Treaty of Friendship and Truce, 1712

Treaty of Friendship and Truce, 1712. Archivo Histórico Nacional, Spain. AHN, Estado, MPD.1107
Treaty of Friendship and Truce, 1712. Archivo Histórico Nacional, Spain. AHN, Estado, MPD.1107

Treaty of Friendship and Truce adjusted between France and England, including Spain, finalised in Paris on 19 August 1712 and ratified by H. M. on 1 November of that year.

Parchment. 940 x 730 mm.
The Treaties of Utrecht, also known as the Peace of Utrecht or treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt, are a series of multilateral treaties signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession between 1712 and 1714 in these cities of the Netherlands and Germany, respectively.

The end of the war is considered but after its signature hostilities continued in Spain until the final occupation of Catalonia, and between France and the Empire until the Treaty of Rastatt on March 6, 1714 was signed. In this treaty, Europe changed its political map.

After preparatory talks in London between France and Britain, congress was opened in the Dutch city of Utrecht in January 1712. The results were:

  • Armistice France and Spain with Great Britain (August 1712), followed by peace treaties between Britain and France (April 1713) and between Britain and Spain (July 1713).
  • Signing of treaties between France and the United Provinces, Brandenburg, Portugal and the Duchy of Savoy (July 1713).
  • Signing of treaties between Spain and the Duchy of Savoy (July 1713), the United Provinces (July 1714) and Portugal (February 1715).
  • Signing of trade agreements between Britain and Spain (March and December 1714, December 1715 and May 1716).

As a global balance, the treaties meant the following agreements:

  • Britain acquires new territories (Gibraltar and Minorca, Nova Scotia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador and the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean) and commercial advantages such as sign the “Asiento de Negros” (contract to “supply 4800 slaves to the Spanish colonies”) and permit to trade with Spanish America. 
  • The House of Savoy received Sicily, which the Duke of Savoy received the title of King of Sicily, and later King of Sardinia after swap Sicily for Sardinia with Emperor.The United Provinces receive the Flemish “barrier”, a series of forts in the north of the Spanish Netherlands.
  • Brandenburg receives Gelderland North and the “barrier” of Neuchâtel, and becomes a kingdom with the name of Prussia.
  • Portugal recovers Colonia del Sacramento, occupied by Spain during the war.
  • Charles VI of Austria obtained the Spanish Netherlands, the Duchy of Milan, Naples, Flanders and Sardinia. Archduke Charles of Austria, now emperor, abandoned any claim to the Spanish throne.
  • France recognizes the Protestant succession in England and is committed to not supporting the Stuart pretenders. They also agree to demolish the fortifications of Dunkirk and block its port and obtained the Principality of Orange.
  • Felipe V obtained recognition as king of Spain and the Indies by all the signatory countries, and waive gather the kingdoms of Spain and France in the same person.

The biggest beneficiary of this set of treaties was Britain that besides their territorial gains, obtained substantial economic advantages that allowed to break the trade monopoly of Spain with its colonies.

France suffered severe economic hardship caused by the high costs of the war. The balance of land power in Europe was thus secured, while at sea, Britain begins to threaten the Spanish control in the Mediterranean Menorca and Gibraltar. 
Text: José Luis Clares Molero. National Historical Archive

Translation into English: Luis Castrillo. Spanish National Archives


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