web counter









The Peace of Utrecht, as it is commonly called, consists of a series of treaties signed at Utrecht on April 11,1713, supplemented by others which may conveniently be ranged under the same heading. The entire body of these treaties constituted the bases of the peace of Europe for more than a generation—till the outbreak, in 1746, of the War of the Austrian Succession. For, apart from the last stages of the Northern War, all the armed conflicts of importance in Europe, and the efforts of diplomacy to avert or end them, during this period hinge upon the Utrecht settlement, and—if the Peace of Vienna of 1738 be excepted—left its main provisions untouched. These provisions, as was pointed out in an earlier chapter, corresponded with a completeness rare in diplomatic history to the intentions with which the War of the Spanish Succession had been undertaken by England and the Powers associated with her in her resistance to the dominance of France, and which had been clearly formulated in the Treaty of the Hague of September, 1701. Although the House of Bourbon retained Spain and the Spanish possessions in the New World, it lost a larger share of the Spanish monarchy than that which in the negotiations for the Grand Alliance William III had thought it necessary to take away from that House. What had been Spanish Italy became, through the pacifications which we are about to review, part of the Austrian dominions—with the exception of Sicily, of which Victor Amadeus II of Savoy became King, but which in 1720 he exchanged for Sardinia. In northern Italy that astute Prince recovered Savoy and Nice from France; and a counterbalance was thus provided in this part of Europe against the power of the House of Habsburg as well as against that of the Bourbons. On the north-eastern frontier of France what had been the Spanish were henceforth the Austrian Netherlands; and the Emperor had in the end to accept an accession of territory which he had never been particularly desirous of acquiring—well aware as he and his statesmen were that the possession of these Provinces entailed the defence of them as the first line of resistance against any renewed French aggression in this quarter. For the Empire itself the Emperor, in the long course of the negotiations which began at Utrecht and ended at Baden, failed to recover more than part of the spoils of a long period of French aggression, and the whole of the left bank of the upper Rhine remained in French hands. But what cooperation could there have been between the dynastic ambition of the House of Habsburg and that of the chief Princes of the Empire, who, like the Electors of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Hanover, were intent upon the splendour or power of the royal crowns which they had acquired or were expecting, or who, like the Elector of Bavaria and the Catholic Elector Palatine, cherished high hopes, all of which they were fated to see ignored?

The United Provinces gained a strong Barrier, firmly planted in allied territory, against any renewal of the aggression of France. But though they contrived to secure, in addition, some commercial advantages from the Peace, their political position as a Great Power had gone from them for ever, passing, without any real resistance on their part, to the Power which had been their rival on the sea during many generations in times of war and in times of peace; and their mercantile supremacy was likewise at an end. The territorial gains of Great Britain herself consisted in Europe of a couple of Mediterranean ports; and though she extended and strengthened her power in the New World by her gains from France, the significance of this expansion was imperfectly realized at home, and the great European duel in the New World was still to come. On the other hand, England established the security of her Protestant throne; she obtained commercial advantages of the greatest importance by her treaties with France and Spain; and to the proofs which the War had given of her ascendancy in Europe, was added this last proof—that the Peace which ended it had been largely the work of her statesmen, and had, beyond all doubt, been made possible by her will alone.

In the following a brief summary of the provisions of the Peace of Utrecht will be attempted, without any detailed statement as to the course of the actual negotiations of which it was the result; and a brief account will be added of the pacifications by which it was supplemented.

It would be useless to discuss the instructions given to the Bishop of Bristol (John Robinson), Keeper of the Privy Seal, and the Earl of Strafford, English ambassador at the Hague, as English plenipotentiaries at the Congress of Utrecht, inasmuch as these instructions quite fictitiously assumed a close and consistent cooperation between England and her Allies, and excluded any idea of a partition of the Spanish monarchy, though it was on this very process that the English and French Governments had resolved. It was peace which they wanted—and wanted, above all, for the sake of English trade, which revived with extraordinary rapidity even during the progress of the negotiations. In truth, the English Ministers had no intention of insisting on any of the demands contained in these instructions except those which concerned definite English advantages or gains. For this very reason, however, they treated the preliminaries signed by Mesnager on his visit to England (October 8,1711) as open to change; whereas in the instructions given by Louis XIV to his plenipotentiaries at Utrecht, Marshal d’Huxelles, the Abbe de Polignac, and Mesnager himself, these preliminaries were treated as immutable. They had, after a long struggle, been accepted by the States General, under great pressure on the part of Strafford, on November 21, 1711; but no instructions to their plenipotentiaries at Utrecht are extant, perhaps because they were in immediate contact with their Governments. They were eight in number, two (Buys and van der Dussen) from Holland, and one from each of the remaining Provinces. On the other hand, the Emperor Charles VI instructed his ambassador at the Hague, Count von Sinzendorf, to oppose the meeting of a peace congress on the basis of the Anglo-French preliminaries, and if possible to revive the pre­liminaries of 1709, while decisively resisting the Barrier Treaty. The same instructions, which show how far the Imperial Government was from realizing the actual situation, were given to Prince Eugene, then, as has been seen, on his way to England (December, 1711). Savoy was represented at the Congress by Count Annibale Maffei.

The Congress, the opening of which had been fixed for January 12, 1712, was not actually opened till the 29th. The Emperor had announced at the Hague that he was not prepared to take part in the Congress, until he had received an assurance that the Anglo-French preliminaries would not be regarded as binding. Early in February the French Government disavowed any such intention, and Sinzendorf duly presented himself at the Congress, being followed later by the second Imperial plenipotentiary, the Spaniard Count Corzana; the third, Baron Caspar Florenz von Cronsbruch, had appeared sooner; his place was afterwards taken by von Kirchner. Little progress was made in the first period of the sittings of the Congress, which ended on April 6. From this time forward the separate negotiations, carried on more especially in London or at the French Court, advanced the work of peace far more materially than such deliberations as continued to be held at Utrecht, where no general conference again took place till February 2, 1713. These negotiations were carried on by the British Government with fresh energy, after the deaths in the French Royal family (February and March, 1712) had brought so much nearer the danger, still not removed, of a union between the French and Spanish Crowns.

