Congress of Soissons
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The Congress of Soissons was a diplomatic conference held between a number of European powers, but principally Great Britain and Spain between 14 June 1728 and July 1729 in the French town of Soissons.
Along with the Convention of Pardo it was designed to bring an end to the Anglo-Spanish War by resolving the various areas of dispute between them - particularly commercial and territorial disagreements. Spain agreed to recognise British possession of Gibraltar and Menorca in exchange for a British recognition of Spanish rights in Italy. The ultimate aim of the British delegate Stephen Poyntz and Horatio Walpole was to prevent a Spanish-Austrian alliance from developing against Britain, by resolving Britain's dispute with Spain as smoothly as possible. Directed by the Duke of Newcastle the British took a relatively hard line, believing they were negotiating from a position of strength - a strategy that proved successful.
It opened the way for a final treaty to be agreed between the two sides in Seville. However many of the disputes flared up again over the next decade leading the two states to fight each other in the War of Jenkins' Ear in 1739.
- Simms p.211
- Browning p.55-56
- Browning, Reed. The Duke of Newcastle. Yale University Press, 1975.
- Simms, Brendan. Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire. Penguin Books, 2008.