1713

Utrecht and Canada

Politics

The United Kingdom

At first St. John was probably quite pleased with the disasters the French army wreaked on the allies he had betrayed, but in time the dangers of his policy became clear. Though there was a cease-fire with the French Louis now did all he could to delay making a permanent peace with England. St John now sent an ultimatum to France in February 1713 containing the English demands which had to be agreed to immediately on pain of England rejoining the alliance. In this way the aforementioned peace was made.

The United Provinces

The Dutch did not like the betrayal by Bolingbroke and had even thought about actions like taking the English army hostage or going to war against England. Sadly the Dutch had no choice but to accept that England insisted on taking all the fruits of their common victories for herself.

The empire

Charles VI (III) did not adhere to the Utrecht treaty, and by refusing to negotiate he threw away the few crumbs the English wanted to leave him. This caused the Austrians and the empire still more misery.

France

Louis was certainly the big winner at Utrecht. He did not loose anything of his 17th century conquests in the Low Countries, he even got back Lille. The emperor not adhering to the treaty was of course an opportunity to extort even more territory from the empire. After a successful campaign he was again pressing for excessive demands at Rastatt.

The peace of Utrecht

On 11 April 1713 France, the United Kingdom, the United Provinces, Portugal, Prussia and Savoy signed the peace of Utrecht. The English got the protestant succession, removal of the pretender from France, the defortification of Dunkirk, the French part of the Hudson Bay, the French part of Newfoundland, Acadia and Nova Scotia, St. Kitts (Saint-Christopher), Gibraltar, Minorca and the Assiento right for 30 years. The Dutch got part of Upper Gelre (Roermond) and a barrier in Voorne, Fort de Knokke, Ypres, Menin, Tournai, Mons, Charleroi, Namur and Gent. Prussia got the main part of upper Gelre. Savoy got parts of the Alps and Sicily. The rest would be decided in the ongoing war between France and the empire.

Canada

Let's now look at the treaty and the consequences it would later have. Before the treaty of Utrecht both the French and the English held part of Newfoundland, while the French held Acadia (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Annapolis), Cap Breton (a.k.a. Ile Royale), Prince Edward island (a.k.a. Ile St. Jean), and to the west of it of course the rest of Canada. In the treaty of Utrecht they gave up Acadia and what they possessed of Newfoundland. (It must be noted here that the fisheries of Newfounland were of an enormous economic importance, and France held some fishing rights)

Though they retained Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean this obviously gave the English the strategic edge in communications to Canada. Though Ile Royale secured shipping directly on its shore's ile Royale was itself surrounded by British presence on New Foundland and Nova Scotia. I have not thoroughly researched this, but it seems to me that the treaty of Utrecht set the French at a disadvantage in the seven years war and finally cost them Canada. (one author stated: 'And with Acadia went Canada')

It may sound as pure speculation, but what if Louis had acted differently? I.E. held on to what France possessed in Canada by making a different peace. France would then have had almost fifty years to fortify and populate the entrance to Canada. I sincerely doubt the English would then have gained Quebec in the seven years war, and in such a case I wonder how far west the USA would have reached.

Looking at today's unipolar world of A.D. 2003 a french-speaking Canada of somewhere between 25 and 50 million inhabitants would of course make a lot of difference, but not seriously challenge the supremacy of Holywood, the Pentagon, junk food and the English language. But then again this hegemony is not a direct result of the peace of Utrecht, the loss of Canada was.

Warfare

French campaign against the empire

Villars conquered Landau 20 August 1713, and on 16 November Freiburg. His fast progress would lead to the peace conference of Rastat.

The Spanish Campaign

The Spanish campaign came to an end with an evacuation treaty by which both armies left Aragon.