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Methuen Treaty

Name for a treaty concluded in Lisbon on 27 December 1703 between England and Portugal with major effects on the production and trade of port wine. It is named after the English politician and Lord Chancellor John Methuen (1650-1706), who negotiated this historically important agreement as ambassador to Portugal. Essentially, it was about customs concessions for the import of Portuguese wines in England. Specifically, the treaty provided that England could export textiles to Portugal (and its colonies) without hindrance, while Portugal exported port wine to England. It was particularly advantageous for England because it acquired a market for its products during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and made Portugal economically dependent on England.

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