Saturday, February 12, 2011

Treaties Between France and England Concerning Acadia - 1632-1763

These are the treaties that were signed as France and England battled for land across the continent. The war of 1627-1632 between England and France ended with the Treaty of St-Germain-en-Laye giving France possession of Acadia. This was the first time Acadia was recognized officially as a possession of France.
In 1654 England captured Port-Royal with the attack led by Robert Sedgwick. Until the Treaty of Breda in 1667 England had possession of Acadian. With the signing of this treaty Acadia was returned to France.

The war of the Grand Alliance 1689-1697 ended with the Treaty of Ryswick again giving France possession of Acadia.

With the war of Spanish Succession 1702-1713, the tide began to change and Britain became the possessor of Acadia with the Treaty of Utrecht.

The war of Austrian Succession 1744-1748 saw England in continued possession of Acadian lands when the Treaty of Aix-de-la Chapelle was signed.

Finally Britain would have possession of Acadia forever at the end of the Seven Years War also known as the French and Indian War 1756-1763 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

St. Germain-en-Laye

By the treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye (1632) the English had resigned to the French Crown all interest in New France. The Treaty of Ryswick (1697), moreover, confirmed French right to the country. Hence Charles's gift to his cousin, Prince Rupert, and to those associated with him in the organization of the Hudson Bay Company, was gratuitous, if not illegal. The subsequent retransfer of the country to Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) may be said, however, to have given the company a right to its possessions, a right that was practically confirmed by the Conquest, and by the Treaty of Paris, in 1763. 


III. On the part of his Majesty of Great Britain, the said Lord Ambassador, by virtue of the Power granted to him, which shall be inserted at the end of these Presents, hath promis'd, and doth promise, for and in the name of his said Majesty, to render and restore to his most Christian Majesty all the Places possess'd in New France, Acadia and Canada, by the Subjects of his Majesty of Great Britain, and cause them to depart from those Places. And for their effect the said Lord Ambassador shall presently, upon passing and signing these Presents, deliver to the Commissioners of the most Christian King, in good Form, the Power which he hath receiv'd from his Majesty of Great Britain, for the Restitution of the said Places, together with the Orders of his said Majesty to such as command in Port Royal, Port Quebec and Cape Breton, to give up the said Places and Fort, and deliver them into the hands of those whom it shall please his most Christian Majesty to appoint, in eight days after the said Orders shall have been notify'd to those who do command, or shall command in the said Places; the said space or eight days being given them to remove, in the mean time, out of the said Places and Fort, their Arms, Baggage, Merchandizes, Gold, Silver, utensils, and in general every thing that belongs to them: to whom, and to all who live in the said Places, is granted the space of three Weeks after the expiration of the said eight days, for entering (during the said time, or sooner if possible) into their Ships, with their Arms, Ammunition, Baggage, Gold, Silver, Utensils, Merchandizes, Furs, and in general everything belonging to them, in order to depart thence into England, without any longer stay in the said Countries.

Treaty of Breda

Signed on July 31, 1667 in the city of Breda, the Treaty of Breda brought a quick though not so quick conclusion to the Second Anglo-Dutch War that took place 1665 to 1667.
The signers included England, the United Provinces/Netherlands, France and Denmark. Brought about when the troops of Louis XIV, King of France, began invading the Spanish Netherlands, it left many territorial disagreements unsetlled. Before the war the Dutch pretty much controlled the territories they claimed. The seas skirting the south coast of England were controlled by Admiral de Ruyter after his success during the Raid of Medway. So much so that the English Commissioners sued for peace. 

Within ten days the disputes were resolved. As part of the negotiations the English Commissioner wanted to exchange New Netherlands for their sugar factories on the Surinam coast. The Dutch refused. The Dutch had a worldwide monopoly on nutmeg by forcing England to give up Run in the West Indies - Run was the most remote of the Banda Islands.


In the North American region, England returned Acadia to France without the specificty of what territories belonged to which country. This would prove to be an ongoing between the two countries until England would finally win Acadia for the last time.

Treat of Ryswick

The Treaty of Ryswick was signed on 20 September 1697 and named after Ryswick in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands). The treaty settled the War of the Grand Alliance, which pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.

Negotiations started in May. The French representatives had their headquarters at the Hague and the allies were based in Delft. The conference was held in between the two towns in the Huis ter Nieuwburg in Ryswick.

