Friday, 20 September 2013

The Treaty of Ryswick - The End of the Nine Years' War

The Nine Years' War, also know by many as the War of the Grand Alliance, was a major conflict fought in the late 17th Century between King Louis XIV of France and a European wide coalition, which was led by the Anglo-Dutch Stadtholder-King Wiliam III, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, King Charles II of Spain, Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and many other minor princes in the Holy Roman Empire.

The War itself was main fought in mainland Europe and in its surrounding water ways, but it also spread to Ireland and Scotland, and spread between English and French settlers in the Americas. It is largely classified as the second of Louis XIV's three major wars.

The War was fought between September 1688 and September 1697, and ended with Louis XIV accepting William III of Orange as the King of England, Scotland and Ireland.

The Treaty of Ryswick officially ended the war. Negotiations started in May. The French wanted it to take place in The Hague, while the Allies wanted it to take place in Delft. They settled on a location in between the two towns, at the Huis ter Nieuburg Palace in Ryswick.

After a few weeks, negotiations had gone nowhere, and many believed the war would continue for years to come. This was when William III of Orange and Louis XIV agreed to let a representative from each party meet in private. Almost as if no conflict every existed, the two drew up terms of an agreement. The only problem was that Spain and the Holy Roman Empire would not agree to all the terms of the Peace Treaty.

Fearing a continued conflict, Spain reluctantly agreed to the terms and three of the four parties signed the Treaty on September 20th. Once the treaty was signed the battlefields went quiet, as the only belligerent power left was the Holy Roman Empire, but they had no enemy left to fight. William III of Orange quietly convinced Leopold to make peace with France, and the Holy Roman Empire signed on to the treaty, just over one month later, on October 30th.

The main basis of the treaty was that all towns and districts taken since the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1679 would be restored, as well as several other territorial sessions.

File:Europe, 1700 - 1714.png
The Map of Europe Following the Nine Years' War

Remembering History - The Treaty of Ryswick