** Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars 1652-74

War and Social Upheaval: Anglo Dutch Naval Wars (1652-74)

Figure 1.--This Abraham Storck painting depicyed the Four Days Battle in the Second Anglo Dutch Naval War. The Four Days Battle (1666). It was painted a few years after the battle. The English and Dutch were often allies, but when it came to trade they competed with each other.

Dutch Wars are commonly referred to as the Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars. This is an appropriate tern for the first two wars. The third war was, however, a very different matter. It went far beyound the Anglo-Duch nval rivalry and eventually involved most of Europe. As a result the Dutch Wars seems the most appropiate term to use. The English played a major role in securing the independence of the Netherlands. And usually the Dutch and English were on the same side of European conflicts. Never-the-less, the English fought three naval wars with the Dutch during the 17th century. The more important ones were conducted by Stuart King Charles II who maintained close relatioins with England's traditional enemy France. The Dutch Wars are thus somewhat of an anomaly in England's basic policy of resisting foreign domination of the Low Lands. The Wars were fought as naval engagements. One important outcome was the English seizure of New Amsterdam which became the English colony of New York.

First Dutch War (1652-54)

The English played a major role in supporting the Dutch fight for independence during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Only 4 years after the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which recognized Dutch independence, the English and Dutch were at war with each other. The First Dutch War was waged by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell as a result of a trade rivalry. The English blockaded the United Provinces. A peace basically favorable to the English ended the War.

Second Dutch War (1664-67)

The Second Dutch War was waged after the Restiration by King Charles II over continued trade rivalries. In a reversal of the general pattern, King Louis XIV of France offered some limited aid to the Dutch. The major engagement nof the war was the Four Days Battle which proved to be one of the longest naval engagements in history. Itnwas ahard fought battle. The Dutch inflicted real damage on the English fleet. The English initiated the battle, thinking that the crews of the many new Dutch ships of the line were not yet well trained yet. Theyn were mistaken. They lost ten ships with around 1,500 men killed including two vice-admirals, Sir Christopher Myngs and Sir William Berkeley. Some 2,000 English sailors were taken prisoner. Dutch losses were four ships sunk by fire and over 1,550 men killed, including Lieutent Admiral Cornelis Evertsen, Vice Admiral Abraham van der Hulst and Rear Admiral Frederik Stachouwer. Both England and the Dutch won naval victories and there was no real military resolution of the issues. The Peace of Brenda ended the War (1667) and was generally favorable to the Dutch. The Peace, however, confirmed English possession of Nieuw Amsterdam which had been seized by the English. In exchange the Dutch were given Suriname.

Third Dutch War (1672-74/78)

The third war was, however, a very different matter. It went far beyound the Anglo-Duch nval rivalry and eventually involved most of Europe. Charles II and Louis XIV signed the secret Treaty of Dover (1670). This led to the Third Dutch War. Charles was supported by supported by Louis against the United Provinces. The Dutch were led by Jan De Witt and latter by William of Orange. The War was one aspect of a larger Europeann war set off by Louis' effort to expand French territory. The War proved unpopular in England. After suffering several defeats in naval engagements, the English withdrew from the War (1674). England subsequently entered the larger European war as an ally of the United Provinces and Spain in fighting against France. France's opponents also included in addition to the United Provinces (Dutch), Spain, Holy Roman Empire, Denmark, Brandenburg-Prussia, and Lorraine. Sweden joined the War on France's side. The War was ended by the Treaties of Nijmegen (1678-79).


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Created: 9:12 AM 3/19/2019
Last updated: 7:20 AM 4/12/2021