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As I'm reading the history of the Western Mediterranean about this period, I found many references to a truce between the Ottomans and Habsburg Spain in 1580.

For example, Wikipedia - Habsburg Spain:

Philip lacked the resources to fight both the Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire at the same time, and the stalemate in the Mediterranean continued until Spain agreed to a truce in 1580.

Ottoman Algeria

After Spain had sent an embassy to Constantinople in 1578 to negotiate a truce, leading to a formal peace in August 1580, the Regency of Algiers was a formal Ottoman territory, rather than just a military base in the war against Spain

Looking at this box, it seems that the truce was observed. There is no major engagement in the Mediterannean until 1613, despite a lot of battles listed before 1580. Coincidentally, at this time the Ottomans were busy with Persia and Spain with the Dutch and England, so this truce must have been convenient for them.

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However I can't find any details about this truce. Is there a formal name for it? At what level was it agreed, e.g. was it agreed between the monarchs? What are the terms of the truce, were there any territorial exchange or delineation? Are there other arrangement (e.g. payments, promise to support or not support other powers)? And how long did it eventually last?

  • Apropos, Philip was half-hearted about fighting the Turks even before 1580 for the obvious reasons, he was busy against his other enemies). In fact, Lepanto was fought and won in contravention of his express secret order to Don Juan not to engage in major fighting. – Felix Goldberg Jan 28 '16 at 14:59
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As noted in Alan G. Jamieson's Lords of the Sea: A History of the Barbary Corsairs

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and confirmed here the truce of 1580 simply called an end to the fighting between the Spanish and Ottoman Empires that never resumed. There were never any official peace talks, and so no formal agreement on territorial concessions was ever negotiated.

The Ottomans were first occupied with a war against Persia (Iran) and then with an attempt from 1593-1606 to capture Vienna from the Austrians .

Philip II in turn became preoccupied with his attempt to subdue both the Dutch Republic and England that consumed hos attentions for the remainder of his reign.

This effective abandonment of the Western and Central Mediterranean by the navies of both Spain and the Ottoman Empire, combined with the gradual decline of both Venice and Genoa, led to the rise of the Barbary states, and their associated piracy. This would continue into the 19th century when the combined efforts of British, French and United States military forces subdued them.

  • What does the first Google Books link say? (for some reason the content unaccessible to me) The second link does not explain much, it just said that the confrontation ended with a truce. Who agreed to the truce, how was it formalized and what were the terms? – user69715 Jan 27 '16 at 7:47
  • Well done mate. This is an awesome answer – Stuart Allan Jan 28 '16 at 16:24
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Spain was fighting in two fronts. On the one hand, the netherlands want independence from Spain and the other hand Ottoman empire was unstoppable in eastern europe. The Christianity divided in two and Ottomans advancing.

At the end, was decided that spanish navy to join with italian states navy against Ottoman navy. The Spanish tercios will be concentrated mainly in the netherlands and in minor size against Ottomans. Most of spanish/hasburg kings were fed up with Christian countries because they dont join with him. More concentrate in attacking spain than join forces.

The Cost of fight in two fronts was highly. Normally, for both empires to make a peace.

Not to say that netherlands was spanish by heritage. Most of spaniards and tercios were so fed up to fight there because no matter how many battles will the tercios win, the dutch continue fighting. "Was a hell with no-end but the head of spanish government was stubborn to controll it". That neverending war provocked even internal rebellions in Spain.

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Empires of the sea by Roger Crowley: 'In 1580, Philips signed a peace treaty with the sultan... Based on Andrew Hess, The Battle of Lepanto Oxford 1972

  • 2
    I'm not sure how this answers the question (i.e. did the truce have a formal name?) – Steve Bird May 11 '17 at 16:58

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