THE INTERESTS Of the several Princes and States of Europe, With respect to the Succession of the Crown of Spain.

THE INTERESTS Of the Several Princes and States of Europe Consider'd, with respect to the SUCCESSION OF THE Crown of Spain. AND THE TITLES of the several Pretenders thereto, Examin'd.

LONDON: Printed in the Year M DC XC VIII.

The Interests of the Several Princes of Europe, with respect to the Succession of the Crown of SPAIN, &c.

THE present Indisposition of the King of Spain, seems to put a great part of Europe into a Consternation: The Apprehension the most Judicious Persons have of a Breach in the short Tranquility this part of the World has en­joy'd, makes the Concern be very just: For they who know how ill we are able to enter upon a Second War, and what deep Incisions the Last has made into the soundest Members of the Confederacy, have good rea­son to be very chary of the present Peace. 'Tis true, our Adversaries have felt the Effects of the War, as well as We; and 'tis reasonable to suppose, have as little need of another, as they had real need of the Peace. But what we know of that is but suppos'd; what we feel, we are sensible and sure of. Besides, the Case here would exceedingly differ; for the Kingdom of Spain, which perhaps were it rightly managed, is the Richest as well as the Largest Government in the World, is a thing so valuable, that 'tis presum'd there is no Monarch in Christendom, were he in the King of France's stead, but would push for it at the extremest hazard. And the present King of France has never given the World any reason to expect he will omit the Addition of such [Page 2] a Trophy to his Glory, especially when he has so high Pretensions to the Claim.

In this Case it seems very proper to enquire a little into the present Prospect of Affairs, as they respect the several Interests of the Princes of Europe, and what probable Effects the Decease of his Catholick Majesty may have, as to Peace, War, and Trade; that from thence we may judge what we ought to expect from such an Event.

To come at a full understanding of the Case in hand, 'tis necessary to take a short View of the Succession of the Royal Family of Spain, and enquire who has the fairest Claim, in case of the Demise of the present King.

The House of Austria have had an undoubted Pos­session of the Crown of Spain; and Charles the Fifth being chosen Emperor of Germany, enjoy'd a Sove­reignty of the largest Extent, perhaps that ever any One Prince in the World had under his Government: For he had at once the Empire of Germany, the King­doms of Hungary and Bohemia, of Spain, Naples, and Sicily; all the present United Provinces under the States of Holland; all Flanders, with the Countries of Lux­emburgh, Franche Comte, and Burgundy; the Dukedom of Milan, the Islands of Sardinia, Corsica, Majorca and Minorca, with a boundless Empire in Mexico and Peru; besides a multitude of Petty Sovereignties, Dukedoms, and Principalities. All this Vast Dominion, the Em­pire of Germany and its Dependancies excepted, descend­ed to his Son Philip; who added to it the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, by his Marriage with Queen Mary; but that unhappy Match neither raising him any Chil­dren, [Page 3] nor keeping him in any long Possession of this Crown, he lost it by her Death; and in the next Reign, lost the Low-Countries also, and by that long War so im­poverish'd his own Kingdom, that it never recovered it to this hour. After his Decease, he left his King­doms to his Son Philip, and he to Philip the Fourth, Father of the present Charles the Second, who has yet no Children.

Philip the Fourth left One Son and Two Daughters; the Eldest Daughter, Maria Teresia, was married to the present French King, and was Mother to the present Dauphin of France; and in case of the Death of the present King of Spain, the Dauphin of France is Heir Apparent to the Crown of Spain, and to all its Domi­nions; and, one Clause excepted, has an Unquestion'd Title to the Succession of the said Kingdoms.

But in answer to the Succession of the Dauphin, 'tis objected, That at the Marriage of Lewis the Fourteenth of France, with Maria Teresia of Spain aforesaid, his Most Christian Majesty, with all the Princes of the Blood, did by a Writing under their Hands and Seals, ratified and exchang'd on the Borders, and firm'd by their Solemn Oath at Fonterabia, in the Year 1659, renounce and relinquish all Right or Title, Claim and Pretensions for himself or his Successors, which they or any of them had or should have, by reason of any Al­liance from the said Marriage.

The Spanish Ministers of State who foresaw the possibility of a Claim upon the Crown of Spain from the Children of that Match, took all the care imagi­nable to bind His most Christian Majesty from so much as a Pretension to it, and to that end made the Words of that Oath as full, and the Ceremony of Ma­king and Exchanging it, as Solemn and as Publick as possible.

[Page 4] How far His Most Christian Majesty will think him­self bound by such an Oath, time must determine. I know 'tis Argued, that the Dauphin and his Sons can be no way obliged by an Oath made by their Father or Grandfather before they were born; and that the Fa­ther could only relinquish for himself, but not for them, on whom the Right of Succession devolv'd long after the Oath of their Father: That the Inhe­ritance was a Natural Right to them, which their Predecessors had no power to dispense with; and therefore they are no way concern'd in the Oath of Renunciation, but ought to Succeed, as if no such Oath had been taken.

Though much might be said on this Point, it be­ing not the Design of this Paper, I shall only Note this; That whether the Oath by which His Most Christian Majesty Renounced the said Succession be binding to the Dauphin and his Sons or no; this is certain, That it is effectually binding to the King him­self, if there be any such thing as a binding Force in the Obligation of the most solemn and sacred Oaths in the World.

Now if the Obligation be so sacred as to the Most Christian King himself, 'tis most certain the Dauphin or his Sons will never be Kings of Spain, if the said Most Christian King be so just to his Obligation as not to aid and assist them in pushing at the Suc­cession.

