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The Seventy Years War, 1744-1815, and Britain's Fiscal-Naval State

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 00:06 authored by Anthony PageAnthony Page
This article argues that we should view Britain as fighting a ‘Seventy Years War’ with France between the battles of Fontenoy in 1745 and Waterloo in 1815. Through years of struggle, Britain built the military power needed to prevent it from falling under the domination of France. In hindsight, many view the British as inevitable imperialists, confidently building toward their global empire of the nineteenth century. In reality, eighteenth-century Britons frequently fretted about the threat of invasion, military weakness, possible financial collapse, and potential revolution. Historical developments only look inevitable in hindsight and with the aid of the social sciences. The struggle to defend itself in Europe during the Seventy Years War saw Britain develop a ‘fiscal-naval state’ that built a global empire.

History

Publication title

War and Society

Volume

34

Pagination

162-186

ISSN

0729-2473

Department/School

School of Humanities

Publisher

Maney Publishing

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 School of Humanities & Social Sciences, The University of New South Wales

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology

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