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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume II: The Eighteenth Century$
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P. J. Marshall and Alaine Low

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205630.001.0001

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Colonial Wars and Imperial Instability, 1688–1793

Colonial Wars and Imperial Instability, 1688–1793

(p.151) 7 Colonial Wars and Imperial Instability, 1688–1793
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume II: The Eighteenth Century

Bruce P. Lenman

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a description on colonial wars and Imperial instability of the British Empire from the late 16th century to the late 17th century. It deals with the use of force overseas. The priorities of the 18th-century British army were at home or in Europe. Colonial wars were at first limited to ones largely waged by colonial forces, British Americans and such Indian allies as they could secure, or the troops of the East India Company. It was after the wars that began in 1793 that the British army and the new Indian army were able effectively to join with the navy in imposing ‘an extra-European Fax Britannica’. The unintended consequences of the Glorious Revolution are shown. The rising importance of colonial theatres of war and an Imperial war and its frustrations are also described. In addition, a discussion on the Seven Years War is given. This War ended with spectacular British gains in India and a total British triumph in North America. Britain’s apparent world-wide supremacy after the Seven Years War had been vulnerable and insecure.

Keywords:   colonial wars, Imperial instability, British Empire, colonial forces, British army, Indian army, Glorious Revolution, Seven Years War, North America, India

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