Treaty of Ryswick | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Treaty of Ryswick

The Treaty of Ryswick (or Rijswijk), signed in 1697, ended the Nine Years’ War in Europe between France and the Grand Alliance, which included England and several other European states. In the North American theatre of war, known as King William’s War, the Treaty of Ryswick ended armed conflicts between the French and English and their respective Indigenous allies. However, the peace was short-lived; Anglo-French hostilities resumed in 1702.

Return of Territories

The Treaty of Ryswick restored prewar territorial conquests. The French held on to Port Royal and Newfoundland; however, they had to return Pemaquid (now Bristol, Maine) and part of Acadia. The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) had to relinquish all but one fort on Hudson Bay (Fort Albany) to the French. Since HBC traders were unsurprisingly left disgruntled by this decision, a commission was established to settle the question of boundaries in Hudson Bay. However, no steps were taken to make any changes.

Impact on Indigenous Alliances

Both the English and French took advantage of the peace to support their respective relationships and alliances with Indigenous peoples. The English in Massachusetts, for example, renewed alliances and trade relations with the Abenaki. In 1701, the French and Haudenosaunee negotiated a peace treaty, the Great Peace of Montreal. The peace agreement permitted the Haudenosaunee to trade freely and obtain goods from the French at a reduced cost. In exchange, they pledged to allow French settlement at Detroit and to remain neutral in the event of a war between England and France.

War Resumes

The War of the Spanish Succession (known as Queen Anne’s War in North America) broke out in 1702, ending the few years of peace between France and England.