Momentous and time-consuming as Britain’s relations with the European great powers may have been from 1814 to 1822, those with the non-European world were also of great significance. Although many of these matters fell within the competence of the President of the Board of Control or the Secretary of State for War and Colonies rather than of the Foreign Secretary, Castlereagh’s tenure of the Foreign Office witnessed considerable progress towards the later nineteenth-century position when a large proportion of the business of the department was concerned with non-European matters. Quite apart from the projection of European rivalries to the wider world, British foreign policy had to take account of the pressure from the anti-slave-trade movement, and from various British commercial interests in search of new and secure markets. The colossal expansion of British trade was to carry British representatives into many unlikely parts of the world, and give rise to an immense variety of questions. Although the Far East was still mainly the preserve of the East Indian Company, under the supervision of the Board of Control, Dutch activity in the East Indies led to the involvement of the Foreign Office soon after 1815.
KeywordsWide World British Government Slave Trade American Policy British Policy
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