For the rest, it may be said that the Government of Philip V had no voice at the Congress distinct from that of France, and that the Bourbon King of Spain’s personal action was of importance only at the particular point of the negotiations when he made up his mind to prefer the retention of a diminished Spanish to the expectancy of an enlarged French monarchy (May, 1712). Portugal was absolutely tied to England, and, instead of deriving any advantage from the entire course of negotiations, had to console herself with the heavy subsidies paid to her during the course of the War. Promises had been made and prospects held out which gained Savoy over to the side of peace. The States General had to concentrate their energies, as it had been all along intended by the English Government that they should, upon the question of their Barrier; on December 29, 1712, they finally agreed to accept the Anglo-French preliminaries. Thus, in the progress of the negotia­tions everything depended on the maintenance of the understanding between France and England; and for this purpose the conclusion of a truce between them was of the utmost importance. The cession of Dunkirk by the French before the conclusion of the peace enabled Ormond to proclaim this truce on July 16,1712. An Anglo-French pacification was henceforth a virtual certainty; Bolingbroke’s journey to France (August 7) and subsequent interviews with Torcy removed all remaining doubts; and, Savoy being more or less satisfied, the remainder of the negotiations chiefly turned on the satisfaction of the Dutch and of the Emperor. On February 2,1713, the conferences were formally resumed. The Dutch were, as will be seen, not really contented till the conclusion of the Third Barrier Treaty, nearly eighteen months later; nor was the satisfaction of the Emperor at present accomplished. His demands remained unsupported by England; and, though on March 14, 1713, Sinzendorf had signed a truce at Utrecht by which the Emperor undertook to withdraw his troops from Catalonia and to concede the neutrality of the whole of Italy, he could not obtain the terms on which he insisted. A last attempt made on his behalf by Shrewsbury at Paris (March, 1713) fell through; and peace was signed at Utrecht without him (April 11). When the middle of June had been reached, and no message of acceptance had arrived from Vienna, the last of the plenipotentiaries quitted Utrecht; though the proceedings there were, as will be seen, not yet at an end.

The earliest in date, then, as well as the most important of the Treaties, which it is proposed now briefly to examine was the Peace between France and Great Britain (April 11, 1713). William III had bequeathed to Marlborough and Godolphin, the true inheritors of his statesmanship, a foreign policy which meant war with France so long as France was resolved to unsettle the peace of Europe in general, and the condition of things established in Great Britain in particular. The English nation had deeply resented the arrogant interference of Louis in the matter of the succession to its throne; and but for this interference, William would hardly have been able to screw to the sticking-point such warlike feeling as then existed in England. Thus it was appropriate that the first article of importance in the Anglo-French Treaty was concerned with the English Succession question. Whatever may be thought of the account given in the so-called Minutes of the Negotiations of Mesnager of the intrigues for obtaining, with Queen Anne’s consent, the insertion in the Treaty of a secret clause relieving Louis from the obligation of keeping his promise to recognize the Hanoverian Succession “beyond the Queen’s death,” these intrigues, if they were actually carried on, broke down; and Article IV of the Treaty may be regarded as both sincere and conclusive. France in this Article recognized the order of succession in England established by the Act of 1702; and King Louis undertook, both for himself and for his descendants, never to acknowledge as King or Queen of Great Britain anyone claiming to succeed unless in the order thus settled; while taking every care that the son of King James II (the “Old Pretender”) should not at any time or on any pretext return into the realm of France, from which he had departed—“voluntarily,” according to the Treaty; in reality after many delays on his own part, and after much hesitation on that of Louis XIV, whose truly royal nature made it difficult for him to let his guest go.


1713] France and Great Britain.


Of superior, because of more pressing, importance was Article VI, which settled the nodus pacis—the cardinal difficulty of the Peace—the question which after passing through so many phases was now at last determined by the agreement between France and Great Britain. This Article recited the successive Acts of Renunciation precluding the possibility of a personal union between the French and Spanish kingdoms: the Act of Renunciation, performed by Philip V on November 5, 1712; its confirmation by the Cortes of Castile in the same month; and the Renunciations, also in November, performed by Philip’s younger brother, Charles Duke of Berry (who died in May, 1714), and by Philip Duke of Orleans (afterwards Regent of France). It further recited the Reser­vation of the rights of Philip in the succession to the French Crown, declared by Louis XIV in December, 1700, when on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, and the Annulment of this Reservation—in other words, the solemn assent of Louis XIV to Philip V’s abandonment of his claims to the French throne. These Renunciations were now hedged in by every possible solemnity of obligation; as it happened, owing to the unexpected survival of Louis’ younger great-grandson, the future King Louis XV, there was never any question of contesting their validity. By the same Article, the King of France undertook never to accept in favor of his own subjects any advantage as to commerce or navigation in Spain or Spanish America, without its being extended to the subjects of other Powers.

Article IX concerned Dunkirk, whose numerous vicissitudes had not ended with its sale to France by Charles II in 1662. Louis had greatly added to the strength of its fortifications, till it became beyond doubt a very serious menace to Great Britain’s maintenance of her power in the Narrow Seas. It had now, as was seen, been evacuated by the French during the peace negotiations; and it was now stipulated that the King of France should within six months raze the fortifications and fill up the harbour, with an undertaking never to restore them. Louis XIV showed a want of good faith very dishonorable to him, by digging another harbour at Mardyk, a village near Dunkirk, which was intended to be deeper than that which had been filled up, and which was connected with a canal of considerable length. The complaints which at once arose in England obliged him to suspend the operations at Mardyk, on which not less than 12,000 workmen are said to have been employed; and under the Regency the works were demolished. The Dunkirk clause, to the importance of which English public feeling had shown itself so alive, made its reappearance in a succession of treaties before the Peace of Versailles in 1783, when France at last obtained its abolition.

Articles X, XII and XIII dealt with cessions made by France to Great Britain in the New World, which are justly regarded as the real beginnings of the expansion of the British colonial empire. The Hudson’s Bay settlements, to which France had now finally to renounce her pretensions, were of French origin, though the Bay itself had been discovered by the English navigator whose name it bears; and the profitable fur-trade through Canada still remained largely in French hands. On the St Lawrence and in the wooded peninsula at the mouth of the great river French colonial enterprise had continued to progress, after in 1631 Richelieu had recovered both the earlier Canadian settlements and Acadia for France; and towards the end of the seventeenth century she claimed the entire region from the north of the Mississippi to the Great Lakes on the St Lawrence as her own—the title of New France being habitually given to it in the French maps of the time. It is therefore a notable event in the history of French and of English colonization, and of the mutual relations between them, when the Utrecht Treaty once more assigned Acadia to England. At the same time recognition was given to her sole possession of St Kitt’s (St Christopher’s)—one of the Leeward Islands, forming part of the seventeenth century “Plantations.” When, in 1660, England and France agreed to make a division between them of the West Indian Islands, St Kitt’s, from which the Spaniards had at one time driven out the settlers of both nations, was retained by them in common; under William III each of the two nationalities had in turn worsted its rival, but the Peace of Ryswyk had reestablished the system of joint occupation. To this confusion the Peace of Utrecht at last put an end. Article XIII provided in addition for the cession by France of Newfoundland and the adjacent islands; but Cape Breton Island and the other islands situate at the mouth of the St Lawrence were left in the possession of the French, who were to be still allowed to ply their fishing-trade north of Cape Bonavista, and to occupy the shore of Newfoundland for the purpose of curing their fish. The French fishing-trade in these regions thus continued to flourish, so that at the time of the Peace of Aachen in 1748 it very largely exceeded the English; nor was there up to the Peace of Paris in 1763—to say nothing of later times—any more constant source of irritation between the two Powers than this sore, which so many generations of diplomatists have exerted themselves to heal.

