Charles consistently underestimated the Dutch. First he believed that they would concede his demands without fighting, then that they would collapse after their first defeat, and now that they would tamely acquiesce in the policies of the French. On 4 May the English plenipotentiaries reached Breda to open the great conference with their opponents, and it soon became obvious to the Dutch that their French allies were set upon a genuine compromise affording considerable gains to nobody. The government of the Netherlands decided to deal the English a blow, single-handed, which would force major concessions from them such as the opening of their carrying trade.
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