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The Treaty of 1748

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On the 24th of April 1748 a congress assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle for the purpose of bringing to a conclusion the struggle known as the War of Austrian Succession, including the American campaigns of that war, known as King George’s War.

King George’s War arose out of the European struggle over the Austrian Succession. Initially North America was not involved. The fight there began when the French tried unsuccessfully to regain Nova Scotia. Louisbourg was then captured in 1745 by a retaliatory force of 4000 New England soldiers.

The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, as it pertains to New France, was largely negotiated by England and France and was marked by the return of territories each had lost during King George’s War. For example, Louisbourg, Île Royale was returned to France in exchange for return by the French of Madras (India.) to Britain.

Peter Landry tells us in his History of Nova Scotia, “the giving back of Louisbourg to the French brought on feelings of intense anger and indignation by the colonists in New England; its capture had come about as a result of the blood and sweat of their sons.” The British only partially placated the colonists by bearing the entire expense of the earlier Louisbourg expedition.

This treaty did not settle the commercial struggle between England and France in the West Indies, Africa or India and thus there was no promise of a lasting peace. And although France had made some large concessions to England, the question of colonial control was still looming in the background and by no means resolved.

In the summer of 1748, the new French governor, Charles des Herbiers de La Ralière arrived at Louisbourg and took command of Île Royale in the name of France.

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