European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

33.
Treaty of offensive and defensive alliance between the United Netherlands and Great Britain concluded at Southampton, September 7/17, 1625. Ratification by the States General, December 14, 1625. [Ratification by the King of Great Britain, December 20/30, 1625.]

INTRODUCTION.

On account of James I.'s bias toward Spain and his eagerness to marry his son to the Spanish infanta, the Dutch, after the expiration of the truce of Antwerp,1 were unable to form an alliance with England until 1624, when all hopes of the Spanish match had vanished. Even then, although the Dutch ambassadors offered James the opportunity of joining in an enterprise of the Dutch West India Company, and promised him all the fortresses or places that the united fleets might conquer,2 James was unwilling to pledge himself to declare war on Spain. The Anglo-Dutch alliance, concluded on June 5/15, 1624, was defensive merely.3

After the death of James, March 27/April 6, 1625, the chief object of Charles's foreign policy was to restore to his brother-in-law, Frederick, elector palatine and king of Bohemia, the electorship, and both the Palatinates, which had been occupied by the forces of Spain and of the German Catholic League. Hence Charles aimed at alliances and war on the Continent. The House of Commons, however, preferred a naval war against Spain.4 In the opinion of Buckingham and Charles, the naval operations should be conducted in accordance with the old Elizabethan methods, but more openly.

As in 1596, the English government sought aid from the States.5 In a convention signed at the Hague on August 2, 1625, the Dutch agreed to add twenty ships to the English fleet of eighty-two vessels.6 Not till October did the united force sail, and it failed ingloriously to accomplish its purpose of taking Cadiz and intercepting the plate fleet.7 Meanwhile (July-September),

____________________
1
Doc. 28.
2
Arendet al., Algemeene Geschiedenis III. ( 3), 749 ff. Cf. also the States' proposal to France in 1624, Doc. 32, introduction.
3
The text is in Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. V., pt. II., pp. 458-461.
4
Debates in the House of Commons in 1625 (ed. S. R. Gardiner for the Camden Soc., new ser., vol. VI., 1873), p. iii.
5
Cf. Doc. 23.
6
The treaty is in Dumont, op. cit., p. 478.
7
See The Voyage to Cadiz in 1625, a journal by John Glanville, ed. Rev. A. B. Grosart for the Camden Soc., new ser., vol. XXXII. ( 1883).

-290-

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