The Emperor of Germany, who is the next Branch of the House of Austria, is Heir to the Crown of Spain in case the Title of the said Maria Teresia be laid aside, being the immediate Line of Ferdinand, Son to Charles the Vth, King of Spain; and not only so, but his Issue has a Claim by Virtue of his Marriage with [Page 5] Margaret Teresia, the Second Daughter of Philip the IVth, by whom he had One Daughter, who was Married to the present Duke of Bavaria.

It may not be amiss to Answer here a Question which seems very naturally to be drawn from the Pre­mises, Viz. Why should the Spaniards make Provisi­on to bar the Claim of the French by the Issue of a Daughter, and not the Claim of the Emperor whose Right is also by the Issue of a Daughter.

This is expresly Answered by the Preamble to that Treaty in these Words: Estant les Deux Couronnes si Grandes et si puissantes qu' elles ne puissent estre Reunies en Une seule et a fin que dez a present on previenne les Occasions d'une pareille jonction, &c. Donques attendues les susdites justes raisons et Notamment de L'egalité qui se doit Conserver leurs Majestez accordent et arrestent par Contract et pacte Conventionnel entre elles qui aura Lieu force et Vigueur de la loy ferme et stable a tout jamais qui la serenissime Infante d'Espagne ni ses Enfans et leur descendants en quel degrè ils se puissent trover Voir a tout jamais ne puissent succeder es royaumes estats seigneu­ries et domination, &c. qui appartiennent et appartiendront a sa Majesté Catholique tant dedans que dehors le royaums d'Espagne Non obstant toutes Loix ou Coutumes &c. aux quelles leurs Majestez derogent, &c. In English thus: ‘The Two Crowns being so great and so puissant that they cannot be united into One Kingdom, and that to the end that from this present all Occasion of such a Conjunction may be avoided, therefore upon due consideration had of the aforesaid reasons, especially that of Equality, which ought to be preserved; it is Accorded between both their Majesties, and by Mutual Covenant and Contract Ordained, which shall continue in the full force and vigor of a Law for ever, That the most Serene Infanta [Page 6] of Spain, her Children, nor Descendants, in what Degree soever, shall never Succeed in the Kingdoms, Signiories, or Dominions, which do or shall belong to his Catholick Majesty, as well within as without the Kingdom of Spain; notwithstanding any Law or Custom, which hereby their Ma­jesties do Abolish.

'Tis plain from this branch of the Contract, that a Union between Spain and France has been accounted by both Nations an improper, if not an impracticable thing. A Union with Germany has been known, and is coherent enough; but the Nature and Interest of the Two Crowns of Spain and France seem to have some particular Circumstances which would make a Union fatal to them both; and therefore Don Lewis de Haro, the great Minister of State for the Spaniards, insisted on this Article with a great deal of Zeal.

I confess it seems to me that Don Lewis de Haro, the Spanish Minister, acted very different from the Character he had in other his Publick Management of the Affairs of Spain; for he who past for one of the greatest Masters in Politicks of his Age, and was the only man in all the Spanish Court, who was thought to be a Match for Cardinal Mazarin in the Famous Peace of the Pyrennes, was sure very ill read in the Maxims of Princes, to think that a Treaty of Renunciation would ever be esteem'd of force enough to limit the Ambition of Future Times, and to oblige Princes who were not then born. The Spaniards were never taken for a Cre­dulous Nation, and how they should come to be drawn into such a folly, seems very unaccounta­ble. No doubt Cardinal Mazarine, who discover'd [Page 7] well enough the Event, suffered the Spanish Pleni­potentiaries to go on at their own rate, and to call in the help of all the Civilians in the Two King­doms, to make an Instrument of Renunciation, know­ing well enough that Titles to Crowns are generally disputed by the Sword, not by Deeds and Instruments; and that the Succession to the Crown of Spain, if ever it fell by the Demise of the Incumbents to the Heirs of that Marriage, would receive very little Obstruction from so weak a Defence as the Paper of a Renunciation; for we find Contracts and Wri­tings of that Nature, have very little effect against a Title to a Crown backt with an Army of 50000 men. The Spanish Ministers acted the parts of men of Honour indeed, but not at all of Politicians.

Why also that refin'd Politician should Marry the Eldest Daughter, where the Succession should require so strict a Bar, remains undetermined; had he given the Infanta to the Emperor, and the Younger Daughter to the King of France, the Debate had been prevented; but possibly other reasons might govern him, which we cannot judge of at this distance of time; and the Infanta being Married to the Most Christian King Six Years before the Younger Daughter was Married to the Emperor, that Match might be made before a Marriage with the Emperor was in view.

Upon the whole, it appears by this short view of the Succession of the Crown of Spain, that the Two Daughters of Philip the Fourth, are the Immediate Heirs of Charles the Second, the present King, in case he Dies without Issue; the Eldest, who marri'd the King of France, has renounced her Claim for her self and her Poste­rity; and the next Right must devolve upon the Se­cond, [Page 8] whose Title Descends to the Elector of Bavaria.

I am also to observe that the pretence, of the Chil­dren of the King of France, not being bound by the Oath of their Father, and therefore their Succession being clear, seems fully answered thus.

The Renunciation was not so much a Personal Deed of the present King of France and the Infanta of Spain, as it was a mutual Compact between both Kingdoms pass'd by a Treaty of Peace, and became a Law of each Country, made so by a publick Instrument Sign'd by the Nobility on each side, and agreed by a general Con­sent of the Plenipotentiaries of both Parties, in the XXXIIId Article of the Pyrenean Treaty, in these words:

And to the end this Peace and Union, Confederation and good Correspondence, might, as it is desired, be so much the more firm, lasting, and indissolvible, both the said Principal Ministers, the Cardinal Duke, and the Mar­quis Earl Duke, by virtue of the special Power they have had for that end of the Two Lords and Kings, have Con­cluded and Agreed in their Names, the Marriage of the Most Christian King with the Serenis. Infanta the Lady Maria Teresia, Eldest Daughter to the Catholick King, and the same Day bearing the Date of these Presents, have Made and Subscrib'd a particular Treaty, whereunto they refer themselves touching the mutual Conditions of the said Marriage, and the time of its Celebration; which Treaty by it self, and Capitulation of Marriage, are of the same Force and Vigor with the present Treaty of Peace, as being the Chiefest Part thereof, and the most worthy as well as the greatest and most precious earnest of the surety of its duration.