On the same day (April 11) was also signed a Treaty of Navigation and Commerce between Great Britain and France which, besides placing each of them, as towards the other, in the footing of the most favored nation, contained certain stipulations of considerable significance for the progress of international law. The ordinance, issued by Louis XIV in 1681, when in his pride he already regarded himself as master of the seas, declaring any vessel a fair prize which should contain goods belonging to enemies of France, controverted the principle of “free ships, free goods,” which France herself had accepted in her Treaty with the Dutch of 1646, and to which England had agreed in a succession of treaties. A rude shock had thus been administered to a principle hitherto generally, though not universally, acknowledged; and during the ensuing period (including that of the War of the Spanish Succession) the further encroachment came into vogue, that all goods produced in an enemy’s land or by an enemy’s industry remained enemy’s goods, even if in the possession of a neutral, and were thus liable to seizure at sea. Finally, the interpretation was actually extended to the very ships of neutrals loaded in an enemy’s port and proceeding to a port not in their own country; and such ships were actually seized. To these interpretations or proceedings the Utrecht Treaty opposed the pro­vision that, so far as British and French vessels were concerned, the flags of the nation to which they belonged should respectively cover all goods (except contraband of war), without distinction of ownership, even in the case of vessels bound for a port belonging to an enemy of that nation. Inasmuch as a treaty of the same purport was signed a few weeks later between France and the States General, maritime commerce might seem to have thus obtained an important boon at Utrecht. But, as a matter of fact, the question was still very far removed from a settlement. The pretensions of France had been negatived; but Great Britain, whose maritime ascendancy was now at last assured, paid very little attention to the principles which she had at Utrecht been instrumental in asserting. Though she could not ignore them altogether, she chose to treat them, not as the assertion of a general international principle, but as an agreement with a particular Power which would expire with the particular treaty in which it was included. Though France had agreed on the same head with the States General, no analogous agreement was contained in any of the other compacts concluded by Great Britain at Utrecht, not even in her Commercial Treaty with Spain. The principle of the Commercial Treaty between Great Britain and France thus awaited its revival—half a century later—in circumstances very different alike for Great Britain and for Europe at large.


Great Britain and Spain : Gibraltar and Minorca. [1713


The Peace between Great Britain and Spain may conveniently be next considered, though it was not actually concluded till July 13,1713. Obviously, the plenipotentiaries of Philip V could not make their appearance at Utrecht till the Treaties of Peace between France and Great Britain and the other principal negotiating Powers had been signed, and till Philip had been recognized by them as King of Spain. It is pointed out in the work of Koch and Schoell, to which this summary is throughout indebted, that this Treaty between Great Britain and Spain is the first international instrument to make mention of what had been the real question of the War—namely, the imminent danger which had threatened the independence and welfare of Europe through so close a union as that which had been brought about between the kingdoms of France and Spain; it was for this reason, as Article II recites, that both the King of France and the King of Spain had consented to the requisite precautions being taken, and that the latter had for himself and his heirs and successors renounced for ever his claims to the French Crown, which renunciation he now solemnly confirmed. In further Articles he expressly approved the succession established in Great Britain by Act of Parliament; and promised to prevent the transfer of any land or lordship in America by Spain to France or to any other nation.

Among the remaining Articles, that which confirmed the cession by Spain to Great Britain of the town, citadel, and port of Gibraltar is of special interest. Spanish pride and a well-warranted national feeling had to accept this sanction of an acquisition which, after having been made almost gratuitously, had been held with so much pertinacity. It was, however, accompanied by stipulations which guaranteed the free exercise of the Catholic religion in Gibraltar, and prohibited Jews and Moors from settling there, and by an engagement on the part of the British Crown securing the refusal of Gibraltar to the Spanish—should the British ever contemplate selling or otherwise alienating it.

By another Article (XI) the sovereignty of the island of Minorca, captured by Stanhope and Leake in 1708, was likewise ceded to Great Britain by Spain. The history of the acquisition of Minorca, with its fortified harbour of Port Mahon, differed greatly from that of Gibraltar, inasmuch as it underwent both recapture and recovery before it was finally given up at the Peace of Amiens in 1802,together with Malta, the retention of which has rendered the loss of it a matter of indifference to Great Britain.

In the same Treaty the King of Spain likewise agreed to a cession of which he had sought to delay as long as possible the formal acknowledgment. Yielding to the request of his Britannic Majesty, he agreed to abandon to the Duke of Savoy the kingdom of Sicily—his Britannic Majesty promising to use his best endeavors for its restoration to the Spanish Crown, in default of heirs male of the House of Savoy. It was not, however, as will be seen elsewhere, a deficiency of this sort which a few years later (in 1720) obliged Victor Amadeus II to exchange Sicily for Sardinia.

The Anglo-Spanish Treaty contained two other clauses of moment, on which Englishmen cannot look back with the same sense of detachment. By Article XII Spain accorded to Great Britain and the British South Sea Company, whose history is summarized elsewhere, for a term of thirty years the sole right of importing negroes into Spanish America. England and her privileged Company were thus to enjoy the rights of the Asiento (or legal compact) under the conditions which in 1701 had been granted for the enjoyment of the same right for ten years by Philip V to the French Guinea Company; in other words, she undertook to furnish an annual supply of 4800 negroes to the Spanish colonies in America, paying certain dues, on each imported slave and a sum in advance of 200,000 livres, to be repaid within the last ten years of the duration of the Treaty. But during its first five and twenty years as many negroes above the stipulated number of 4800 might be imported as was thought expedient, only half the dues fixed for those within that total being payable on account of those in excess of it. Certain other provisions favorable to the trading Company were reintroduced, besides the assignment of a share in the profits of the slave-trade to the sovereign; and a new provision was added (which was to prove of great political importance) granting British merchants the right of sending each year one vessel of five hundred tons burden to trade with the Spanish colonies in America. The “ingenuity of British merchants was thus enabled to evade the narrow bounds within which they were confined, and to secure for themselves (as the South Sea Company effectually did till the outbreak of the War with Spain in 1740) the greater part of the general commerce with these regions.

