Second Anglo-Dutch War

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Storck, Four Days Battle.jpg

The Second Anglo–Dutch War was fought between England and the United Provinces from 4 March 1665 until 31 July 1667. England tried to end the Dutch domination of world trade. After initial English successes, the war ended in a Dutch victory. English and French resentment would soon lead to renewed warfare.



The First Anglo–Dutch War was concluded with an English victory in the Battle of Scheveningen in August 1653, although a peace treaty was not signed for another eight months. The Commonwealth government of Oliver Cromwell tried to avoid further conflict with the Dutch Republic. It did not come to the aid of its ally, Sweden, when the Dutch thwarted the Swedish attempt to conquer Denmark in the Battle of the Sound. The Commonwealth was at war with Spain and feared Dutch intervention, in part because the Republic contained a strong Orangist party hostile to Cromwell and under the influence of exiled English royalists. However the Treaty of Westminster planted the seeds of future conflict as its secret annex, the Act of Seclusion, forbade the Province of Holland (and by practical extension, any other province of the Netherlands) from installing any member of the House of Orange as their stadtholder.[citation needed]

The Restoration of Charles II in 1660 produced a general surge of optimism in England. Many in the kingdom hoped to reverse the Dutch dominance in world trade.[citation needed] At first, however, Charles II sought to remain on friendly terms with the Republic, as he was personally greatly in debt to the House of Orange, which had lent enormous sums to Charles I during the English Civil War.[citation needed] Nevertheless, a conflict soon developed with the States of Holland over the education and future prospects of his nephew William III of Orange, the posthumous son of Dutch stadtholder William II of Orange, over whom Charles had been made a guardian by his late sister Mary. The Dutch, in this coordinated by Cornelis and Andries de Graeff, tried to placate the king with prodigious gifts, such as the Dutch Gift of 1660. Negotiations were started in 1661 to solve these issues, which ended in the treaty of 1662, in which the Dutch conceded on most points. In 1663 Louis XIV of France stated his claim to portions of the Habsburg Southern Netherlands, and this led to a short rapprochement between England and the Republic as Lord Clarendon for a time saw France as the greatest danger.[citation needed]

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