Third Anglo-Dutch War

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Third Anglo-Dutch War

The Third Anglo–Dutch War or Third Dutch War (Derde Engelse Oorlog or Derde Engelse Zeeoorlog) was a military conflict between England and the Dutch Republic lasting from 1672 to 1674. It was part of the larger Franco-Dutch War. England's Royal Navy joined France in its attack on the Republic, but was frustrated in its attempts to blockade the Dutch coast by four strategic victories by Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. An attempt to make the province of Holland an English protectorate rump state likewise failed. Parliament, fearful that the alliance with France was part of a plot to make England Roman Catholic, forced the king to abandon the costly and fruitless war.[1]

Contents

Preparations

Although England, the Dutch Republic and Sweden had signed a Triple Alliance against France in 1668 to prevent that country from occupying the Spanish Netherlands, Charles II of England signed the secret Treaty of Dover with France in 1670, entailing that England would join Louis XIV of France in a punitive campaign against the United Provinces. Indeed Charles, feeling personally humiliated by the events of the Second Anglo–Dutch War, especially the Raid on the Medway, had only engaged himself in the Triple Alliance in order to create a rift between the Dutch and the French, two former allies.[2] While publicly trying to appease tensions between France and the Republic, making ambassador William Temple avow friendship to Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, he secretly schemed to seduce Louis to a campaign against the Dutch. He was promised that after a French victory he would be rewarded by taking as Crown possessions strategic coastal key positions. Walcheren, Cadzand and Sluys were mentioned explicitly but Charles also desired Brill, Texel, Terschelling and Delfzijl, to control the seaways towards the main Dutch ports, including Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the latter of which was the richest city in Europe.

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