• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How important was war as a factor in the emergence of Britain as an imperial power by 1763?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How important was war as a factor in the emergence of Britain as an imperial power by 1763? Though trade may have been the primary motivator for expansion in the 18th Century, and government the agents of imperialism, it was undoubtedly conflict which provided the circumstances under empire-building could flourish. The opportunities afforded by confrontation, both to legitimately acquire new territories, and to limit the strength of rival European powers, were integral to British developments overseas, and without them, true, formal expansion may never have been observed. British manipulation of conflict to imperial benefit is demonstrated in the 1714 Treaty of Utrecht, which came at the end of the Wars of Spanish Succession - in which Britain joined forces with Portugal and the Holy Roman Empire to prevent the possibility of Louis XIV's nephew ascending to the thrones of both France and Spain. ...read more.

Middle

Indeed, the capture of Menorca and Gibraltar, mentioned above, was motivated by the Cruisers and Convoys Act of 1708, which obliged the Royal Navy to protect British merchants and trade routes. The acquisition of territory in the Mediterranean was seen as vital to the defence of British interests, and so the islands were captured - conflict may have provided the circumstances for such a takeover, but it was government policy which underpinned it. Furthermore, the establishment of the 'two power standard', which ensured that the Royal Navy's fleet was at least twice the size of its closest competitor's, was crucial to success in international conflicts which raged around the globe, often on the seas - particularly the Seven Years' War of 1756 to 1763. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the roles played by trade, government and war were all greatly important - and greatly intertwining. The Bubble Act of 1720, which tightened trading regulations for the benefit of investors, for example, would not have come about were it not for the trade activities of the South Sea Company - which was in turn founded in anticipation of favourable trade relations with the Spanish in South America following the end of the Wars of Spanish Succession. Trade was the match which first ignited the British interest in exotic lands overseas - and it was in the government's political interest to sate the public's interest and fan the flames. But ultimately, war provided the lighter fluid which set British expansionism on an unstoppable path, and was therefore the most important factor in the emergence of Britain as an imperial power by 1763. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent was warfare between Britain and France the main contributory factor in ...

    3 star(s)

    With the Treaty of Ryswick resulting in France having to give up a number of territories and recognise William III of Orange as the King of England, Scotland and Ireland, this can be considered a resounding defeat for France. Not only have they had the result of the Treaty against

  2. South African Heritage - Where we come from?

    Another argument could have been that the Miscast exhibition laid the foundations for reconciliations between many rival tribal groups around South Africa. 5) Explain clearly the opposing arguments given in Source F. The debate about who controls South African heritage is clearly evident in this article.

  1. Which of these judgements best Reflects the State of Imperial Russia in 1914? By ...

    The fact that these calls were ignored by the public points to a stable support base for Nicholas and that the majority of the Russian people were not yet disillusioned enough to follow an opposing force to the monarchy.

  2. Assess the political, social and cultural significance of Versailles in the reign of Louis ...

    Other parts of Versailles, such as the gardens which symbolized power over the natural landscape, also demonstrated the vast influence of France. This made Versailles a popular prototype for other European monarchs. Versailles had enabled Louis and France to exert significant influence on European culture at the time.

  1. The Indian Mutiny

    practice, through; - Income tax - Uniform revenue tax of 10% - Paper currency (trade and wealth are controlled easier) - Introduction of annual budgets and statements of accounts - No need to rely on land tax The EIC's political control was given to the Queen, who aimed to create a more reasonable and equal ruling.

  2. The First English Civil War

    The result of the fight was the immediate overthrow of the Parliamentary cavalry, and this gave the Royalist troopers a confidence in themselves and in their brilliant leader, which was not shaken until they met Oliver Cromwell's Ironsides. Rupert soon withdrew to Shrewsbury, where he found many Royalist officers eager to attack Essex's new position at Worcester.

  1. Cavour's role in strengthening Piedmont

    of the Growing power that Piedmont held, and also how large an impact he was seen to be having. At this congress the Italian Questions was discussed briefly, this is one of the first times that occurred. This showed that Italy was being recognised by the outside countries, some of

  2. How far do you agree that by 1763 the ties between Britain and the ...

    Between 1689 and 1763 France and England fought four wars, with the Seven Years? War being the most important when talking about the relationship between Britain and the colonies. The colonists at this time still thought of themselves as having British ties and feared French Catholicism and so were happy

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work