[Page 9] This makes it appear that the Treaty of Marriage was really a part of the Treaty of Peace, and so be­came a publick Stipulation between the two Kingdoms, and an Act of the generality; so that not the King and Queen of France only personally, but the very King­dom of France did solemnly concern it self in the Renunciation of an Union of the Crown of Spain, as a thing not fit to be done, for the Reasons expresly set down in the Preamble quoted before.

France having thus renounced the Crown, and all Claim to the Kingdoms and Dominions of Spain, the Second Daughter comes in with her Claim; and Ma­ria Teresia stands with respect to Spain, as if she had dyed without Issue. The Second Daughter of Philip the Fourth, was Margaret Teresia, married to Leopold the Sixth, present Emperor of Germany, by whom he had Three Sons and One Daughter; which Daughter, the Sons all dying young, was married to the present Duke Elector of Bavaria, and died in 1691, leaving him one Son, to whom the Crown of Spain descends by a plain and direct Title, founded on the Renunciation agreed on by the Pyrenean Treaty.

If the Son of this Princess dies without Issue, the Ger­man Line of the House of Austria succeeds, deriv'd from Ferdinand Brother to Charles the Fifth, Son of Philip the First, King of Spain, who left Three Sons,

  • Maximilian,
  • Ferdinand, and
  • Charles.

Maximilian succeeded his Father in the Empire, and left it to Rodulph the Second, his Son; and he dying a Batchelor, Matthias his Second Son succeeded in the Em­pire; [Page 10] and he also dying without Children, Ferdinand the Second Son of Ferdinand the First, was chosen Emperor, who had several Children, but all died without Issue; so the Family was preserv'd in Charles the Third Son of Ferdinand the First, who among Fifteen Children had one Son, Ferdinand the Third of the Family, but as Emperor was known by the Name of Ferdinand the Second, who was Father to the Em­peror Ferdinand the Third, and he to the present Em­peror Leopold the Sixth of the Family, but the first Em­peror of the Name, whose Eldest Son Joseph is King of Hungary, and King of the Romans; whose Right to the Crown of Spain is Clear and Unquestion'd, still founded upon the former Renunciation.

The Duke of Savoy has also some Pretension to the Crown of Spain, as he is Great Grandson of Charles Emanuel, Duke of Savoy, by Katherine, Daughter to Philip the Second.

The Titles being thus discuss'd, we come to examine how the several Interests of the Princes of Europe stand, with respect to the Succession, in case his Ca­tholick Majesty should dye.

To begin with the Princes of Italy; and first with Savoy: The Dukes of Savoy have always upheld their Fortunes by the Antipathies of the powerful Princes by whom they are environ'd, the Emperor, Spain, and France; either of them singly have had both Power and Will to crush the Savoyard, but neither enduring to let the other seize him, he has ever had a Protector of 'the one, when he has had an Invader of the other. Tis true, this has often made his Country the Seat of the War, and his very Capital City Turin has been al­ternately Garison'd by French, Spaniards, and Germans. [Page 11] The present Duke is entirely in the French Interests and in a fair way to leave his Dominions in the French Possession, having married his Daughter to the Hopes and Fortune of France: But if he has yet any Sons, it cannot be his Interest to have the Dutchy of Milan fall into the hands of the French, who will then perfectly environ him in their own Territories: Princes may take this of that Party, with respect to Wars foreign to their own Dominions; but in their own particular Cases they are always governed by their Interests. If the Duke of Sa­voy has any regard to the Succession of his own Family he cannot but know that if the Kingdom of Spain falls into the hands of the French, the Milanese does so also; and he and his Successors are as absolutely in the power and at the dispose of the King of France, as any Gover­nor of a Province in his own Countrey; and the pow­erful Assistance of the Spaniard is for ever sunk as to him; so that it cannot consist with the Safety of the Duke of Savoy to have the French possess Spain. 'Tis true, the Emperor may assist him, but the Grisons must be ask'd leave to admit Succours through their Coun­trey; which though they do generally grant, yet such an Aid is remote, and the Motions of the Germans very slow: So that indeed to have the French possess'd of Spain, is to put the Dukes of Savoy under an Absolute Depen­dance on the Power and Will of the Kings of France.

The Dukes of Mantua, Parma, and Modena, with the Republick of Genoa, will be in little better condi­tion; for the Countries of Savoy, Piedmont, and Milan, have always been a Frontier to them, to defend them from the Insults of the French; as may very well ap­pear by the care they took this last War, to get rid of the French Garison in Casal.

