19-1 Terms - CONCEPT TERMS: AdamSmith Anglo-Dutch wars: The...

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CONCEPT TERMS: Adam Smith Anglo-Dutch wars: The wars were fought in the 17th and 18th centuries between England and the United Provinces for control over the seas and trade routes. - Background England under Elizabeth I built up a strong naval force, designed to carry out long range privateering or piracy missions against the Spanish Empire , exemplified by the exploits of Francis Drake . These raids, financed by the Crown or high nobility, were initially immensely profitable, until the overhaul of Spain's naval and intelligence systems led to a series of costly failures. Partly to provide a pretext for such hostilities against Spain, Elizabeth assisted the Dutch Revolt by signing in 1585 the Treaty of Nonsuch with the new Dutch state of the United Provinces. In the resulting Anglo–Spanish War the Dutch played only a secondary role as they were fully occupied in fighting Habsburg armies at home. Around the turn of the century however, Anglo–Spanish relations began to improve, resulting in the peace of 1605, ending most privateering actions and leading to a neglect of the Royal Navy . The unsuccessful Anglo–Spanish War of 1625 was only a temporary change in policy. In the same period the Dutch, continuing their conflict with the Habsburgs, began to carry out long distance actions, not only being very successful in privateering, Admiral Piet Heyn in 1628 being the only one succeeding in capturing a large Spanish treasure fleet , but also replacing the Portuguese as the main European traders in Asia. Taking over most of Portugal's trade posts in the East Indies gave them control over the hugely profitable trade in spices . This coincided with an enormous growth of the Dutch merchant fleet, made possible by the cheap mass production of fluyts . Soon the Dutch had the largest mercantile fleet of Europe, and a dominant position in European, especially Baltic, trade. Though less spectacularly so, gradually also the Dutch navy grew in power. From January 1631 Charles I of England engaged in a number of secret agreements with Spain, directed against Dutch sea power. He also embarked on a major programme of naval construction, enforcing ship money to built such prestige vessels as HMS Sovereign of the Seas . Charles's policy was not very successful however. Fearing to endanger his good relations with the powerful Dutch stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange , his assistance to Spain limited itself to allowing Habsburg troops on their way to Dunkirk to employ neutral English shipping; in 1636 and 1637 he made some halfhearted attempts to extort North Sea herring rights from Dutch fishermen until intervention by the Dutch navy made an end to such practices. When in 1639 a large Spanish transport fleet sought refuge in the English Downs moorage, Charles did not dare
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to protect it against a Dutch attack; the resulting Battle of the Downs undermined both Spanish sea power and Charles's reputation. The
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19-1 Terms - CONCEPT TERMS: AdamSmith Anglo-Dutch wars: The...

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