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William III

William III, 1817–90, king of the Netherlands and grand duke of Luxembourg (1849–90), son and successor of William II. William III ruled as a constitutional monarch, and his long reign was unmarred by friction with the States-General. He granted a parliamentary constitution to his Luxembourg subjects and maintained Luxembourg's neutrality in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). The leading Dutch statesman during his reign was Jan Thorbecke , who obtained full emancipation of the Dutch Catholics and also promoted economic growth and political reform. With William's death the male Dutch line of the house of Orange-Nassau became extinct. The Netherlands crown passed to his daughter, Wilhelmina , but Luxembourg went to Duke Adolph of Nassau, from a collateral line of the family.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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