Politics in Britain during the mid-18th century was one of considerable depth and significance, as well as much uncertainty. Political stability did not mean tranquility, or an absence of apprehension. One of the most important themes in political life in this period was a sense of mounting vulnerability to France's international ambition and military power. A second major theme was the sharp convergence between conceptions of the national interest and commerce from the later 1740s. The challenge for any historian is to understand the problems, prejudices, ideologies, contradictions, and tensions which produced the British state, and which made national revival such an urgent task to many contemporaries until, with the accession of George III, it appeared for a short time at least as if Britain stood on the threshold of a new era of national prosperity, security, and harmony.
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