscape of the 18th century.