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to please their royal master but to retain the good-will of the predominant party in Parliament.

[Sidenote: Rise of the Cabinet]

Since this practice, with the many customs which have grown up about it, has become a most essential part of the government of the United Kingdom today, and has been copied in recent times by many other countries, it is important to understand its early history. Even before the accession of the Tudors, the Great Council of nobles and prelates which had advised and assisted early kings in matters of administration had surrendered most of its actual functions to a score or so of “Privy Councilors.” The Privy Council in turn became unwieldy, and allowed an inner circle or “cabal” of its most energetic members to direct the conduct of affairs. This inner circle was called a cabinet or cabinet council, because it conferred with the king in a small private room (cabinet), and under the restored Stuarts it was extremely unpopular.

William III, more interested in getting money and troops to defend his native Holland against Louis XIV than in governing England, allowed his ministers free rein in most matters. So long as the Whigs held a majority of the seats in the Commons, William found that the wheels of government turned smoothly if all his ministers were Whigs. On the other hand, when the Tories gained a preponderance in the Commons, the Whig ministers were so distasteful to the new majority of the Commons that it was necessary to replace them with Tories. Queen Anne, although her sincere devotion to Anglicanism inclined her to the Tories, was forced to appoint Whig ministers. Only toward the close of her reign (1710) did Anne venture to dismiss the Whigs.

[Sidenote: Era of Whig Domination, 1714-1761] [Sidenote: Robert Walpole and his Policies]

Under George I (1714-1727) it became customary for the king to absent himself from cabinet-meetings. (It will be remembered that George could not speak English.) This tended to make the cabinet even more independent of the sovereign, as shown by the fact that Anne was the last to use her prerogative to veto bills. From 1714 to 1761 was the great era of Whig domination. Both George I and George II naturally favored the Whigs, because the Tories were supposed to desire a second restoration of the Stuarts. Certainly many of the Tories had participated in the vain attempt of the “Old Pretender” in 1715 to seat himself on the British throne as James III, and again in 1745 extreme Tories took part in the insurrection in Scotland, gallantly led by the Young Pretender, “Prince Charlie” the grandson of James II. Under these circumstances practically all classes rallied to the support of the Whigs, who stood for the Protestant monarchy. Great Whig landowners controlled the rural districts, and the aristocracy of the towns was won by the Whiggish policy of devotion to public credit and the protection of commerce. The extensive and continued power of the Whigs made it possible for Sir Robert Walpole, [Footnote: Created earl of Orford in 1742.] a great Whig leader, to hold office for twenty-one years (1721-1742), jealously watching and maintaining his supremacy under two sovereigns–George I (1714-1727) and George II (1727-1760). Though disclaiming the title, he was recognized by every one as the “prime minister”–prime in importance, prime in power. The other ministers, nominally appointed by the sovereign, were in point of fact dependent upon him for office, and he, though nominally appointed by the crown, was really dependent only upon the support of a Whig majority in the Commons.

[Sidenote: William Pitt, Earl of Chatham]

Walpole’s power was based on policy and political manipulation. His policy was twofold, the maintenance of peace and of prosperity. We shall see elsewhere how he kept England clear of costly Continental wars. [Footnote: See above, p. 256, and below, pp. 309 ff., 324 f.] His policy of prosperity was based on mercantilist ideas and consisted in strict attention to business methods in public finance, [Footnote: Walpole was called the “best master of figures of any man of his time.”] the removal of duties on imported raw materials, and on exported manufactures. In spite of the great prosperity of the period, there was considerable criticism of Walpole’s policy, and “politics” alone enabled him to persevere in it. By skillful partisan patronage, by bestowal of state offices and pensions upon members of Parliament, by open bribery, and by electioneering, he secured his ends and maintained his majority in the House of Commons.

Walpole’s successors,–Henry Pelham and the duke of Newcastle,–like him represented the oligarchy of Whig nobles and millionaires, and even outdid him in corrupt methods. Another section of the Whig party under the leadership of William Pitt the elder (the earl of Chatham) won great popularity by its condemnation of political “graft.” Pitt’s fiery demands for war first against Spain (1739-1748) and then against France (1756-1763) were echoed by patriotic squires and by the merchants who wished to ruin French commerce and to throw off the restrictions laid by Spain on American commerce. Pitt had his way until George III, a monarch determined to destroy the power of the Whigs, appointed Tory ministers, such as Lord Bute and Lord North. The attempt of George III to regain the power his great-grandfather had lost, to rule as well as to reign, was in the end a failure, and later Hanoverians might well have joined George II in declaring that “ministers are kings in this country.”

[Sidenote: Significance of English Constitutional Development in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries]

This indeed is the salient fact in the evolution of constitutional government in England. While in other countries late in the eighteenth century monarchs still ruled by divine right, in England Parliament and ministers were the real rulers, and, in theory at least, they ruled by the will of the people. That England was able to develop this form of government may have been due in part to her insular position, her constitutional traditions, and the ill-advised conduct of the Stuart kings, but most of all it was due to the great commercial and industrial development which made her merchant class rich and powerful enough to demand and secure a share in government.

[Sidenote: Great Britain Parliamentarian but not Democratic]

In their admiration for the English government, many popular writers have fallen into the error of confounding the struggle for parliamentary supremacy with the struggle for democracy. Nothing could be more misleading. The “Glorious Revolution” of 1689 was a _coup d’état_ engineered by the upper classes, and the liberty it preserved was the liberty of nobles, squires, and merchants–not the political liberty of the common people.

[Sidenote: The Unreformed Parliament]

The House of Commons was essentially undemocratic. Only one man in every ten had even the nominal right to vote. It is estimated that from 1760 to 1832 nearly one-half of the members owed their seats to patrons, and the reformed representatives of large towns were frequently chosen by a handful of rich merchants. In fact, the government was controlled by the upper class of society, and by only a part of that. No representatives sat for the numerous manufacturing towns which had sprung into importance during the last few decades, and rich manufacturers everywhere complained that the country was being ruined by the selfish administration of great landowners and commercial aristocrats.

Certain it is that the Parliament of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while wonderfully earnest and successful in enriching England’s landlords and in demolishing every obstacle to British commerce, at the same time either willfully neglected or woefully failed to do away with intolerance in the Church and injustice in the courts, or to defend the great majority of the people from the greed of landlords and the avarice of employers.

Designed as it was for the protection of selfish class interests, the English government was nevertheless a step in the direction of democracy. The idea of representative government as expressed by Parliament and cabinet was as yet very narrow, but it was capable of being expanded without violent revolution, slowly but inevitably, so as to include the whole people.

[Illustration: THE HOUSE OF STUART]



GENERAL. Brief surveys: A. L. Cross, _History of England and Greater Britain (1914)_, ch. xxvii-xli; T. F. Tout, _An Advanced History of Great Britain (1906)_, Book VI, Book VII, ch. i, ii; Benjamin Terry, _A History of England (1901)_, Part III, Book III and Book IV, ch. i-iii; E. P. Cheyney, _A Short History of England (1904)_, ch. xiv-xvi, and, by the same author, _An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England (1901)_. More detailed narratives: J. F. Bright, _History of England_, 5 vols. (1884-1904), especially Vol. II, _Personal Monarchy_, 1485-1688, and Vol. III, _Constitutional Monarchy, 1689-1837_; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. IV (1906). ch. viii-xi, xv-xix, Vol. V (1908), ch. v, ix-xi, xv; H. D. Traill and J. S. Mann (editors), _Social England_, illus. ed., 6 vols. in 12 (1909), Vol. IV; A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_, 4 vols. (1914), Vol. II, ch. x-xvi; G. M. Trevelyan, _England under the Stuarts_, 1603-1714 (1904), brilliant and suggestive; Leopold von Ranke, _History of England, Principally in the Seventeenth Century_, Eng. trans., 6 vols. (1875), particularly valuable for foreign relations; Edward Dowden, _Puritan and Anglican_ (1901), an interesting study of literary and intellectual England in the seventeenth century; John Lingard, _History of England to 1688_, new ed. (1910) of an old but valuable work by a scholarly Roman Catholic, Vols. VII-X; H. W. Clark, _History of English Nonconformity_, Vol. I (1911), Book II, ch. i-iii, and Vol. II (1913), Book III, ch. i, ii, the best and most recent study of the role of the Protestant Dissenters; W. R. W. Stephens and William Hunt (editors), _History of the Church of England_, the standard history of Anglicanism, of which Vol. V (1904), by W. H. Frere, treats of the years 1558-1625, and Vol. VI (1903), by W. H. Hutton, of the years 1625-1714. On Scotland during the period: P. H. Brown, _History of Scotland_, 3 vols. (1899-1909), Vols. II, III; Andrew Lang, _A History of Scotland_ from the Roman Occupation, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1901-1907), Vols. III, IV. On Ireland: Richard Bagwell, _Ireland under the Tudors_, 3 vols. (1885-1890), and _Ireland under the Stuarts and during the Interregnum_, 2 vols. (1909). Convenient source- material: G. W. Prothero, _Select Statutes and Other Constitutional Documents Illustrative of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I_, 4th ed. (1913); S. R. Gardiner, _The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution_, 1628-1660, 2d ed. (1899); C. G. Robertson, _Select Statutes, Cases, and Documents, 1660-1832_ (1904); E. P. Cheyney, _Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources_ (1908); Frederick York Powell, _English History by Contemporary Writers_, 8 vols. (1887); C. A. Beard, _An Introduction to the English Historians_ (1906), a collection of extracts from famous secondary works.

THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. F. W. Maitland, _The Constitutional History of England_ (1908), Periods III, IV, special studies of the English government in 1625 and in 1702 by an eminent authority; D. J. Medley, _A Student’s Manual of English Constitutional History_, 5th ed. (1913), topical treatment, encyclopedic and dry; T. P. Taswell-Langmead, _English Constitutional History_, 7th ed. rev. by P. A. Ashworth (1911), ch. xiii-xvi, narrative style and brief; Henry Hallam, _Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII to the Death of George II_, an old work, first pub. in 1827, still useful, new ed., 3 vols. (1897). The best summary of the evolution of English parliamentary government in the middle ages is A. B. White, _The Making of the English Constitution, 449-1485_ (1908), Part III. In support of the pretensions of the Stuart kings; see J. N. Figgis, _The Divine Right of Kings_, 2d ed. (1914); and in opposition to them, see G. P. Gooch, _English Democratic Ideas in the Seventeenth Century_ (1898).

JAMES I AND CHARLES I. S. R. Gardiner, _The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution_, 7th ed. (1887), a brief survey in the “Epochs of Modern History” Series by the most prolific and most distinguished writer on the period, and, by the same author, the elaborate _History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War_, 10 vols. (1883-1884), _History of the Great Civil War, 1642- 1640_, 4 vols. (1893), and _Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution_ (1899); F. C. Montague, _Political History of England, 1603-1660_ (1907), an accurate and strictly political narrative; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. III, ch. xvi, xvii, on Spain and England in the time of James I. Clarendon’s _History of the Great Rebellion_, the classic work of a famous royalist of the seventeenth century, is strongly partisan and sometimes untrustworthy: the best edition is that of W. D. Macray, 6 vols. (1886). R. G. Usher, _The Rise and Fall of the High Commission_ (1913), is an account of one of the arbitrary royal courts. Valuable biographies: H. D. Traill, _Strafford_ (1889); W. H. Hutton, _Laud_ (1895); E. C. Wade, John Pym (1912); C. R. Markham, _Life of Lord Fairfax_ (1870).