[Page 12] In the South and East parts of Italy, the Case will be little better; for with the Crown of Spain the King­doms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, become likewise French; the first of which admits them into the heart of Italy, where they may shake hands with the Vene­tians on one side the Great Duke of Tuscany on the other, and the Ecclesiastical Territories on [...] other; and the last gives him an entire Dominion over the whole Trade of the West part of the Mediterranean Sea. In a word, the Spanish Dominions in Italy falling in­to the hands of the French, would so involve the whole Country, that it would lie wholly at his Mercy, and depend entirely upon his Favour; and whoever gives himself leave to consult the Histories of the Wars in Italy, the many attempts made by the Kings of France to get but a footing in that Delicious Coun­try, may with ease conclude what use they would make of so advantageous a Seisure as this. Francis the First, was the most eager Competitor with the Emperor Charles the Fifth, for the Domini­on of Italy; and the Princes of Lombardy owe their present Establishment and Tranquility to the Success of the Emperor's Forces in that great Battel of Pa­via; for had King Francis gain'd that Battel, 'tis more than probable he had united all the North of Italy to his Crown; and this very humour of King Francis, who was a Warlike and an Ambitious Prince, was the very reason why he was not Elected Emperor in the stead of Charles the Fifth, lest he should ei­ther slight or attempt the subduing of the Petty-States of the Empire; though they mended not the matter, the very same Design being afterwards formed by Charles the Fifth, whom they Elected at that time. And thus 'tis in Italy now the petty Princes of Italy [Page 13] are neither willing nor able to injure France, and are very well satisfied with being screen'd behind the Mi­lanese by the Spaniard and Savoyard from an Irruption from France.

France has several times been Master of a great part of Italy. Pepin, and Charlemaign, having Conquer'd the Longobards, gave all the Ecclesiastical-Territory in Italy to the Chair; and since that, Italy has been often changing Masters, and the Popes have as often been harass'd, one while by the Emperor of Germany, and other while by the French and Spanish Power; and to prevent the like for the future, the constant Maxim of the Ecclesiastical Councils, has been to keep a due Ba­lance between those Three Powers, that neither of them may be too powerful for one another, and then he is sure the Peace of Italy shall not be disturb'd. In this case the ingenious Puffendorff in his Intro­duction to the History of Europe, gives his Opinion thus: I am apt to believe, says he, the Popes would be glad the Spaniards were driven out of Italy, especially out of the Kingdom of Naples; but it is scarce to be sup­posed he should be able to do it in his own strength; and to make use of the French would be to fall out of the Frying-pan into the Fire; therefore all the Pope can do is to take care that Spain may not Encroach upon others in Italy; and there is no question but if the Spaniards should attempt any such thing, France and all the other Itali­an States would be ready to oppose their design; neither can it be pleasing to the Pope, if the King of France should get so much Footing in Italy, as to be able to sway Mat­ters there according to his pleasure, which the Pope ought to prevent with all his might. If this be true, what then can the Pope or any of the Italian Princes ex­pect, if the Spaniards and French should be united, [Page 14] and Encroach upon them in one body, they would effectually drive them all out of Italy whenever they pleased? All the Refuge they could have, would be the Empire, which how able it would be to Cope with France, in such a Case, time only can determine. To me it seems more than probable, that a Union of the Kingdoms of France and Spain would be an entire Reduction of whole Italy under the same Power; for there is not that part of Italy which the Monarch of that Union would not really have some Dormant Pretension to, either as King of Spain, or King of France, or King of Naples, or Duke of Milan, except the Territories of the Republick of Venice, and some of them would not be entirely free neither.

The next Country which is most nearly concern'd against this Union, and in most danger from it, is the Kingdom of Portugal. As the Spaniard is now a poor and effeminated Nation, Portugal is secured by its own strength. In the time that the Power of Spain was formidable to Europe, Philip the Second no soon­er Invaded Portugal, than he subdued it; for there is no Comparison between the Forces of the Two Kingdoms; and had not the Spanish Power been bro­ken by other fatal Losses against England and the Low-Countries, I suppose 'twould not be improper to say Portugal had remain'd a Province of Spain to this day. In th year 1640; while Philip the Fourth was in­volv'd in several Troubles, as in particular the Re­volt of the Catalonians the Portuguese shook off the Spanish Government, and set up John Duke of Bra­ganza; and yet even this Revolt had not been able to have been made good, had not the French pri­vately assisted them under the Command of Duke [Page 15] Scomberg, by whose Conduct they won the famous Victory of Villa Vitiosa; and yet after this, had not the Diversion the French made in the Netherlands, made the Spaniards willing to clap up a Peace with Portugal on any terms, the Portuguese could not have held out. The Sum of all is this, That Portugal is not able to support it self against Spain without a Foreign Assistance. Now if Spain and France Unites under one Power, whenever that Power pleases to demand the Crown of Portugal, it must and will be surrendred to it.

Wherefore 'tis the Interest of Portugal by all possi­ble means to prevent this Union; what those means are, I refer to its proper Head.

The Swiss, the Grisons, and the City of Geneva, are the next concern'd in this Affair: I know some are apt to say, that the greatest loss the Swiss are like to have on this occasion, will be want of Employment, which they have always found in the Wars between France and Spain; but, perhaps, it might be answered by saying, They may chance to find Employment enough in defending their own Countrey; for it is not to be questioned but the King of France, who would then be Lord of all the Countries Southward of the Grisons and Swiss, would be very fond of making that Warlike People his Subjects, both for the advan­tage of having a power to force them into his Ar­mies, and also of stopping the passage of the Germans that way into Italye, and indeed the impossibility that seems to lie on the Swissers of maintaining their Neu­trality, makes it almost natural to believe the New Mo­narch will attempt all feasible methods to bring them [Page 16] over to him, if it be only to anticipate the Germans and prevent their being Parties with the Emperor.

