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Title: A Vision of Empire : the development of British opinion regarding the American Colonial Empire 1730-1770
Author: Cornish, Rory Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0001 3562 8912
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1987
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British colonial thinking was already well developed before the Stamp Act crisis of 1765-6 and this work traces the evolution of such thought from a period of relative neglect through a period of virtual renaissance in the 1750s to the formation of the North Ministry. Based upon both private and public opinion, the analysis concludes that the vision of Empire developed by 1770 was, in essence, the mercantile conceptualism which first encouraged the birth of Empire itself. Thus the work illustrates the strong degree of continuity in British colonial thinking, while at the same time, it provides a basis from which to interpret later British responses to the final crisis of Empire. Colonial theory did not exist in a political vacuum divorced from action, expediency or interest. The successive agencies which aided an awareness of colonial problems - the Board of Trade, the colonial expert, the Seven Years War, the Canada-Guadeloupe debate and the Stamp Act crisis are investigated in a series of interlinked chapters. The advocates of all interests constantly justified their relative positions through an appeal to history, precedent and preconception. This prevented any real progress in British attitudes towards Empire. Paradoxically, as British opinion became more concerned with the Empire its vision had little to do with colonial actualities. In short, even colonial expert opinion was illusory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available