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In the search to end the War of Spanish Succession a preliminary agreement which was reached in London in 1711 which resulted in the meeting of a congress at Utrecht by Great Britain, France, Savoy, Portugal, Prussia, the Dutch Republic and Spain in January of 1812.

The Treaty of Utrecht was signed in 1713 and brought to an end the War of Spanish Succession between England and France. The immediate aims of Britain were achieved when the France were driven from the Spanish Netherlands and Italy, and the crowns of Spain and France would not be united. France needed the peace to regroup and reformulate it's strategy. The English were also exhausted and took advantage of the opportunity to secure the most advantageous terms possible.

The stipulations of the treaty as they related to North America were a severe setback for France. France agreed to give up all of its claims to the areas around the Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Acadia. The treaty did allow France to retain certain fishing rights in Newfoundland and the exact extent of the Hudson Bay lands were not defined. Although both England and France were agreeable to peace, the outstanding issues were to lead to a renewal of hostilities with the war of Austrian Succession and which would cumulated in the Seven Years War.

The French immediately began construction of the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island as protection for its St Lawrence River empire.