And yet, there’s still plenty of good news. By Simon Black

You can always find something to pop Panglossian bubbles, and conversely, there’s always something to counter unremitting gloom. From Simon Black at

On January 2, 1710, King Louis XIV of France was finally ready for peace.

After nearly seven decades on the throne (which still makes him the longest reigning sovereign monarch in human history), Louis XIV had seen more wars than he could probably remember.

Most recently, France had been fighting the War of Spanish Succession against virtually all of Europe. It had been incredibly costly — France alone suffered half a million casualties, plus the war had ruined the economy.

Louis finally capitulated in 1710 and sent a clear message to his adversaries that he was ready to make a deal. It took three years of negotiations, but finally, in 1713, the peace treaties were signed.

The end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 capped off roughly a century of raging warfare in Europe which had started with the Thirty Years War in 1618.

Along the way there were dozens of separate wars that took place in Europe — Portugal against the Netherlands, the Netherlands against England, England against Spain, Spain against France, France against the Holy Roman Empire, the Empire against Sweden, Sweden against Russia.

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