Finally, in Article XIII of this Treaty, the King of Spain declared that, by reason of his respect for the Queen of Great Britain, he accorded to the Catalans not only a complete amnesty, but also all the privileges at present enjoyed by the Castilians, “of all the peoples of Spain that which the King cherished most.” The self-sacrificing loyalty of the Castilians might have warranted this expression of preference; but it must also be allowed that the Catalans, animated alike by an ardent attachment to their ancient fueros and by their bitter hatred of the Castilians, had done everything they could to intensify Philip's antipathy to themselves. In Peterborough’s days (1706) the Catalans had both fought and suffered heroically for the cause of Charles III, which Great Britain had made her own; it was among them that he had sojourned even after he had become Emperor, and to their care that on his departure he had confided his young wife. Yet at Utrecht they were, under cover of the hypocritical verbiage cited above, left to the mercy of Philip V, who barely took the trouble of concealing his—very explicable—hatred of them. The privileges of which they were “guaranteed” the enjoyment were those of the Castilians, not their own; and their “ obstinacy,” as Bolingbroke chose to call it, was requited by their being left out in the cold. The cynical indifference with which the rights of the Catalans were thus ignored was all the more impolitic as contrasting with the consideration shown to them by France in the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659). The result was that which had been foreseen, and concludes the one shameful episode connected with the Peace of Utrecht. In July, 1713, after the Catalans had refused unconditional submission and set up a provisional Government of their own, Philip V’s troops invested Barcelona, whence after the departure of his consort the Emperor had, in accordance with a separate agreement concluded by him at Utrecht on March 14,1713, in the same month withdrawn his troops under Starhemberg. His proposal of an independent Catalan republic was of course nugatory; and the real intentions of the British Government were revealed in August, by the dispatch into the Mediterranean of an English squadron under the Tory Admiral Sir James Wishart, with instructions to put an end, if necessary, to the “confusion” existing at Barcelona. He was also instructed to reduce the inhabitants of Majorca by force, should they refuse the terms offered them; and it is quite clear that the two designs were to be carried out on parallel lines. So late as March, 1714, an address to the Queen was proposed in the Lords by Cowper, and, notwithstanding Bolingbroke’s sarcastic comment that her Majesty could not be held to be bound by her promises after Charles III had relinquished the Spanish throne, carried with an immaterial modification, urging the continuance of English interposition on behalf of the Catalans. It had at least the effect that Wishart was ordered not to appear off Barcelona for the present. The city gallantly held out against the attacks of its besiegers, who were reinforced by a French army under Berwick and a French fleet. At last on the night of September 11 a general assault began, and the fighting continued all next day in every street—it might almost be said in every house—of Barcelona. The fall of Barcelona, which has been aptly compared to that of Numantia, forms the tragic ending of the story; the survivors, sick and wounded, were sold into slavery; and the very standards of the Catalans were by special order of King Philip burnt in the public market by the common hangman.


France and the United Provinces.


Among the remaining Treaties comprehended under the general name of the Peace of Utrecht, which may here be dealt with quite summarily, that between France and the States General, signed April 11, 1713, may be noticed first. It has been sufficiently shown above how on the present occasion the hand of the Dutch had been forced by the preliminary agreement between France and Great Britain, as to which they had not been consulted, and which they were, as a matter of fact, powerless to resist. In the Treaty with the States General, France undertook to transfer to them so much of the “Spanish” Netherlands as still remained in her hands, to be by the Dutch handed over to the House of Austria, so soon as the Imperial Government should have concluded a satisfactory arrangement with them concerning their “Barrier.” A portion of Gelderland, surrendered to Prussia by France, was excepted from this arrangement; and a further exception of a minute and curious kind was made in the case of a petty district to be taken out of Luxemburg or Limburg, and settled on the Princess Orsini (des Ursins) and her heirs. This last provision, which had never been carried out, was omitted in the Peace of Kastatt; and an annual allowance of 40,000 livres from the French Government was the whole recompense ultimately received “by this extraordinary woman for services which had materially contributed to bring about the Bourbon succession in Spain, to popularize King Philip and his Piedmontese consort, Marie-Louise, in their new kingdom, and to create those relations between the Spanish Bourbons and their people which long outlasted the War of the Succession. She had afterwards aroused the displeasure of Louis XIV, but had in the end gained both his goodwill and that of Madame de Maintenon (1705), and had returned to Madrid, with full powers, as it were, to sway the Spanish Court and monarchy as the most faithful friend and supporter of the French Crown. Her subsequent experiences belong to a later chapter of this work.

Article IX of this Treaty revoked Philip V’s cession, ominous for the diplomatic history of the eighteenth century, of the Spanish Netherlands to Bavaria (made in pursuance of an agreement, concluded in 1702, between Louis XIV and the Elector Maximilian Emanuel); France undertaking to obtain from Bavaria a cession to the House of Austria of her claims to the Belgic Provinces. In return for the surrender to the States General for ultimate transfer to the House of Austria of certain places in French Flanders (they in fact included some of those forming part of the proposed Dutch “Barrier”), the States General undertook to obtain the restoration to France of Lille, on which she had during the negotiations set the utmost store, and of certain other of her former possessions.

In a Treaty of Commerce concluded with the States General on April 11, 1713, France granted the same important concession with regard to the rights of neutrals as that which had been made by England to the Dutch, who still held so much of the carrying-trade of the world. France also undertook to obtain for the United Provinces from Spain the rights which she had granted to them at Munster in 1648, when she first acknowledged their independence.




The Peace between France and Savoy, signed April 11,1713, restored to the latter Power Savoy and Nice, and in general any part of the Duke’s dominions taken from him by the French arms. By means of a series of reciprocal cessions, the chain of the Alps became the boundary-line between the French and the ducal territory, while the plateau of these mountains was divided between the two Governments. The Duke of Savoy was acknowledged as the legitimate King of Sicily, its possession being guaranteed to him by the King of France, to whom this arrangement had been specially repugnant; the stipulations as to the succession in Spain of the male line of the House of Savoy, in default of posterity; of Philip, either male or female, may be passed by as never having come into operation. On the same day was signed the Treaty between Spain and Savoy, of which only those provisions possess a wider interest which referred to the cession of Sicily by the King of Spain to the Duke of Savoy, and to the confirmation of certain cessions made to the latter in northern Italy by the Emperor Leopold I in the Peace of Turin (1703).

France and Portugal also concluded a Treaty on April 11, having, five months earlier, agreed to a suspension of arms. The historical importance of their agreement is colonial. The Portuguese settlements on the banks of the Amazon were now recognized as wholly appertaining to the State by which they had been established; while France renounced any right on the part of her colony of Cayenne to trade in the mouth of the river. As a matter of fact, however, the Brazilian trade had since the middle of the seventeenth century more and more fallen into English hands, the Portuguese acting for the most part as agents or factors only; so that these so-called Portuguese gains must be counted among the provisions of the Peace most profitable to Great Britain.

Finally, France and Prussia agreed to a separate Peace on the same date (April 11); though it is noticeable that as Elector of Brandenburg, King Frederick William I still continued at war with France. Through the diplomatic activity of France, Spain had in this instance once more been obliged to compensate a member of the Grand Alliance for his exertions against the Bourbon claimant to her throne. The bulk of Upper, or Spanish, Gelderland was ceded to France, in order by preconcerted arrangement to be made over by her to Prussia, on condition that the Catholic religion should be maintained there as it had been under the Spanish rule. Upper Gelders, the nucleus of the entire duchy, had remained with Spain when Lower Gelders had concurred in the Union of Utrecht (1579); but in the course of the War of the Spanish Succession the King of Prussia had laid claim to it as Duke of Cleves. This claim was to a large extent conceded in the Peace of Utrecht, though lesser portions of Upper Gelders went to the House of Austria, and to the Elector Palatine, as Duke of Jülich and Berg. A fresh division of Gelders—into four parts—was made in the Barrier Treaty of 1715, to be mentioned below, but it will be seen later that, before the century was out, they were alike swallowed up by France, and that it was not till the Vienna Treaties of 1814-5 that Upper Gelders was, in part at least, restored to Prussia.