'Tis true the Swiss are a Fighting People and not easily conquered, and a Poor People not worth con­quering; there is nothing to be had from them but Blows and barren Mountains; but yet the Reasons abovesaid would, in case of such a Union as we speak of, make it absolutely necessary to the French to make themselves Masters of them, cost what it would. 'Tis confess'd some of the most Powerful Princes of Europe have attempted the Swiss in vain; as Leopold Archduke of Austria, whom they defeated and kill'd at the Battel of Sempach, Anno 1444. And Charles Duke of Burgun­dy at the Battel of Granson was routed by the Switzers, though he was a Gallant Soldier, and had in his Army an 100000 Men; and it would be a very difficult thing for the strongest Power of Europe to make a Conquest of them by Force; but the present King of France has found other ways to Conquer, besides downright Fight­ing, and the Swiss who are a needy People, may, per­haps, be as easily divided as another Nation, by the help of Money especially, their Government being compo­sed of two different Religions; and each Party very positive and zealous in their own. If therefore the French and Spanish Monarchies should unite, the Swiss may find it very difficult to maintain their Confedera­cy, either from the Force or the Subtilty of their Great Neighbour: For in case of such a Union, the Mo­narch of that Empire will presently see, that to get the Swiss Cantons under his Power, will be the first and most necessary work to employ his Politicks; for it would be the only way to secure himself from any di­sturbance in his entire Reduction of Italy. So that it must be of the last Consequence to the Swiss Cantons, [Page 17] to prevent such a mighty Union in Europe, which seems to bring with it a necessity of involving them in a War with the most Invincible Power of Two united Monar­chies; in which War they must of necessity at last sub­mit or be conquer'd; for a Victory obtain'd by them, could have no other Tendency, than to make their Terms of Accord the easier; which they must always be bound to preserve at the Price of a War, whenever their Potent Neighbour please to impose upon them. As to Trade indeed, the Swiss are not much concern'd, because they Trade little but among themselves, nor have no Sea-Port for Foreign Trade, nor any Manu­factures to export.

The Empire of Germany is the next to be consider'd: The Conjunction of France and Spain seems to threat­en Germany with a fatal and a bloody War; the Fron­tiers of France and Spain united, extend in length, fronting the Limits of the Empire, for a contiguous Range of near a Thousand Miles, if the Swiss Grisons and the North-East part of Italy are included, as they are of necessity to be.

'Tis true, the Emperor of Germany is not under an absolute necessity of quarrelling with this supposed Em­pire; but the Circumstances of Italy, which has so many Fiefs and Dependancies on the Empire in it, are such, that it seems impossible, speaking of common Politicks, that the French should possess the Spanish Dominions in Italy, and not commence a War with the Emperor of Germany; for the Italian Princes cannot subsist in Italy, without being incroach'd upon in such a case; and the only Prince they can have recourse to for Protection, is the Emperor: Possibly it may be the truest Interest of the Emperor to lye still at this time, and rather prose­cute [Page 18] his Wars against the Turks with his utmost Vigor, by which he gains an extraordinary Glory as well as Revenue; and that being once happily finished, he may be the better able to cope with such an United Power: For as he is now engaged in his Wars in Hun­gary, it must be own'd that the Empire of Germany would be in very great danger, and a very unequal Match to the French upon the Rhine. It is without question the present Interest of the Emperor to preserve his Peace, because the Towns which are to be restored by the present Peace are not yet quitted by the French; but that once done, the Emperor might with the great­er advantage preserve the Peace of the Empire, and transfer the War into Italy, where the Germans always fight cheapest, and the French dearest.

The Emperor's Interest in this Affair lies distin­guish'd with respect to the several parts of the Empire. The States of the Lower Saxony, whose Troops, toge­ther with the Swabian and Franconian Circles, compose the Forces on the Rhine, are maintain'd by Quota's at the Charge of the several Princes of the Empire, and the same Princes are an inexhaustible Magazine of Men and Money, and perhaps well united are invincible as to the French. In Italy the Germans can maintain the War three parts in five cheaper than the French, be­cause the Feudatories of the Empire bear their propor­tion: But if the French by this Conjunction unite also the Italian Princes, the Heat of the War between the Emperor and the French is most probable to lye on the Frontiers of Bavaria, or the Lower Parts of Austria and Bohemia, the Emperor's Hereditary Dominion, which indeed is the tenderest place the Emperor can be touch'd in.

[Page 19] 'Tis true, that Germany united is a most formidable Empire; but the present Condition of the Empire, very much weakned by this last War, and involved in a vigorous War against the Turks, is such as renders it in but an ill Condition to engage in so bloody and ex­pensive a War as this would be. 'Tis therefore the In­terest of the Empire with all its Might, by way of pre­vention, to secure the Crown of Spain; that by such an addition the French Greatness might be curb'd and re­strain'd, and the French anticipated in all their vast and ambitious Designs upon Italy.

The King of Poland seems to be the only Prince that will be easy at this Union, and that only as it serves his present purpose, by diverting the French from di­sturbing him in the peaceable Possession of his new­gotten Kingdom. The disorders of his Government seem to grow upon him, and the Party of the Prince of Conti, or the Cardinal Primate rather, are only up­held by their expectation of Succors from France, in order to dispossess the present King: Now this Union of France with Spain, may be beneficial to the King of Poland, only as it may divert the Court of France from raising and encouraging Rebellions and Disorders in his Affairs, before he is well settled in his new-gotten Dominions: And yet the King of Poland will not ap­prove of this Conjunction, as a Friend to the French Interest, nor any way, but as he would be glad of any Circumstance that would divert the French from giving him disturbance in the particular Settlement which he has before him.

The Dutch are the next State most concern'd in such a Conjunction; were it not for Flanders the [Page 20] Dutch would have no manner of concern upon them, but what respected Trade only; of which by it self. But as they now stand with respect to the several Provinces of the Spanish Netherlands, to have those large and populous Countries fall into the hands of the French, would be of the most fatal Consequence to their Affairs of any other event that could possi­bly befal them.

