Wars > Treaty of Utrecht

Treaty of Utrecht

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

The Treaty of Utrecht and later the Peace of Utrecht is a series of peace treaties that ended the War of the Spanish Succession in the Dutch Republic city of Utrecht. Between March and April of 1713 the combatants of the war including the Spanish, the British, the French, the Portuguese, the Savoy and the Dutch all agreed to cease their colonial territory claims in the New World and around the world.

Treaty of Utrecht - Treaty of Utrecht Document

Treaty of Utrecht Document

The treaties were concluded between the representatives of Louis XIV of France and of his grandson Philip V of Spain on one hand, and representatives of Anne of Great Britain, Victor Amadeus I of Sardinia, John V of Portugal and the United Provinces of the Netherlands on the other. They marked the end of French ambitions of hegemony in Europe expressed in the wars of Louis XIV and preserved the European system based on the balance of power.[1]

Post Spanish Succession Period

It would be the signing of this treaty that would leave thousands of unemployed sailors in the West Indies that would initiate the Post Spanish Succession Period and the development of outlaw piracy as the prospects for another war necessary to facilitate their legal trade seemed less and less likely. Outlaw piracy really kicked off with the Flying Gang who were a group of unemployed ex-British and French privateers that took advantage of the sunken 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet> and plundered the salvage camp to a great fortune.

These pirates rich from their expedition would later establish the pirate republic Nassau at the British controlled Bahamas on the island of New Providence. While the treaty outlined a peace in terms of the imperial powers that be, the pirates did not sign the treaty and therefore did not believe they had to abide by it. They built fortifications on the island and used the base as a staging point to raid the shipping lanes of all empires. The pirates no longer made distinctions between the imperial powers like the privateers or the buccaneers and saw anything with value as a prize to plunder.

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