At Utrecht the King of Prussia’s sovereignty over Neuchatel and Valengin was likewise acknowledged. Neuchatel (Neuenburg) was an ancient countship, whose chief civic community had been connected with the Swiss Confederation by a series of treaties of alliance, and had at times been under the actual control of the Confederation itself. By right of inheritance the countship had been held by the ducal House of Longueville (a branch of the Orleans line) till its extinction in 1707, with the death of Marie de Longueville, Duchess of Nemours. Already during her lifetime Louis XIV, whose annexation of Franche Comté had made him the immediate neighbor of Neuchatel, had put forward the claims of the Prince of Conti upon the inheritance. These claims had been strenuously opposed by the Swiss cantons—Bern, Luzern, Solothum, and Freiburg—associated by written compact with Neuchatel, where (whether or not with the intention of spiting France) a movement arose, headed by the former Chancellor, George de Montmollin, in support of Frederick I of Prussia’s claims as representing the House of Nassau-Orange, which had formerly held sway at Neuchatel. Bern, the most important of the members of the Swiss Confederation, and other cantons strongly supported these claims, which in 1707 were approved by the Estates of Neuchatel, and in 1713 declared valid at Utrecht. The folly of the attempt to establish an intimate political connection between two places so remote from each other as Berlin and Neuchatel, especially at a time when all claims to Orange were renounced, was to avenge itself slowly, but surely. After undergoing the vicissitudes of the Napoleonic wars, Neuchatel was not finally given up by Prussia to Switzerland, of which it is an organic part, till the precipitous changes of 1848.

As already observed, it was at this very time that an end was put to the political existence of the principality of Orange, which had come to be a mere archaic inconvenience. This principality, like the neighbouring city of Avignon and county of Venaissin, was a remnant of the old Burgundian kingdom. It passed successively under .the sway of several dynasties, notably under that of 'the House of Nassau, Rene of Nassau having in 1530 become Prince of Orange as the nephew of the last Prince of the House of Châlons, and having, in 1544, been succeeded by his great cousin William. The little principality had then, in a series of wars, been seized by a succession of French kings, but had with the same regularity of sequence been restored to its owners at the pacifications ending these several conflicts. When, after the death of King William III, Frederick I of Prussia had on the strength of his kinship with the House of Orange- Nassau displayed some intention of putting himself in possession of the principality, Louis XIV had at once anticipated him. Now, at Utrecht, Prussia gave up whatever claims she possessed, and in the Peace of Rastatt in 1714 France definitively absorbed Orange; while the neighbouring papal dominions were retained by the Holy See, till in 1791 they too were overtaken by their destiny, and became part of the one and indivisible Republic,

It remains to note that, by a clause which, had Frederick I of Prussia survived till the actual signature of the Franco-Prussian Treaty, would in. his eyes have surpassed all the rest of it in importance, the King of France, in his own name and in that of the King of Spain, promised to acknowledge the royal dignity of his Prussian brother.


The Emperor and the Peace of Utrecht. [1713


Viewing the Peace of Utrecht as a whole (though it was actually completed by certain additional treaties signed in 1714 after the conclusion of the Peace of Baden), we are of course confronted by the conspicuous gap caused in its settlements by the missing consent and cooperation of the Emperor, on whose behalf the great struggle had for twelve eventful years been carried on. Perhaps, had the campaign conducted by Prince Eugene in 1712, after his British allies had sheathed their swords, ended more successfully, the Emperor Charles VI might have played an important part in peace negotiations conducted on an altered basis; but by the autumn of the year the hopes of such an issue had grown small; and though the interests of the Emperor and the Empire were not altogether left out of sight at Utrecht, they were more or less neglected, as opposed, in different ways, to the interests both of France and of the United Provinces, and a matter of indifference, if not of aversion, to Bolingbroke and his colleague. On the evening of the day on which the Anglo-French and some of the other pacifications noted above had been signed, the British plenipotentiaries handed to Count Sinzendorf the ultimatum of Louis XIV—consisting of conditions very different not only from those which France would have held herself fortunate in obtaining at various stages of the War, but even from offers transmitted by Louis to the Emperor in the course of the Utrecht negotiations themselves. France now declared herself pre­pared to accept the settlement, not of the Peace of Westphalia, but of the Peace of Ryswyk, based on a uti possidetis far more favourable to France. The Rhine was to form the frontier between France and the Empire —which of course involved the severance from the latter of Strassburg, though not of Kohl, of which, however, as in all cases of fortified places included in the arrangement, the works Were to be razed. The offer of Louis XIV to recognize Charles VI as Emperor, and George Lewis of Hanover as Elector, was very coolly, received by them. On the other hand, Louis XIV demanded the full and entire restoration to their rights of his allies the Electors of Bavaria and Cologne—though the Upper Palatinate was to be left in the possession of the Elector Palatine. The Elector of Bavaria was to be indemnified for his renunciation of the Spanish Netherlands by the transfer to him of the island of Sardinia with the title of King; while, until his restoration to all his hereditary dominions (except the Upper Palatinate), he was to remain in absolute sovereign possession of Luxemburg, Namur, and Charleroi. France consented to the assignment to the Emperor of Naples, Milan, and the “Spanish” Netherlands, demanding only that Italian territories not dependent on either Naples or Milan (in other words, those of her allies the Dukes of Mantua and Mirandola) should be restored to their lawful owners. These terms Louis XIV declared himself ready to keep open till June 1; but, as he refused to assent to a cessation of arms even up to that date, it is quite dear that he looked to a further continuance of French successes in the field for a modification of his proposals in his own favour. In April and May, the first and second Imperial plenipotentiaries respectively quitted Utrecht, the latter having for the present failed to gain over Bavaria by the offer of the hand of an Austrian archduchess for the young Electoral Prince Charles Albert, who might thus become heir of the whole Habsburg dominions. Bavaria, in the existing condition of things, had to thank Austria “ for nothing,”

The Imperial Government—after the fashion of what not in England alone was a preeminently pamphleteering age and, in the particular instance of the Peace of Utrecht, a preeminently pamphleteering occasion—issued a German pamphlet designed for popular consumption; together with a more temperately written apologia, elaborated, in accordance with Sinzendorf’s instructions, by the learned Jean Dumont, both in Latin and French, under the title of A Letter to an Englishman. But even the French-born Imperialist historiographer ventured to re­proach the British nation with its servile submissiveness to the authority of the Crown, and to warn Queen Anne of the risk she ran of incurring the fate of her father. Thus, though abandoned by his Allies, and labouring under the lack of resources chronic to his dynasty,, the Emperor Charles VI showed himself immovable in his resolution, to carry on the War. When he turned to the Diet at Ratisbon, he obtained without much difficulty a vote for the continuation of the War on the part of the Empire and for a contribution of four million dollars. But the money came in at a snail's pace; the proclamation issued, or rather caused to be issued at second-hand, by the Emperor, fell fiat; and the prospects of a war carried on without British or Dutch subsidies revealed themselves in all their nakedness. The Imperial Government remained blind to the fact that Great Britain’s commercial interests would not suffer from a breach with the Empire, which must follow upon a political rupture between the two Powers; and that it would therefore be practically ignored in the settlement which the British and French Governments were at one in hastening to a conclusion.