THE CROMWELLIAN RÉGIME. The standard treatise is that of S. R. Gardiner, _The History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate_, 4 vols. (1903). Among numerous biographies of Oliver Cromwell, the following are noteworthy: C. H. Firth, _Cromwell_ (1900). in “Heroes of the Nations” Series; S. R. Gardiner, _Cromwell_ (1899), and, by the same author, _Cromwell’s Place in History_ (1897); John (Viscount) Morley, _Oliver Cromwell_ (1899); A. F. Pollard, _Factors in Modern History_ (1907), ch. ix-x; Thomas Carlyle, _Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches_, ed. by S. C. Lomas, 3 vols. (1904). The _Diary_ of John Evelyn, a royalist contemporary, affords naturally a somewhat different point of view: the best edition is that of H. B. Wheatley, 4 vols. (1906). Various special phases of the régime: C. H. Firth, _Cromwell’s Army_, 2d ed. (1912); Edward Jenks, _The Constitutional Experiments of the Protectorate_ (1890); Sir J. R. Seeley, _Growth of British Policy_, Vol. II (1895), Part III; G. L. Beer, _Cromwell’s Policy in its Economic Aspects_ (1902); Sir W. L. Clowes, _The Royal Navy: a History_, Vol. II (1898); G. B. Tatham, _The Puritans in Power, a Study of the English Church from 1640 to 1660_ (1913); W. A. Shaw, _History of the English Church, 1640-1660_, 2 vols. (1900); Robert Dunlop, _Ireland under the Commonwealth_, 2 vols. (1913), largely a collection of documents; C. H. Firth, _The Last Years of the Protectorate_, 2 vols. (1909).

THE RESTORATION. Richard Lodge, _The Political History of England, 1660-1702_, a survey of the chief political facts, conservative in tone; J. N. Figgis, _English History Illustrated from Original Sources, 1660-1715_ (1902), a convenient companion volume to Lodge’s; Osmund Airy, _Charles II_ (1901), inimical to the first of the restored Stuart kings. Of contemporary accounts of the Restoration, the most entertaining is Samuel Pepys, _Diary_, covering the years 1659-1669 and written by a bibulous public official, while the most valuable, though tainted with strong Whig partisanship, is Gilbert (Bishop) Burnet, _History of My Own Times_, edited by Osmund Airy, 2 vols. (1897-1900). See also H. B. Wheatley, _Samuel Pepys and the World he Lived In_ (1880). Special topics in the reign of Charles II: W. E. Sydney, _Social Life in England, 1660-1660_ (1892); J. H. Overton, _Life in the English Church, 1663-1714_ (1885); John Pollock, _The Popish Plot_ (1903); G.B. Hertz, _English Public Opinion after the Restoration_ (1902); C. B. R. Kent, _The Early History of the Tories_ (1908).

JAMES II AND THE “GLORIOUS REVOLUTION.” The best brief account is that of Arthur Hassall, _The Restoration and the Revolution_ (1912). The classic treatment is that of T. B. (Lord) Macaulay, _History of England, 1685-1702_, a literary masterpiece but marred by vigorous Whig sympathies, new ed. by C. H. Firth, 6 vols. (1913-1914). Sir James Mackintosh, _Review of the Causes of the Revolution of 1688_ (1834), an old work but still prized for the large collection of documents in the appendix; _Adventures of James II_ (1904), an anonymous and sympathetic account of the career of the deposed king; H. B. Irving, _Life of Lord Jeffreys_ (1898), an apology for a much-assailed agent of James II; Alice Shield and Andrew Lang, _The King over the Water_ (1907), and, by the same authors, _Henry Stuart, Cardinal of York, and his Times_ (1908), popular treatments of subsequent Stuart pretenders to the British throne. A good account of the reign of William III is that of Sir J. R. Seeley, _Growth of British Policy_, Vol. II (1895), Part V.

GREAT BRITAIN IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. General histories: _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. VI (1909), ch. i-iii; I. S. Leadam, _Political History of England, 1702-1760_ (1909), conservative and matter-of-fact; W. E. H. Lecky, _A History of England in the Eighteenth Century_, new ed., 7 vols. (1892-1899), especially Vol. I, brilliantly written and very informing, and, by the same author, _A History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century_, 5 vols. (1893); C. G. Robertson, _England under the Hanoverians_ (1911), ch. i, ii, iv; Earl Stanhope (Lord Mahon), _History of England from the Peace of Utrecht to the Peace of Versailles, 1713-1783_, 5th ed., 7 vols. (1858), particularly Vols. I, II, tedious but still useful especially for foreign affairs. On the union of England and Scotland: P. H. Brown, _The Legislative Union of England and Scotland_ (1914); W. L. Matthieson, _Scotland and the Union_, 1695-1747 (1905); Daniel Defoe, _History of the Union between England and Scotland_ (1709). On the rise of the cabinet system: Mary T. Blauvelt, _The Development of Cabinet Government in England_ (1902), a clear brief outline; Edward Jenks, _Parliamentary England: the Evolution of the Cabinet System_ (1903); and the general constitutional histories mentioned above. The best account of _Sir Robert Walpole_ is the biography by John (Viscount) Morley (1889).




In the sixteenth century, while Spain and Portugal were carving out vast empires beyond the seas, the sovereigns of France and England, distracted by religious dissensions or absorbed in European politics, did little more than to send out a few privateers and explorers. But in the seventeenth century the England of the Stuarts and the France of the Bourbons found in colonies a refuge for their discontented or venturesome subjects, a source of profit for their merchants, a field for the exercise of religious zeal, or gratification for national pride. Everywhere were commerce and colonization growing apace, and especially were they beginning to play a large part in the national life of England and of France. We have already noticed how the Dutch, themselves the despoilers of Portugal [Footnote: See above, pp. 58f] in the first half of the seventeenth century, were in turn attacked by the English in a series of commercial wars [Footnote: The Dutch Wars of 1652-1654, 1665-1667, and 1672-1674. See above pp. 59, 243, 278.] during the second half of the seventeenth century. By 1688 the period of active growth was past for the colonial empires of Holland, Portugal, and Spain; but England and France, beginning to realize the possibilities for power in North America, in India, and on the high seas, were just on the verge of a world conflict, which, after raging intermittently for more than a hundred years, was to leave Great Britain the “mistress of the seas.”

[Sidenote: Relative Position of the Rivals in 1688. In North America]

Before plunging into the struggle itself, let us review the position of the two rivals in 1688: first, their claims and possessions in the New World and in the Old; secondly, their comparative resources and policies. It will be remembered that the voyage of John Cabot (1497) gave England a claim to the mainland of North America. The Tudors (1485-1603), however, could not occupy so vast a territory, nor were there any fences for the exclusion of intruders. Consequently the actual English settlements in North America, made wholly under the Stuarts, [Footnote: However much modern Englishmen may condemn the efforts of the Stuart sovereigns to establish political absolutism at home, they can well afford to praise these same royal Stuarts for contributing powerfully to the foundations of England’s commercial and colonial greatness abroad.] were confined to Newfoundland, to a few fur depots in the region of Hudson Bay, and to a strip of coastland from Maine to South Carolina; while the French not only had sent Verrazano (1524), who explored the coast of North America, and Cartier (1534- 1536), who sailed up the St. Lawrence, but by virtue of voyages of discovery and exploration, especially that of La Salle (1682), laid claim to the whole interior of the Continent.

Of all the North American colonies, the most populous were those which later became the United States. In the year 1688 there were ten of these colonies. The oldest one, Virginia, had been settled in 1607 by the London Company under a charter from King James I. Plymouth, founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims (Separatists or Independents driven from England by the enforcement of religious conformity to the Anglican Church), was presently to be merged with the neighboring Puritan colony of Massachusetts. Near these first, New England settlements had grown up the colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire: Maine was then a part of Massachusetts. Just as New England was the Puritans’ refuge, so Maryland, granted to Lord Baltimore in 1632, was a haven for the persecuted Roman Catholics. A large tract south of Virginia, known as Carolina, had been granted to eight nobles in 1663; but it was prospering so poorly that its proprietors were willing to sell it to the king in 1729 for a mere £50,000. The capture of the Dutch colony of New Netherland [Footnote: Rechristened New York. It included New Jersey also.] in 1664, and the settlement of Pennsylvania (1681) by William Penn and his fellow Quakers [Footnote: The Swedish colony on the Delaware was temporarily merged with Pennsylvania.] at last filled up the gap between the North and the South.

Numerous causes had contributed to the growth of the British colonies in America. Religious intolerance had driven Puritans to New England and Roman Catholics to Maryland; the success of the Puritan Revolution had sent Cavaliers to Virginia; thousands of others had come merely to acquire wealth or to escape starvation. And America seemed a place wherein to mend broken fortunes. Upon the estates (plantations) of southern gentlemen negro slaves toiled without pay in the tobacco fields. [Footnote: Subsequently, rice and cotton became important products of Southern agriculture.] New England was less fertile, but shrewd Yankees found wealth in fish, lumber, and trade. No wonder, then, that the colonies grew in wealth and in population until in 1688 there were nearly three hundred thousand English subjects in the New World.

The French settlers were far less numerous [Footnote: Probably not more than 20,000 Frenchmen were residing in the New World in 1688. By 1750 their number had increased perhaps to 60,000.] but more widespread. From their first posts in Acadia (1604) and Quebec (1608) they had pushed on up the St. Lawrence. Jesuit and other Roman Catholic missionaries had led the way from Montreal westward to Lake Superior and southward to the Ohio River. In 1682 the Sieur de La Salle, after paddling down the Mississippi, laid claim to the whole basin of that mighty stream, and named the region Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV of France. Nominally, at least, this territory was claimed by the English, for in most of the colonial charters emanating from the English crown in the seventeenth century were clauses which granted lands “from sea to sea”–that is, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The heart of “New France” remained on the St. Lawrence, but, despite English claims, French forts were commencing to mark the trails of French fur-traders down into the “Louisiana,” and it was clear that whenever the English colonists should cross the Appalachian Mountains to the westward they would have to fight the French.

[Sidenote: In West Indies]

French and English were neighbors also in the West Indies. Martinique and Guadeloupe acknowledged French sovereignty, while Jamaica, Barbados, and the Bahamas were English.[Footnote: The following West Indies were also English: Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Honduras, St. Lucia, Virgin Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. St. Kitts was divided between England and France; and the western part of Haiti, already visited by French buccaneers, was definitely annexed to France in 1697. The Bermudas, lying outside the “West Indies,” were already English.] These holdings in the West Indies were valuable not only for their sugar plantations, but for their convenience as stations for trade with Mexico and South America.

[Sidenote: In Africa]

In Africa the French had made settlements in Madagascar, at Gorée, and at the mouth of the Senegal River, and the English had established themselves in Gambia and on the Gold Coast, but as yet the African posts were mere stations for trade in gold-dust,[Footnote: Gold coins are still often called “guineas” in England, from the fact that a good deal of gold used to come from the Guinea coast of Africa. ] ivory, wax, or slaves. The real struggle for Africa was not to come until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

[Sidenote: In India]

Of far greater importance was Asiatic India, which, unlike America or even Africa, offered a field favorable for commerce rather than for conquest or for colonization. For it happened that the fertility and extent of India–its area was half as large as that of Europe–were taxed to their uttermost to support a population of probably two hundred millions; and all, therefore, which Europeans desired was an opportunity to buy Indian products, such as cotton, indigo, Spices, dyes, drugs, silk, precious stones, and peculiar manufactures.

In the seventeenth century India was ruled by a dynasty of Mohammedan emperors called Moguls,[Footnote: So called because racially they were falsely supposed to be Mongols or Moguls.] who had entered the peninsula as conquerors in the previous century and had established a splendid court in the city of Delhi on a branch of the Ganges. The bulk of the people, however, maintained their ancient “Hindu” religion with their social ranks or “castes” and preserved their distinctive speech and customs. Over a country like India, broken up into many sections by physical features, climate, industries, and language, the Mohammedan conquerors,–the “Great Mogul” and his viceroys, called nawabs, [Footnote: More popularly “nabobs.”]–found it impossible to establish more than a loose sovereignty, many of the native princes or “rajas” still being allowed to rule with considerable independence, and the millions of Hindus feeling little love or loyalty for their emperor. It was this fatal weakness of the Great Mogul which enabled the European traders, who in the seventeenth century besought his favor and protection, to set themselves up in the eighteenth as his masters.

