Q: could Spain have been divided after the SWoS?

As the title says, could Spain have been divided into the Crown of Castille and Crown of Aragon (both of which still existed at the time of the war), following the Spanish war of Succession? For example, could Archduke Charles (OTL HRE Charles 6th), be given the Crown of Aragon (where he was popular and supported), while Phillip, Duke of Anjou inherits the rest of Spain and its colonial empire in the Americas as IOTL?
 
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That's partially what happened. The kingdoms of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia (eventually to Savoy) all belonged to the Crown of Aragon. The duchy of Milan and the State of Presidi had a special position. But in the end the Habsburg claimant and to a lesser degree the Savoy one, all got compensated with possessions of the Crown of Aragon. The main exceptions being the actual kingdom of Aragon, principality of Catalonia/county of Barcelona, kingdom of Valencia and the kingdom of Mallorca and the rest of the Baleares...
 

Vitruvius

Donor
Technically only Sardinia was really integrated with the crown of Aragon in any practical way. Sicily and Naples (the Regno) were independent Kingdoms that fell into personal union with Aragon in the same way Aragon later fell into personal union with Castile.

The problem is that neither the Bourbons nor the Habsburgs were ever willing to accept a partition of Spain. But even assuming that Charles would go along you'd have the problem that he became HRE and left Barcelona for Vienna. It would be incredibly difficult to hold Aragon from afar with a Bourbon rival nextdoor in Madrid. If Joseph lived and/or had kids then maybe the Habsburgs fight to a stalemate and Charles is forced to accept only Aragon. But then the Spanish Netherlands become the liability as they'd be impossible to govern in association with Aragon and Spanish Italy. But to the English and Dutch keeping the southern Netherlands out of the Bourbon's hands is far more important than securing Aragon. So it's really hard to find a workable partition unless you go back further and really change up the whole course of the War itself or even earlier by changing the claimants.

So maybe if Charles' older brother Leopold Joseph lived and manages to be named heir by Charles II. He claims the whole inheritance which leads to war with France. The French overrun Italy and the Spanish Netherlands but then then English and Dutch intervene. They recover the Netherlands and Milan and repel a French invasion of Castile. Then the war becomes a stalemate. Joseph I dies and Leopold returns to Vienna and becomes Emperor Leopold II. Charles now becomes King in Madrid. Eventually a peace is agreed to that partitions the Spanish inheritance. The French get Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, Naples and Sicily for Philip. Milan goes to Austria. And Charles is left with the crown of Castile and the Spanish Netherlands albeit as a defacto Dutch protectorate. It's easier to satisfy the powers this way as it keeps the Spanish Netherlands and Americas out of French hands which pleases the English and Dutch. The French still get a big chunk of the Spanish Empire for Philip and replace Spain as the hegemon in Italy. In fact Philip probably remains much more dependent upon France here which suits them fine. And then there are two Habsburg branches in Castile and Austria.
 
Unrelated, but so want my best TL to be about Louis XIV, though I have no idea when my current one will end.

In regards to this, I am not entirely sure what the situation in Spain was, but for something like this to happen, I’d say it would require Hapsburg success that doesn’t undercut the French too much.

So I’d say something like a very dominant French position in the Spanish Netherlands while the Hapsburg loyalists in Aragon do a very good job.

The ending peace deal would be something like:

Aragon, Sicily and Sardinia to the Hapsburg claimant.

Milan, the Spanish Netherlands, Castile and the Spanish colonial Empire to the Hapsburg claimant.

Of course this is predicated on how willing the Dutch and British would be willing to accept a Bourbon Spanish Netherlands. (Not likely) but if the Austrians pull out with their gains (also kinda unlikely) the Dutch would be standing alone in Europe and a general peace would be made.
 
That's partially what happened. The kingdoms of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia (eventually to Savoy) all belonged to the Crown of Aragon. The duchy of Milan and the State of Presidi had a special position. But in the end the Habsburg claimant and to a lesser degree the Savoy one, all got compensated with possessions of the Crown of Aragon. The main exceptions being the actual kingdom of Aragon, principality of Catalonia/county of Barcelona, kingdom of Valencia and the kingdom of Mallorca and the rest of the Baleares...
It's the actual Crown of Aragon that I'm interested in giving independence.
Technically only Sardinia was really integrated with the crown of Aragon in any practical way.
I'm wondering then if an independent Aragon could keep Sardinia.
The problem is that neither the Bourbons nor the Habsburgs were ever willing to accept a partition of Spain. But even assuming that Charles would go along you'd have the problem that he became HRE and left Barcelona for Vienna. It would be incredibly difficult to hold Aragon from afar with a Bourbon rival nextdoor in Madrid. If Joseph lived and/or had kids then maybe the Habsburgs fight to a stalemate and Charles is forced to accept only Aragon. But then the Spanish Netherlands become the liability as they'd be impossible to govern in association with Aragon and Spanish Italy. But to the English and Dutch keeping the southern Netherlands out of the Bourbon's hands is far more important than securing Aragon. So it's really hard to find a workable partition unless you go back further and really change up the whole course of the War itself or even earlier by changing the claimants.

