Britain and the ‘Long’ Eighteenth Century, 1688–1815

Jeremy Black

in The Practice of Strategy

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608638
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731754 | DOI:
Britain and the ‘Long’ Eighteenth Century, 1688–1815

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Jeremy Black focuses on British policy and strategy in the so‐called ‘long’ eighteenth century, beginning with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and ending with the battle of Waterloo in 1815. Chapter 7 provides a contextual debate on the relationship between policy and strategy, discussing the dynamics between strategy and dynasticism, the complexity of strategic culture, the character of British imperialism, and the concept of power, with the associated challenges of reach and overreach. These factors collectively explain what the author refers to as the limitations to strategic planning. Black next describes the dynamics between strategy and policy in three case studies—the Seven Years War (1756–63), the American War of Independence (1775–83), and the French Revolution (1789–99)—and briefly analyses the Napoleonic Wars. Each conflict exhibited important geopolitical and strategic continuities as well as important political differences, and was shaped by Britain's domestic conditions and priorities.

Keywords: Britain; ‘long’ eighteenth century; war; strategy; history; diplomacy; Seven Years War; American War of Independence; French Revolution; imperialism

Chapter.  11376 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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