The fourth chapter shows the Marlborough-Godolphin partnership challenged by Nottingham for control of grand strategy. The expansion of the war into Portugal, Spain, the Mediterranean, and the Americas makes Godolphin anxious about over-extension of resources. He also has to bring about the union of England with a violently nationalist Scotland to fulfil the queen’s desire and safeguard the Protestant succession. Marlborough is prevented by the Dutch from following up his success in the Low Countries and the Holy Roman Empire comes under threat from France. But Godolphin’s rigorous management of the Treasury gains the confidence of the City, thus lowering the interest rates for public credit, enabling him to pay subsidies to the Allies, exercise control over strategy, and fund Marlborough’s secret plan to save Vienna. With the aid of Robert Harley, Marlborough and Godolphin use the parliamentary contest over Occasional Conformity to divide the Tory opposition.
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