William III

Early Life

He was born at The Hague after his father's death, when the office of stadtholder was suspended and power fell into the hands of Jan de Witt. In 1672, however, a revolution was precipitated by Louis XIV's invasion of the Netherlands; De Witt was overthrown, and William was made stadtholder, captain general, and admiral for life. In the ensuing warfare with France (see Dutch Wars3), William was able to drive the French out of the Netherlands. He made peace with England in 1674 and finally with France in 1678. Thereafter he endeavored to build up a European coalition to prevent further French aggression.

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