Their Territory is entirely encompass'd with the Flemings, Legois, and Germans, and that subtle Go­vernment have at all times taken special care to keep off the Neighbourhood of the French, and have ever so ordered the matter, that they have had some or other strong Town of the Spaniards to stand between them and danger; what they are to expect from the Neighbourhood of the French, they have room enough to judge from their own sad Experience in 1672, when the French broke into the Bowels of their Coun­try, and like a Torrent bore down all before them; if then the Spanish Low-Countries fall into the hands of the French, as by such a Union they would im­mediately do, the Dutch would be even Besieged by the French Power from the Mouth of the Scheld to the Rhine, and have no Frontier but their own Towns; and on the least breach between them and the French, their own fruitful Countries which they have hitherto been so Chary of, would become the Seat of the War, and be impoverisht and over-run with the Numerous Armies of Franc.

In a word; It does not seem very probable that the Dutch can maintain their Commonwealth, but will fall a certain Prey at some time or other, to the over­grown Greatness of the French Monarchy; for they have but two ways of supporting themselves, by War [Page 21] or Peace; the first must be Precarious, and at the Absolute Will of the French; and the last will be destructive to them. There is a vast differ­ence between the Charge of a War maintain'd Abroad, and the Desolations of a War brought Home to our own doors. While the Dutch maintain'd their Army, and sent them into Flanders to Fight; the War, though it was long and very bloody, yet was easy to them; but to have the French Army in the Bow­els of their Country, leaves nothing but Ruin and Desolation behind; witness the Rage of the French Armies at Swamerdam in the Years 1672, and 1673.

The Dutch by their hired Troops are a very power­ful State; but are on the other hand the worst of any Nation in the World to entertain a War in their own Dominion, because they are so exceedingly dependant upon the openness and freedom of Trade, which if it be once Obstructed, as to be sure it must be by such a kind of a War, they are presently im­poverisht. The Uniting the Spanish Netherlands to France by this Succession, would leave Holland in a manner quite naked of all its defence, and exposed to the Will of the French; for if Flanders be lost, all the Blood and Treasure spent by the whole Con­federacy in Three long and chargeable Wars, for the rescuing Flanders out of the French hands, would be lost, and all the labour of the King of England and his Armies would be utterly lost.

The Dutch are certainly exposed to the last degree, and in so much danger of being absolutely subdued in such a case, that I think they are concern'd in the high­est degree, to prevent, if possible, such an Union as that, which would to them be the most fatal thing in the World.

[Page 22] We come in the next place to examine how England stands with respect to such an Union; England is not one jot less concern'd in the matter than Holland; the King of England, whose Hazards in Flanders may seem needless to those who understood no better, has given sufficient. Testimony of his Opinion how much the safety of England depends upon maintaining the Frontier of Flanders as a Barrier for the Kingdom against the Insults of the French Nation: and indeed, if nothing but the prodigious increase of the Naval Strength, which France would attain by such an Uni­on, were considered, it would be sufficient to make all the Northern parts of Europe join their Interest against it. I noted in the Article about the Dutch, the naked Condition they would be in with respect to a War by Land; but should the French once make them­selves Masters of Flanders, and of some of the Dutch Ports and Harbours in the Scheld, or the Maez, the addition of their Naval Strength would make them too great a Match for all Europe at Sea.

The present Conjunction of the English and Dutch Fleets have not without great difficulty preserved the Command of the Sea during this War; the Advanta­ges gain'd by it are visible to the meanest understand­ing; and I question whether it would be possible to maintain that Command in case of such a Union. The present growing greatness of the French Genius infus'd by vigorous Councils into the Spaniards, may once again make them, as they formerly were, the most Powerful Nation in the World, both at Land and Sea; if then the French and Spaniard United, should make themselves in proportion too strong at Sea for the English and Dutch, they may bid very fair for a Universal Empire over this part of the World.

[Page 23] Our Interests in the West-Indian Colonies of Ame­rica, come next into Consideration. 'Tis abso­lutely necessary for the security of our Plantations, whose extent is exceeding great, that no Union be made between the French and Spanish Dominions; otherwise the whole Trade from these parts of the World, to both East and West Indies, may lie at the mercy of the French: For England and Holland being Nations subsisting and depending wholly upon Trade and Foreign Negoce, any Union in the World, which shall be too strong for them at Sea, may in the end reduce both those Nations to what Terms and what Subjection they please. And this leads us to the other great Consideration of this Union, as it respects

The Interest of Trade in the World.

The Interest of Trade is the Interest of Nations: Peace is the end of War, or at least ought to be so: Trade is the end of Peace, and Gain is the end of Trade.

The Trade of Europe is principally in the hands of the English, Dutch, and Spaniards; from the two for­mer to the latter, in Manufactures of their own Growth and Operation. The Spaniards, who are a Nation that make the best Return in Trade of any Nation in the World, namely, Bullion, may be said to suffer us to Trade with them, rather than they to Trade with us: They are a subtle, but a very slothful Na­tion; they buy almost all their necessary things of Fo­reigners, they have in a manner no Manufacture among them, they hardly make their own Cloaths; and in return, the Growth of their Countrey, as Wines, Oyls, and Fruits, are brought back, and the [Page 24] Overplus made up by Exchange, supplied by the Bul­lion of their West-Indies.

As a further demonstration of the ill husbandry of the Spaniards in Trade, it appears that all the Trade carried on with them by the English and Dutch, is carried on upon our own Stocks; and some have ven­tured to say, that the English Effects in Spain do not amount to less than 50 Millions sterl.; which way of Trade has always been the greatest Ligament of the Peace between the English and Dutch, and the Spani­ard: For on the first occasion of a Rupture with these Countries, the immediate course the Spaniard takes, is to seize upon all the English or Dutch Merchants, and confiscate their Effects, which are always so conside­rable, as that those Nations have no Equivalent to lay hold on by way of Reprisal. 'Tis true, they have taken their Plate-Ships, and sometimes plunder'd the Coast-Towns in the Spanish West-Indies, which at best would be but a small Amends, to the Seizure of the Effects of so many Merchants.