So maybe if Charles' older brother Leopold Joseph lived and manages to be named heir by Charles II. He claims the whole inheritance which leads to war with France. The French overrun Italy and the Spanish Netherlands but then then English and Dutch intervene. They recover the Netherlands and Milan and repel a French invasion of Castile. Then the war becomes a stalemate. Joseph I dies and Leopold returns to Vienna and becomes Emperor Leopold II. Charles now becomes King in Madrid. Eventually a peace is agreed to that partitions the Spanish inheritance. The French get Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, Naples and Sicily for Philip. Milan goes to Austria. And Charles is left with the crown of Castile and the Spanish Netherlands albeit as a defacto Dutch protectorate. It's easier to satisfy the powers this way as it keeps the Spanish Netherlands and Americas out of French hands which pleases the English and Dutch. The French still get a big chunk of the Spanish Empire for Philip and replace Spain as the hegemon in Italy. In fact Philip probably remains much more dependent upon France here which suits them fine. And then there are two Habsburg branches in Castile and Austria.
I suppose that could work. Although, Charles was popular in Aragon, not Castille. While for Philip it was the opposite. So wouldn't it make more sense to just swap what they get? (Charles gets the Crown of Aragon, Sicily and Naples. While Phillip gets the Crown of Castille and the Americas. Austria meanwhile could receive the Spanish Netherlands and the Duchy of Milan while Savoy receives Sardinia? (I slightly swapped who gets what but it's basically the same))
 
It's the actual Crown of Aragon that I'm interested in giving independence.

I'm wondering then if an independent Aragon could keep Sardinia.

I suppose that could work. Although, Charles was popular in Aragon, not Castille. While for Philip it was the opposite. So wouldn't it make more sense to just swap what they get? (Charles gets the Crown of Aragon, Sicily and Naples. While Phillip gets the Crown of Castille and the Americas. Austria meanwhile could receive the Spanish Netherlands and the Duchy of Milan while Savoy receives Sardinia? (I slightly swapped who gets what but it's basically the same))

Depends on how much France got rekt this timeline. Considering the rest of the coalition got super worried by the notion of Emperor Charles V’s Empire being restored. So the moment Austria looks like it’s seemingly taken most of the European inheritance, the British and Dutch would be fast to ditch the Austrians.
 
So I’d say something like a very dominant French position in the Spanish Netherlands while the Hapsburg loyalists in Aragon do a very good job.

The ending peace deal would be something like:

Aragon, Sicily and Sardinia to the Hapsburg claimant.

Milan, the Spanish Netherlands, Castile and the Spanish colonial Empire to the Hapsburg claimant.

Of course this is predicated on how willing the Dutch and British would be willing to accept a Bourbon Spanish Netherlands. (Not likely) but if the Austrians pull out with their gains (also kinda unlikely) the Dutch would be standing alone in Europe and a general peace would be made.
I would partition the empire by:

Sardinia would be given to Savoy, while Charles (Habsburg claimant) receives the Crown of Aragon, Sicily and Naples.

Phillip (Bourbon claimant) receives the Crown of Castille and the colonial empire in the Americas.

Spanish Netherlands and Duchy of Milan are given to Austria.


I'm not sure how plausible this is, but I'm just going of by what others have said
 
I would partition the empire by:

Sardinia would be given to Savoy, while Charles (Habsburg claimant) receives the Crown of Aragon, Sicily and Naples.

Phillip (Bourbon claimant) receives the Crown of Castille and the colonial empire in the Americas.

Spanish Netherlands and Duchy of Milan are given to Austria.


I'm not sure how plausible this is, but I'm just going of by what others have said

Problem is Charles is the Archduke of Austria, so no real way to keep them seperate unless you have some other people involved. Also I doubt the French would willingly give up Aragon, keeps the Hapsburg encirclement as a threat still.
 
Problem is Charles is the Archduke of Austria, so no real way to keep them seperate unless you have some other people involved. Also I doubt the French would willingly give up Aragon, keeps the Hapsburg encirclement as a threat still.
On one hand, I do agree with you in that regard. But assuming that the Habsburgs keep Aragon, Aragon itself would be encircled (with France to it's northeast since it's the only passable entry there for sizeable armies, and the Bourbon-held Crown of Castile along its west. While it probably would mean it wouldn't have to keep significant garrisons in the south, Castile could be seen as a check to anything Aragon can do. In a way, it's actually similar to a scenario where John of Girona (the son of Ferdinand II of Aragon with Germaine of Foix) survives, albeit with two branches of the same family sharing a land border this time around.

