Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VIII. - The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland
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CHAP. VIII. - Pieter de la Court, The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland 
The True Interest and Political Maxims of the Republic of Holland (London: John Campbell, Esq, 1746).
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Considerations concerning Holland’s entering into Alliance with Spain.
Spain subsists by its commerce with the West-Indies.AS to Spain, it is very observable, that all the welfare of that kingdom depends on their trade to the West-Indies: and that Spain affords only wool, fruit and iron; and in lieu of this, requires so many Holland manufactures and commodities, that all the Spanish and West-Indian wares are not sufficient to make returns for them.Yields wool, and takes off more of our manufactures.
So that the Holland merchants, who carry money to most parts of the world to buy commodities, must out of this single country of all Europe carry home money, which they receive in payment for their goods, without benefit and by stealth, over that raging and boisterous sea.
Has no ships nor mariners.2. It is well known that Spain during our wars, lost most of their naval forces; and that we during our peace, have for the most part beat the Eastern merchants and English out of that trade. So that it is now certain, that in Spain all the coast is navigated with few other than Holland ships; and that their ships and seamen are so few, that since the peace they have publickly begun to hire our ships to sail to the Indies, whereas they were formerly so careful to exclude all foreigners thence.
Its dominions much dispers’d.3. It is manifest, that the West-Indies, being as the stomach in the body to Spain, must be joined to the Spanish head by a sea-force: and that the kingdom of Naples, with the Netherlands, being like two arms, they cannot lay out their strength and vigour for Spain, nor receive any from thence but by shipping. All which may be very easily done by our naval power in a time of peace, and may as well be obstructed in a time of war.
And therefore our naval power can hinder their mutual communication.4. It is likewise certain, that Holland by its naval strength, is able wonderfully to incumber and perplex this whole dispersed body in time of war, and accordingly put them to the charge of maintaining an incredible number of land-forces in garrisons.
Spain stands in fear of France.But on the other side it is likewise true, 1. That the king of Spain must continually maintain a great military strength against the mighty kingdom of France, and in those great and jealous Netherlandish cities, or else lose his countries.
Hath had pretensions upon Holland.2. It is known, that the said king has pretensions to Holland, and a very powerful adherence of the Roman catholicks; tho’ the strength of both these since our peace, and his laying down all pretensions to our country, and especially by the expiration of so many years, and our own confirmed and improved government, is very much diminished, and almost annihilated.
It bounds upon Holland.3. It is likewise evident that Spain, by Brabant’s bordering on Holland, and by means of the Flemish sea-havens, is able to disturb our fisheries and traffick, in this small north sea.
Offensive wars hurtful to Holland.4. It is certain, that this state of free government will not think it advisable, tho’ they should fall into a war with Spain, to take any more Netherlandish cities by exceeding chargeable sieges.
We are in a good condition for a defensive war.5. It is manifest that all the frontiers of the United Netherlands are so well fortified, that we are not likely to lose any of them unless by their great number; and yet if they are in any wise well defended, they would hardly pay the damage to Spain.
Moreover, Spain would then have reason to expect that we should excite France, according to the interest of the kingdom, to prevent any additional increase of Spain by making war on his frontiers, which would always in such cases be very terrible to Spain.
Whereby we may pursue our interest against Spain.So that by all that hath been said, it is manifest, that Spain may receive many great advantages by Holland in time of peace; and that a war is very prejudicial for both sides: yet so, that there is much more appearance for the king of Spain to gain upon us by land, than for us upon him, unless we should reckon the plundering and burning of his cities in Spain, and the losing his galleons at sea to balance it. Because, as we have said before, our free rulers having their eye upon trade do always decline an offensive war, and will carry on none but what is necessary and defensive only.
Whence we may also infer, that out of fear of a war we ought never, against the interest of this state in itself considered, to make alliances with Spain; and much less should we suffer ourselves to be led away to make the least war against any of our neibours who are formidable to him; since the greatest quiet of this state consists in this, that France be formidable to Spain, and England a friend to us.