It will be remembered that after the voyage of Vasco da Gama the Portuguese had monopolized the trade with India and the East until they had been attacked by the Dutch toward the close of the sixteenth century. This was the very time when the English were making their first voyages [Footnote: Actually the first English voyage to the East Indies was made between 1591 and 1594, almost a century after the first Portuguese voyage.] to the East and were taking advantage of their own war with Philip II to attack his Portuguese possessions. The first English trading stations were opened at Masulipatam (1611) and at Surat (1612). In the latter year and again in 1615 Portuguese fleets were defeated, and in 1622 the Portuguese were driven out of the important Persian city of Ormuz. By 1688 the English had acquired three important points in India, (1) Calcutta in the delta of the Ganges had been occupied in 1686, but it was yet uncertain whether the English could hold it against the will of the Mogul emperor. (2) At Madras, further south, Sir Francis Day had built Fort St. George (1640). (3) On the western coast, the trading station of Surat was now surpassed in value by Bombay, the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess, who had married King Charles II (1662).

The first French Company for Eastern trade had been formed only four years [Footnote: Charters to French companies had been granted in 1604 and in 1615. The _Compagnie des Indes_ was formed in 1642, and reconstructed in 1664.] after the English East India Company, but the first French factory in India–at Surat–was not established until 1668 and the French did not seriously compete with the English and Dutch in India until the close of the seventeenth century. However, their post at Chandarnagar (1672), in dangerous proximity to Calcutta, and their thriving station at Pondicherry (1674), within a hundred miles of Madras, augured ill for the future harmony of French and English in India.

[Sidenote: Comparative Resources of France and England]

From the foregoing brief review of the respective colonial possessions of Great Britain and France in the year 1688, it must now be clear that although France had entered the colonial competition tardily, she had succeeded remarkably well in becoming a formidable rival of the English. The great struggle for supremacy was to be decided, nevertheless, not by priority of settlement or validity of claim, but by the fighting power of the contestants. Strange as it may seem, France, a larger, more populous, and richer country than England, able then single-handed to keep the rest of Europe at bay, was to prove the weaker of the two in the struggle for world empire.

In the first place, England’s maritime power was increasing more irresistibly than that of France. Although Richelieu (1624-1642) had recognized the need for a French navy and had given a great impetus to ship-building, France had become inextricably entangled in European politics, and the navy was half forgotten in the ambitious land wars of Louis XIV. The English, on the other hand, were predisposed to the sea by the very fact of their insularity, and since the days of the great Armada, their most patriotic boast had been of the deeds of mariners. In the commercial wars with Holland, the first great English admiral– Robert Blake–had won glorious victories.

Then, too, the Navigation Acts (1651, 1660), by excluding foreign ships from trade between Great Britain and the colonies, may have lessened the volume of trade, but they resulted in undoubted prosperity for English shippers. English shipbuilders, encouraged by bounties, learned to build stronger and more powerful vessels than those of other nations. Whether capturing galleons on the “Spanish main” or defeating Portuguese fleets in the Far East, English pirates, slavers, and merchantmen were not to be encountered without fear or envy. English commerce and industry, springing up under the protection and encouragement of the Tudors, had given birth, as we have seen, to a middle class powerful enough to secure special rights and privileges through Parliament.

The French, on the other hand, labored under most serious commercial handicaps. Local tolls and internal customs-duties hindered traffic; and the medieval gild system had retained in France its power to hamper industry with absurd regulations. The long civil and religious wars, which called workmen from their benches and endangered the property and lives of merchants, had resulted in reducing French commerce to a shadow before 1600. Under Henry IV prosperity revived, but the growth of royal power made it impossible for the Huguenot merchants in France to achieve political power comparable with that which the Puritans won in England. Consequently the mercantile classes were quite unable to prevent Louis XIV from ruining his country by foreign war,–they could not vote themselves privileges and bounties as in England, nor could they declare war on commercial rivals. True, Colbert (1662-1683), the great “mercantilist” minister, did his best to encourage new industries, such as silk production, to make rules for the better conduct of old industries, and to lay taxes on such imported goods as might compete with home products, but French industry could not be made to thrive like that of England. It is often said that Colbert’s careful regulations did much harm by stifling the spirit of free enterprise; but far more destructive were the wars and taxes [Footnote: In order to obtain money for his court, diplomacy, and wars, Louis XIV not only increased taxes but debased the coinage. Particularly unfortunate, economically, was the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), as a result of which some 50,000 of the most industrious and thrifty citizens of France fled to increase the industry of England, Holland, and Brandenburg (Prussia).] of the Grand Monarch. The only wonder is that France bore the drain of men and money so well.

The English, then, had a more promising navy and a more prosperous trade than the French, and were therefore able to gain control of the seas and to bear the expense of war.

[Sidenote: Comparative Colonial Policies of France and England]

In general colonial policy France seemed decidedly superior. Louis XIV had taken over the whole of “New France” as a royal province, and the French could present a united front against the divided and discordant English colonies. Under Colbert the number of French colonists in America increased 300 per cent in twenty years. Moreover the French, both in India and in America, were almost uniformly successful in gaining the friendship and trust of the natives, whereas, at least with most of the redmen, the English were constantly at war.

The English, however, had a great advantage in the number of colonists. The population of France, held in check by wars, did not naturally overflow to America; and the Huguenots, persecuted in the mother country, were not allowed to emigrate to New France, lest their presence might impede the missionary labors of the Jesuits among the Indians. [Footnote: The statement is frequently made that the “paternalism” or fatherly care with which Richelieu and Colbert made regulations for the colonies was responsible for the paucity of colonists and the discouragement of colonial industry. This, however, will be taken with considerable reservation when it is remembered that England attempted to prevent the growth of such industries in her colonies as might compete with those at home.] England was more fortunate in that her Puritan, Quaker, and Catholic exiles went to her colonies rather than to foreign lands. The English colonists, less under the direct protection of the mother country, learned to defend themselves against the Indians, and were better able to help the mother country against their common foe, the French.

Taken all in all, the situation was favorable to Great Britain. As long as French monarchs wasted the resources of France in Europe, they could scarcely hope to cope with the superior navy, the thriving commerce, and the more populous colonies, of their ancient enemies.


[Sidenote: War of the League of Augsburg]

Colonial and commercial rivalry could hardly bring France and Great Britain to blows while the Stuart kings looked to Louis XIV for friendly aid in the erection of absolutism and the reinstatement of Catholicism in England.

The Revolution of 1689, which we have already discussed [Footnote: See above, pp. 286 ff.] in its political significance, was important in its bearing on foreign relations, for it placed on the English throne the arch-enemy of France, William III, whose chief concern was the protection of his ancestral possessions–the Dutch Netherlands–against the encroachments of Louis XIV. The support given by the latter to the pretensions of James II was a second cause of war. In an earlier chapter [Footnote: See above, pp. 247 ff.] we have seen how international relations in 1689 led to the juncture of England and Holland with the League of Augsburg, which included the emperor, the kings of Spain and Sweden, and the electors of Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate; and how the resulting War of the League of Augsburg was waged in Europe from 1689 to 1697. It was during that struggle, it will be remembered, that King William finally defeated James II and the latter’s French and Irish allies in the battle of the Boyne (1690). It was also during that struggle that the French navy, though successful against combined Dutch and English squadrons off Beachy Head (1690), was decisively beaten by the English in a three-day battle near La Hogue (1692).

[Sidenote: King William’s War, 1689-1697]

The War of the League of Augsburg had its counterpart in the American “King William’s War,” of which two aspects should be noted. In the first place, the New England colonists aided in the capture (1690) of the French fortress of Port Royal in Acadia (Nova Scotia) and in an inconsequential attack on Quebec. In the second place, we must notice the role of the Indians. As early as 1670, Roger Williams, a famous New England preacher, had declared, “the French and Romish Jesuits, the firebrands of the world, for their godbelly sake, are kindling at our back in this country their hellish fires with all the natives of this country.” The outbreak of King William’s War was a signal for the kindling of fires more to be feared than those imagined by the good divine; the burning of Dover (N. H.), Schenectady (N. Y.), and Groton (Mass.) by the red allies of the French governor, Count Frontenac, earned the latter the lasting hatred of the “Yankees.”

[Sidenote: Treaty of Ryswick, 1697]

The contest was interrupted rather than settled by the colorless treaty of Ryswick (1697), according to which Louis XIV promised not to question William’s right to the English throne, and all colonial conquests, including Port Royal, were restored.

[Sidenote: War of the Spanish Succession]

Only five years later Europe was plunged into the long War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713). King William and the Habsburg emperor with other European princes formed a Grand Alliance to prevent Louis’ grandson Philip from inheriting the Spanish crowns. For if France and Spain were united under the Bourbon family, their armies would overawe Europe; their united colonial empires would surround and perhaps engulf the British colonies; their combined navies might drive the British from the seas. Furthermore, the English were angered when Louis XIV, upon the death of James II (1701), openly recognized the Catholic son of the exiled royal Stuart as “James III,” king of Great Britain.

[Sidenote: Queen Anne’s War, 1702-1713]

While the duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene were winning great victories in Europe, [Footnote: See above, pp. 249 ff.] the British colonists in America were fighting “Queen Anne’s War” against the French. Again the French sent Indians to destroy New England villages, and again the English retaliated by attacking Port Royal and Quebec. After withstanding two unsuccessful assaults, Port Royal fell in 1710 and left Acadia open to the British. In the following year a fleet of nine war vessels and sixty transports carried twelve thousand Britishers to attack Quebec, while an army of 2300 moved on Montreal by way of Lake Champlain; but both expeditions failed of their object.

On the high seas, as well as in America and in Europe, the British won fresh laurels. It was during Queen Anne’s War that the British navy, sometimes with the valuable aid of the Dutch, played an important part in defeating the French fleet in the Mediterranean and driving French privateers from the sea, in besieging and capturing Gibraltar, in seizing a rich squadron of Spanish treasure ships near Cartagena, and in terrorizing the French West Indies.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Utrecht, 1713]

The main provisions of the treaty of Utrecht, which terminated this stage of the conflict, in so far as they affected the colonial of situation, [Footnote: For the European settlement, see above, pp. 253 f.] were as follows: (1) The French Bourbons, were allowed to become the reigning family in Spain, and though the proviso was inserted that the crowns of France and Spain should never be united, nevertheless so long as Bourbons reigned in both countries, the colonies of Spain and France might almost be regarded as one immense Bourbon empire. (2) Great Britain was confirmed in possession of Acadia, [Footnote: A dispute later arose whether, as the British claimed, “Acadia” included Cape Breton Island.] which was rechristened Nova Scotia, and France abandoned her claims to Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and the island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. (3) Great Britain secured from Spain the cession of the island of Minorca and the rocky stronghold of Gibraltar –bulwarks of Mediterranean commerce. (4) Of more immediate value to Great Britain was the trade concession, called the Asiento, made by Spain (1713). Prior to the Asiento, the British had been forbidden to trade with the Spanish possessions in America, and the French had monopolized the sale of slaves to the Spanish colonies.

[Sidenote: The Asiento, 1713]

The Asiento, however, allowed Great Britain exclusive right to supply Spanish America with negro slaves, at the rate of 4800 a year, for thirty years. They were still forbidden to sell other commodities in the domains of the Spanish king, except that once a year one British ship of five hundred tons burden might visit Porto Bello on the Isthmus of Panama for purposes of general trade. For almost three decades after the peace of Utrecht, the smoldering colonial jealousies were not allowed to break forth into the flame of open war.

