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Reappraisals in British Imperial History by Ronald Hyam

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By Ronald Hyam

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This judgement directly echoes that of Kate Hotblack : 'It was as a settlement of disputes that the inadequacy of the Peace of Paris was most disastrous... France was neither reduced, nor, as events proved, conciliated. . G Pares's third judgement (also reflecting another of Hotblack's) need not detain us, not only because its relevance to the imperial aspects of the peace is oblique, but also because it is essentially uncontroversial, perhaps even incontrovertible. Whatever legitimate disagreement there may be about the peace as an imperial settlement, it is not open" to dispute that the European settlement constituted a political error.

The importance of sea power, and of the 36 REAPPRAISALS IN BRITISH IMPERIAL HISTORY fisheries as vitally contributing to it, could be grasped by all, and so could the need to prevent a fresh outbreak of war with France in America. But when it came to assessing the value of any individual overseas territory it was scarcely possible to do this on the basis of any solid reasoning or even accurate information. The only possible explanation for some of the detailed terms of the peace is that they were settled in an atmosphere of the most profound ignorance of overseas countries.

14~ 15. 16. (1763) 41 nental warfare 1739-63' EHR LJ (1936) 465, repro in The historian's business and other essays (1961). W. L. Dorn 'Frederick the Great and Lord Bute' JMH I (1929) 530-60; F. Spencer 'The Anglo-Prussian breach of 1762: an historical revision' History XLI (1956) 100-12; J. Holland Rose 'Frederick the Great and England 1756-63' EHR XXIX (1914) 262-75; L. M . Penson The colonial background of British foreign policy (inaugural lecture 1930); A. ) Memoirs and papers of Sir Andrew M itchell (1850) n 281-332.

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