The Franco-Spanish War
(1635 -1659) was a military conflict between France
. It began with French intervention into the Thirty Years' War
, in which Spain was already a participant. Warfare between the two kingdoms continued until 1659, when the Treaty of the Pyrenees
For years, the Kingdom of France had been a minor rival of the House of Habsburg
, whose two branches ruled Spain and the Holy Roman Empire
, respectively. For much of the 16th and 17th centuries, France faced Habsburg territory on three sides - the Spanish Netherlands
to the north, the Franche-Comté
on its eastern border, and Spain to the south. The Habsburgs thus stood in the way of French territorial expansion, and during a time of conflict, faced the possibility of invasion from multiple fronts. France thus sought to weaken the Habsburg control over these border possessions.
During the Thirty Years' War, in which various Protestant
forces battled Imperial armies, France provided subsidies to the enemies of the empire. France generously supported a Swedish
invasion of the Empire after 1630. After a period of extraordinary success, the Swedish led forces were decisively defeated in 1634 by a combined Spanish-Imperial army in the Battle of Nördlingen
, leading to a peace treaty favorable to the Emperor. Unhappy with this outcome, France's First Minister, Cardinal Richelieu
, decided in 1635 to actively involve his kingdom in the fighting and declared war on Spain.