Pacte de Famille

The Pacte de Famille (French pronunciation: [pakt də famij], Family Compact; Spanish: Pacto de Familia) is one of three separate, but similar alliances between the Bourbon kings of France and Spain.

Both Kingdoms (France & Spain) to the House of Bourbon.
Foreign alliances of France
Frankish–Abbasid Alliance 777–800s
Franco-Mongol Alliance 1220–1316
Franco-Scottish Alliance 1295–1560
Franco-Polish Alliance 1524–1526
Franco-Hungarian Alliance 1528–1552
Franco-Ottoman Alliance 1536–1798
French–Anglo Alliance 1657–1660
Franco-Indian Alliance 1600s–1700s
French–Anglo Alliance 1716–1731
Franco-Spanish Alliance 1733–1792
Franco-Prussian Alliance 1741–1756
Franco-Austrian Alliance 1756–1792
Franco-Indian Alliances 1700s
Franco-American Alliance 1778–1794
Franco-Persian Alliance 1807–1809
Franco-Prussian Alliance 1812–1813
Franco-Russian Alliance 1892–1917
Entente Cordiale 1904-present
Franco-Polish Alliance 1921–1940
Franco-Italian Alliance 1935
Franco-Soviet Alliance 1936–1939
Western Union 1948–1954
North Atlantic Alliance 1949–present
Western European Union 1954–2011
European Defence Union 1993–present
Regional relations

The first Pacte de Famille

The first of these (Primer Pacto de Familia) was made on November 7, 1733 by King Philip V of Spain and King Louis XV of France in the Treaty of the Escorial.

Philip V was the grandson of Louis XIV and had become the first Bourbon King of Spain in 1700 upon the extinction of Spanish Habsburgs. After a long war, the War of the Spanish Succession, he was recognized as king by other European powers in the Treaty of Utrecht with the condition that the thrones of Spain and France never be united. In addition, Spanish possessions in Italy were ceded to the surviving branch of the House of Habsburg.

Louis XV was Philip's nephew. He had married Maria Leszczyńska, the daughter of King Stanislaus I of Poland. Because of this marriage alliance France became involved in the War of the Polish Succession in 1733.

Philip V formed a plan to use this conflict to win back lost territory in Italy for his sons. He allied Spain to France. Because of his close relationship with Louis XV their alliance became known as the Family Compact. Louis failed to restore Stanislas to the Polish throne, but the Bourbons would gain the Duchy of Lorraine (for France) and the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily (for Charles, the third son of King Philip V of Spain) from his conflict.

The second Pacte de Famille

The second Family Compact was made on October 25, 1743 again by King Philip V of Spain and King Louis XV of France in the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

This pact was signed in the middle of the War of Austrian Succession, and most of its clauses had to do with the conduct of the war. The result was the expansion of Spanish influence in Italy when Philip V's fourth son Philip, became in 1748 Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla.

The third Pacte de Famille

The third Family Compact was made on 15 August 1761 by King Charles III of Spain and Louis XV in the Treaty of Paris.

Charles III was the son of Philip V, making him Louis's first cousin. At this time France was fighting the Seven Years' War against Great Britain. Charles's alliance reversed the policy of his predecessor, Ferdinand VI, who wished to keep Spain out of the war. The agreement involved Spain's allies Naples and Tuscany. The third Pacte however was a complete disaster - the British soon captured both the Spanish capitals of the East and West Indies - Manila and Havana respectively. Worse was to follow - Spain agreed to attack Britain's long standing ally Portugal and thus invaded in 1762 with a large army. British troops numbering near 10,000 supported the Portuguese, but in spite of three attempts the Spanish along with their French ally were heavily defeated losing in total upwards of 25,000 men. With the war lost, France as compensation ceded the rest of Louisiana to Spain at the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau. At the Treaty of Paris the following year Charles III was able to retrieve Havana and Manilla but ceded all of Florida to the British.

Later Franco-Spanish Pacts

  • On April 12, 1779 France and Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez (1779), by which Spain joined the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain. This Pact was seen as a renewal of the third Pacte de Famille, and therefore not named the fourth Pacte de Famille.
  • In August 1796 Manuel Godoy negotiated and signed the Second Treaty of San Ildefonso with France which required that Spain declare war on Great Britain. This treaty can not be considered a Family Compact, since the French Bourbons at that time had been killed or fled France because of the French revolution.
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