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Mantuan Succession, War of the (1628–1631)

  1. Peter H. Wilson

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444338232.wbeow385

The Encyclopedia of War

The Encyclopedia of War

How to Cite

Wilson, P. H. 2011. Mantuan Succession, War of the (1628–1631). The Encyclopedia of War. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


The origins of the War of the Mantuan Succession lie in the intersection of tension between major European powers, whose interests lay primarily outside Italy, and rivalry between ambitious minor princes directly concerned with the fate of the duchy of Mantua. At one level, the war was another stage in the long-running strife between France and the Habsburg Dynasty in Austria and Spain for predominance in western Europe. Habsburg possessions in northern Italy, centered around the duchy of Milan, had been assigned to Spain when the dynasty split in the mid-sixteenth century. Spain was soon preoccupied with its rebellious Dutch subjects in what became the Eighty Years' War after 1568. While 17,600 soldiers were sent to reinforce the Spanish Army of Flanders by sea before 1620, another 123,000 marched overland from Milan along a 1,000 km route known as the Spanish Road across the Alps, down the Rhine to the southern Netherlands. France tried to disrupt this route, hoping to forestall a possible Spanish invasion by keeping Spain busy against the Dutch. These efforts had succeeded by 1610 when the defection of the duke of Savoy from his Spanish alliance severed the southern section of the Road.


  • seventeeth century;
  • Europe;
  • Military History