[Sidenote: The Interlude of Peace, 1713-1739]

During the interval, however, British ambitions were coming more and more obviously into conflict with the claims of Spain and France in America, and with those of France in India.

[Sidenote: French Aggressiveness in America]

In spite of her losses by the treaty of Utrecht, France still held the St. Lawrence River, with Cape Breton Island defending its mouth; her fishermen still had special privileges on the Newfoundland banks; her islands in the West Indies flourished under greater freedom of trade than that enjoyed by the English; and her pioneers were occupying the vast valley of the Mississippi. Moreover, in preparing for the next stage of the conflict, France displayed astonishing energy. Fort Louisburg was erected on Cape Breton Island to command the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A long series of fortifications was constructed to stake out and guarantee the French claims. From Crown Point on Lake Champlain, the line was carried westward by Fort Niagara, Fort Detroit, Sault Sainte Marie, on to Lake Winnipeg and even beyond; other forts commanded the Wabash and Illinois rivers, and followed the Mississippi down to the Gulf. [Footnote: By the year 1750 there were over sixty French forts between Montreal and New Orleans.] Settlements were made at Mobile (1702) and at New Orleans (1718), and British sailors were given to understand that the Mississippi was French property. The governors of British colonies had ample cause for alarm.

[Sidenote: French Aggressiveness in India: Dupleix]

In India, likewise, the French were too enterprising to be good neighbors. Under the leadership of a wonderfully able governor-general, Dupleix, who was appointed in 1741, they were prospering and were extending their influence in the effete empire of the Great Mogul. Dupleix exhibited a restless ambition; he began to interfere in native politics and to assume the pompous bearing, gorgeous apparel, and proud titles of a native prince. He conceived the idea of augmenting his slender garrisons of Europeans with “sepoys,” or carefully drilled natives, and fortified his capital, Pondicherry, as if for war.

[Sidenote: Trade Disputes between Spain and Great Britain]

To the dangerous rivalry between British and French colonists and traders in America and in India, during the thirty years which followed the treaty of Utrecht, was added the continuous bickering which grew out of the Asiento concluded in 1713 between Great Britain and Spain. Spaniards complained of British smugglers and protested with justice that the British outrageously abused their special privilege by keeping the single stipulated vessel in the harbor of Porto Bello and refilling it at night from other ships. On the other hand, British merchants resented their general exclusion from Spanish markets and recited to willing listeners at home the tale of their grievances against the Spanish authorities. Of such tales the most notorious was that of a certain Captain Robert Jenkins, who with dramatic detail told how the bloody Spaniards had attacked his good ship, plundered it, and in the fray cut off one of his ears, and to prove his story he is said to have produced a box containing what purported to be the ear in question. In the face of the popular excitement aroused in England by this and similar incidents, Sir Robert Walpole, the peace-loving prime minister, was unable to restrain his fellow-countrymen from declaring war against Spain.

[Sidenote: The “War of Jenkins’s Ear,” 1739]

It was in 1739 that the commercial and colonial warfare was thus resumed,–on this occasion involving at the outset only Spain and Great Britain,–in a curious struggle commonly referred to as the War of Jenkins’s Ear. A British fleet captured Porto Bello, but failed to take Cartagena. In North America the war was carried on fruitlessly by James Oglethorpe, who had recently (1733) founded the English colony of “Georgia” [Footnote: So named in honor of the then reigning King George II (1727-1760)] to the south of the Carolinas, in territory claimed by the Spanish colony of Florida.

[Sidenote: War of the Austrian Succession. King George’s War, 1744- 1748]

The War of Jenkins’s Ear proved but an introduction to the resumption of hostilities on a large scale between France and Great Britain. In a later chapter [Footnote: See below, pp. 354 ff.] it is explained how in 1740 the War of the Austrian Succession broke out on the continent of Europe–a war stubbornly fought for eight years, and a war in which Great Britain entered the lists for Maria Theresa of Austria against France and Prussia and other states. And the European conflict was naturally reflected in “King George’s War” (1744-1748) in America, and in simultaneous hostilities in India.

The only remarkable incident of King George’s War was the capture of Louisburg (1745) by Colonel William Pepperell of New Hampshire with a force of British colonists, who were sorely disappointed when, in 1748, the captured fortress was returned to France by the treaty of Aix-la- Chapelle. The war in India was similarly indecisive. In 1746 a French squadron easily captured the British post at Madras; other British posts were attacked, and Dupleix defeated the nawab of the Carnatic, who would have punished him for violating Indian peace and neutrality.

[Sidenote: Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748]

The tables were turned by the arrival of a British fleet in 1748, which laid siege to Dupleix in Pondicherry. At this juncture, news arrived that Great Britain and France had concluded the treaty of Aix-la- Chapelle (1748), whereby all conquests, including Madras and Louisburg, were to be restored. So far as Spain was concerned. Great Britain in 1750 renounced the privileges of the Asiento in return for a money payment of £100,000.


[Sidenote: Questions at Issue in 1750] [Sidenote: World-wide Extent of the Seven Years’ War]

Up to this point, the wars had been generally indecisive, although Great Britain had gained Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia by the peace of Utrecht (1713). British naval power, too, was undoubtedly in the ascendancy. But two great questions were still unanswered. Should France be allowed to make good her claim to the Mississippi valley and possibly to drive the British from their slender foothold on the coast of America? Should Dupleix, wily diplomat as he was, be allowed to make India a French empire? To these major disputes was added a minor quarrel over the boundary of Nova Scotia, which, it will be remembered, had been ceded to Great Britain in 1713. Such questions could be decided only by the crushing defeat of one nation, and that defeat France was to suffer in the years between 1754 and 1763. Her loss was fourfold: (1) Her European armies were defeated in Germany by Frederick the Great, who was aided by English gold, in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). [Footnote: For an account of the European aspects of this struggle, see below, pp. 358 ff.] (2) At the same time her naval power was almost annihilated by the British, whose war vessels and privateers conquered most of the French West Indies and almost swept French commerce from the seas. (3) In India, the machinations of Dupleix were foiled by the equally astute but more martial Clive. (4) In America, the “French and Indian War” (1754-1763) dispelled the dream of a New France across the Atlantic. We shall first consider the war in the New World.

[Sidenote: The American Phase of the Seven Years’ War: the “French and Indian” War, 1754-1763]

The immediate cause of the French and Indian War was a contest for the possession of the Ohio valley. The English had already organized an Ohio Company (1749) for colonization of the valley, but they did not fully realize the pressing need of action until the French had begun the construction of a line of forts in western Pennsylvania–Fort Presqu’Isle (Erie), Fort Le Bœuf (Waterford), and Fort Venango (Franklin). The most important position–the junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers–being still unoccupied, the Ohio Company, early in 1754, sent a small force to seize and fortify it. The French, however, were not to be so easily outwitted; they captured the newly built fort with its handful of defenders, enlarged it, and christened it Fort Duquesne in honor of the governor of Canada. Soon afterward a young Virginian, George Washington by name, arrived on the scene with four hundred men, too late to reënforce the English fort- builders, and he also was defeated on 4 July, 1754.

Hope was revived, however, in 1755 when the British General Braddock arrived with a regular army and an ambitious plan to attack the French in three places–Crown Point (on Lake Champlain), Fort Niagara, and Fort Duquesne. Against the last-named fort he himself led a mixed force of British regulars and colonial militia, and so incautiously did he advance that presently he fell into an ambush. From behind trees and rocks the Frenchmen and redskins peppered the surprised redcoats. The “seasoned” veterans of European battlefields were defeated, and might have been annihilated but for the timely aid of a few “raw” colonial militiamen, who knew how to shoot straight from behind trees. The expedition against Niagara also failed of its object but entailed no such disaster. Failing to take Crown Point, the English built Forts Edward and William Henry on Lake George, while the French constructed the famous Fort Ticonderoga. [Footnote: This same year, 1755, so unfortunate for the English, was a cruel year for the French settlers in Nova Scotia; like so many cattle, seven thousand of them were packed into English vessels and shipped to various parts of North America. The English feared their possible disloyalty.]

[Sidenote: Montcalm]

The gloom which gathered about British fortunes seemed to increase during the years 1756 and 1757. Great Britain’s most valuable ally, Frederick the Great of Prussia, was defeated in Europe; an English squadron had been sadly defeated in the Mediterranean; the French had captured the island of Minorca; and a British attack on the French fortress of Louisburg had failed. To the French in America, the year 1756 brought Montcalm and continued success. The Marquis de Montcalm (1712-1759) had learned the art of war on European battlefields, but he readily adapted himself to new conditions, and proved to be an able commander of the French and Indian forces in the New World. The English fort of Oswego on Lake Ontario, and Fort William Henry on Lake George, were captured, and all the campaigns projected by the English were foiled.

In 1757, however, new vigor was infused into the war on the part of the British, largely by reason of the entrance of William Pitt (the Elder) into the cabinet. Pitt was determined to arouse all British subjects to fight for their country. Stirred with martial enthusiasm, colonial volunteers now joined with British regulars to provide a force of about 50,000 men for simultaneous attacks on four important French posts in America–Louisburg, Ticonderoga, Niagara, and Duquesne. The success of the attack on Louisburg (1758) was insured by the support of a strong British squadron; Fort Duquesne was taken and renamed Fort Pitt [Footnote: Whence the name of the modern city of Pittsburgh.] (1758); Ticonderoga repulsed one expedition (1758) but surrendered on 26 July, 1759, one day after the capture of Fort Niagara by the British.

[Sidenote: Wolfe]

Not content with the capture of the menacing French frontier forts, the British next aimed at the central strongholds of the French. While one army marched up the Hudson valley to attack Montreal, General Wolfe, in command of another army of 7000, and accompanied by a strong fleet, moved up the St. Lawrence against Quebec. An inordinate thirst for military glory had been Wolfe’s heritage from his father, himself a general. An ensign at fourteen, Wolfe had become an officer in active service while still in his teens, had commanded a detachment in the attack on Louisburg in 1758, and now at the age of thirty-three was charged with the capture of Quebec, a natural stronghold, defended by the redoubtable Montcalm. The task seemed impossible; weeks were wasted in futile efforts; sickness and apparent defeat weighed heavily on the young commander. With the energy of despair he fastened at last upon a daring idea. Thirty-six hundred of his men were ferried in the dead of night to a point above the city where his soldiers might scramble through bushes and over rocks up a precipitous path to a high plain– the Plains of Abraham–commanding the town.

[Sidenote: British Victory at Quebec, 1759]

Wolfe’s presence on the heights was revealed at daybreak on 13 September, 1759, and Montcalm hastened to repel the attack. For a time it seemed as if Wolfe’s force would be over-powered, but a well- directed volley and an impetuous charge threw the French lines into disorder. In the moment of victory, General Wolfe, already twice wounded, received a musket-ball in the breast. His death was made happy by the news of success, but no such exultation filled the heart of the mortally wounded Montcalm, dying in the bitterness of defeat.

Quebec surrendered a few days later. It was the beginning of the end of the French colonial empire in America. All hope was lost when, in October, 1759, a great armada, ready to embark against England, was destroyed in Quiberon Bay by Admiral Hawke. In 1760 Montreal fell and the British completed the conquest of New France, at the very time when the last vestiges of French power were disappearing in India.

[Sidenote: Futile Intervention of Spain, 1762]

In his extremity, Louis XV of France secured the aid of his Bourbon kinsman, the king of Spain, against England, but Spain was a worthless ally, and in 1762 British squadrons captured Cuba and the Philippine Islands as well as the French possessions in the West Indies.