The events of the campaign on the Rhine in 1713 showed that no choice was left to Prince Eugene but the adoption of a purely cunctatory strategy; while the Emperor was on all sides surrounded by misfortune. The French had once more crossed the Rhine; Catalonia was lost, or virtually so; and at Vienna there was an outbreak of the plague. As in the course of the War, when, after holding his entry into “his capital,” Charles had seen province after province slip from his grasp: so now, when his arms were carrying on the struggle alone and to no purpose, nothing could disturb the grandiose self-control—or the immovable phlegm—of the Emperor. But gradually he began to recognize the futility of the efforts which were being continued on his behalf; and he allowed communications to be opened through British mediation between Prince Eugene and Marshal Villars. Full powers were granted to them by the Emperor and the King of France; and formal peace negotiations accordingly began between these two sovereigns on November 27, 1713, at Rastatt—a castle near the right bank of the Rhine, belonging to the widow of Margrave Lewis William of Baden. Great secrecy was observed in the negotiations, Prince Eugene conferring with nobody but Villars in person. The King of France had, on the strength of the successful campaign just ended, by no means lowered his conditions, though he finally desisted from the demand that Philip V should be included in the Treaty. Villars had asked that not only should Landau be left in the possession of France, but that the costs of the prolongation of the War should be made good by the Emperor—a proposal logical in a sense, but in the circumstances quite unreasonable. On the other hand he would not listen to the Imperial demand for the restoration to the Catalans of all their privileges. In addition, there was the perennial difficulty concerning the Elector of Bavaria, whom France desired to see restored to his rights as well as compensated for his losses. The upshot was that Prince Eugene declared the French propositions inadmissible, and early in February, 1714, quitted Rastatt for Stuttgart, Villars taking his departure for Strassburg. Hereupon Louis showed a more yielding disposition especially after the vote of the Diet already mentioned; and negotiations were resumed.

After all, it was the safety of the Germanic Empire rather than, except in an outlying part of them, that of the hereditary dominions of the House of Austria, which was endangered by the French demands; and the sensitiveness of that House has not always been as keen for the former as for the latter. The Peace as to which negotiations were in progress could not in any case be actually concluded without the consent of the Diet; although to wait for the actual participation of its repre­sentatives might delay ad infinitum the prospect 6f reaching a settlement. Both at Gertruydenberg and at Utrecht the Diet had intended to be represented by a Deputation which should watch over the interests of the Empire; but the necessary formalities, and the usual difficulty of balancing the representation of the Catholic and the Protestant Estates respectively, occupied a long time, and nothing was ultimately done. Thus at Rastatt, where he concluded peace with France on March 7, 1714, the Emperor took upon himself to agree to a series of provisions in the name of the Empire without having been authorized to do so by the Diet; the entire agreement being treated as if it only formed preliminaries, although it actually constituted the Treaty itself and was ratified by the Emperor “in the undoubted confidence, that the Electors, Princes, and other Estates would not hesitate” to follow suit. He excused himself for these high-handed proceedings towards the Empire by a “Decree of Commission,” in which he sought to throw the responsibility of his action upon Villars, and offered the Diet the choice between at last naming its Deputation, or empowering him to conclude peace in the Empire’s name. The Catholic Estates were prepared to grant him these powers; but not so the Protestant—and for a very significant reason, into which it is necessary to enter rather more fully.

The hesitation of the Protestant Estates at this point arose out of an article in the Rastatt preliminaries, affirming that the Treaties of Westphalia and of Ryswyk should form the bases of the intended Peace; Now, Article IV of the Treaty concluded by France with the Emperor and the Empire at Ryswyk had contained a clause, against which the Protestants had persistently protested and which they regarded as having been rendered invalid by the outbreak of the European War that had put an end to the Treaty containing it. The Article itself had provided for the restoration to the Empire of all the districts occupied by France outside Alsace—a loose designation which, however, need not be further criticized in the present connection; for it is the clause added by France to the Article which is in question, and which plays an unhappily prominent part in the diplomatic history of the first quarter of the eighteenth century. During the French occupation of the Palatinate in the iniquitous “Orleans War”, (1688-90) it had seemed good to the French Government, the standard-bearer of intolerance at home, to espouse the interests of the Catholics in those districts where no Catholic worship had been established, by introducing there the exercise of it side by side with that of the Protestants, forcing the latter either to share the use of their churches with the Catholics or to give up to them the chancels. These proceedings amounted to a palpable violation of the settlement made in the Peace of Westphalia according: to which the established Church (representing any one of the three recognized Confessions) in any given district was to be that which had been the established Church there in the year 1624. In the Peace of Ryswyk, however, France sought to force her new provision upon the frontier-districts restored by her to the Empire under Article IV, by means of the clause declaring that in the territories so restored the Roman Catholic religion should remain in the condition in which it was at the present time—in other words, where a simultaneous Catholic worship had been established by the French, it was to be maintained for ever. The insertion of this clause in the Peace not having been opposed by the Imperial plenipo­tentiary at Ryswyk, it: was accepted by the Catholic Estates of the Empire, on the plea of the imperative necessity of concluding the Peace; but of the Protestant Estates only a few attested their signatures to the Treaty; and soon afterwards the entire Corpus Evangelicorum entered their solemn protest against the manifest violation of the Peace of Westphalia. Finally, though to the resolution of the Diet approving of the ratification of the Peace of Ryswyk (November, 1697), there was added a postscript intended to safeguard the Protestants against any application of the clause to their disadvantage, this postscript was ignored by the Emperor in accepting the resolution; and the result was a protracted quarrel between the Protestant and Catholic Estates at the Diet which led to a stagnation of all business in that assembly and recalls, in its complications, the evil days of the Reservation Ecclesiasticum. Nor can it be said that in the later instance the whole dispute was a tempest about nothing; for the number of places whose religious condition was involved in it amounted to little short of 2000 (1922). When in 1714 the matter came up again at the Diet in connection with the Emperor’s proposal that he should be empowered by it to conclude peace in its name, the Protestants used all the forms at their disposal to obtain the insertion in the decree of their demand that the obnoxious clause should be held to have been abrogated for ever. Charles VI refused to accept powers thus restricted; and the Protestant Estates had to content themselves with a fresh protest, which when the terms of peace were actually settled at Baden was, as will be seen, coolly passed over.


