Treaties of Rastatt and Baden

France and the Holy Roman Empire signed the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden, officially ending the War of the Spanish Succession. The treaties supplemented the provisions of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), which had concluded peace between all the other combatants in the war, but they failed to establish peace between the empire and Spain.

Summary of Event

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) Spanish Succession, War of the (1701-1714) involved the question of who would inherit the vast Spanish empire of the last Habsburg Habsburg Spain ruler of Spain, Charles II (r. 1665-1700). The Bourbon Bourbon Spain candidate, Philip of Anjou, was designated as ruler by Charles II’s will, but the other nations of Europe were unwilling to allow the Bourbons to control both Spain and France, and a major European war erupted. England, the Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire allied in the conflict against France and Spain, with several minor powers arrayed on either side as well. [kw]Treaties of Rastatt and Baden (Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714)
[kw]Baden, Treaties of Rastatt and (Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714)
[kw]Rastatt and Baden, Treaties of (Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714)
[g]Switzerland;Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714: Treaties of Rastatt and Baden[0460]
[g]Germany;Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714: Treaties of Rastatt and Baden[0460]
[c]Diplomacy and international relations;Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714: Treaties of Rastatt and Baden[0460]
[c]Wars, uprisings, and civil unrest;Mar. 7, 1714, and Sept. 7, 1714: Treaties of Rastatt and Baden[0460]
Villars, duc de
Eugene of Savoy
Charles VI
Louis XIV
Philip V
Ursins, princess des

After twelve years of global conflict, most participants in the war made peace in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Utrecht, Treaty of (1713) but Austrian Emperor and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, who had sought recognition as king of Spain, did not join in the treaty. He chose to continue the war in the belief that Eugene of Savoy could win a decisive victory and gain advantages beyond the terms offered at Utrecht. When the French captured Landau, near Alsace, in August, 1713, and Freiburg, in southwestern Germany, in November, 1713, Charles VI finally decided to make peace and designated Eugene as plenipotentiary to negotiate terms. Louis XIV designated his commander, the duc de Villars, as the French plenipotentiary, and the two opposing generals began negotiations at Rastatt on November 26, 1713.

Villars and Eugene, who had once fought against the Turks in the campaign of 1687, were on very good terms, and both desired peace. After the formalities that opened eighteenth century diplomatic negotiations were observed, both contingents moved into separate wings of the same palace. There was a great deal of entertainment in the palace, and most evenings Villars and Eugene played cards. The Treaty of Ryswick (1697) Ryswick, Treaty of (1697) provided the main guidelines for the deliberations at Rastatt, although portions of the Treaty of Westphalia Westphalia, Treaty of (1648) (1648) and Treaty of Nijmegen Nijmegen, Treaty of (1679) (1679) were also consulted. The territories at issue were the border areas between France, the Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands, and Italy.

If the provisions of the Treaty of Ryswick were followed, Kehl, Freiburg in Breisgau, and Landau would be restored to the Holy Roman Empire. Charles VI demanded the Netherlands, Naples, and Sicily, steep demands from a ruler who had refused to accept the Treaty of Utrecht and whose military campaign in 1713 was unsuccessful. Louis XIV sought to retain Landau and to be compensated for the return of Freiburg, and he demanded full restoration of his allies Max Emmanuel, elector of Bavaria, and Joseph Clemens, elector of Cologne, whose claims had been unresolved at Utrecht. France also sought a principality for the princess des Ursins.

Although he was not negotiating from a position of strength, Eugene had several advantages over Villars, whom he regarded as “timid” and not knowledgeable. Eugene had greater diplomatic experience than did Villars, and Villars believed he needed to negotiate a peace treaty successfully if he was to maintain his status at court. Eugene successfully used tactics such as threatening to break off the talks in order to win concessions, and he could count on unconditional support from Charles VI, who hinted that war might be renewed if the negotiations did not go well. By February, 1714, Eugene and Villars had produced a draft of the peace treaty; Charles VI agreed to it in principle, but Louis XIV did not accept the terms laid out in the document until Villars threatened permanently to break off the negotiations.

