Pyrenees, Peace of the 1659
Pyrenees, Peace of the (1659)
a treaty concluding the war between France and Spain which had begun in 1635 as part of the Thirty Years’ War of 1618–48 and which continued after the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
The Peace of the Pyrenees of 1659 was signed on November 7 for France by Mazarin and by Don Luis de Haro, the minister of the king of Spain. According to the principal provisions of the treaty, Spain returned to France several territories in the Spanish Netherlands, including most of Artois and a section of Flanders, and Roussillon and Conflent in the Pyrenees, which were to serve as the new border between the two countries. France’s rights to Navarre were affirmed. France relinquished the part of Catalonia it had seized, along with certain fortresses in the Netherlands and in Franche-Comté. It also abandoned its support of Portugal, which was fighting Spain at the time.
The treaty also provided for the marriage of the French king Louis XIV to the Spanish infanta Maria Theresa, who received a dowry of 500,000 gold écus. As a condition of the prompt payment of the money by Spain, the infanta renounced for herself and her heirs the Spanish crown. The nonpayment of the money by war-exhausted Spain was subsequently the pretext for France’s claims to the possessions of the Spanish Hapsburgs and the Spanish throne. The Peace of the Pyrenees of 1659 marked the passing of hegemony in Western Europe from Spain to France.