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Title: The administration of Newcastle and Pitt : the departments of state and the conduct of the War, 1754-1760, with particular reference to the campaigns in North America
Author: Middleton, C. Richard
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 1968
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The Seven Years War began badly for England. The defeat of Braddock was followed by the loss of Minorca and Oswego. Then defeat dramatically turned to victory. The French navy was crushed at Lagos and Quiberon Bay, the French army was checked at Minden, and the French Empire in North America finally brought down. Historians have usually attributed this change of fortune to a change of leadership when the energetic William Pitt replaced the incompetent Duke of Newcastle. Under Pitt the objects of the war were enlarged and so was the British capacity for waging it. The departments most closely concerned in these events were the Admiralty, Navy and Victualling Boards, the War Office, Ordnance Board, and the two Secretaries of State. Between them they constituted an impressive collection of departmental agencies with formidable responsibilities which included the building, maintaining, manning and feeding of the fleet, the raising of transports, the recruiting and housing of the army, and the equipping of the two services with a wide variety of ordnance stores and other equipment. During the years 1754 to 1760 the departments by their own standards executed these tasks competently, but it was not a period of reform or dramatic change. Success was accomplished with the same administrative machinery as h'ad sufficed England in all her wars since the end of the seventeenth century. There was no noticeable improvement in the effective use of resources, and few new ideas regarding the prosecution of the war. Administration remained bound to precedent and tradition, and there is little evidence of that constructive leadership from Pitt which has usually been alleged. In the conduct of the war in North America, there was a lamentable lack of foresight, especially in the arrangements made for the hire of transports. But uncertainties of weather and the difficulties of communication put planning at a premium and leadership at a discount.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available