Nay, they are not only so ill Merchants as to suffer Strangers to engross their Trade, but even those Stran­gers, as if the Spaniards were neither able to manage, nor fit to be trusted with Business, employ all Agents, Factors, and Servants of their own, sent over and re­sident among them, with the same Methods: as they Plant amongst the most barbarous Nations of Africa; and by this Method the Trade of Spain is so managed, that whatever it be to the Spaniards themselves, 'tis certainly a Trade exceeding gainful to the Merchants of these Countries in particular.

1. As it occasions the Consumption of their Manu­factures, and from thence the Improvement of their [Page 25] Stocks at home; by which the whole Countries are enrich'd, and the Poor employ'd and supported.

2. As it makes a Return of Bullion, which is the greatest Advantage that can accrue to Trade; for Manufactures exported, and Bullion return'd, make always an Account of Profit to the Publick Stock of a Nation.

3. An Increase of Navigation, and Encouragement to Seamen; the Spaniards not only Trading with us all in our own Vessels, but employing our Ships in their own Affairs from Port to Port, in Italy especially.

In case of a Union with France, 'tis very probable the Channel of Trade to Spain may be entirely alter'd: The French are a busy Trading Nation themselves, and are very apt to vye with the English and Dutch in their Manufactures: And to go no further, when 'tis in their power to admit their own Merchants to import their Manufactures Custom-free, while we shall pay 23 per Cent. 'tis easy to see that our Trade thither must dye.

I know it will be objected here, That the chief Ex­port of English Manufactures is to Cadiz, for the Trade by the Galeons to New Spain, &c.; and that if the French should by their Conjunction any way discourage that Trade, it is but our opening a Correspondence from Jamaica to their West-Indies, and we should be as great Gainers, and the Trade from Spain by the Gale­ons, be very much impair'd.

By the Treaty of Commerce between the two Nati­ons, it is stipulated in particular, That the King of Eng­land shall not permit any of his Subjects to Trade, Cor­respond, or Sail to or with any of the Subjects of his Ca­tholick Majesty in the West-Indies: The reason was, that the Trade from hence to Spain being so conside­rable by the way of Cadiz, and the return so good, [Page 26] keeping it in that Channel, would be the only way to maintain that beneficial Negoce to advantage: Where­as supplying the Indies directly from England, would be very prejudicial to the particular Trade of Spain it self, the Navigation from Cadiz to the Havana, and in general to the whole Trade.

Now the most effectual Method of prohibiting this Trade, has appear'd to be observing the Prohibition strictly at our Colonies and Islands in America, Jamaica in particular: For did our Government give the Liber­ty to Trade from Jamaica to New Spain directly, the Spaniards are so eager to Trade, that all the Precaution their own Government could use to prevent it, would be to no purpose: And there is this reason to be given for it; That the Sale from the English by the way of Jamaica is so much cheaper than that by way of Cadiz, and yet our Merchants great Gainers too, that the Spa­niards of America will run all hazards to get our Goods on shore, and coming off to us in Sloops and Canoes, they Trade super altum mare, bartering immediate Mo­ney for our Commodities at an extraordinary Rate.

The reason is plain; because Goods sent from Eng­land or Holland to Cadiz, there paying Freight and Charges, with a Custom of 23 l. per Cent. to the King of Spain, and afterwards reshipt on board the Galeons, paying a second Freight, with some Indulto at their lading on board, and again at their landing in America, must of necessity be sold dearer than Goods brought di­rectly from England.

Now if the Prohibition on our side be but removed, the Trade of Cadiz, as far as respects English Goods, would be ruined.

'Tis acknowledg'd this would be very detrimental to the Spanish Trade; but a Trade carried on by [Page 27] Stealth could be neither very durable, nor very consi­derable, and therefore could never amount to an Equi­valent to the Loss of that great Branch of our Trade from England to Cadiz.

Another Answer may be given as to the Damage of Trade, That a Powerful Union between Holland and England, for the Augmentation of their Naval Strength, in order to preserve always the Command of the Seas, will be effectual either to prescribe the French, though they are united with the Spaniard, within the Ancient Regulations of Trade, or to prohibit their own Trade to their American Colonies, nay, even to take all Ame­rica from them.

To this I say, Spain indeed, as now consider'd in the hands of the Spaniards, has but an inconsiderable Na­val Power; but Spain in the hands of the French must be otherwise consider'd.

The French are a Nation who improve every thing to the utmost; they are a diligent indefatigable people; if it be possible to recover the Naval Power of Spain (as no doubt it is), they will recover it: And what a prodigious Extent of the Sea will they possess by a con­tiguous Coast from Dunkirk to the Streights-mouth; (for I must suppose Portugal to be swallow'd up by them, it cannot be avoided, the Pretensions to that Crown are so great, and the Power to oppose them so small;) and from the Streights-mouth, a few small Ports excepted, quite to Loretto on the East side of Ita­ly, almost to Venice: They must be a more slothful People than the Spaniards, if they do not make them­selves the strongest Nation at Sea in the World.

And if they are so, no Trade can be secur'd to us, but such as some particular advantage to themselves, makes it their Interest to permit.

[Page 28] In a word, It seems to me that Trade in general will lie too much at the Mercy of the French ever to be of any Advantage to their Neighbours, and I'll in­stance in one particular Trade, in which at present we rival that Nation, viz. the Newfoundland Fishing.

We take our Fish on the Banks of Newfoundland, and on the Coast of New England, and the French do the like; the Market is general, and equal to both Nations; if there be any advantage, 'tis on the side of the English; but if Spain, which is the place where all this Fish is disposed of, falls into the hands of the French, 'tis but Prohibiting Fish, excepting in their own Bottoms, and all our Newfoundland Colonies must sink and be deserted, and Three hundred Sail of Ships be at once unemployed.

