8. THE PROTESTANT INTEREST, THE HUGUENOTS OF FRANCE, AND THE PEACE OF UTRECHT 195
CHAPTER 8 The Protestant Interest, the Huguenots of France, and the Peace of Utrecht The fortunes of the Protestant interest on the European continent faced almost-continual frustration from the very start of formal peacemaking as the War of the Spanish Succession came to a close. This was apparent in the first of the peace conferences, the Congress of Utrecht, from its opening in February 1712 until its conclusion on April 11, 1713. While the proceedings there were mainly the venue of Britain, the Dutch Republic, France, and Spain, the two lead powers of the Grand Alliance achieved remarkably little at Utrecht for the Protestants of France or on the Continent in general. By unfortunate paradox, this outcome was consistent with the tenor of the entire congress, which "was fundamentally an English peace, and England emerged with all the honors. 1 For the Huguenot emigre activists of Britain and the Dutch Republic, the Congress of Utrecht had been looked forward to as the opportunity to requite the sufferings of their brethren in France. Throughout 1712, anonymous emigre petitioners invoked sentiment, flattery, and global claims in urging Queen Anne to move for the restoration of the Protestant religion in France as a condition of the peace, which they maintained was a war aim shared by all the belligerent Protestant princes of Europe. These princes were mortified by the oppression endured by their co-religionists of France, the petitioners claimed, adding that it was their right to demand the restoration of the liberties of...
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