[Sidenote: Phase of the Seven Years’ War in India] [Sidenote: Continued Activity of Dupleix]

Let us now turn back and see how the loss of New France was paralleled by French defeat in the contest for the vastly more populous and opulent empire of India. The Mogul Empire, to which reference has already been made, had been rapidly falling to pieces throughout the first half of the eighteenth century. The rulers or nawabs (nabobs) of the Deccan, of Bengal, and of Oudh had become semi-independent princes. In a time when conspiracy and intrigue were common avenues to power, the French governor, Dupleix, had conceived the idea of making himself the political leader of India, and in pursuit of his goal, as we have seen, he had affected Oriental magnificence and grandiloquent titles, had formed alliances with half the neighboring native magnates, had fortified Pondicherry, and begun the enrollment and organization of his sepoy army. In 1750 he succeeded in overthrowing the nawab of the Carnatic [Footnote: The province in India which includes Madras and Pondicherry and has its capital at Arcot.] and in establishing a pretender whom he could dominate more easily.

[Sidenote: Robert Clive]
[Sidenote: French Failure in the Carnatic]

The hopes of the experienced and crafty Dupleix were frustrated, however, by a young man of twenty-seven–Robert Clive. At the age of eighteen, Clive had entered the employ of the English East India Company as a clerk at Madras. His restless and discontented spirit found relief, at times, in omnivorous reading; at other times he grew despondent. More than once he planned to take his own life. During the War of the Austrian Succession, he had resigned his civil post and entered the army. The hazards of military life were more to his liking, and he soon gave abundant evidence of ability. After the peace of 1748 he had returned to civil life, but in 1751 he came forward with a bold scheme for attacking Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic, and overthrowing the upstart nawab who was supported by Dupleix. Clive could muster only some two hundred Europeans and three hundred sepoys, but this slender force, infused with the daring and irresistible determination of the young leader, sufficed to seize and hold the citadel of Arcot against thousands of assailants. With the aid of native and British reënforcements, the hero of Arcot further defeated the pretender; and, in 1754, the French had to acknowledge their failure in the Carnatic and withdraw support from their vanquished protégé. Dupleix was recalled to France in disgrace; and the British were left to enjoy the favor of the nawab who owed his throne to Clive.

[Sidenote: Plassey]
[Sidenote: British Success in India]

Clive’s next work was in Bengal. In 1756 the young nawab of Bengal, Suraj-ud-Dowlah by name, seized the English fort at Calcutta and locked 146 Englishmen overnight in a stifling prison–the “Black Hole” of Calcutta–from which only twenty-three emerged alive the next morning. Clive, hastening from Madras, chastised Suraj for this atrocity, and forced him to give up Calcutta. And since by this time Great Britain and France were openly at war, Clive did not hesitate to capture the near-by French post of Chandarnagar. His next move was to give active aid to a certain Mir Jafir, a pretender to the throne of the unfriendly Suraj-ud-Dowlah. The French naturally took sides with Suraj against Clive. In 1757 Clive drew up 1100 Europeans, 2100 sepoys, and nine cannon in a grove of mango trees at Plassey, a few miles south of the city of Murshidabad, and there attacked Suraj, who, with an army of 68,000 native troops and with French artillerymen to work his fifty- three cannon, anticipated an easy victory. The outcome was a brilliant victory for Clive, as overwhelming as it was unexpected. The British candidate forthwith became nawab of Bengal and as token of his indebtedness he paid over £1,500,000 to the English East India Company, and made Clive a rich man. The British were henceforth dominant in Bengal. The capture of Masulipatam in 1758, the defeat of the French at Wandewash, between Madras and Pondicherry, and the successful siege of Pondicherry in 1761, finally established the British as masters of all the coveted eastern coast of India.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Paris, 1763]

The fall of Quebec (1759) and of Pondicherry (1761) practically decided the issue of the colonial struggle, but the war dragged on until, in 1763, France, Spain, and Great Britain concluded the peace of Paris. Of her American possessions France retained only two insignificant islands on the Newfoundland coast, [Footnote: St. Pierre and Miquelon.] a few islands in the West Indies, [Footnote: Including Guadeloupe and Martinique.] and a foothold in Guiana in South America. Great Britain received from France the whole of the St. Lawrence valley and all the territory east of the Mississippi River, together with the island of Grenada in the West Indies; and from Spain, Great Britain secured Florida. Beyond the surrender of the sparsely settled territory of Florida, Spain suffered no loss, for Cuba and the Philippines were restored to her, and France gave her western Louisiana, that is, the western half of the Mississippi valley. The French were allowed to return to their old posts in India, but were not to maintain troops in Bengal or to build any fort. In other words, the French returned to India as traders but not as empire builders. [Footnote: During the war, the French posts in Africa had been taken, and now Gorée was returned while the mouth of the Senegal River was retained by the British.]

[Sidenote: Significance of the Seven Years’ War to Great Britain and France]

Let us attempt to summarize the chief results of the war. In the first place, Great Britain preserved half of what was later to constitute the United States, and gained Canada and an ascendancy in India–empires wider, richer, and more diverse than those of a Cæsar or an Alexander. Henceforth Great Britain was indisputably the preëminent colonizing country–a nation upon whose domains the sun never set. It meant that the English language was to spread as no other language, until to-day one hundred and sixty millions of people use the tongue which in the fifteenth century was spoken by hardly five millions.

Secondly, even more important than this vast land empire was the dominion of the sea which Great Britain acquired, for from the series of wars just considered, and especially from the last, dates the maritime supremacy of England. Since then her commerce, protected and advertised by the most powerful navy in the world, has mounted by leaps and bounds, so that now half the vessels which sail the seas bear at their masthead the Union Jack. From her dominions beyond the oceans and from her ships upon the seas Great Britain drew power and prestige; British merchants acquired opulence with resulting social and political importance to themselves and to their country, and British manufactures received that stimulation which prepared the way for the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Thirdly, the gains of Great Britain were at least the temporary ruin of her rival. Not without reluctance did France abandon her colonial ambitions, but nearly a century was to elapse after the treaty of Paris before the French should seriously reënter the race for the upbuilding of world empire. Nor was France without a desire for revenge, which was subsequently made manifest in her alliance with Britain’s rebellious American colonies in 1778. But French naval power had suffered a blow from which it was difficult to recover, [Footnote: Yet between 1763 and 1778 the French made heroic and expensive efforts to rebuild their navy. And as we shall presently see in studying the general war which accompanied the American revolt, France attempted in vain to reverse the main result of the Seven Years’ War.] and much of her commerce was irretrievably lost. If toward the close of the eighteenth century bankruptcy was to threaten the Bourbon court and government at Versailles, and if at the opening of the next century, British sea- power was to undermine Napoleon’s empire, it was in no slight degree the result in either case of the Seven Years’ disaster.

India and America were lost to France. Her trade in India soon dwindled into insignificance before the powerful and wealthy British East India Company. “French India” to-day consists of Pondicherry, Karikal, Yanaon, Mahé, and Chandarnagar–196 square miles in all,–while the Indian Empire of Britain spreads over an area of 1,800,000 square miles. French empire in America is now represented only by two puny islands off the coast of Newfoundland, two small islands in the West Indies, and an unimportant tract of tropical Guiana, but historic traces of its former greatness and promise have survived alike in Canada and in Louisiana. In Canada the French population has stubbornly held itself aloof from the British in language and in religion, and even to-day two of the seven millions of Canadians are Frenchmen, quite as intent on the preservation of their ancient nationality as upon their allegiance to the British rule. In the United States the French element is less in evidence; nevertheless in New Orleans sidewalks are called “banquettes,” and embankments, “levées”; and still the names of St. Louis, Des Moines, Detroit, and Lake Champlain perpetuate the memory of a lost empire.


GENERAL. Textbooks and brief treatises: J. S. Bassett, _A Short History of the United States_ (1914), ch. iii-vii; A. L. Cross, _History of England and Greater Britain_ (1914), ch. xxxvi-xlii; J. H. Robinson and C. A. Beard, _The Development of Modern Europe_, Vol. I (1907), ch. vi, vii; A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_, Vol. III (1914), ch. i-vi; W. H. Woodward, _A Short History of the Expansion of the British Empire, 1500-1911_, 3d ed. (1912), ch. i-v; A. T. Story, _The Building of the British Empire_ (1898), Part I, _1558-1688_; H. C. Morris, _The History of Colonization_ (1900), Vol. I, Part III, ch. x- xii, Vol. II, ch. xvi-xviii. More detailed and specialized studies: John Fiske, _New France and New England_(1902), a delightful review of the development of the French empire in America, its struggle with the British, and its collapse, and, by the same author, _Colonization of the New World_, ch. vii-x, and _Independence of the New World_, ch. i- iii, the last two books being respectively Vols. XXI and XXII of the _History of All Nations; Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. V (1908), ch. xxii, on the growth of the French and English empires, Vol. VI (1909), ch. xv, on the English and French in India, 1720-1763, and Vol. VII (1903), ch. i-iv, on the struggle in the New World; Pelham Edgar, _The Struggle for a Continent_ (1902), an excellent account of the conflict in North America, edited from the writings of Parkman; E. B. Greene, _Provincial America, 1690-1740_ (1905), being Vol. VI of the “American Nation” Series; Émile Levasseur, _Histoire du commerce de la France_, Vol. I (1911), the best treatment of French commercial and colonial policy prior to 1789; Sir J. R. Seeley, _Expansion of England_ (1895), stimulating and suggestive on the relations of general European history to the struggle for world dominion; A. W. Tilby, _The English People Overseas_, a great history of the British empire, projected in 8 vols., of which three (1912) are particularly important–Vol. I, _The American Colonies, 1583-1763_, Vol. II, _British India, 1600-1828_, and Vol. IV, _Britain in the Tropics, 1527-1910_; A. T. Mahan, _The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783_, 24th ed. (1914), an epoch-making work; Sir W. L. Clowes (editor), _The Royal Navy: a History_, 7 vols. (1897- 1903), ch. xx-xxviii; J. S. Corbett, _England in the Seven Years’ War_, 2 vols. (1907), strongly British and concerned chiefly with naval warfare; J. W. Fortescue, _History of the British Army_, Vols. I and II (1899). See also the general histories of imperialism and of the British Empire listed in the bibliographies appended to Chapters XXVII and XXIX, of Volume II.

WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE BRITISH IN AMERICA. C. M. Andrews, _The Colonial Period_ (1912) in “Home University Library,” and C. L. Becker, _Beginnings of the American People_ (1915) in “The Riverside History,” able and stimulating résumés; L. G. Tyler, _England in America, 1580- 1652_ (1904), Vol. IV of “American Nation” Series; John Fiske, _Old Virginia and her Neighbors_ (1900), and, by the same author, in his usually accurate and captivating manner, _Beginnings of New England_ (1898), and _Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America_ (1903); H. L. Osgood, _The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century_, 3 vols. (1904-1907), the standard authority, together with J. A. Doyle, _English Colonies in America_, 5 vols. (1882-1907); Edward Channing, _A History of the United States_, Vol. II, _A Century of Colonial History, 1660-1760_ (1908), very favorable to New England.

WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE FRENCH IN AMERICA. R. G. Thwaites, _France in America, 1497-1763_ (1905), Vol. VII of the “American Nation” Series, is a clear and scholarly survey. For all concerning French Canada prior to the British conquest, the works of Francis Parkman occupy an almost unique position: they are well known for their attractive qualities, descriptive powers, and charm of style; on the whole, they are accurate, though occasionally Parkman seems to have misunderstood the Jesuit missionaries. The proper sequence of Parkman’s writings is as follows: _Pioneers of France in the New World_ (1865), _The Jesuits in North America_ (1867), _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West_ (1869), _The Old Régime in Canada_ (1874), _Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV_ (1877), _A Half Century of Conflict_, 2 vols. (1892), _Montcalm and Wolfe_, 2 vols. (1884), _The Conspiracy of Pontiac, and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada_, 2 vols. (1851). Other useful studies: C. W. Colby, _Canadian Types of the Old Régime, 1608-1698_ (1908); G. M. Wrong, _The Fall of Canada: a Chapter in the History of the Seven Years’ War_ (1914); Thomas Hughes, S.J., _History of the Society of Jesus in North America_, Vols. I, II (1907-1908), the authoritative work of a learned Jesuit; T. J. Campbell, S.J., _Pioneer Priests of North America, 1642- 1710_, 3 vols. (1911-1914); William Kingsford, _History of Canada_, 10 vols. (1887-1897), elaborate, moderately English in point of view, and covering the years from 1608 to 1841; F. X. Garneau, _Histoire du Canada_, 5th ed. of the famous work of a French Canadian, revised by his grandson Hector Garneau, Vol. I to 1713 (1913).

