Publication
Title
'Arrestez et pillez contre toute sorte de droit': Trade and the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-1720)
Author
Abstract
The War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-1720) saw a collective intervention led by France and Britain against Spain, in order to fend off the Spanish invasion of Sardinia (1717) and Sicily (1718) (Storrs, The Spanish Resurgence, 1713-1748, Yale UP, 2017). The diplomatic aspect of this conflict did not only involve issues of sovereignty and dynasty (See Dhondt, Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy, Brill, 2015). As a corollary of military activity, Mediterranean trade ought to have been suspended between belligerents, with active privateering following monarchical instructions (III). This paper, built on French consular correspondence as kept in the Archives Nationales, illustrates the gap between formal relations and depredations on the ground. Merchant complaints show practical threats and dangers: the interplay of Habsburg multi-level governance in Italy, corruption, persistent trade relations irrespective of political relations and an implicit but clear rivalry between allies France and Britain (IV). Maintaining the British alliance was the leading motive for the French Regent, Philip of Orléans. This paper illustrates how official diplomacy contrasted with many merchant wishes. Philip V of Spain exploited these sentiments, aiming at a reversal of the Regents policy. French official action nevertheless insisted on a victory over Spain. The merchants wishes were accommodated not by a quick restoration of trade relations with Spain, but by proposing a draft treaty aimed at preventing privateers to seek refuge in smaller Italian states (V). Finally, I argue that merchants were left with generic appeals to natural law, lacking positive angles of approach against their detractors.
Language
French
Source (journal)
Legatio: The Journal for Renaissance and Early Modern Diplomatic Studies. - Poland
Publication
Poland : Instytut Historii im. Tadeusza Manteuffla Polskiej Akademii Nauk, 2017
ISSN
2545-1685
Volume/pages
1(2017), p. 97-130
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Law 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
VABB-SHW
Record
Identification
Creation 19.06.2018
Last edited 15.07.2021
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