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Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire
     

Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire

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by Brendan Simms
 

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In the eighteenth century, Britain became a world superpower through a series of sensational military strikes. Traditionally, the Royal Navy has been seen as Britain's key weapon, but in Three Victories and a Defeat Brendan Simms argues that Britain's true strength lay with the German aristocrats who ruled it at the time. The House of Hanover superbly

Overview

In the eighteenth century, Britain became a world superpower through a series of sensational military strikes. Traditionally, the Royal Navy has been seen as Britain's key weapon, but in Three Victories and a Defeat Brendan Simms argues that Britain's true strength lay with the German aristocrats who ruled it at the time. The House of Hanover superbly managed a complex series of European alliances that enabled Britain to keep the continental balance of power in check while dramatically expanding her own empire. These alliances sustained the nation through the War of the Spanish Succession, the War of the Austrian Succession, and the Seven Years' War. But in 1776, Britain lost the American continent by alienating her European allies.

An extraordinary reinterpretation of British and American history, Three Victories and a Defeat is a masterwork by a rising star of the historical profession.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Simms, of Cambridge University, is among the finest of a new generation of British historians. In his most ambitious work to date, he addresses arguably the fundamental question of British identity: is it European or insular? Simms lines up solidly with the Europeanists, but provides a global twist. He interprets Britain's greatness and survival as a function of maintaining a buffer zone on the continent. The Low Countries and the Holy Roman Empire had to remain in friendly hands. In the first half of the 18th century, Britain, as a burgeoning empire, sought allies with economic resources and, when necessary, with armed force. The result was "three victories"-against Spain, Austria and in the Seven Years' War-that established a balance of power. Yet Britain's government and people began to believe the sea and the Royal Navy alone guaranteed Britain's security. Neglecting and alienating its continental neighbors led to the expansion of a debate with the North American colonies into a global war. Britain suffered disaster, but learned a lesson as well, Simms shows, maintaining in succeeding centuries the continental commitment that sustained its existence. Illus., maps. (Jan.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786727223
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
12/09/2008
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
800
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Brendan Simms is Reader in International Relations at the Center for International Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Struggle for Mastery in Germany and Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize. He lives in Cambridge, England.

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Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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