INDIA IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES. A monumental _History of India_ in 6 bulky volumes is now (1916) in preparation by the Cambridge University Press on the model of the “Cambridge Modern History.” Of brief accounts, the best are: A. C. Lyall, _The Rise and Expansion of British Dominion in India_, 5th ed. (1910); A. D. Innes, _A Short History of the British in India_ (1902); and G. B. Malleson, _History of the French in India, 1674-1761_, 2d ed. reissued (1909). See also the English biography of _Dupleix_ by G. B. Malleson (1895) and the French lives by Tibulle Hamont (1881) and Eugène Guénin (1908). An excellent brief biography of _Clive_ is that of G. B. Malleson (1895). Robert Orme (1728-1801), _History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan from 1745_ [to 1761], 2 vols. in 3, is an almost contemporaneous account by an agent of the English East India Company who had access to the company’s records, and Beckles Willson, _Ledger and Sword_, 2 vols. (1903), deals with the economic and political policies of the English East India Company. For history of the natives during the period, see Sir H. M. Elliot, _History of India, as told by its own Historians: the Muhammadan Period_, 8 vols. (1867-1877); and J. G. Duff, _History of the Mahrattas_, new ed., 3 vols. (1913).

WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM. Of the character of the Elder Pitt, such an important factor in the British triumph over France, many different estimates have been made by historians. The two great biographies of the English statesman are those of Basil Williams, 2 vols. (1913), very favorable to Pitt, and Albert von Ruville, Eng. trans., 3 vols. (1907), hostile to Pitt. See also Lord Rosebery, _Lord Chatham, His Early Life and Connections_ (1910); D. A. Winstanley, _Lord Chatham and the Whig Opposition_ (1912); and the famous essay on Pitt by Lord Macaulay.




The contest for world-empire, from which we have seen Great Britain emerge victorious, was closely followed by a less successful struggle to preserve that empire from disrupting forces. We may properly leave to American history the details of the process by which, as the colonies became more acutely conscious of the inherent conflict between their economic interests and the colonial and commercial policy of Great Britain, they grew at the same time into a self-confident and defiant independence. Nevertheless, as an epochal event in the history of British imperialism, the American War of Independence deserves a prominent place in European history.

[Sidenote: Mercantilism and the British Colonies]

The germs of disease were imbedded in the very policy to which many statesmen of the eighteenth century ascribed England’s great career,– the mercantilist theories, whose acquaintance we made in an earlier chapter. [Footnote: See above, pp. 63 ff, and likewise pp. 239 f.] The mercantilist statesman, anxious to build up the power, and therefore the wealth, of his country, logically conceived three main ideas about colonies: (1) they should furnish the mother country with commodities which could not be produced at home; (2) they should not injure the mother country by competing with her industries or by enriching her commercial rivals; and (3) they should help bear the burdens of the government, army, and navy. Each one of these ideas was reflected in the actual policy which the British government in the eighteenth century adopted and enforced in respect of the American colonies.

[Sidenote: Regulation of Colonial Industry. Bounties]

(1) Various expedients were employed to encourage the production of particular colonial commodities which the British Parliament thought desirable. The commodity might be exempted from customs duties, or Parliament might forbid the importation into Great Britain of similar products from foreign countries, or might even bestow outright upon the colonial producer “bounties,” or sums of money, as an incentive to persevere in the industry. Thus the cultivation of indigo in Carolina, of coffee in Jamaica, of tobacco in Virginia, was encouraged, so that the British would not have to buy these desirable commodities from Spain. Similarly, bounties were given for tar, pitch, hemp, masts, and spars imported from America rather than from Sweden.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Colonial Industry]

(2) The chief concern of the mercantilist was the framing of such governmental regulations of trade as would deter colonial commerce or industry from taking a turn which conceivably might lessen the prosperity of the British manufacturers or shippers, on whom Parliament depended for taxes. Of the colonial industries which were discouraged for this reason, two or three are particularly noteworthy. Thus the hat manufacturers in America, though they could make hats cheaply, because of the plentiful supply of fur in the New World, were forbidden to manufacture any for export, lest they should ruin the hatters of London. The weaving of cloth was likewise discouraged by a law of 1699 which prohibited the export of woolen fabrics from one colony to another. Again, it was thought necessary to protect British iron- masters by forbidding (1750) the colonists to manufacture wrought iron or its finished products. Such restrictions on manufacture were imposed, not so much for fear of actual competition in the English market, as to keep the colonial markets for English manufacturers. They caused a good deal of rancor, but they were too ill enforced to bear heavily upon the colonies.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Colonial Trade]

More irksome were the restrictions on commerce. As far back as 1651, when Dutch traders were bringing spices from the East and sugar from the West to sell in London at a handsome profit, Parliament had passed the first famous Navigation Act, [Footnote: See above, pp. 277 f., 304 f.] which had been successful in its general design–to destroy the Dutch carrying trade and to stimulate British ship-building. In the eighteenth century a similar policy was applied to the colonies. For it was claimed that the New England traders who sold their fish and lumber for sugar, molasses, and rum in the French West Indies were enriching French planters rather than English. Consequently, a heavy tariff was laid on French sugar-products. Moreover, inasmuch as it was deemed most essential for a naval power to have many and skilled ship-builders, the Navigation Acts [Footnote: Subsequent to the Act of 1651, important Navigation Acts were passed in 1660, 1663, 1672, and 1696.] were so developed and expanded as to include the following prescriptions: (1) In general all import and export trade must be conducted in ships built in England, in Ireland, or in the colonies, manned and commanded by British subjects. Thus, if a French or Dutch merchantman appeared in Massachusetts Bay, offering to sell at a great bargain his cargo of spices or silks, the shrewd merchants of Boston were legally bound not to buy of him. (2) Certain “enumerated” articles, such as sugar, tobacco, cotton, indigo, and, later, rice and furs, could be exported only to England. A Virginia planter, wishing to send tobacco to a French snuff-maker, would have to ship it to London in an English ship, pay duties on it there, and then have it reshipped to Havre. (3) All goods imported into the American colonies from Europe must come by way of England and must pay duties there. Silks might be more expensive after they had paid customs duties in London and had followed a roundabout route to Virginia, but the proud colonial dame was supposed to pay dearly and to rejoice that English ships and English sailors were employed in transporting her finery.

[Sidenote: Reasons for Early Colonial Toleration of Restrictions on the Industry and Trade]

It would seem as if such restrictive measures would not have been tolerated in the colonies, even when imposed by the mother country. There were, however, several very good reasons why the trade restrictions were long tolerated.

[Sidenote: Leniency of Enforcement]

In the first place, for many years they had been very poorly enforced. During his long ministry, from 1721 to 1742, Sir Robert Walpole had winked at infractions of the law and had allowed the colonies to develop as best they might under his policy of “salutary neglect.” Then, during the colonial wars, it had been inexpedient and impossible to insist upon the Navigation Acts; and smuggling had become so common that respectable merchants made no effort to conceal their traffic in goods which had been imported contrary to provisions of the law.

[Sidenote: Fear of the French]

Moreover, the colonies would gladly endure a good deal of economic hardship in order to have the help of the mother country against the French. So long as Count de Frontenac and his successors were sending their Indians southward and eastward to burn New England villages, it was very comforting to think that the mother country would send armies of redcoats to conquer the savages and defeat the French.

[Sidenote: Weakness and Disunion of the Thirteen Colonies]

But even had there been every motive for armed resistance to Great Britain, the American colonies could hardly have attempted it until after the conclusion of the French and Indian War. Until the second half of the eighteenth century the British colonies were both weak and divided. They had no navy and very few fortifications to defend their coastline. They had no army except raw and unreliable militia. Even in 1750 their inhabitants numbered but a paltry 1,300,000 as compared with a population in Great Britain of more than 10,000,000; and in wealth and resources they could not dream of rivaling the mother country.

The lack of union among the colonies sprang from fundamental industrial, social, and religious differences. The southern provinces– Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia–were agricultural, and their products were plantation-grown rice, indigo, and tobacco. New York and Pennsylvania produced corn and timber. In New England, although there were many small farmers, the growing interest was in trade and manufacture. The social distinctions were equally marked. The northern colonists were middle-class traders and small farmers, with democratic town governments, and with an intense pride in education. In the South, gentlemen of good old English families lived like feudal lords among their slaves and cultivated manners quite as assiduously as morals. Of forms of the Christian religion, the Atlantic coast presented a bizarre mixture. In the main, New England was emphatically Calvinistic and sternly Puritanical; Virginia, proudly Episcopalian (Anglican); and Maryland, partly Roman Catholic. Plain-spoken Quakers in Pennsylvania, Presbyterians and Baptists in New Jersey, and German Lutherans in Carolina added to the confusion.

Between colonies so radically different in religion, manners, and industries, there could be at the outset little harmony or cooperation. It would be hard to arouse them to concerted action, and even harder to conduct a war. Financial cooperation was impeded by the fact that the paper money issued by any one colony was not worth much in the others. Military cooperation was difficult because while each colony might call on its farmers temporarily to join the militia in order to repel an Indian raid, the militia-men were always anxious to get back to their crops and would obey a strange commander with ill grace.

[Sidenote: Altered Situation in the Thirteen Colonies after 1763]

With the conclusion of the French and Indian War, however, conditions were materially changed, (1) The fear of the French was no longer present to bind the colonies to the mother country. (2) During the wars the colonies had grown not only more populous (they numbered about 2,000,000 inhabitants in 1763) and more wealthy, but also more self- confident. Recruits from the northern colonies had captured Louisburg in 1745 and had helped to conquer Canada in the last French war. Virginia volunteers had seen how helpless were General Braddock’s redcoats in forest-warfare. Experiences like these gave the provincial riflemen pride and confidence. Important also was the Albany Congress of 1754, in which delegates from seven colonies came together and discussed Benjamin Franklin’s scheme for federating the thirteen colonies. Although the plan was not adopted, it set men to thinking about the advantages of confederation and so prepared the way for subsequent union.

[Sidenote: More Rigorous Attitude of Great Britain toward the Colonies after Accession of George III, 1760]

Not only were the colonists in a more independent frame of mind, but the British government became more oppressive. During two reigns–those of George I and George II–ministers had been the power behind the throne, but in 1760 George III had come to the throne as an inexperienced and poorly educated youth of twenty-two, full of ambition to be the power behind the ministers. Not without justice have historians accused George III of prejudice, stubbornness, and stupidity. Nevertheless, he had many friends. The fact that he, the first really English king since the Revolution of 1688, should manifest a great personal interest and industry in affairs of state, endeared him to many who already respected his irreproachable private morality and admired his flawless and unfailing courtesy. Under the inspiration of Lord Bute, [Footnote: The earl of Bute (1713-1792) became prime minister in 1762, after the resignations of Pitt, who had been the real head of the cabinet, and the duke of Newcastle, who had been the nominal premier. Bute in turn was succeeded by George Grenville (1712- 1770).] the “king’s friends” became a political party, avowedly intent on breaking the power of the great Whig noblemen who had so long dominated corrupt Parliaments and unscrupulous ministries.

