Meanwhile, back in Europe 1700-1763

6 01 2010

At the beginning of the 18th Century Europe was relatively quiet (for them).  The end of King William’s War in 1697 held but would soon be shattered by more disputes of lines of succession.  This time it was in Spain.

King William would die in 1702, and Queen Anne would rise to the throne.  As with all changes in the monarch there were those for and against.  Scotland grumbled and passed resolutions.  England whined and passed counter resolutions.  In the end Queen Anne was seated.

The big problem was a successor after Anne.  By 1700 she had been pregnant 18 times.  Sadly, she miscarried or delivered still born children 13 times and of the live births, only one survived past 2 years of age.  His name was William and died in 1700 at age 11.

Almost immediately, Great Britain became involved in the War of Spanish Succession.  The King of Spain had died and left the Kingdom to Philip V who just happened to be the grandson of King Louis the XIV of France.  This unfortunate event threatened to unite the thrones of Spain and France because Philip was also in line to the French throne.  What a mess!  Never missing the opportunity for a good war the British, Dutch, Portuguese and the Holy Roman Empire quickly joined forces to once more beat up the French and Spanish.

And just like the previous war spilled over to the new world this one would as well.  We know it as Queen Anne’s War, or the 2nd French and Indian War.  The war in the new world stretched from South America to Canada.  Much of the fighting was by privateers in the Caribbean and along the coasts of South America, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.  New England would play her part in the north.

The French occupied what was then known as Acadia that includes what is now large parts of Canada  including Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  They also controlled a large hunk of Eastern Maine.  As in the previous war the French used the Indians in their territories to raid and pillage the English in New England.

Acadia and New England The French Territories, and New England 1700 (click for larger) Swiped from the Maine State Archives, thanks Maine!

The war continued until the spring of 1713, and was concluded by the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht.  England gained control of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Eastern Maine and New Brunswick.  In Europe it established fixed national borders, many of which survive to the present.

Queen Anne died in 1714 and would be succeeded by George I.  During his reign  things would be relatively quite on the war front.  Apart from a minor rebellion by his son (George, Prince of Wales) after he bore him a Grandson, also named … wait for it … George.  Yes, the future King George III was causing trouble even as he was born.  We’ll learn a lot more about him when we come to the American Revolution.

There was one major war on the continent during his rule, the War of the Quadruple Alliance.  Once again the spat was over succession to the Spanish throne, and who owned parts of Italy.  This time Britain and France were on the same side.  What a fickle bunch.  The war which lasted from 1718 to 1720 was finally settled.  There were no battles in the colonies as a result of this war.

George I ruled to his death in 1727, and was followed by his son, George II.  This time New England wouldn’t be able to escape the continental spat.  England went to war in 1740 in the War of Austrian Succession!  Why is it always new royalty that starts these things?  It took 4 years for the war to make it across the Atlantic, King George’s War (the 3rd French and Indian War) would rage in New England from 1744 to 1748.  I’ll cover this war more in depth with the appropriate Historical Markers.

The end of the war wasn’t the end of the argument, however.  This time the conflict started in New England!  The 4th French and Indian War began in 1754 and this time spread east across the Atlantic and by 1756 had most of the world shooting at each other.  The war ended in 1763, three years after the death of George II.  There will be much more detail about this war in posts to come, as it was one of many triggers of the American Revolution.

Finally a very short note about that baby that caused a ruckus at his birth.  King George III assumed the throne in 1760 after the death of his father.

There will be much more on this brightly dressed fellow to come.  You can count on it.

Meanwhile, back in Europe (1600)

24 10 2009

Next up are some the markers commemorating the first New Hampshire settlements.  Before starting them a brief look at the European political landscape is in order.

England and Scotland had not been yet united into one country when King James IV came into power in Scotland in 1581.  In March of 1603 he would ascend to the English Throne as James I, succeeding the last Tudor Monarch, Elizabeth I.

It was James I that authorized the creation of the Plymouth Company chartered to settle the New World. 

A patent had been granted by King James in 1606, limiting the dominion of Virginia, from the thirty-fourth to the forty-forth degree of northern latitude; which extent of territory had been divided into two parts, called North and South Virginia.  The latter was assigned to certain noblemen, knights and gentleman of London, the former to others in Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.

After some time, the King, by his sole authority, costituted a council, consisting of forty noblemen, knights and gentlemen, by the name of  "The council established at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling and governing of New-England, in America.

The History of New Hampshire

Volume I

Jeremy Belknap


The Grant map.  Green area is Plymouth company, Red is London Company.

James I Mother has quite a story herself.  Mary, Queen of Scots. Here’s a dramatic – and brief – radio dramatization of her untimely execution:

The English and Spanish had been in an undeclared war from 1585-1604, raiding here and there and burning each others Navies and Shipping as the exploration and settling of the New World was just beginning.

The Spanish were busy in South America for the one-hundred years previous to the Plymouth Company.  Balboa crossed to the Pacific, opening up the Western coasts. The Incas, Aztecs and finally the Mayans all were conquered in their turn as Spain colonized South America and the East Indies.

The French had been exploring the Eastern Seaboard as well.  Verazzano mapped much of the coast in 1524.  They tried to set up colonies along the coast but were either frozen out, attacked by Indians, lacked supplies, or got beat up by the Spanish.  They focused most of their efforts after that exploring and settling the St. Laurence seaway, central Canada and the Great lakes.

The Dutch were busy trying to get a piece of the action, as were many others.

As if that weren’t enough, the Barbary Pirates had been harassing Shipping and taking captives for hundreds of years. 

All nations were susceptible.  Some people were ransomed back, or bought their way out.  Others were forced to convert to Islam, or sold into slavery.  They of course were also lured by the riches of the new world and tagged along terrorizing the West Indies and New World.

There was a lot of activity all up and down the east coast, inland and among the Islands in the Caribbean.  Everyone wanted a piece of the pie.  Boats coming and going, Cannon at the ready. Trade goods flowing back and forth, Native South Americans being enslaved – danger and discovery.

It was a good time to come to New Hampshire.