The question of the Spanish succession. 196. The king of Spain, Charles II, was childless and brotherless, and Europe had long been discussing what would become of his vast realms when his sickly existence should come to an end. Louis had married one of his sisters, and the emperor, Leopold I, another, and these two ambitious rulers had been considering for some time how they might divide the Spanish possessions between the Bourbons and the Hapsburgs. But when Charles II died, in 1700, it was discovered that he had left a will in which he made Louis' younger grandson,...