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The Treaty of Utrecht

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In April 1713, the British and French crowns, Queen Anne of England and King Louis XIV of France, signed the Treaty of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The treaty was one of a series of treaties ending the European War of the Spanish Succession. However, under Louis XIV, France was the dominant empire of the early 18th century and England and other Europeans powers welcomed this opportunity to also limit the expanding influence of France in the New World.
Anne of England
Louis XIV France
Article 1: “That there be an universal perpetual peace, and a true and sincere friendship, between the most Serene and most Potent Princess Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and the most Serene and most Potent Prince Lewis XIV, the most Christian King, and their Heirs and Successors, as also the Kingdoms, States, and Subjects of both, as well without as within Europe; and that the same be so sincerely and inviolably preserved and cultivated, that the one do promote the interest, honour, and advantage of the other; and that a faithful neighbourhood on all sides, and a secure cultivating of peace and friendship do daily flourish again and increase.”

The Treaty of Utrecht, also called the Peace of Utrecht, ended hostilities between Britain and France both in Europe and in America. In early Canada, there were several commercial wars initiated to capture trade monopolies and determine ownership of land. These skirmishes caused a lot of uneasiness and mistrust between the French and English. The Utrecht agreement defined who owned portions of Canada, including Acadia, the Maritimes and Hudson Bay and eased the tension between the two countries.

Under the terms of the Treaty, France was stripped of two colonies important to the lucrative cod fishery - Acadia and Newfoundland. King Louis XIV, bankrupted by war, agreed to cede French land in North America to England, so the French passed most of Acadia to Britain. They still possessed a portion, one example being New Brunswick because of difficulties in interpreting Acadia's actual size. As well, France retained Cape Breton Island, Ile St. Jean, the St. Lawrence Peninsula and the St. Lawrence River. France also agreed to restore the drainage basin of Hudson Bay and to compensate England for its wartime losses.

Article XII: “The most Christian King shall take care to have delivered to the Queen of Great Britain, on the same day that the ratifications of this treaty shall be exchanged, solemn and authentic letters, or instruments, by virtue whereof it shall appear, that the island of St. Christopher's is to be possessed alone hereafter by British subjects, likewise all Nova Scotia or Acadie, with its ancient boundaries, as also the city of Port Royal, now called Annapolis Royal, and all other things in those parts, which depend on the said lands and islands ..........; and that in such ample manner and form, that the subjects of the most Christian King shall hereafter be excluded from all kind of fishing in the said seas, bays, and other places, on the coasts of Nova Scotia, that is to say, on those which lie towards the east, within 30 leagues, beginning from the island commonly called Sable, inclusively, and thence stretching along towards the south-west.”

Additionally, France returned all claims to Newfoundland, yet retained certain rights on its coasts. The French were permitted to fish on a length of coast extending from Cape Bonavista up and around the Northern Peninsula as far south as Pointe Riche. France was not allowed to inhabit this "French Shore", but they were permitted to fish there. England’s intent was to preserve Newfoundland’s fishery economy and to insure that future generations would have a source of employment and trade.

The French were required to abandon all their settlements in Newfoundland and return all English forts that had been captured in the last 30 years.

Article XIII: “The island called Newfoundland, with the adjacent islands, shall from this time forward belong of right wholly to Britain; and to that end the town and fortress of Placentia, and whatever other places in the said island are in the possession of the French, shall be yielded and given up, within seven months from the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or sooner, if possible, by the most Christian King, to those who have a commission from the Queen of Great Britain for that purpose. . . . Moreover, it shall not be lawful for the subjects of France to fortify any place in the said island of Newfoundland, or to erect any buildings there, besides stages made of boards, and huts necessary and usual for drying of fish; or to resort to the said island, beyond the time necessary for fishing, and drying of fish. But it shall be allowed to the subjects of France to catch fish, and to dry them on land, in that part only, and in no other besides that, of the said island of Newfoundland, which stretches from the place called Cape Bonavista to the northern point of the said island, and from thence running down by the western side, reaches as far as the place called Point Riche. But the island called Cape Breton, as also all others, both in the mouth of the river of St. Lawrence, and in the gulph of the same name, shall hereafter belong of right to the French, and the most Christian King shall have all manner of liberty to fortify any place or places there.”

Article XIV: “It is expressly provided, that in all the said places and colonies to be yielded and restored by the most Christian King, in pursuance of this treaty, the subjects of the said King may have liberty to remove themselves, within a year, to any other place, as they shall think fit, together with all their moveable effects. But those who are willing to remain there, and to be subject to the Kingdom of Great Britain, are to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, according to the usage of the church of Rome, as far as the laws of Great Britain do allow the same.”
Although, the treaty provided three decades of peace between the English and the French, it did not end the fight over territory in North America. It did signal a major victory for England in their attempt to gain a foothold in Atlantic Canada. The territory they aquired gave them a significant portion of Atlantic Canada that would benefit them both financially and stategically in their continued battle for control of all of North America. However, it was an uneasy peace. Both countries spent time fortifying their territories - the French at Port-Toulouse, Port-Dauphin and Louisbourg on Île Royale, and the British in Newfoundland. And by 1744, England and France would be at war again.

Left: Map of 1713 Treaty Adjustments in Canada

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