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Lecture 16

HIS103Y Lecture 16 November 9th The Eclipse of France: Part I

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

HIS103Y Lecture 16 November 9 th The Eclipse of France: Part I • Even after the 7 years war, the Anglo-French rivalry remained which split Europe and caused confrontation • How did Britain defeat and outlast the French even though their population was much smaller • Between 1680-1780 British forces grew 3 times in number o The British had a large standing army o A great standing Militia o Paying for foreign mercenaries – 1/5 of war funding o Financial subsidies to foreign powers o Royal navy increased 3 folds (much greater administrative challenge then army) • England’s greatest threat was by sea since it was much easier to transport troops by sea then over land th • 18 century English battleships were the most modern technology yet to be seen and had more fire power then some armies • This gave Britain great political power • Britain expanded their navy, even though it was a huge economic cost because they wanted to protect their maritime trade, as well as to help protect their overseas empire • However the real reason for the huge navy was to protect the Western approach (from France) and secure Britain • The danger from France to British national security is why Great Britain funded its massive navy • 40,000 sailors at sea during the 7 years war • 2 greatest concentration of population behind London • This required a huge administrative system o Dockyards – largest industrial complex of the world at the time o Victualling office – supply yard o Overseas Bases o Brilliant Administrators  Samuel Pepys – senior administrator on the Naval board - Secretary to the Admiralty – to offset corruption  Sir Richard Haddock – financial director of the navy 1682-1715 - Head of Navy board  George Anson – First Lord of Admiralty during 7 year war • How did the British keep up the financial flow? o Effective administration o Taxing their people better and more efficiently o House of Commons – a responsible money handler, they were trusted and this persuaded people to willingly pay high taxes o Pitt the Younger – financial management of the debt occurred after the war of American Independence  He created the sinking fund – which used surplus to pay of
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