The Peace of Baden. [1714


When, therefore, on June 10, 1714, a peace congress opened at Baden (in Switzerland), there was really very little for it to accomplish. It was attended by plenipotentiaries of the Emperor and of France, of Duke Leopold Joseph Charles of Lorraine and of several Princes of the Empire and of Italy, and of the Pope. No warmer friend of France, it may be observed, has ever worn the tiara than Clement XI (1700-21); but he had at an early date in his pontificate found it necessary to come to an understanding with the Emperor Joseph. Yet the Peace of Utrecht had deprived him of certain portions of his temporal dominions; and Clement, who regarded this unprecedented act as a personal affront, was neither able to obtain redress nor to suffer in dignified silence. The Peace between France and the Empire was concluded at Baden on September 7, 1714.

No essential difference is accordingly to be noticed between the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden, unless it be that the earlier of the two was drawn up in French, and the later in Latin. The Treaty of Ryswyk was, together with those of Westphalia and Nymegen, taken as a basis of the Peace of Baden; and the protestation mentioned above was passed over after an unctuous French declaration as to the King’s devotion to the Catholic faith, which had been fortified by two hortatory briefs from the Pope. The provisions of the Peace, which was signed on September 7, were entirely concerned with the relations between the Empire and France, and mainly with the regulation of their frontier. Hence the mediation offered by Great Britain and the participation in the negotiations desired by Spain, had been alike declined. Alt- Breisach and Freiburg, with the fort of Kohl—all on the right bank of the Rhine—were restored to the Empire; while Landau, further to the north on the left bank of the river, was, with its dependencies, ceded to France. Various petty Princes, temporal or spiritual,: of the Empire recovered the possessions taken from them by France since the Peace of Ryswyk; on the other hand, her allies, the Electors of Bavaria and Cologne, were replaced in the position in which they had stood at the beginning of the War. “ In the event ”—so ran one of the Articles of the Peace—“of the House of Bavaria finding some Exchange of its States in conformity with its interests,” France would raise no objection. But the supposition is untenable that in this Article an exchange of the whole of the Bavarian dominions was contemplated, as was seventy years later contended by Joseph II when he sought to exchange for Bavaria the Belgic Netherlands, which the Peace of Baden recognized as belonging to the House of Austria, together with the dominions left to it in Italy by the Peace of Utrecht.

The Peace of Baden was, however, by no means a mere repetition of the Peace of Utrecht; for at Baden the Emperor did not acknowledge the rule of Philip V in Spain, and Philip in his turn gave no consent to the dismemberment of the Spanish monarchy in favour of the Austrian Habsburgs. There are other points of difference—notably as to the treatment of the Elector of Bavaria, who at Baden profited greatly from the late successes of his French ally, and from the magnanimity with which on this, as on other occasions, Louis XIV supported the interests of his friends. The Peace of Baden was ratified by the Diet of the Empire, but not till after many difficulties had been raised and surmounted; for while the Protestant Estates recorded a protest against the maintenance of the notorious clause of the Fourth Article of the Peace of Ryswyk, other protests were recorded by several Italian princes, and by the Pope himself, against other sections of the present treaty.

As indicated above, two further treaties have yet to be noticed in this survey, concluded respectively a little before and a little after the Peace of Baden. The Peace between Spain and the United Provinces, which was signed at Utrecht on June 26, 1714, had been delayed so long on account of the persistent refusal of the Emperor to assent to the Article in the Peace between France and the United Provinces in favour of the Princess Orsini. Philip V was now at last persuaded to give way, and in this same year the ascendancy of the Princess itself came to an end after the death of Philip’s Queen, Marie-Louise. Certain other reasons had contributed to delay the conclusion of the Spanish-Dutch treaty. Its most important provisions as a matter of course had reference to trade, as to which Spain placed the United Provinces on the footing of the most favored nation, with the exception of trade with the Spanish American colonies. This remained, closed to all European nations except, in so far as the Asiento was concerned, to Great Britain. The attempt of the Spaniards to secure the cession of Maestricht and certain other districts, which in a critical moment of their fortunes (1678) the States General had promised to make over to them so as to secure their aid against the invasion of Louis XIV, inevitably broke down, since the Belgian Netherlands as a whole were now to pass, not to Spain, but to the House of Austria.


Peace between Portugal and Spain. [1701-15


Portugal and Spain likewise concluded peace at a date so late as February 6, 1715. The lasting hatred between the two neighbor peoples goes a long way to account for the delay; but it must also be allowed that Portugal, who, as has been seen, had faithfully adhered to the Grand Alliance since British diplomacy had induced her to join it in 1703—notwithstanding the dangers and damages to which her colonial empire had been exposed in consequence—might justly have expected a fuller consideration of her claims in the Peace than she had succeeded in obtaining. She was left very much to make her own terms with Spain; and, though in the end she reduced her demands to the single city of Badajoz and the abandonment of the Spanish claims (upheld by the valor of Indians trained by Jesuits) in the colony of St Sacrament in Uruguay, to whose strange history reference is made elsewhere, the Government of Philip V was provided with further counter-claims of its own. When, however, it became apparent that the Emperor had resolved to conclude no peace with Spain at present, the Spanish negotiations with Portugal were resumed; and, under pressure from her generous British ally, Portugal was brought to sign the Peace—both the contracting Powers making it very evident through the behavior of their plenipotentiaries, that they and their peoples were affectionately disposed towards each other. On the whole, the conditions of this treaty were necessarily favorable to Portugal. The home frontier was regulated in accordance with the status quo ante bellum; and Spain gave up the disputed colony of St Sacrament to Portugal, unless she should within eighteen months have found and accepted a suitable equivalent. The later changes in the history of the colony were as numerous as the earlier, but cannot occupy us here.

This account may fitly be concluded by a few words concerning the “Barrier Treaties,” of which the third and last finishes the series of transactions calling for notice here. Article IX of the Treaty of 1701, in which the lines of the Grand Alliance were laid down, had contained an assurance to the United Provinces of a barrier against France. The importance of such a protection to the Provinces was of course patent. Nature had done little or nothing for the Low Countries in the way of barrier or boundary; and the repulse of the French invasion of 1672—one of those great crises in the history of a nation which must end either in the destruction or in the preservation of a nation’s existence as such—had so far only proved that, but for an extraordinary effort of national patriotism under a great national leader, the Dutch Republic might have sunk under the waters, instead of emerging from them.

