Britain and France at the Birth of America

The European Powers and the Peace Negotiations of 1782-83

Andrew Stockley

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ISBN: 9780859896153

Publication: May 1, 2001

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
This is the first comprehensive study of the peace negotiations which ended the American War of Independence. It challenges traditional views and uses a wide range of sources to provide a detailed analysis of the treaties signed between Britain and France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United States. It shows that American independence, rather than being the important issue of the negotiations, was consistently subordinated to European balance of power considerations. The book demonstrates the importance of personality and popular prejudice in determining foreign policy, and new insights are offered into the personalities and objectives of the leading political figures of the time, including George III, Louis XVI, Benjamin Franklin, Lords Shelburne, Grantham and North, Charles James Fox, the Comte de Vergennes, John Jay, John Adams, Catherine the Great and Frederick the Great. The result is a significant study of eighteenth-century diplomatic and political history which overturns previously established views.

Andrew Stockley is Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and Principal of College House, Christchurch, New Zealand.

List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Abbreviations A Note on References Summary Chronology Introduction 1 The Approach of Peace 2 The Birth of America 3 Shelburne, Vergennes and the European Settlement 4 The Domestic Political Context 5 Fox and the 1783 Negotiations Conclusion Appendix: Dramatis Personae Notes Select Bibliography Index

The specialist will find much to enjoy and benefit from, especially the analysis of the construction of a viable British foreign policy towards the American colonies and their European allies.
  The International History Review, Vol. 24:1

Highly recommended for all college libraries.
  Choice, Vol. 39, No. 6

This splendidly produced volume needs to be set in the historiographical context of its subject, one much written about from varying national viewpoints ... The merits of this book by Andrew Stockley are that he incorporates recent scholarship; adds new material of his own; notes the impact of internal politics in Britain and France; and, above all, as his title suggests, puts the whole topic in a European rather than American setting ... An excellent synthesis of a complicated topic, leavened with fresh material and marked by an original approach.
  The British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 25.1

... Turns the established view of the creation of the USA upon its head ...
Hamish Scott  
University of St Andrews

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

288 Pages

ISBN: 9780859896153

Publication: May 1, 2001

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