The Treaty of Rastatt, whose text was in French, was finalized on March 7, 1714. France retained Strasbourg and Landau and fortresses on the west side of the Rhine River, but it had to restore Alt-Breisach, Freiburg in Breisgau, and Kehl to Austria. France was to raze its fortifications on the islands in the Rhine River. The electors of Bavaria and Cologne were restored, and Louis XIV had to recognize the position of the newly created elector of Hanover. Reluctantly, Louis XIV ended his attempts to settle territory on the princess des Ursins, who had sought to gain territory in the Netherlands through the war. Instead, Charles VI gained the Spanish Netherlands Spanish Netherlands
Netherlands;Spanish —except for areas allocated to Prussia and the barrier fortresses transferred to the Dutch by the Treaty of Utrecht.

The disposition of Italian territories allotted at Utrecht was not followed by the later treaty, which allowed Charles VI to receive Naples, Milan, Mantua, Tuscan ports, and Sardinia, the latter of which would be traded for Sicily. This more rational ordering of power and territory in Italy worked to Charles’s advantage. One issue remained unresolved, however: the Spanish succession. Charles VI did not recognize the new Bourbon king of Spain, Philip V, and Charles’s allies in Spain, the Catalans, did not receive the right to self-government. Charles VI and Philip V would not settle their outstanding problems until the Treaty of Vienna (1725). Vienna, Treaty of (1725) Many of the minor allies of Louis XIV and Charles VI felt ignored and betrayed by the treaty, but once Eugene and Villars had reached an accord on the main issues, they would not allow minor concerns to derail the larger settlement. Plans for a conference between France and the Holy Roman Empire at Baden in Switzerland were set in the last few articles of the treaty.

On June 5, 1714, diplomats met in Baden’s town hall, and the Treaty of Baden was signed on September 7, 1714, by Eugene, Villars, and four other diplomats. This treaty was essentially a Latin version of the French text of the Treaty of Rastatt. Charles VI, who had continued the war rather than accept the Treaty of Utrecht, did gain additional benefits by this decision, and Louis XIV did finally settle matters with Charles VI and gain peace. Contemporary diplomats and subsequent historians have noted that the terms of the Utrecht, Rastatt, and Baden settlements were very similar to the terms of the Partition Treaties of 1698 and 1700. The Treaty of Vienna may be said to have finally settled the issues connected to the War of the Spanish Succession. In it, Charles VI renounced his claims to Spain and formally recognized Philip V’s title as king of Spain, and Philip V relinquished claims to the Netherlands and Italian territory. Some of the Italian principalities were reordered, and Charles VI and Philip V agreed to support each other’s ventures.


The Treaties of Rastatt and Baden formally ended the War of the Spanish Succession for France on one side and Austria and the Holy Roman Empire on the other and brought an end to Louis XIV’s bid for European hegemony. Within a year, Louis XIV would be dead and the financial effects of his many wars would begin to be felt in France. England, which had procured substantial advantages at Utrecht, emerged as the dominant power in Western Europe. The attempt by Charles VI and Eugene to gain better terms than those offered at Utrecht by continuing the war beyond April, 1713, was partially successful despite the fact that Eugene’s military operations against France were hampered by lack of finances and the reappearance of the plague. Charles VI avoided having terms imposed on him at Utrecht and was in control of the Rastatt/Baden negotiations.

The border between France and the Holy Roman Empire conformed to the provisions of the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) with some modifications. One important difference between the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) was that Catholicism rather than Protestantism was to be the religion in areas restored by France, and the Rastatt and Baden agreements reflected this. Both Charles VI and Louis XIV needed peace. Cessation of the war with France enabled Charles VI and Eugene to concentrate on the Turks to the east with great success and to focus on expansion in Italy and the Mediterranean against Philip V. Austria had emerged as a major European power.

Further Reading

  • Frey, Linda, and Marsha Frey, eds. The Treaties of the War of the Spanish Succession. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. An excellent reference source with short articles on the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden, Prince Eugene and other principals, and the territories that changed hands.
  • Henderson, Nicholas. Prince Eugen of Savoy. 1964. Reprint. London: Phoenix Press, 2002. A complete biography that emphasizes Eugene’s military career and discusses his role in negotiating the treaties.
  • Lynn, John. The Wars of Louis XIV. London: Longman, 1999. Contains an extensive treatment of the War of the Spanish Succession and analysis of the terms and impact of the treaties.
  • McKay, Derek. Prince Eugene of Savoy. London: Thames and Hudson, 1977. A complete scholarly biography, it covers Eugene’s military undertakings prior to the treaties and evaluates his role in negotiating them.

War of the Spanish Succession

Queen Anne’s War

Battle of Blenheim

Battle of Malplaquet

Treaty of Utrecht

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