TREATY OF RYSWICK, the peace which in 1697 ended the war between France on the one side and the Empire, England, Spain and Holland, on the other. Begun in 1689 under the leadership of the new king of England, William III., its object was to put a check on the ambitious designs of Louis XIV., and it raged in the Netherlands, the Rhineland, Italy, Ireland and Spain, in India and America and on the sea (see Grand Alliance, War Of The). Negotiations for peace had begun in 1696, but they were soon broken off, William III. and the English parliament at this time refusing to treat except "with our swords in our hands." But in May 1697 they were renewed under the mediation of the king of Sweden. The French representatives had their headquarters at the Hague and those of the allies at Delft, the conferences between them taking place at Ryswick. For the first few weeks no result was reached, and in June William III. and Louis XIV., the protagonists in the struggle, each appointed one representative to meet together privately. The two chosen were William Bentinck, earl of Portland, and marshal Boufflers, and they soon drew up the terms of an agreement, to which, however, the emperor Leopold I. and the king of Spain would not assent. But in a short time Spain gave way, and on the 10th of September 1697 a treaty of peace was signed between France and the three powers, England, Spain and Holland, the Empire still holding aloof. William then persuaded Leopold to make peace, and a. treaty between France and the Empire was signed on the 30th. of October following.
The basis of the peace was that all towns and districts seized since the treaty of Nijmwegen in 1679 should be restored. Then. France surrendered Freiburg, Breisach and Philippsburg to. Germany, although she kept Strassburg. On the other hand,. she regained Pondicherry and Nova Scotia, while Spain recovered Catalonia, and the barrier fortresses of Mons, Luxemburg and Courtrai. The duchy of Lorraine, which for many years had been in the possession of France, was restored to Leopold Joseph, a son of duke Charles V., and the Dutch were to be allowed to garrison some of the chief fortresses in the Netherlands, including Namur and Ypres. Louis undertook to recognize William as king of England, and promised to give rio further assistance to James II.; he abandoned his interference in the electorate of Cologne and also the claim which he had put forward to some of the lands of the Rhenish Palatinate.
For further details see C. W. von Koch and F. Scholl, Histoire abregee des traites de paix (1817-18); A. Moetjens, Actes et memoires de la paix de Ryswick (The Hague, 1725); A. Legrelle, Notes et documents sur la paix de Ryswick (Lille, 1894); and H. Vast, Les Grands Traites du rbgne de Louis XIV (Paris, 1893-99). See also L. von Ranke, Englische Geschichte, English translation as History of England (Oxford, 1875).
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