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Summer 2011

Course Code
Vasilis Dimitriadis

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
HIS103Y - Summer
Prof: V. Dimitriadis
Lecture 3 - France Foreign Policy and the Dutch War
last class:
Treaty of Westphalia - setting up what a treaty should look like
always ends with a treaty
make sure that no similar conflict would ever emerge
secularization of international relations - Pope could no longer dictate which way the state and international
relations could do - what policy to follow
Spain and Austria emerged as separate states - they couldn’t rule as Pope
Treaty of Pyrenees - in general it did not gain much
during the war of evolution turned against him in Triple Alliance - January 1668
signed Peace Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle but then wanted to avenge Dutch humiliation
he wanted to destroy them
economic reasons for war
they were the most financially stable economy
barely 2 million people
yet most of the European trade was in Dutch hands
they already had a stock exchange - the price they set was the basis of other state prices
8 000 - 9 000 ships that controlled world trade
irked the French as Louis wanted France to seem as the most important state
the Dutch benefited from Frances trade
introduced tariffs
1671: retaliated by preventing imports from France
devastated French economy
there was no way to retaliate financially
Colbert solution: suggested to Louis (summer 1672) to make Dutch the trade subject of the French King
a.k.a. to destroy the Dutch state
two interests merged to motivate the beginning of a war
set three tasks for victory
to alienate the Dutch Republic so they don’t find an ally
to built an alliance for France with every other state
increase the French army
French achieved this by
The Dutch accepted French war thus they made no attempt to re-enforce
France and Sweden signed an alliance of friendship
the same year Louis approached English and offered the king $225 000 yearly pension guaranteeing French
6 000 French soldiers and his Catholic conversion for another $100 000 in case the English people refused
why did he agree?
he admired Louis and his character of monarchy

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loathed the idea that English government controlled the state
he wanted an absolute monarchy where he can do whatever he wanted
the money would make him financially independent and he could change English society by himself
his signature meant that the Triple Alliance was dead
this was not enough: went to make more alliances especially with the German neighbours of Dutch Republic
isolating Dutch from Spanish holds geographically
Leopold agreed to a deal of neutrality as long as the issue between France and Dutch did not spill into his lands
only in the winter of 1762 (January) received reports from their ambassador of troops moving towards them
in late March the English declared war and a month later the French declared war
the attack came from the East - a surprise attack w/ 2 main armies
the Dutch army was so poorly prepared as there were no major battles to prepare them
Louis could have walked into Amsterdam and claimed his glory
but glory meant a lot to him so there was no glory in conquering a weak city
he wanted spectacular conquests
the Dutch flooded Amsterdam so that only a navy could come through where the Dutch had the advantage
Louis mistake was seeking glory
Amsterdam was saved
Treaty in Paris
offered 1/2 Dutch states to turn French
offered to pay 1/2 of the war for France
for Louis it was not good enough - what he wanted:
the Dutch state to turn Catholic
wanted greater financial compensation
wanted a yearly apology for the coin - the most important condition
Dutch could not accept it- they walked out of negotiations
John Dewitt knew the character of Louis
Dutch population was outraged: killed him and the peace party
in military terms replacement was no better
he turned out to be the best diplomat in Europe
recognized that France was hell bent on conquest
he opened up Dutch - within one year he built an alliance against France
Spaniards jumped at the chance
Leopold the Austrian emperor signed because the war spilled and he recognized the threat to the balance of power
financed by the Dutch state
The German princes also agreed
French could not win the war
in went on for 5 years
military stalemate was broken by French move
allies bickered w/ one another: still happens
not all of the sides are equally effective
the Dutch put pressure to terminate war
they are a mercantile state - their interest is to make money not fight a war
Germans could not commit enough troops
Austrians did not want to give too many troops
the Spaniards in decline
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