- Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
The second Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (
Aachen) of 1748ended the War of the Austrian Succession.
A congress assembled at the
Imperial Free Cityof Aachen, in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, on April 24, 1748. The resulting treaty was signed on October 18, 1748.
Britain and France dictated the treaty, and other nations followed the proposed terms.
The terms were:
1. Austria recognized
Frederick the Great's conquest of Silesia, as well as losing parts of Italian territories to Spain.
France withdrew from the Netherlands in order to have some of its colonies returned (p. 549 Kishlansky). France regained
Cape Breton Islandwhile it gave up Madrasto England and gave up the Barrier townsto the Dutch (Britannica).
2. Maria Theresa gave up to Spain the
Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastallain Italy (Britannica).
Duchy of Modenaand the Republic of Genoawere restored (Laven).
Asientocontract, which was guaranteed to Great Britain in 1713 through the Treaty of Utrecht, was renewed (Sosin).
Spain later raised objections to the Asiento clauses, and the Treaty of Madrid, signed on
October 5, 1750, stipulated that Great Britain surrendered her claims under those clauses in return for a sum of £100,000.
In essence, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and the War of Austrian Succession concluded
status quo ante bellum. In the commercial struggle between Britain and France in the West Indies, Africa, and India, nothing was settled; the treaty was thus no basis for a lasting peace.
In France, there was a general resentment at what was seen as a foolish throwing away of advantages (particularly in the
Austrian Netherlands, which had largely been conquered by the brilliant strategy of Marshal Saxe), and it came to be popular in Paristo use the phrase "la guerre pour le roi de Prusse" ("war for the king of Prussia").
By the same token, British colonists in
New Englandand merchants back in Great Britain resented the return of Louisbourgto the French after they had captured the stronghold in a 46-day siege. This resentment was an early seed of the later American Revolution. In actual fact, Britain exchanged Louisbourg for Madras, captured by French Admiral La Bourdonnais in 1746.
In Britain itself, George II was seen as having conducted the war and the peace to the best advantage of
Hanover(of which he was Elector) rather than Britain, and so the main British celebrations of the peace were only held 6 months later, with the fireworks display in Green Parkfor which Handelwrote his Music for the Royal Fireworks. This celebration was deliberately held near the royal residence of Buckingham House so as to present the king in a better light, as a British king and as the prime mover in a peace that was successful for Britain. (The display proved less successful than the music - the enormous wood building from which the fireworks were to be launched caught fire due to the fall of the bas reliefof George II).
George and Britain did at least gain from the treaty in that one clause of it had finally compelled the French to recognise the
Hanoverian successionto the British throne and expel the Jacobites from France.
In contrast to French and British unhappiness with the Treaty,
Italygained stability for the first time in the 18th century. The new territorial settlement and the accession of the pacific Ferdinand VI of Spainallowed the Aachen settlement to last until the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Warsin 1792.
Treaty of Åbo, signed on August 7, 1743 between Imperial Russia and Sweden
Treaty of Füssen, signed on April 22, 1745 between Austria and Bavaria.
Treaty of Dresden, signed on December 25, 1745 between Austria, Saxony and Prussia.
Kishlansky, Geary, O'Brien Civilization of the West 7th Edition Vol. B
Laven, David. "Austria's Italian policy reconsidered: Revolution and reform in restoration Italy" Modern Italy 2.1 (1997). 07 Jun. 2008< http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/13532949708454776 >
Louisburg and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748Jack M. SosinThe William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct., 1957), pp. 516-535Post reply
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668)
List of treaties
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/randomedition/pip/z77ig/ Penny London Post newspaper from 1749 reporting on the fireworks display]
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