Clement XI, Pope 1700-1721

Muntoni 29; Berman 2367, PCGS graded MS-63

Rome. CLEM XI P M A XVII, bust of Pope Clement XI right. Reverse: S PETRVS APOST, bust of St. Peter left, viewed from behind.

Giovanni Francesco Albani was elected as Pope Clement XI on November 23, 1700. He was almost immediately troubled by the dangerous politics of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)—a war fought between King Louis XIV of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles II over the throne of Spain which eventually drew in all of Europe and even North America. Pope Clement XI had attempted to remain neutral, but in 1709, the forces of Charles II were poised to threaten Rome, leaving little choice but to recognize the Emperor as the rightful heir. This recognition under compulsion did Clement XI little good since the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht that ended the conflict detached the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza as well as Comacchio from the Papal States and added them to the Habsburg dominions as well. Papal troubles with the Empire were compounded by difficulties in France, where a bull condemning the Jansenist heresy was not recognized due to the exercise of French secular authority in religious matters.