For the first few weeks no result was reached, so in June the two protagonists in the struggle, William III of England and Louis XIV of France, each appointed one representative to meet together privately. The two chosen were William Bentinck, Earl of Portland, and Marshal Boufflers, and they soon drew up the terms of an agreement, to which, however, the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and Charles II of Spain would not assent. But in a short time Spain gave way, and on 20 September a treaty of peace was signed between France and the three powers, England, Spain and the United Provinces. William then persuaded Leopold to make peace, and a treaty between France and the Holy Roman Empire was signed on the following 30 October.

 Treaty of Utrecht

Treaty of Utrecht (1713) The Treaties of Utrecht (April 11, 1713) were signed in Utrecht, a city of the United Provinces. Along with the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden, this concluded the War of the Spanish Succession (as well as Queen Anne's War).

The Treaties of Utrecht confirmed Philip V as the king of Spain, provided that Spain and France remain separate. The Spanish Netherlands, Milan, and Naples were granted to Austria. England was granted possession of the Hudson Bay Territory, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. France and the Holy Roman Empire would not settle their differences until 1714, and Spain and Portugal did not cease hostilities until 1715.

The main provisions of the treaties confirmed that Louis XIV's grandson Philip V would remain on the throne of Spain, and retain Spain's new world colonies. Many of Spain's other territories were partitioned out among the allied powers. The Emperor received the Spanish Netherlands, the Duchy of Milan, Naples, and Sardinia. The Duke of Savoy received Sicily and some strips of land in Lombardy. The British received Gibraltar and Minorca, which they had captured during the war.

There were also some colonial provisions pertaining to North America: France recognized British control of the Hudson Bay Territory and Newfoundland and ceded Acadia to the British. France retained Cape Breton Island, the St. Lawrence Islands, and fishing rights off of Newfoundland.

 Treaty Aix-de-la-Chapelle

On October 18, 1748, the treaty was negotiated largely by Britain and France, with the other powers following their lead, ending the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1749). The treaty was marked by the mutual restitution of conquests, including the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, to France; Madras in India, to England; and the barrier towns to the Dutch. The right of the Habsburg heiress Maria Theresa (1717-1780) to the Austrian lands was guaranteed, but the Habsburgs were seriously weakened by the guarantee to Prussia, not a party to the treaty, of its conquest of Silesia. Both Britain and France were trying to win the friendship of Prussia, now clearly a significant power, for the next war. Maria Theresa gave up to Spain the duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla in Italy. The treaty confirmed the right of succession of the House of Hanover both in Great Britain and in Hanover. In the commercial struggle between England and France in the West Indies, Africa, and India, nothing was settled; the treaty was thus no basis for a lasting peace.

Treat of Paris of 1763

On February 10, 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years War. The Treaty was signed by the Kingdom of Great Britain, France and Spain with Portugal in agreement. Together with the Treaty of Hubertusburg, it ended the French and Indian War and the Seven Years' War. The treaties marked the beginning of an extensive period of British dominance outside of Europe.

In general, all conquered territories were restored to their pre-war owners. Preferring to keep Guadaloupe, France gave up Canada and all claims to territory east of the Mississippi to Britain. Spain ceded Florida to the British but later received New Orleans and Louisiana from France, and Cuba was restored to Spain. France retained Saint Pierre and Miquelon and recovered Guadeloupe and Martinique in exchange for Grenada and the Grenadines going to the British. In India the French lost out to the British, receiving back its factories but agreeing to support the British puppet governments as well as returning Sumatra and agreeing not to base troops in Bengal.

Britain returned the slave station on the isle of Goree to the French but gained the Senegal River and its settlements. Britain agreed to demolish its fortifications in Honduras but received permission from Spain to keep a logwood-cutting colony there. Britain confirmed in the treaty the rights of its new citizens to practice the Roman Catholic religion and received confirmation of the continuation of the British king's right as an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

It is sometimes claimed that the British King George III renounced his claim to be King of France by the treaty. However, this a historical myth, and it is also falsely attributed to some of the treaties of the French Revolutionary Wars. Such a renunciation is nowhere in the text of the treaty, and in fact George III continued to be styled "King of France" and used the fleurs-de-lis as part of his arms until 1801 when Britain and Ireland united. It was dropped then because it was simply regarded as anachronistic, not because of French pressure.

It is sometimes claimed that the British King George III renounced his claim to be King of France by the treaty. However, this a historical myth, and it is also falsely attributed to some of the treaties of the French Revolutionary Wars. Such a renunciation is nowhere in the text of the treaty, and in fact George III continued to be styled "King of France" and used the fleurs-de-lis as part of his arms until 1801 when Britain and Ireland united. It was dropped then because it was simply regarded as anachronistic, not because of French pressure.

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
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