Methuen Treaty

(1703)
   Named for the English envoy to Lisbon, John Methuen, the commercial treaty that came to be known by his name was signed on 27 December 1703. This treaty followed the May 1703 treaties of alliance between Portugal, England, and the Low Countries and the Hapsburg Empire that were related to the War of Spanish Succession. The Methuen Treaty stipulated that thenceforth Portuguese wines would be favored as exports to England in the same way that English woolen imports to Portugal would have advantages. Since England was not importing French wines due to a war with France, and since English merchant-shippers in Portugal would benefit from the agreement, the Methuen Treaty was viewed as advantageous to all parties involved. With only three articles, the treaty agreed that both Portuguese wines and English woolens would be exempt from custom duties and that each nation had to ratify the treaty within two months. The Methuen Treaty became the keystone of Anglo-Portuguese commercial relations for at least the next century, but several historians have suggested that it favored England more than Portugal.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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