[Sidenote: Grenville, Prime Minister, 1763-1765, Executor of the Colonial Policies of George III]

George III attempted at the outset to gain control of Parliament by wholesale bribery of its members, but, since even this questionable expedient did not give him a majority, he tried dividing the forces of his Whig opponents. This was somewhat less difficult since Pitt, the most prominent Whig, the eloquent Chauvinist [Footnote: Chauvin, a soldier in Napoleon’s army, was so enthusiastic for the glory of the great general that his name has since been used as an adjective denoting excessive patriotism and fondness for war.] minister, “friend of the colonies,” and idol of the cities, had lost control of the ministry. England, too, felt the burdensome expense of war, and the public debt had mounted to what was then the enormous sum of £140,000,000. George III, therefore, chose for prime minister (1763- 1765) George Grenville, a representative of a faction of Whig aristocrats, who, alarmed by the growth of the public debt, and jealous of Pitt’s power, were quite willing to favor the king’s colonial policies. Great Britain, they argued, had undergone a costly war to defend the colonists on the Atlantic coast from French aggression. The colonies were obviously too weak and too divided to garrison and police the great Mississippi and St. Lawrence valleys; and yet, in order to prevent renewed danger from French, Spaniards, or Indians, at least ten thousand regular soldiers would be needed at an annual expense of £300,000. What could be more natural than that the colonists, to whose benefit the war had redounded, and to whose safety the army would add, should pay at least a part of the expense? This idea, put forward by certain Whig statesmen, that the colonists should bear part of the financial burden of imperial defense, was eagerly seized upon by George III and utilized as the cornerstone of his colonial policy. To such a policy the Tories, as ardent upholders of the monarchy, lent their support.

[Sidenote: The Sugar Act, 1764]

Grenville, the new minister, accordingly proposed that the colonists should pay about £150,000 a year,–roughly a half of the estimated total amount,–and for raising the money, he championed two special finance acts in the British Parliament. The first was the Sugar Act of 1764. Grenville recognized that a very high tariff on the importation of foreign sugar-products into the colonies invited smuggling on a large scale, was therefore generally evaded, and yielded little revenue to the government. As a matter of fact, in the previous year, Massachusetts merchants had smuggled 15,000 hogsheads of molasses [Footnote: Large quantities of molasses were used in New England for the manufacture of rum.] from the French West Indies. Now, in accordance with the new enactment, the duty was actually halved, but a serious attempt was made to collect what remained. For the purpose of the efficient collection of the sugar tax, the Navigation Acts were revived and enforced; British naval officers were ordered to put a peremptory stop to smuggling; and magistrates were empowered to issue “writs of assistance” enabling customs collectors to search private houses for smuggled goods. The Sugar Act was expected to yield one- third of the amount demanded by the British ministry.

[Sidenote: The Stamp Act, 1765]
[Sidenote: Opposition in the Colonies]

The other two-thirds of the £150,000 was to be raised under the Stamp Act of 1765. Bills of lading, official documents, deeds, wills, mortgages, notes, newspapers, and pamphlets were to be written or printed only on special stamped paper, on which the tax had been paid. Playing cards paid a stamp tax of a shilling; dice paid ten shillings; and on a college diploma the tax amounted to £2. The Stamp Act bore heavily on just the most dangerous classes of the population– newspaper-publishers, pamphleteers, lawyers, bankers, and merchants. Naturally the newspapers protested and the lawyers argued that the Stamp Act was unconstitutional, that Parliament had no right to levy taxes on the colonies. The very battle-cry, “Taxation without Representation is Tyranny,” was the phrase of a Boston lawyer, James Otis.

At once the claim was made that the colonists were true British subjects and that taxation without representation was a flagrant violation of the “immemorial rights of Englishmen.” Now the colonists had come to believe that their only true representatives were those for whom they voted personally, the members of the provincial assemblies. Each colony had its representative assembly; and these assemblies, like the parent Parliament in Great Britain, had become very important by acquiring the function of voting taxes. The colonists, therefore, claimed that taxes could be voted only by their own assemblies, while the British government replied, with some pertinency, that Parliament, although elected by a very small minority of the population, was considered to be generally representative of all British subjects.

[Sidenote: The Stamp Act Congress, 1765]

Many colonists, less learned than the lawyers, were unacquainted with the subtleties of the argument, but they were quite willing to be persuaded that in refusing to pay British taxes they were contending for a great principle of liberty and self-government. Opposition to the stamp tax spread like wildfire and culminated in a congress at New York in October, 1765, comprising delegates from nine colonies. The “Stamp Act Congress,” for so it was called, issued a declaration of rights– the rights of trial by jury [Footnote: The right of trial by jury had been violated by British officials in punishing smugglers.] and of self-taxation–and formally protested against the Stamp Act.

[Sidenote: Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1776]

Parliament might have disregarded the declaration of the Congress, but not the tidings of popular excitement, of mob violence, of stamp- collectors burned in effigy. Moreover, colonial boycotts against British goods–“nonimportation agreements”–were effective in creating sentiment in England in favor of conciliation. Taking advantage of Grenville’s resignation, a new ministry under the marquess of Rockingham, [Footnote: Rockingham retired in July, 1766] a liberal Whig, procured the repeal of the obnoxious Stamp Act in March, 1766. While the particular tax was abandoned, a Declaratory Act was issued, affirming the constitutional right of Parliament to bind the colonies in all cases.

[Sidenote: The Townshend Acts, 1767]

That right was asserted again in 1767 by a brilliant but reckless chancellor of the exchequer, Charles Townshend, who, without the consent of the other ministers, put through Parliament the series of acts which bear his name. His intention was to raise a regular colonial revenue for the support of colonial governors, judges, and other officers as well as for the defense of the colonies. For these purposes, import duties were laid on glass, lead, painters’ colors, paper, and tea; the duties were to be collected by English commissioners resident in the American ports; and infractions of the law in America were to be tried in courts without juries.

[Sidenote: “The Boston Massacre”]

The Townshend Acts brought forth immediate and indignant protests. Colonial merchants renewed and extended their nonimportation agreements. Within a year the imports Boston from Great Britain fell off by more than £700,000. The customs officers were unable or afraid to collect the duties strictly, and it is said that in three years the total revenue from them amounted only to £16,000. Troops were dispatched to overawe Boston, but the angry Bostonians hooted and hissed the “lobsterbacks,” as the redcoats were derisively styled, and in 1770 provoked them to actual bloodshed–the so-called “Boston Massacre.”

[Sidenote: Lord North, Prime Minister, 1770]

At this crucial moment, King George III chose a new prime minister, Lord North, a gentleman of wit, ability, and affability, unfailingly humorous, and unswervingly faithful to the king. Among his first measures was the repeal (1770) of the hated Townshend duties. Merely a tax of threepence a pound on tea was retained, in order that the colonies might not think that Parliament had surrendered its right to tax them. Lord North even made an arrangement with the East India Company whereby tea was sold so cheaply that it would not pay to smuggle tea from the Dutch.

[Sidenote: “The Boston Tea Party,” 1773]

But the colonists would not now yield even the principle of Parliamentary taxation. [Footnote: Despite the fact that the colonists had regularly been paying import duties on molasses and on foreign wine.] They insisted that were they to pay this tax, trifling as it might be, Parliament would assert that they had acknowledged its right to tax them, and would soon lay heavier taxes upon them. They, therefore, refused to buy the tea, and on a cold December night in 1773 a number of Boston citizens dressed up like Indians, boarded a British tea ship, and emptied 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

[Sidenote: The Five “Intolerable Acts,” 1774]

Boston’s “Tea-Party” brought punishment swift and sure in the famous five “intolerable acts” (1774). Boston harbor was closed; Massachusetts was practically deprived of self-government; royal officers who committed capital offenses were to be tried in England or in other colonies; royal troops were quartered on the colonists; and the province of Quebec was extended south to the Ohio, cutting off vast territories claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia. This last act, by recognizing and establishing the Roman Catholic Church in French-speaking Quebec, excited the liveliest fear and apprehension on the part of Protestants in the English-speaking colonies.

[Sidenote: First Continental Congress, 1774]

Agitators in the other colonies feared that their turn would come next, and rallied to the aid of Massachusetts. The first Continental Congress of delegations from all the colonies [Footnote: Except Georgia.] met in 1774 in Philadelphia “to deliberate and determine upon wise and proper measures, to be by them recommended to all the colonies, for the recovery and establishment of their just rights and liberties, civil and religious, and the restoration of union and harmony between Great Britain and the colonies.” The Congress dispatched a petition to the king and urged the colonists to be faithful to the “American Association” for the non-importation of British goods.


[Sidenote: Revolt of the Thirteen Colonies]

Neither king nor colonies would yield a single point. William Pitt, now earl of Chatham, in vain proposed conciliatory measures. The colonies fast drifted into actual revolt. In May, 1775, the second Continental Congress met at Philadelphia, but already blood had been shed at Lexington (Massachusetts), 19 April, 1775, and New England was a hotbed of rebellion. The Congress accepted facts as they were, declared war, appointed George Washington commander-in-chief, sent agents to France and other foreign countries, and addressed a final petition to the king.

[Sidenote: The Declaration of Independence, 1776]

But it was too late for reconciliation, and events marched rapidly until on 4 July, 1776, the colonies declared themselves “free and independent states.” [Footnote: The colonies on the recommendation of Congress set up independent governments and these state governments were formally federated in accordance with “articles of Confederation and perpetual Union,” drawn up in Congress in 1777 and finally ratified in 1781.] The Declaration of Independence was remarkable for two things, its philosophy and its effects. The philosophy was that held by many radical thinkers of the time–“that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”; that among such rights are life, liberty, and the exclusive right to tax themselves; and that any people may rightfully depose a tyrannical ruler. We shall find a similar philosophy applied more boldly in the French Revolution.

In America the Declaration was denounced by “Tories” as treason, but was welcomed by “patriots” as an inspiration and a stimulus. To show their joy, the people of New York City pulled down the leaden statue of King George and molded it into bullets. Instead of rebellious subjects, the English-speaking Americans now claimed to be a belligerent nation, and on the basis of this claim they sought recognition and aid from other nations.

[Sidenote: Difficulties and Early Successes of the British]

For over three years, however, the war was carried on simply between rebellious colonies and the mother country. Had the grave nature of the revolt been thoroughly understood in England from the outset, the colonists might possibly have been crushed within a short time, for many of the richest colonists were opposed to the war; and even had the “people of the United States” supported the struggle unanimously, they were no match for Great Britain in wealth, population, or naval power. As it was, Great Britain allowed the revolution to get under full headway before making a serious effort to suppress it. In 1776, however, a force of about 30,000 men, many of whom were mercenary German soldiers, commonly called “Hessians,” was sent to occupy New York. Thenceforward, the British pursued aggressive tactics, and inasmuch as their armies were generally superior to those of the colonists in numbers, discipline, and equipment, and besides were supported by powerful fleets, they were able to possess themselves of the important colonial ports of New York, Philadelphia, and Charlestown, [Footnote: Name changed to Charleston in 1783.] and to win many victories. On the other hand, the region to be conquered was extensive and the rebel armies stubborn and elusive. Moreover, the colonists possessed a skillful leader in the person of the aristocratic Virginian planter who has already been mentioned as taking a part in the French and Indian War. At first, George Washington was criticized for bringing the gravity of a judge and the dignified bearing of a courtier to the battlefield, but he soon proved his ability. He was wise enough to retreat before superior forces, always keeping just out of harm’s way, and occasionally catching his incautious pursuer unawares, as at Princeton or Trenton.

[Sidenote: British Reverse at Saratoga, 1777]

One of the crucial events of the war was the surrender of the British General Burgoyne with some six thousand men at Saratoga, on 17 October, 1777, after an unsuccessful invasion of northern New York. At that very time, Benjamin Franklin, the public-spirited Philadelphia publisher, was in Paris attempting to persuade France to ally herself with the United States. Franklin’s charming personality, his “republican plainness,” his shrewd common sense, as well as his knowledge of philosophy and science, made him welcome at the brilliant French court; but France, although still smarting under the humiliating treaty of 1763, would not yield to his persuasion until the American victory at Saratoga seemed to indicate that the time had come to strike. An alliance with the United States was concluded, and in 1778 war was declared against Great Britain.

