Sunday, March 12, 2006

Queen Anne: 8 The Treaty of Utrecht

In her eagerness for peace Britain made an agreement with France without consulting the Allies - and earned the name ‘perfidious Albion’. During the negotiations France was allowed to re-conquer Le Quesnoy, Bouchain, and Douai - this forced the Dutch to the negotiating table.

In 1713 the Treaties of Utrecht were finally agreed (March and July)

The Spanish Netherlands became the Austrian Netherlands
The Empire gained Milan and Naples
Philip V was recognized as King of Spain (but Spain was seriously reduced as a great power)
The Dutch frontier was secured by a series of barrier fortresses
France gave up Ypres, Menin, and Tournai and had to dismantle Dunkirk’s defences. It returned to the Empire all lands on the east of the Rhine but kept Alsace and Strasbourg
Britain received Hudson Bay, Nova Scotia, and St Kitts from France and Gibraltar, Minorca and the asiento (slave-trading concession) from Spain. The French retained Cape Breton Island.
France pledged itself to the Hanoverian succession and agreed to expel the Pretender
Because Britain had not succeeded in her fundamental war aim, the peace could be interpreted as a failure. However she was now both a great European power and an imperial power – at the cost of £72m, paid for by an unprecedented mobilization of national resources. The substantive losers at Utrecht were France and Spain.