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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Sidenote Abandonment of the Catalans by the allies


favored Philip V, but the Catalans

early displayed a tendency toward the other side. Their resentment over the injuries received at the hands of their French allies in the revolt of 1640 had not yet cooled, and they especially objected to being governed by a king who represented the absolutist ideals of the French Bourbons, for it was logical to expect that it might mean a danger to their much cherished _fueros_, or charters. Certain conflicts with royal officials seemed to indicate that the government of Philip V intended to insist on the omnipotence of its authority, thus increasing the discontent, to which was added the encouragement to revolt arising from the greatness of the forces aligned against the Bourbons, for in addition to the powers already mentioned Savoy and Portugal had cast in their lot in 1703 and 1704. An allied attempt of 1704 to land in Catalonia having proved a failure the Bourbon officers employed rigorous measures to punish those Catalans who had aided in the movement. The principal effect was to rouse indignation to such a point that in 1705 a determined outbreak took place. Henceforth, Catalonia could be counted on the side of the allies. In the same year an alliance was contracted with the English, who made promises to the Catalans which they were going to be far from fulfilling. Meanwhile, the allied failure to get a foothold in Catalonia in 1704 had been compensated by an incident of that campaign which was to be one of the most important events of the war. On its way south from Catalonia
in that year the English squadron, under the command of Admiral Rooke, seized Gibraltar, which happened to be poorly defended at the time. Numerous attempts were made to recover it, but neither then nor since were the Spaniards able to wrest this guardian of the strait from English hands. In 1708 the island of Minorca was captured, to remain in the possession of England for nearly a century. In 1711 the Holy Roman Emperor died, as a result of which the archduke ascended the imperial throne as the Emperor Charles VI. This event proved to be decisive as affecting the war, for it made the candidacy of Charles for the Spanish crown almost as unwelcome as had been the earlier prospect of a Franco-Spanish union. Other factors contributed to make the former archduke's allies desirous of peace, chief of which was that Louis XIV had been so thoroughly beaten that there was no longer any danger of his insisting on the rights of Philip V to the crown of France.

[Sidenote: The peace of Utrecht.]

[Sidenote: Abandonment of the Catalans by the allies.]

England (in which country a new government representing the mercantile classes and the party of peace had just come into power) took the lead among the allies in peace negotiations, and was soon followed by all the parties engaged, except Charles VI and a few of the German princes. Between 1711 and 1714 a series of treaties was arranged, of which the principal one was that of Utrecht in 1713. As concerned Spain the most noteworthy provisions were: Philip V's renunciation for himself and his heirs of any claim to the French throne; the cession of Gibraltar and Minorca to England; the grant of the negro slave-trade _asiento_ in the Americas to the English, together with accompanying rights which made this phase of the treaties a veritable entering wedge for English commerce in the Spanish colonies; and the surrender of the Catholic Netherlands, Milan, Naples, and Sardinia to Austria, and of Sicily to Savoy. In 1720 Austria and Savoy exchanged the two islands which had fallen to their lot, and the latter took on the official title of the kingdom of Sardinia. On the above-named conditions Philip V was allowed to retain the Spanish dominions of the peninsula and of the Americas. If Spain could have but known it, the treaties were altogether


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