That being said, the claim was for all of Spain, and barring either iteration of Archduke Leopold Joseph surviving (either in the form of Archduke Charles' older brother, or his nephew), it would be impossible for Charles to even remotely get Spain without fears of reviving the empire of Charles V.
 
On one hand, I do agree with you in that regard. But assuming that the Habsburgs keep Aragon, Aragon itself would be encircled (with France to it's northeast since it's the only passable entry there for sizeable armies, and the Bourbon-held Crown of Castile along its west. While it probably would mean it wouldn't have to keep significant garrisons in the south, Castile could be seen as a check to anything Aragon can do. In a way, it's actually similar to a scenario where John of Girona (the son of Ferdinand II of Aragon with Germaine of Foix) survives, albeit with two branches of the same family sharing a land border this time around.

That being said, the claim was for all of Spain, and barring either iteration of Archduke Leopold Joseph surviving (either in the form of Archduke Charles' older brother, or his nephew), it would be impossible for Charles to even remotely get Spain without fears of reviving the empire of Charles V.

Of course it definitely mitigates the Hapsburg encirclement, but the Hapsburgs still having Aragon, and cheating the Bourbons out of their inheritance would sting.

I agree with the rest of what you said. The powers in Europe may have feared a Bourbon Franco-Spanish Union, but they very much equally or moreso feared a Hapsburg Austro-Spanish Union. Especially as it would be Austria and Spain ruled by one monarch, while Louis XIV at least tried to keep the thrones seperate, just made some dumb mistakes in how he presented it.
 
Of course it definitely mitigates the Hapsburg encirclement, but the Hapsburgs still having Aragon, and cheating the Bourbons out of their inheritance would sting.
True, does make me wonder how Philip V felt when he realized he couldn't get the Spanish Empire in full (that is, all of its European possessions as well), but I digress. I can definitely see, if the Bourbons are made to accept Aragon as a Habsburg realm (again, assuming TTL's Carles III doesn't also become Kaiser Karl VI), war being in the future, as Philip V (or any of his sons) will be claiming rights to the Crown of Aragon for a good while longer, more so should he still end up failing to sire a son.

It's plausible to see Aragon split, far from me to discourage the idea outright. But it is very unlikely that such a partition would happen, if only because of the fact that Castile and Aragon were too linked together by that point to simply break in half in such a manner. (and that link would only grow stronger when the Bourbons did win IOTL, for better or worse)
 
Karl needs an older surviving brother. Once Joseph died, no one was inclined to see Karl succeed in any part of Spain. At the time of Joseph's death, Phillip was firmly entrenched in Castile, and it wasn't looking likely to dislodge him. Ditto for Karl in Aragon, as long as he had foreign backing. If France can hold out in their theater (not guaranteed, as Britain only backed off after Joseph died, giving France air to breath), a stalemate ensues which only the Habsburgs having any will to continue. France is exhausted. Britain has achieved their main goal of seeing Spain divided. Phillip can be persuaded to accept peace if Britain threatens to cut off colonial sphere.

Sans another Habsburg, though, OTL is overwhelmingly the most likely outcome.

How long the situation lasts, is another matter.
 

Vitruvius

Donor
I suppose that could work. Although, Charles was popular in Aragon, not Castille. While for Philip it was the opposite. So wouldn't it make more sense to just swap what they get? (Charles gets the Crown of Aragon, Sicily and Naples. While Phillip gets the Crown of Castille and the Americas.
Yeah, that's why I think you have to go back further and change the setup conditions for the war.

The other problem I didn't mention was that Habsburg Castile would be incredibly weak since Charles wouldn't have introduced any of the reforms that the Bourbon's did. So there's a high risk of it collapsing should he find himself at war with the Bourbons again. Though to some extent that's true of a Habsburg Aragon as well.
 
Yeah, that's why I think you have to go back further and change the setup conditions for the war.

The other problem I didn't mention was that Habsburg Castile would be incredibly weak since Charles wouldn't have introduced any of the reforms that the Bourbon's did. So there's a high risk of it collapsing should he find himself at war with the Bourbons again. Though to some extent that's true of a Habsburg Aragon as well.
And that I think is the crux of such a scenario. Given the kind of leadership Archduke Charles showed IOTL when he became Holy Roman Emperor, for a country that is greatly weaker in Aragon, it's independence would at best only last for the remainder of his life before the Bourbons reconquer it and centralize it into Castile.
 
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