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Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)

Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)

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The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 ended the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

 following a congress
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
On the 24 April 1748 a congress assembled at Aachen for the purpose of bringing to a conclusion the struggle known as the War of Austrian Succession....

 assembled at the Imperial Free City of Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

Aix-la-Chapelle in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

—in the west of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, on 24 April 1748. The resulting treaty was signed on 18 October 1748.


Britain and France dictated the treaty, and other nations followed the proposed terms which had previously been agreed at the Congress of Breda
Congress of Breda
The Congress of Breda often also known as the Breda peace talks were a series of negotiations between representatives of Great Britain and France in the Dutch city of Breda that took place between 1746 and 1748. They were designed to bring an end to the Austrian War of Succession and laid the...

. The terms were:
  1. Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

     recognized Frederick II of Prussia
    Frederick II of Prussia
    Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

    's conquest of Silesia
    Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

    , as well as renouncing parts of its Italian territories to Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

  2. France withdrew from the Netherlands in order to have some of its colonies returned. France regained Cape Breton Island
    Cape Breton Island
    Cape Breton Island is an island on the Atlantic coast of North America. It likely corresponds to the word Breton, the French demonym for Brittany....

    , lost during the war, while it returned the captured city of Madras in India to Great Britain and gave up the Barrier towns to the Dutch.France withdrew from the Austrian Netherlands.
  3. Maria Theresa ceded the Italian Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla to Spain.
  4. The Duchy of Modena and the Republic of Genoa
    Republic of Genoa
    The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

    , conquered by Austria, were restored.
  5. The Asiento
    The Asiento in the history of slavery refers to the permission given by the Spanish government to other countries to sell people as slaves to the Spanish colonies, between the years 1543 and 1834...

     contract, which had been guaranteed to Great Britain in 1713 through the Treaty of Utrecht
    Treaty of Utrecht
    The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

    , was renewed. Spain later raised objections to the Asiento clauses, and the Treaty of Madrid
    Treaty of Madrid (1750)
    The Spanish–Portuguese treaty of 1750 or Treaty of Madrid was a document signed by Ferdinand VI of Spain and John V of Portugal on January 13, 1750, concerning their empires and status of their territories in what is now Brazil....

    , signed on 5 October 1750, stipulated that Great Britain surrendered her claims under those clauses in return for a sum of £.


For the most part, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and the War of Austrian Succession concluded status quo ante bellum
Status quo ante bellum
The term status quo ante bellum is Latin, meaning literally "the state in which things were before the war".The term was originally used in treaties to refer to the withdrawal of enemy troops and the restoration of prewar leadership. When used as such, it means that no side gains or loses...

. In the commercial struggle between Britain and France in the West Indies, Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, 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
Maurice, comte de Saxe
Maurice de Saxe was a German in French service who was Marshal and later also Marshal General of France.-Childhood:...

), and it came to be popular in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 to use the phrases Bête comme la paix ("Stupid as the peace") and La guerre pour le roi de Prusse ("The war for the king of Prussia"). By the same token, British colonists in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 and merchants back in Great Britain resented the return of Louisbourg to the French after they had captured the stronghold in a 46-day siege. This resentment was an early seed of the later American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. In fact, Britain had exchanged Louisbourg
Fortress of Louisbourg
The Fortress of Louisbourg is a national historic site and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th century French fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia...

 so that France withdrew from the Netherlands. Madras, captured by French Admiral La Bourdonnais
Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais
Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais was a French naval officer and administrator, in the service of the French East India Company.-Biography:...

 in 1746 was returned to Britain likewise.

In Britain itself, George II and his ministers were seen as having conducted the war and the peace to the best advantage of Brunswick-Lüneburg (of which George was Elector) rather than Britain, and so the main British celebrations of the peace were only held six months later, with a fireworks display in Green Park
Green Park
-External links:*...

 for which Handel
HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

 wrote his Music for the Royal Fireworks. This celebration was deliberately held near the royal residence of Buckingham House
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 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 relief of George II). George and Britain did gain from the treaty in one respect: that one clause of it had finally compelled the French to recognise the Hanoverian succession to the British throne and expel the Jacobites
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 from France.

In contrast to French and British unhappiness with the treaty, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 gained stability for the first time in the 18th century. The new territorial settlement and the accession of the pacific Ferdinand VI of Spain
Ferdinand VI of Spain
Ferdinand VI , called the Learnt, was King of Spain from 9 July 1746 until his death. He was the fourth son of the previous monarch Philip V and his first wife Maria Luisa of Savoy...

 allowed the Aachen settlement to last until the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

 in 1792.

See also

  • Treaty of Åbo
    Treaty of Åbo
    The Treaty of Åbo or the Treaty of Turku was a peace treaty signed between the Russian Empire and Sweden in Turku on 7. Augustjul./ 18. Augustgreg...

    , signed on 7 August 1743 between Imperial Russia and Sweden
  • Treaty of Füssen
    Treaty of Füssen
    The Peace of Füssen was a peace treaty signed at Füssen, Bavaria, between the Electorate of Bavaria and Habsburg Austria. Signed on 22 April 1745, it ended the participation of Bavaria on the French side in the War of the Austrian Succession.-Background:...

    , signed on 22 April 1745 between Austria and Bavaria.
  • Treaty of Dresden
    Treaty of Dresden
    The Treaty of Dresden was signed on 25 December 1745 at the Saxon capital of Dresden between Austria, Saxony and Prussia, ending the Second Silesian War....

    , signed on 25 December 1745 between Austria, Saxony and Prussia.
  • Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668)
    Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668)
    The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle or Treaty of Aachen was signed on May 2, 1668 in Aachen. It ended the war of Devolution between France and Spain. It was mediated by the Triple Alliance of England, the Dutch Republic and Sweden at the first Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle...

  • List of treaties

External links