First Anglo-Dutch War - Aftermath

Aftermath

Cromwell again put forward his plan for a political union between the two nations, but this was rejected by the States-General on 21 October, so emphatically that now for the first time Cromwell came to understand that the Dutch hadn't the slightest inclination to join the Commonwealth. He then, repeating the line of argument the English delegation had made two years previously, proposed a military alliance against Spain, promising to repeal the Navigation Act in return for Dutch assistance in the conquest of Spanish America. This too was rejected however. As a result Cromwell, more than a little annoyed, made a proposal of 27 articles, two of which were utterly unacceptable to the Dutch: that all Royalists had to be expelled and that Denmark, the ally of the Republic, should be abandoned in its war against Sweden. In the end Cromwell gave in, on 22 April 1654 the States-General accepted and peace was declared on 8 May 1654 with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, in which the Dutch at least agreed to respect the Navigation Acts—although in practice they never did. The treaty had a secret annex, the Act of Seclusion, forbidding the Dutch ever to appoint the son of the late stadtholder, the later William III of England, to the position of his father. This clause, overtly a demand by Cromwell fearing the Orangists, was perhaps inserted on the covert wishes of the leading Dutch politicians, the new Grand Pensionary, the young republican Johan de Witt, and his uncle Cornelis de Graeff.

However, the commercial rivalry between the two nations was not resolved. Especially in the vast overseas empires, hostilities continued between Dutch and English trading companies, which had warships and troops of their own. The Dutch had started on a major shipbuilding programme to remedy the lack of ships of the line evident at the fleet battles of the Kentish Knock, the Gabbard, and Scheveningen. The admiralties were now forbidden by law to sell off these 60 new ships. The Second Anglo-Dutch War was in the making.

Read more about this topic:  First Anglo-Dutch War

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