That such a Prohibition would be the consequence of such a Union, is as natural as can be, and no one could blame the French neither, for we would do the same our selves.

The Trade to Venice, to Italy, and to Turkey, would have like Circumstances and Consequences, for the French would keep the Key of the Mediterranean, and they would be very much to blame if they let any pass the Streights Mouth without paying them such a Toll, as that all those Trades should be managed by us under considerable disadvantage, if they were not entirely lost.

To speak of the Dutch, whose Fishery in a great measure is the staple of their Navigation, this Fishery depends as much upon their St. Ubies Fleet for Salt, as the Brewers in London do upon the New-Castle Fleet for Coals: Should this Union of France and Spain succeed, and Portugal be subdued, 'tis in the power of the French to destroy all the Dutch Fishery, by laying a [Page 29] great Duty on the Salt at St. Ubies, while their own Subjects shall have it as before; by which means the French shall bring their Herrings Cheaper to Market, and consequently have all the Trade.

The Instances which might be given of this nature are too many to be included in this short Discourse, and too plain to need it; a very mean capacity as to Trade may make a judgment of it.

From the whole I take the freedom to draw this Conclusion, that such a Union of Two such Powerful Monarchies as France and Spain, would be very perni­cious to the Trade of England and Holland in general, and absolutely destructive to some branches of it in par­ticular; it would be hazardous to the Peace and Liber­ty of the Dutch, and absolutely inconsistent with the Ballance of Power in Europe; it would be fatal to the Princes of Italy, the Cantons of Switzerland, and the Kingdom of Portugal; 'twould be very troublesome and uneasy to the Empire, and would very much en­danger the Liberty of Christendom.

And if so, then it must be the Interest of all the Princes of Europe to join their Forces with the utmost vigour, and endeavour to prevent it.

'Tis certainly the Interest of England and Holland to preserve the Freedom of their Commerce and their Empire of the Seas; and I see no event in the World that is in the least probable to deprive 'em of it but this; no Union in the World but this can put any Prince or People, or Confederacy in a condition so much as to dispute it with them; France by it self cannot do it, as has appear'd this last War; Spain is in no probable Circumstances for it; but France and Spain together seems to be plac'd in a Scituation for the Universal Government of Europe.

[Page 30] 'Tis certainly the Interest of the Princes of Italy, by all that is possible for them to do, to prevent this Union; and that is so plain from all the Histories of those Countries as to the Times when the French were Masters of the greatest part of Italy, that it needs no other demonstration.

Portugal has nothing to protect her, but the differ­ence between those Two Nations, as I noted of Savoy, that when she is Opprest by one, she may have Succour from the other; for I think it can hardly be supposed that the French King would omit uniting that small Kingdom to his Empire, having a kind of a Right to it by a former Possession.

Germany has various Reasons to oppose this Union. First, Because the real Right is in the Emperor or Duke of Bavaria, or both, rather than France, if the Article of the Renunciation be good, as no doubt it is. Now the Title to the Crown of Spain being re­nounced before it was really a Title, seems to take off all Pretences of Exception; for the King of France did not quit a Title which he had, but agreed to remain without a Title which he had not; and the Renuncation was made by the Two Kings, not by the Infanta only, but by her Father too; as appears by the particular Words of the Renunciation, which are as follow: Placuit utrique Regi pactione instar legis semper valiturâ sancire, ne unquam serenissima Infans Te­resa, aut posteri ejus ulli, ad seros usque Nepotes, quocunque gradu sint, admittantur ad successionem ullam, sive Regno­rum, sive Principatuum, Provinciarum, Ditionum, Do­miniorum quorumcunque Regis Catholici, non obstante lege ulla, consuetudine aut alis Jure in contrarium, cui [Page 31] utriusque Regis authoritate plenissimè derogatur, contem­platione dictae aequalitatis, & publicae utilitatis quae inde emanatura speratur. It was consented to by both their Ma­jesties, and by them confirm'd, that neither the most Serene Infanta Teresa, nor any of her Issue or Posterity, in what degree soever, be admitted to succeed in any of the King­doms, Dukedoms, Provinces, or Dominions of his Catho­lick Majesty, any other Custom, Constitution, or Law to the contrary notwithstanding: So that if any such Custom or Con­stitution were, it was by authority of both Kings abso­lutely annull'd and destroyed. And this only to adjust the Dominion of both Crowns, so as each of them might re­ceive an equal benefit by it.

Lastly, 'Tis the Interest of Spain it self to oppose this Union; for whereas it is not an addition of France to Spain, but of Spain to France, it changes it from a Soveraign Self dependant Kingdom, and one of the most powerful in the World to a Province of the French Empire; to be subject to the Laws and Maxims of a Nation, whose Genius and Tempers are as di­rectly contrary to one another, as Heat and Moisture, as Light and Darkness; 'tis Subjecting the Spanish Na­tion to a People for whom they have ever had a stated mortal aversion, from whom they differ in every thing that Nature can contrive two opposite Constitutions to partake of; differ in Complexion, differ in Temper, differ in Customs, in Habits, in Manners, in every thing but Religion.

To Conclude; I firmly believe that to all this may be added, That notwithstanding the French Greatness and Policy, 'tis no difficult matter effectually to pre­vent this Union, if His Catholick Majesty should dye, [Page 32] and that without involving Europe in a new War, unless the Most Christian King should resent any Pre­ventive Methods to such a Degree, as to declare War himself against the Confederates.

How this may be done, is not the business of this Paper; nor is it an Affair proper for a Pamphlet. I doubt not but those Princes which God has plac'd at the Helm of Government in Europe, understand both the Means and the Time for such a Work, be­ing no more without Council to Direct, than without Power to Perform; and to them I refer it.


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