Treaty of Concordia
The Treaty of Concordia (or the Partition Treaty of 1648) was signed on March 23, 1648 between the French and the Dutch, and divided the island of Saint Martin.
Signature of the treaty
The treaty was signed by the two governors of the island, Robert de Longvilliers for France and Martin Thomas for the States General of the Netherlands. The signing took place atop Mount Concordia. Based on the terms of the agreement, the island of Saint Martin was to be divided between the French Kingdom and the Dutch Republic and the peoples of St. Martin should coexist in a cooperative manner. The French would keep the area they occupied and the coast facing Anguilla, while the Dutch would have the area of the fort and the land around it on the south coast. The inhabitants would share the natural resources of the island. However, France and the Netherlands would continue to dispute over the ownership of the island until 1817 when the borders of the island were finally set.
See here the Text of the Treaty of Concordia (Wikisource : English translation of the original text in French).
Validity of the treaty of March 23, 1648
Questions as to the validity of the Treaty of 1648 have arisen several times in the past, and continue to cause issues today. Research was supposed to be undertaken by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs about it.
At the time of the Treaty, agreements signed between representatives of the monarch had to be registered at the King's Council. This essential formality was never performed, but it seems that on many occasions French civil law recognizes the validity of this Agreement.
The Treaty has always been fairly applied in practice and is referred to in the following texts:
- Franco-Dutch Convention of November 28th, 1839. (See French text)
- February 11, 1850's French side gubernatorial Order about the rules on the salt trade and use, whose Article #32 states :
- The inhabitants of the French side of St. Martin will enjoy the ability to consume and export abroad salts harvested by them on the Dutch side, this under the terms of the Treaty of 1648.
- Decree of the 30th July 1935, which in its Article #40 provides for the freedom of establishment in the French part of Saint-Martin for the Dutch citizens from the Dutch part of Saint-Martin :
- The requirements of the Decree shall not apply to foreigners from the Dutch island of St.Martin regarding their stay and transit in the French part of the island. Foreigners from the islands of Saba, Anguilla, Statia, Saint Christopher Nevis, which at the date of this Order were finally fixed in the dependences of Saint-Martin and Saint Bartholomew for the benefit referred to in the preceding paragraph.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Henocq 2010, p. 13.
- Henocq, Christophe (15 March 2010), "Concordia Treaty, 23rd March 1648", Heritage, 6, retrieved 2018-09-17