[Sidenote: Entrance into the War of France (1778), Spain (1779), Holland (1780)]
[Sidenote: Isolation of Great Britain]

The war now took on a larger aspect, and in its scale of operations and in its immediate significance the fighting in the colonies was dwarfed into comparative insignificance. In the attack upon Great Britain, France was dutifully joined by Spain (1779). Holland, indignant at the way in which Great Britain had tried to exclude Dutch traders from commerce with America, joined the Bourbons (1780) against their common foe. Other nations, too, had become alarmed at the rapid growth and domineering maritime policy of Great Britain. Since the outbreak of hostilities, British captains and admirals had claimed the right to search and seize neutral vessels trading with America or bearing contraband of war. Against this dangerous practice, Catherine II of Russia protested vigorously, and in 1780 formed the “armed neutrality of the North” with Sweden and Denmark to uphold the protest with force, if necessary. Prussia, Portugal, the Two Sicilies, and the Holy Roman Empire subsequently pronounced their adherence to the Armed Neutrality, and Great Britain was confronted by a unanimously hostile Europe.

[Sidenote: The War in Europe]

In the actual operations only three nations figured–France, Spain, and Holland; and of the three the last named gave little trouble except in the North Sea. More to be feared were France and Spain, for by them the British Empire was attacked in all its parts. For a while in 1779 even the home country was threatened by a Franco-Spanish fleet of sixty-six sail, convoying an army of 60,000 men; but the plan came to naught. Powerful Spanish and French forces, launched against Great Britain’s Mediterranean possessions, succeeded in taking Minorca, but were repulsed by the British garrison of Gibraltar.

[Sidenote: The War in America]

On the continent of North America the insurgent colonists, aided by French fleets and French soldiers, gained a signal victory. An American and French army under Washington and Lafayette and a French fleet under De Grasse suddenly closed in upon the British general, Lord Cornwallis, in Yorktown, Virginia, and compelled him to surrender on 19 October, 1781, with over 7000 men. The capitulation of Cornwallis practically decided the struggle in America, for all the reserve forces of Great Britain were required in Europe, in the West Indies, and in Asia.

[Sidenote: The War in the West Indies] [Sidenote: Battle of Saints, 1782]

Matters were going badly for Great Britain until a naval victory in the Caribbean Sea partially redeemed the day. For three winters an indecisive war had been carried on in the West Indies, but in 1782 thirty-six British ships, under the gallant Rodney, met the French Count de Grasse with thirty-three sail of the line near the group of islands known as “the Saints,” and a great battle ensued–the “battle of Saints”–on 12 April, 1782. During the fight the wind suddenly veered around, making a great gap in the line of French ships, and into this gap sailed the British admiral, breaking up the French fleet, and, in the confusion, capturing six vessels.

[Sidenote: The War in India]

While the battle of Saints saved the British power in the West Indies, the outlook in the East became less favorable. At first the British had been successful in seizing the French forts in India (1778) and in defeating (1781) the native ally of the French, Hyder Ali, the sultan of Mysore. But in 1782 the tide was turned by the appearance of the French admiral De Suffren, whose brilliant victories over a superior British fleet gave the French temporary control of the Bay of Bengal.

[Sidenote: Defeat but not Ruin of Great Britain] [Sidenote: Treaties of Paris and Versailles, 1783]

Unsuccessful in America, inglorious in India, expelled from Minorca, unable to control Ireland, [Footnote: The Protestants in Ireland had armed and organized volunteer forces, and threatened rebellion unless Great Britain granted “home rule” to them. Great Britain yielded and in 1782 granted legislative autonomy to the Irish Parliament. See below, p. 431.] and weary with war, England was very ready for peace, but not entirely humbled, for was she not still secure in the British Channel, victorious over the Dutch, triumphant in the Caribbean, unshaken in India, and unmoved on Gibraltar? Defeat, but not humiliation, was the keynote of the treaties (1783) which Great Britain concluded, one at Paris with the United States, and one at Versailles with France and Spain. Let us consider the provisions of these treaties in order, as they affected the United States, France, and Spain.

[Sidenote: The United States of America]

By the treaty of Paris (3 September, 1783), the former thirteen colonies were recognized as the sovereign and independent United States of America,–bounded on the north by Canada and the Great Lakes, on the east by the Atlantic, on the west by the Mississippi, and on the south by Florida. Important fishing rights on the Newfoundland Banks and the privilege of navigation on the Mississippi were extended to the new nation. When the treaty of Paris was signed, the United States were still held loosely together by the articles of Confederation, but after several years of political confusion, a new and stronger federal constitution was drawn up in 1787, and in 1789 George Washington became first president of the republic. The republic thus created was the first important embodiment of the political theories of Montesquieu and other French philosophers, who, while condemning titled nobility and absolute monarchy, distrusted the ignorant classes of the people, and believed in placing political control chiefly in the hands of intelligent men of property and position.

[Sidenote: Results to France]

Had it not been for the disastrous battle of Saints, France might have dictated very favorable terms in the treaty of Versailles, [Footnote: In 1786 a supplementary Anglo-French treaty restored regular commerce between the two nations, and recognized that Great Britain had no right to seize traders flying a neutral flag, except for contraband of war, _i.e._, guns, powder, and provisions of war.] but, as it was, she merely regained Tobago in the West Indies and Senegal in Africa, which she had lost in 1763. [Footnote: See above, p. 317.] The equipment of navies and armies had exhausted the finances of the French government, and was largely responsible for the bankruptcy which was soon to occasion the fall of absolutism in France. Moreover, French “radicals,” having seen the Americans revolt against a king, were, themselves, the more ready to enter upon a revolution.

[Sidenote: Results to Spain]

Better than France fared Spain. By the treaty of Versailles she received the island of Minorca and the territory of Florida, which then included the southern portions of what later became the American states of Alabama and Mississippi. [Footnote: The Louisiana territory, which had come into Spanish possession in 1763, was re-ceded to France in 1800 and sold by France to the United States in 1803. Eighteen years later (1821) all of Florida was formally transferred to the United States. And see below, p. 532.]

[Sidenote: Settlement between Great Britain and Holland, 1784]

Holland, the least important participant in the war, was not a party to the treaty of Versailles, but was left to conclude a separate peace with Great Britain in the following year (1784). The Dutch not only lost some of their East Indian possessions, [Footnote: Including stations on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts of India.] but, what was more essential, they were forced to throw open to British merchants the valuable trade of the Malay Archipelago.


[Sidenote: New Conciliatory Colonial Policy]

The War of American Independence not only had cost Great Britain the thirteen colonies, hitherto the most important, [Footnote: The thirteen colonies were not actually then so profitable, however, as the fertile West Indies, nor did they fit in so well with the mercantilist theory of Colonialism.] oldest, and strongest of her possessions, and likewise Senegal, Florida, Tobago, and Minorca, but it had necessitated a terrible expenditure of men, money, and ships. More bitter than the disastrous results of the war, however, was the reflection that possibly all might have been avoided by a policy of conciliation and concession. Still it was not too late to learn, and in its treatment of the remaining colonies, the British government showed that the lesson had not been lost.

[Sidenote: Quebec Act, 1774]
[Sidenote: Board of Control in India, 1784] [Sidenote: Separate Parliament for Ireland, 1782]

On the eve of the revolt of the English-speaking colonies in America, a wise measure of toleration was accorded to the French inhabitants of Canada by the Quebec Act of 1774, which allowed them freely to profess their Roman Catholic religion, and to enjoy the continuance of the French civil law. To these advantages was added in 1791 the privilege of a representative assembly. India, too, felt the influence of the new policy, when in 1784 Parliament created a Board of Control to see that the East India Company did not abuse its political functions. Even Ireland, which was practically a colony, was accorded in 1782 the right to make its own local laws, a measure of self-government enjoyed till 1 January, 1801. [Footnote: See below, p. 431.]

[Sidenote: Decline and Gradual Abandonment of Mercantilism]

British commercial policy, too, underwent a change, for the Navigation Acts, which had angered the American colonies, could not now be applied to the free nation of the United States. Moreover, the mercantilist theory, having in this case produced such unfortunate results, henceforth began to lose ground, and it is not without interest that Adam Smith’s _Wealth of Nations_, the classic expression of the new political economy of free trade,–of _laisser-faire_, as the French styled it,–which was destined to supplant mercantilism, was published in 1776, the very year of the declaration of American independence. Of course Great Britain’s mercantilist trade regulations were not at once abandoned, but they had received a death-blow, and British commerce seemed none the worse for it. The southern American states began to grow cotton [Footnote: During the war, cotton was introduced into Georgia and Carolina from the Bahamas, and soon became an important product. In 1794, 1,600,000 pounds were shipped to Great Britain.] for the busy looms of British manufacturers, and of their own free will the citizens of the United States bought the British manufactures which previously they had boycotted as aggrieved colonists. In this particular, at least, the loss of the colonies was hardly a loss at all.

[Sidenote: Extent of the British Empire at Close of Eighteenth Century]

Even for those ardent British patriots who wished to see their flag waving over half the world and who were deeply chagrined by the untoward political schism that had rent kindred English-speaking peoples asunder, there was still some consolation and there was about to be some compensation. In the New World, Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and smaller islands of the West Indies, and a part of Honduras, made no mean empire; and in the Old World the British flag flew over the forts at Gibraltar, Gambia, and the Gold Coast, while India offered almost limitless scope for ambition and even for greed.

[Sidenote: Extension of the British Empire in India] [Sidenote: Warren Hastings]

To the extension and solidification of her empire in the East, Great Britain now devoted herself, and with encouraging results. It will be remembered that British predominance in India had already been assured by the brilliant and daring Clive, who had defeated the French, set up a puppet nawab in Bengal, and attempted to eliminate corruption from the administration, Clive’s work was continued by a man no less famous, Warren Hastings (1732-1818), whose term as governor-general of India (1774-1785) covered the whole period of the American revolt. At the age of seven-teen, Hastings had first entered the employ of the British East India Company, and an apprenticeship of over twenty years in India had browned his face and inured his lean body to the peculiarities of the climate, as well as giving him a thorough insight into the native character. When at last, in 1774, he became head of the Indian administration, Hastings inaugurated a policy which he pursued with tireless attention to details–a policy involving the transference of British headquarters to Calcutta, and a thorough reform of the police, military, and financial systems. In his wars and intrigues with native princes and in many of his financial transactions, a Parliament, which was inclined to censure, found occasion to attack his honor, and the famous Edmund Burke, with all the force of oratory and hatred, attempted to convict the great governor of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But the tirades of Burke were powerless against the man who had so potently strengthened the foundations of the British empire in India.

[Sidenote: Cornwallis]

In 1785 Hastings was succeeded by Lord Cornwallis–the same who had surrendered to Washington at Yorktown. Cornwallis was as successful in India as he had been unfortunate in America. His organization of the tax system proved him a wise administrator, and his reputation as a general was enhanced by the defeat of the rebellious sultan of Mysore.

The work begun so well by Clive, Hastings, and Cornwallis, was ably carried on by subsequent administrators, [Footnote: For details concerning British rule in India between 1785 and 1858, see Vol. II, pp. 662 ff.] until in 1858 the crown finally took over the empire of the East India Company, an empire stretching northward to the Himalayas, westward to the Indus River, and eastward to the Brahmaputra.

[Sidenote: The Straits Settlements]
[Sidenote: Australia]

In the years immediately following the War of American Independence occurred two other important extensions of British power. One was the occupation of the “Straits Settlements” which gave Great Britain control of the Malay peninsula and of the Straits of Malacca through