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Cateau-Cambrésis, Treaty of (1559)

Cateau-Cambrésis, Treaty of (1559)

Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559), agreement between France and Spain ending the Hapsburg-Valois wars. The treaty ended four decades (1521–1559) of armed conflict over Navarre, Aragon's borders, Flanders, Artois, Burgundy, and Milan. According to its terms, France kept imperial cities in northern Europe but was almost totally excluded from the Italian peninsula, underscoring the existing balance of power in continental Europe. The reigning monarchs when the treaty was signed on 3 April 1559, Philip II of Spain and Henry II of France, were forced by bankruptcy and heresy to make peace. The treaty also marked the end of an Anglo-Spanish alliance that had been crucial in foreign policy during the end of Charles I's reign and left Philip II with the problem of defending the Low Countries without an English alliance. The New World was ignored in the treaty by mutual consent and peace was thus limited to the European domain.

See alsoCharles I of Spain; Philip II of Spain.


William S. Maltby, Alba: A Biography of Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Third Duke of Alba, 1507–1582 (1983), esp. pp. 110-116.

John Lynch, Spain 1516–1598 (1991), pp. 101-137, 251-253.

                              Suzanne Hiles Burkholder

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