Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524-1763

Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524-1763

Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524-1763

Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524-1763

Excerpt

An attempt has been made in this study to present in the form of a continuous narrative the seemingly loose events that constituted the Franco-Spanish rivalry in continental North America from 1524 to 1763. In examining the colonial rivalry between France and Spain it becomes fairly clear that both countries pursued consistent policies, laid down during the earliest stage of their overseas competition. The two imperialistic rivals maintained their judicial and diplomatic positions from the reigns of Francis I and Charles V to the Treaty of Paris in 1763 without essential change.

It would therefore appear that each succeeding generation of governmental officials at Paris and Madrid was guided by its predecessors in the conduct of American affairs. Spain, for example, consistently denied France the right to hold title to any territory west of the papal line of demarcation of 1493. France denied the validity of the division of the non-Christian world by Pope Alexander VI between the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs to the exclusion of all other Christian princes. Spain claimed title to all lands in North America, though not yet occupied by her. France asserted the right of discovery and occupation of those lands not actually settled by Spaniards. Spain denied the right of navigation to French ships west of the papal line of demarcation, while France demanded freedom of the seas.

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