The question of the Dutch Barrier had accordingly become a theme of protracted discussion between the States General and the Imperial Government, which of course began with treating; the Spanish Netherlands as part of the dominions of the Habsburg candidate for the Spanish throne, Archduke Charles. In the course of these discussions the States General advanced claims which the Imperial Government resisted; but, as during the progress of the War that Government became aware of the danger (sufficiently illustrated in the previous section), that Louis XIV might seek to tempt the Dutch by offering to conclude a separate Peace with them, Count Sinzendorf was in 1708 sent to the Hague by the Emperor Joseph to negotiate an arrangement on the subject with the States General, through the mediation of Marlborough. At that date there was no difficulty in settling that the States General would listen to no peace propositions that should fail to ensure the indivisibility of the Spanish monarchy under the House of Habsburg; but as to the question of the “ Barrier ” it was not so easy to arrive at an agreement. The contention of the Imperial Government—reasonable enough if alliances were designed to last for ever was that, if the Austrian claimant to the Spanish monarchy were secured in the possession of the Spanish Netherlands, there was no necessity for any “Barrier” at all—for why should the Dutch have the right of garrisoning a series of fortified places in a friendly territory ? The Dutch, however, taking a less trustful view, actually designated the fortified places of which they would like their Barrier to consist, and which at first included not only Ostend, Nieuport, and Dendermonde, but even Antwerp. This liberal selection, however, in its turn naturally excited on the part of Great Britain both jealousy and apprehension of the results which might follow in the not absolutely impossible event of a future Anglo-Dutch conflict.

When, however, as was seen in the earlier section of this chapter, the peace negotiations of 1709-10 broke down, and the War had to be resumed by the Allies, both Great Britain and the United Provinces perceived that the vexed question of the Barrier ought to be got oqt of the way, even though the Emperor, for the benefit of whose claimant the Spanish Netherlands were being contested against France, might take no immediate part in the transaction. The result was the so-called First Barrier Treaty, concluded on October 29, 1709. Ip this compact the British Government undertook to secure to the States General the right of garrisoning nine strong places which belonged or had belonged to the Spanish Netherlands, namely Nieuport, Furnes, Knoque, Ypres, Menin, Lille, Tournay, Condé, and Valenciennes, in addition to ten others (including Charleroi, Namur, and the citadel of Ghent) in case of their being recaptured from the French, in whose hands they at the present remained. A million of francs was to be annually paid to the Dutch out of the revenues of the Spanish Netherlands for the maintenance of the fortresses; and garrisons aforesaid.

This Barrier Treaty, which in fact amounted to a renewal, by way of assurance, of the defensive and offensive alliance between Great Britain and the United Provinces, in terms favorable beyond precedent to the! latter, was decried in Parliament as unfavorable to England as well as to France; and this complaint was echoed in the country at large. A strong popular feeling against the Dutch had survived from the ignoble factiousness of the reign of William III, and it was probably augmented' by some genuine fears as to the consequences of strengthening the position of England’s chief mercantile rival. Thus, notwithstanding the Barrier Treaty, or partly in consequence of it, considerable soreness ensued between the two peoples and Governments; and, when, in December, 1711, Marlborough was dismissed from his public employments, the States General made over the command of their troops, not to his successor, the Duke of Ormond, but to the Imperial Commander, Prince Eugene. Party feeling took advantage of these relations to undermine the Grand Alliance by such semi-official manifestos as Swift’s Remarks on the Barrier Treaty (1712).

Thus, during the progress of the peace negotiations of 1711 and 1712 between the British and French Governments, the former were found quite ready to meet the wishes of France as to a revision of the Barrier Treaty, of which it is certainly not too much to say that it seriously impaired the force of the compact. Several of the Barrier places on which the Treaty had insisted being now promised to France, it became necessary for Great Britain, if her present policy was to be carried out, to conclude a Second Barrier Treaty with the States General, and this was accomplished at Utrecht on January 30, 1713. In this Treaty, by which the First was formally revoked, it was settled that the States General should have the right of keeping garrisons in Knoque, Ypres, Menin, Tournay, Mons, Charleroi, Namur, and Ghent; but Lille, Condé, Valenciennes and Maubeuge, which were included as Barrier places in the First Treaty, were not so included in the Second. Great Britain was to furnish 10,000 and the States General 6000 men, and each of the two Powers the same number of vessels, for the maintenance of the Treaty. Upper Gelders, which the First Treaty had assured to the United Provinces, was passed over in the Second, it being, as has been seen, intended to dispose of it otherwise (in favour of Prussia).

Now, though the Treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt, and Baden had alike kept in view the transfer of the “Spanish” Netherlands to the House of Austria, yet they had all provided that these Belgic Provinces should remain in the occupation of the States General, until they should have arrived at a satisfactory understanding with the Emperor on the subject of their Barrier, With a view to such an understanding, a conference was held at Antwerp between representatives of the Imperial Government and of the States General, General Cadogan, who after Queen Anne’s death had been reinstated as Lieutenant-General and appointed envoy at the Hague, acting as mediator. The Dutch, whose influence among the Allies had as a matter of course been much depressed under the Tory rule of the last four years of Queen Anne, had now regained a much stronger position; and it was improved by the exertions of Cadogan, who was active in keeping up a good understanding between the Whigs and the German States friendly to the Hanoverian Succession. Thus the Third Barrier Treaty, concluded at Antwerp on November 15, 1715, was more favorable to the claims of the United Provinces than might have seemed possible during the course of the Utrecht negotiations. They obtained the Barrier places desired by them, namely Namur, Tournay, Menin, Fumes, Wameton, Ypres, and Knoque, together with the right of joint garrison at Dendermonde. 35,000 men were to form the garrisons of these places—three-fifths of the cost involved being furnished by the Imperial Government, and two-fifths by that of the States General, to whom certain of the revenues of the now Austrian Netherlands were to be pledged as a security for the Austrian share of the expense. Furthermore, in Upper Gelders Venloo was, together with certain smaller places, ceded to the States General; and there was also a small cession of territory in Flanders which would be Useful to them in time of war, in the event of their desiring to place the country between Meuse and Scheldt under water. Great Britain guaranteed the whole of the Treaty, and, in the case of any attack upon the Barrier places mentioned in it, undertook to furnish towards their defence a force of 10,000 men and twenty ships of war; and, should these prove insufficient, to apply all further requisite efforts, and if necessary to declare war against the aggressor.

On the whole, therefore, the Dutch had by their tenacity, and by taking advantage of the favorable opportunity which had at last come to them, obtained a guaranteed agreement which not only effected their main object, the establishment of a well-protected frontier as towards France, but even (in the words of a Dutch historian) placed what were now the Austrian Netherlands in a relation which was in some degree a relation of dependence as towards the Free. For by the Third Barrier Treaty the States General at once gave up to the Emperor all those portions of the Netherlands which had been in the possession of King Charles II of Spain; but they retained under certain pretexts those districts which France had restored to the House of Austria in the Treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt, and Baden. These were likewise delivered up to the Emperor by virtue of a supplementary convention signed at the Hague on December 22, 1718. The unity of the monarchy of the Spanish Habsburgs, which the will of Charles II had sought to preserve, had received its final blow; and under the guarantee of Great Britain the head of the House of Austria had reentered into the possession of one of the fairest of the jewels in the crown of his great namesake.