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Victor-Amadeus

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VICTOR-AMADEUS, the name of three sovereigns of the house of Savoy.—VicTon AmADEus I., duke of Savoy, succeeded his father, Charles-Emanuel the,great, in 1630, and carried on the war with France; but in 1631 he was f irced to surrender Pignerol, La Perouse, Ang,rone, and Luzerne to France, in exchange for Montferrat and Alba. He paid great attention to the internal improvement of his dominions, and re-established the university of Turin on an extended scale; but the irresistible pressure exercised on him by Richelieu forced him into a war with the Spaniards in Italy; and after routing his opponents at Tornavento (1636) and Montcbaldone (1637), he died at Vercelli, Oct. 7, 1637.—VICTOR-AMADEUS II., grandson of the preceding, and one of the most able of princes, was born May 14, 1666, and succeeded his father, Charles-Emmanuel II., in' June, 1075. Till 1680 the administration of government was in the hands of his mother, Marie Francoise of Nemours, who, in spite of the pressure of France on one side and Austria on the other, succeeded in preserving a neutral attitude in the quarrels between her two powerful neighbors. In 1684 Victor-Amadeus married Anne-Marie of Orleans, the niece of Louis XIV. ; but the overbearing insolence of the "Grand Monarque," who forced him to persecute the Waldenses (q.v.), and arrogantly ordered him to contribute an auxiliary force to the French army and give up the citadel of Turin, roused the ire of the high-spirited young duke, speedily put an end to the good understanding which would naturally have accompanied their intimate relationship, and drove him into a league with Austria and Spain against France. In revenge, a French army under Cati nat assailed Victor-Amadeus's dominions, and though he was re-enforced by 4,000 Aus trians under his relative, prince Eugene, the allies were completely routed at Staffarda (Aug., 1690), and the victorious Catinat had completed the reduction of Savoy and Nice before the winter of 1691. The duke, aided by considerable re-enforcements from Austria and Spain, gallantly maintained the contest; but a second and much more dis astrous defeat at Marsaglia (Oct. 4, 1693), where lie left 10,000 dead on the field, put almost the whole of Piedmont at the mercy of the French. The war, however, con tinued; the duke's obstinacy and almost romantic daring balancing Catinat's high mili tary genius; till in the autumn of 1696 a treaty much more favorable to Savoy than to France detached the former from the grand alliance. When the quarrel respecting the Spanish succession (q.v.) broke out, Victor-Amadeus took part with France—an alliance cemented by the marriage of his second daughter, Louisa Gabriele to Phfiip of Anjou, the new monarch of Spain, as well as by the previous (1097) marriage of his eldest daughter (the mother of Louis XV.) to Louis, duke of Burgundy, Louis XIV.'s grand

son—and was appointed commander-in-chief of the combined armies of France and Spain; but though he was aided by the counsels of his old opponent Catinat, the Aus trians, under his former ally, prince Eugene, defeated him at Chiari (Nov., 1701), and drove him behind the Oglio. TWo years afterward, the successes of Vendome in Italy and Villars in Germany, by bringing more prominently before his imagination the possibility of having the Bourbons for his neighbors on the e. as well as on the w., along with the tempting offers of Austria and Britain, induced him to abandon France and join the alliance against her. In revenge for what they called the duke's treachery, the French under Vendome overran and devastated Piedmont; but with the recall of their chief, fortune deserted the French, and they were totally routed by the duke and prince Eugene under the walls of Turin, Sept. 7, 1706. The duke, who had some years before retired from this contest, was rewarded by the treaty of Utrecht (1713) with the rest of Montferrat, Val-Sesia, Lomellino, and the island of Sicily, with the title of king; besides being acknowleged as heir to the Spanish throne in case of the failure of the Bourbon dynasty. In 1720 he was made to surrender Sicily to the emperor in exchange for Sardinia. The latter portion of Victor-Amadeus's long reign was wholly free from foreign strife; and his restless energy was employed in improving the system of admin istration, thoroughly assimilating the new continental acquisitions, in replenishing the treasury, which, in spite of the British subsidy, had been drained by the long contest with France, and in encouraging agriculture and industry, especially the cultivation of mulberry trees and tending of silkworms. Reforms and improvements were effected in the university of Turin, and several colleges founded. On Sept. 2, 1730, the king abdicated; but attempting, in the following year, to resume the regal dignity and func tions, he was arrested and imprisoned. He died at the chateau of Moucalieri, near Turin, Oct. 31, 1732.—VICTOR-AMADEUS III., grandson of the preceding, succeeded his father Charles-Emmanuel III. in 1773. His reign was full of misfortune and disaster, and was brought to a close by his death in 1796 after the compulsory cession of Savoy and Nice to the French republic.