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Lecture 11

HIS103Y Lecture 11 October 24th The Peace of Utrecht-Rastadt and The Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power, 1715-1740

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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

HIS103Y Lecture 11 October 24th The Peace of Utrecht-Rastadt and The Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power, 1715-1740. • One principle of the Treaty of Utrecht that characterizes it as the first functioning international order the first system of balance of power • This principle was public/ international law in which ‘balance of power’ was directly cited as the source of the peace settlement • Anglo-Spanish treaty July 1713 ‘an exact balance of power is the best basis for mutual friendship and enduring concord in every respect’ • Peace and stability is not formed by principles but by practical foreign policies that respect these principles • This occurs when they see their survival and national interest in a political principle such as ‘a balance of power’ this was designed to help states protect their own national security • Therefore it had a national interest that Europe was checked and balanced by itself such as the Austro-Dutch barrier treaty of 1715 o Conflict over who would pay for the fortresses in Austrian Netherlands.  Dutch and British signed friendship agreement as Britain was trying to ease this problem. • In Italy there was similar situation where British support of Savoy allowed Savoy to check French Italian ambitions and to balance Austrian power to the North. • Spain’s Philip of Anjou and Austria’s Charles VI didn’t agree to the Peace of Utrecht. • The convergence between British national interest and foreign territory makes the balance of power a practical idea • Britain and France’s King died. o George I from Hanover took over Britain when James III was alive in France. o Both states were scared of succession. So they signed entente, ensuring peace in Europe. • 1714, King George of Hanover (absolute power) landed on Britain (parliamentary monarchy) o In Britain, the King could not have standing army because standing power represented the power of monarch. o King George cannot speak English. o King needed to pass every law through the parliament. o But George was good at international relations and was the only protestant successor. o He intended to use Britain to increase influence of Hanover. • A severe challenge to international order was presented by the War of the British Succession in 1730’s after the king died • France had a different candidate, Leszczynski, Louis XI
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