1st Edition

Politics and Foreign Policy in the Age of George I, 1714-1727

ISBN 9781409431398
Published April 10, 2014 by Routledge
298 Pages

USD $175.00

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Book Description

Through its focus on the relationship between foreign and domestic politics, this book provides a new perspective on the often fractious and tangled events of George I’s reign (1714-27). This was a period of transition for Britain, as royal authority gave way to cabinet government, and as the country began to exercise increased influence upon the world stage. It was a reign that witnessed the trauma of the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion, saw Britain fighting Spain as part of the Quadruple Alliance, and in which Britain confronted the rise of Russia under Peter the Great. There has been relatively little new detailed work on this subject since Hatton’s biography of George I appeared in 1978, and that book, while impressive, devoted relatively little attention to the domestic political dimension of foreign policy. In contrast, Black links diplomacy to domestic politics to show that foreign policy was a key aspect of government as well as the leading battleground both for domestic politics and for ministerial rivalries. As a result he demonstrates how party identities in foreign policy were not marginal, to either policy or party, but, instead, central to both. The research is based upon a wealth of both British and foreign archive material, including State Papers Domestic, Scotland, Ireland and Regencies, as well as Foreign. Extensive use is also made of parliamentary and ministerial papers, as well as the private papers of numerous diplomats. Foreign archives consulted include papers from Hanover, Osnabrück, Darmstadt, Marburg, Munich, Paris, The Hague, Vienna and Turin. By drawing upon such a wide ranging array of sources, this book offers a rich and nuanced view of politics and foreign policy under George I.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: the challenge; The means of policy and debate; Creating an alliance; dividing a ministry, 1714-1717; War and political division, 1718-1719; Failure abroad and at home, 1720-1721; New beginnings, 1722-1724; Crisis anew, 1725-1726; Resolution? 1726-1727; Conclusions; Selected further reading; Index.

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Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Born in London, he studied at Cambridge, graduating with a Starred First, before doing postgraduate work at Oxford. From 1980 he taught at Durham University, eventually as professor, before moving to Exeter in 1996. His books include The British Seaborne Empire; Maps and History; George II: Puppet of the Politicians? and George III: America's Last King.


'... Black displays an enviable mastery of a wide variety of sources. ... Recommended.' Choice '[Contains] all the features that one would expect from a Black publication: detailed and extensive engagement with a wide variety of archival material and a desire to reconstruct the messiness and indeterminacy of the diplomatic process.' Diplomacy and Statecraft ’... [Black] has once again managed to present a thoughtful, readable, and well-researched monograph. Given the enormous production and the quality of his work, one must conclude that Professor Black remains a leading historian on British foreign policy in the eighteenth century.’ American Historical Review ’Black’s work makes a major contribution to his field in the breadth of source documents he has consulted: his extensive research has taken him to numerous foreign archives, including Hanover, Munich, Paris, and Vienna. The wide range of sources has resulted in a balanced analysis of both foreign and domestic politics and policy that provides perspectives from multiple countries and governments. This enables the reader to develop a deeper understanding of the issues raised by Black, accompanied by insights that emphasise the importance for historians of taking account of a variety, in this case, foreign, viewpoints when analysing historical events.’ Parergon