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5 Arbiter of Europe.docx

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

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The Arbiter of Europe 1679-88 p.36
French foreign policy protect France
France got the attention of Europe because of their POWER
Louis - Break off anti-French coalition
Gain new territories at the expense of the Spanish and Netherlands
But…Dutch escaped, disappointed that Spain was not main enemy
Spain = declining power
New opponent to the east - German states of HRE, opposing a real threat
3 attempts to invade France
Not much security on that border so a treaty signed Aug 1679
France got the attention of Europe because of their POWER
Denmark and Brandenburg vs. Sweden (ally of France)
Louis wanted for them to give up their territory over Sweden
When France made a political statement and if the others did not comply, army = leverage
National security via diplomatic means - more territory
Went back to Treaty of Westphalia and Nygemen to find unclear statements to gain more territory
France set up chambers of the union (4 special courts) - set in newly gained territories
Greatest gain in chambers of union -
Northeastern border was declared by France outraging Germany
Greatest gain via diplomatic and legal means…NOT WAR
If contested, Germany had to deal with French army 200k…not ready
Dutch merchant class unwilling to pay funds for new military
English, Germany...same thing
Concept of balance of power set by Treaty of Westphalia Louis was going to take over Europe
All he wanted to do was improve French borders...bit by bit take over neighbours
Every gate into France must be shut down or be brought under French control
Chambers of union did that
2 were handed over to France
The other - Sep 1681 - France shut down the most important crossing gate - Strasbourg which was
(independent city) surrendered p.37
Main entrance into Germany, so Leopold and Austria wanted to act, but 6 of 8 German electors =
France allies
Control almost all the crossing points on the Rhine
Control the fortress, military points
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