- Sep 2016
Basically, I don't consider France's acquisition of Alsace and Lorraine before the French Revolution to be stupid because back then there was no powerful German state who would have been greatly angered by such French moves. Had there been such a state, France's decision might have looked worse for France.
Leopold actually tried to reconquer Upper Alsace, during Dutch war. Holy Roman Emperor wanted to acquire territories that were lost as the result of Thirty Years war. Lorraine was also occupied by French in 1670 and it's duke was in exile at Emperor's court. Not only Leopold failed in recapturing Upper Alsace, but also failed in restoring Lorraine. France retained Alsace, continued to occupy Lorraine and gained Freiburg instead of Philipsburg.
Next, Louis XIV annexed Lower Alsace and Strasbourg. As I said, Leopold would not forget those actions. Louis XIV also occupied other territories like Luxembourg, more cities in Spanish Netherlands and etc. Holy Roman Empire and Spain then signed Truce of Regensburg, by which all conquests stayed with Louis XIV for next 20 years. However, all of those countries joined Grand Alliance, that was formed against France by William III of Orange.
Holy Roman Empire and Spain fought in next war to acquire all territories that France took from them in last 20 years. Leopold actually managed to regain most of the territories that were lost after 1679. However, Lower Alsace and Strasbourg still remained in French hands. Emperor was angered by it and actually hesitated to make peace. He didn't want to lose those lands forever.
So, France quite clearly created more antagonism against itself by actions in Alsace, Lorraine and Spanish Netherlands.