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Colonial America and the Earl of Halifax, 1748–1761$
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Andrew D. M. Beaumont

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723974.001.0001

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The Star of the Hour, 1758–63

The Star of the Hour, 1758–63

(p.209) 9 The Star of the Hour, 1758–63
Colonial America and the Earl of Halifax, 1748–1761

Andrew D. M. Beaumont

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the impact upon colonial administration of the political ascent of William Pitt to leadership of the war effort. It examines the imprecision of Pitt’s instructions, and the various ways in which the colonial governors interpreted his orders to achieve their own regional objectives. The chapter emphasizes that a degree of credit for the upturn in Britain’s fortunes in the war after 1757 reflected the governors’ ability to achieve tangible goals, and argues that this owed as much to Halifax’s long-term planning than to Pitt’s expediencies. The chapter shows how Pitt’s career eclipsed Halifax’s, and how this in turn caused the dissolution of his interest as British policy towards America abandoned the idea of systemic reform. The chapter concludes by offering an overview of what became of Halifax’s interest after his own political fortunes faded.

Keywords:   William Pitt, Thomas Pownall, William Henry Lyttelton, Henry Ellis, post-war economy, disillusion

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