King Philip V of Spain (1683-1746) or Philippe of Anjou, grandson of the French monarch Louis XIV, was king of Spain from 1700 to 1746, the first of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain. The ever ambitious Louis wanted to extend his Bourbon dynasty into Spain, and thus acquire rich possessions of the Spanish Empire. However, the other powers of Europe contested the idea, eventually leading to the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1713). Although Philip was allowed to remain on the Spanish throne, the war cost Spain the possession of Minorca in the Balearic Islands as well as Gibraltar to Great Britain. The loss of the war greatly diminished the already fading power of the Spanish Empire, and throughout his reign, Philip saw the gradual decrease of Spanish power and the augment of the English as the supreme commanders of the sea and world trade.
On January 14, 1724, Philip abdicated the throne to his eldest son, Louis, but resumed it later that year when Louis died of smallpox.
Philip helped his Bourbon relatives to make territorial gains in the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession. During his reign Spain began to recover from the stagnation it had suffered during the twilight of the Habsburg dynasty. Ferdinand VI of Spain, his son by his first queen Maria Luisa of Savoy , succeeded him.
Philip was afflicted by fits of manic depression and increasingly fell victim to a deep melancholia. His second wife, Elizabeth Farnese, completely dominated her passive husband. She bore him further sons, including another successor, Charles III of Spain.
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04