Britain as a European Power, from her Glorious Revolution to the French Revolutionary War

  • Alice C. Carter


THE Glorious Revolution of 1688 transformed England’s relations with Europe. There ascended to the English throne the francophobe William III, at a time when England’s external policy was still under the direction of her sovereign and had recently been far from hostile to Louis XIV. But after William III became king England’s power was aligned with the Netherlands against France, where the spearhead of the party bringing in William III wanted to see it anyway.


Eighteenth Century Public Debt EUROPEAN Power Naval Store Dutch Republic 
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Further Reading

1. Documents

  1. English Historical Document., X [1714–83] ed. D. B. Horn and M. Ransome (1957).Google Scholar
  2. C. Maxwell (ed.), The English Traveller in France, 1698–181. (1932)Google Scholar
  3. R. Macaulay, They Went to Portuga. (1946)Google Scholar
  4. The Journal of William Beckford in Portugal and Spain, 1787–178., ed. B. Alexander (1954).Google Scholar
  5. Besides Boswell in Hollan., F. A. Pottle has also edited Boswell on the Grand Tou. (2 vols, 1953, 1955)Google Scholar
  6. Arthur Young’s Travels in France and Italy during the years 1787, 1789, and 178.: the best edition by C. Maxwell (Cambridge, 1929)Google Scholar
  7. An Honest Diplomat at the Hague: the Private Letters of Horatio Walpole, 1715–1716., ed. J. J. Murray (Bloomington, Ind., 1955)Google Scholar
  8. The Private Correspondence of Sir Benjamin Keene, K.B., ed. Sir R. Lodge (Cambridge, 1933)Google Scholar
  9. The Despatches of Earl Gower, English Ambassador at Paris from June 1790 to August 179., ed. O. Browning (Cambridge, 1885).Google Scholar
  10. J. Swift’s The Conduct of the Allie. (1711), reprinted in Political Tracts, 1711–171., ed. H. Davis (Oxford, 1951).Google Scholar
  11. A. Cobban (ed.), The Debate on the French Revolutio. (1950).Google Scholar

2. Secondary Works

  1. Albion, R. G.: Forests and Sea Power: the Timber Problem of the Royal Navy, 1652–186. (Cambridge, Mass., 1926) shows the relation of Baltic timber to British foreign policy.Google Scholar
  2. Bamford, P. W.: Forests and French Sea Power, 1660–178. (Toronto, 1956) complements Albion in respect of the French government’s problems of dockyard supply at home and abroad.Google Scholar
  3. Baxter, S. B.: William II. (1966). Up-to-date, full-length biography, with detail as to Netherlands background not easily available elsewhere.Google Scholar
  4. Bemis, S. F.: The Diplomacy of the American Revolutio. (New York, 1935). Excellent introduction to the subject.Google Scholar
  5. Cobban, A.: Ambassadors and Secret Agent. (1954) studies the mission of James Harris to The Hague, using fresh sources.Google Scholar
  6. Dickson, P. G. M.: The Financial Revolution in Englan. (1967) explains lucidly how England came to command the means to intervene in Europe in strength.Google Scholar
  7. Ehrman, J.: The British Government and Commercial Negotiations with Europe, 1783–179. (Cambridge, 1962) situates the Anglo-French treaty of 1786 within the context of the younger Pitt’s cautious but continuous efforts to improve British markets in eastern and southern Europe.Google Scholar
  8. Gipson, L. H.: ‘The American Revolution as an Aftermath of the Great War for the Empire, 1754–1763’, Political Science Quarterl., LXV (1950) 86–104, offers a succinct statement of the major theme in the author’s monumental series, The British Empire before the American Revolutio., 13 vols (New York, 1936–67) of which vol. XIII includes a useful historiographical section.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Henderson, W. O.: Britain and Industrial Europ. (Liverpool, 1954) opens a topic which is ripe for more detailed treatment now that studies of individual English industrialists with European assistants, and vice versa, are proliferating.Google Scholar
  10. Horn, D. B.: The British Diplomatic Service, 1689–178. (Oxford, 1961). The only scholarly survey, involving much fresh work.Google Scholar
  11. Horn, D. B.: British Opinion and the First Partition of Polan. (Edinburgh, 1945). A pioneer sketch, pointing up the influence of anti-popery.Google Scholar
  12. Horn, D. B.:‘The Diplomatic Revolution’, The New Cambridge Modern Histor., VII (ed. J. O. Lindsay, Cambridge, 1957) ch. xix. Probably the clearest short account available, but tends to undervalue the United Provinces.Google Scholar
  13. Horn, D. B.: Great Britain and Europe is the Eighteenth Centur. (Oxford, 1967). Authoritative synthesis.Google Scholar
  14. Lodge, Sir R.: Studies in Eighteenth Century Diplomacy, 1740–174. (1930). A model of clarity by a great diplomatic historian.Google Scholar
  15. Lodge, Sir R.: Great Britain and Prussia in the Eighteenth Centur. (Oxford, 1923). Ford lectures of 1922, especially useful for 1740–63 and 1787–91.Google Scholar
  16. Michael, W.: England under George., 2 vols (1936–9) deals with ‘The Beginnings of the Hanoverian Dynasty’ and ‘The Quadruple Alliance’ — all that has been translated of the author’s famous Englische Geschichte im 18. Jahrhunder., 4 vols (Berlin, 1920–37).Google Scholar
  17. Pares, R.: ‘American versus Continental Warfare, 1739–63’, reprinted in The Historia.’s Busines., ed. R. and E. Humphreys (Oxford, 1961) 130–72. A brilliant article written for The English Historical Revie., LI (1936) while the author was working on the two books to which reference has been made in the footnotes of this chapter. 130–72. A brilliant article written for The English Historical Revie., LI (1936) while the author was working on the two books to which reference has been made in the footnotes of this chapter.Google Scholar
  18. Rashed, Z. E.: The Peace of Paris, 1763. (Liverpool, 1952) illuminates the elder Pitt’s breach with the traditional style of peacemaking.Google Scholar
  19. Reading, D. K.: The Anglo-Russian Commercial Treaty of 1734 (New. Haven, Conn., 1934) illustrates the many difficulties which surrounded England’s important trade with Riga and St Petersburg.Google Scholar
  20. Richmond, Admiral Sir Herbert: Statesmen and Sea Powe. (Oxford, 1946) contains chapters on all our naval wars: the mature reflections of a fundamental critic.Google Scholar
  21. Rose, J. H.: William Pitt and the Great Wa. (1911). Still the best account of why Britain went to war in 1793.Google Scholar
  22. Vaucher, R.: Robert Walpole et la politique de Fleury, 1731–174. (Paris, 1924) is not yet superseded.Google Scholar
  23. Williams, B.: Stanhop. (Oxford, 1932). Scholarly study of British continental policy 1714–21.Google Scholar
  24. Williams, B.: Carteret and Newcastle: a Contrast in Contemporarie. (Cambridge, 1943). Written late in life by a great student of eighteenth-century diplomacy and particularly useful in the absence of a solid study of Carteret.Google Scholar
  25. Williams, B.: The Life of William Pitt, earl of Chatha., 2 vols (1914). Still the standard biography.Google Scholar
  26. Wilson, C.: Anglo-Dutch Commerce and Finance in the Eighteenth Centur. (Cambridge, 1941). A new approach to Anglo-Netherlands relations containing much still of interest, though now shown to exaggerate Dutch investment in England.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice C. Carter
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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