The Global Seven Years War 1754-1763 : Britain and France in a Great Power Contest book cover
1st Edition

The Global Seven Years War 1754-1763
Britain and France in a Great Power Contest

ISBN 9780582092396
Published June 23, 2011 by Routledge
752 Pages

USD $64.95

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Book Description

The Seven Years War was a global contest between the two superpowers of eighteenth century Europe, France and Britain.  Winston Churchill called it “the first World War”.  Neither side could afford to lose advantage in any part of the world, and the decisive battles of the war ranged from Fort Duquesne in what is now Pittsburgh to Minorca in the Mediterranean, from Bengal to Quèbec.  By its end British power in North America and India had been consolidated and the foundations of Empire laid, yet at the time both sides saw it primarily as a struggle for security, power and influence within Europe.


In this eagerly awaited study, Daniel Baugh, the world’s leading authority on eighteenth century maritime history looks at the war as it unfolded from the failure of Anglo-French negotiations over the Ohio territories in 1784 through the official declaration of war in 1756 to the treaty of Paris which formally ended hostilities between England and France in 1763.  At each stage he examines the processes of decision-making on each side for what they can show us about the capabilities and efficiency of the two national governments and looks at what was involved not just in the military engagements themselves but in the complexities of sustaining campaigns so far from home.


With its panoramic scope and use of telling detail this definitive account will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in military history or the history of eighteenth century Europe.

Table of Contents



Preface and Acknowledgments


Chapter 1  Introduction

   North America’s Emerging Importance

   Canada’s Utility for France

   A Global Contest

   Geography and Policy


Chapter 2  Statesmen and Regimes

   The Duke of Newcastle

   The Earl of Hardwicke

   William Pitt

   The Duc de Choiseul


Chapter 3  Origins: The Contested Regions, 1748-1754

   Acadia and Nova Scotia

   The New York Frontier

   Ohio: The French Predicament

   Ohio: The French Solution

   Virginia Responds

   A Contest in India: Dupleix’s Project


Chapter 4  Risking War, 1754-1755

   Unreadiness of the British Colonies

   Britain Raises the Stakes

   The Futile Negotiation

   Britain and Europe

   Whitehall Under Pressures, Versailles Under Illusions

Chapter 5  War Without Declaration: North America, 1755

   The French Navy Wins a Gamble

   Nova Scotia

   Braddock and Disaster

   Campaigns in Northern New York


Chapter 6   Indecision in Europe: May to December 1755

   Seizure of French Shipping

   The Netherlands and Hanover

   Pitt and the Russian Subsidy

   Paralysis at Versailles


Chapter 7  French Triumphs, British Blunders, 1756

   France’s Initial War Plan

   France and the Diplomatic Revolution

   Admiral Byng and the French Conquest of Minorca

   Oswego Destroyed

   British and American Armies


Chapter 8   France’s New War Plan, 1756-1757

   Pitt Attains his Goal

   War Begins on the Continent

   France’s New War Plan

   The Trial of Admiral Byng

   Pitt, George II and Germany

   The French Invasion of Germany

   A Hanoverian Policy

   Louisbourg and Lake George

   The Rochefort Expedition


Chapter 9  The Tide Turns, 1758

   The French Army in Germany: Defeat and Disaster

   War in India: Bengal

   Achieving Naval Superiority

   Raids on the French Channel Coast

   France in Distress


Chapter 10 The Atlantic and North America, 1758

   Seapower and Shipping

   West Africa

   Changing Conditions of North American Warfare

   The Conquest of Louisbourg

   Ticonderoga and Frontenac

   Mountains and Indians: The Road to Fort Duquesne


Chapter 11 The West Indies and North America, 1759

   Martinique and Guadeloupe

   Niagara and Lake Champlain

   Montcalm, Vaudreuil and the Defence of Canada

   The Capture of Quebec


Chapter 12 The British Victory at Sea, 1759

   Invasion Threat and Blockade of Brest

   Lagos Bay and Quiberon Bay

   France Defeated: The War Lost


Chapter 13 Britain Conquers Afar, Disunity Looms at Home

   Choiseul’s Approach to Peace, 1759-60

   War in India: The Coromandel Coast

   The Conquest of Canada, 1760

   Pitt and the German War

   The Pitt-Newcastle Administration Undermined


Chapter 14  The Chance of Peace, 1761

   Antecedents: Spain, Austria, Russia, and Ferdinand’s Winter Campaign

   Choiseul’s Two Negotiations

   Belle-Île and Westphalia

   The Anglo-French Negotiation

   Choiseul and the Lost Chance of Peace

   The Path to War with Spain


Chapter 15  Peacemaking 1762: Concessions Before Conquests

Aftermath of Pitt’s Resignation

   The German War and the Prussian Subsidy

   Martinique Conquered

   The Secret Negotiation

   The Defence of Portugal

   The Capture of Havana

   Peace with Bitterness


Chapter 16   Conclusion and Aftermath

   Fundamental Causes of British Military Success

   Why Peace was Delayed

   The Significance of 1762

   Outcomes: Peace Terms, Finances, Navies, Spain and France

   Britain and North America


Abbreviations and Short Titles


Notes on Sources

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Daniel Baugh is Professor Emeritus of History, Cornell University. Born in Philadelphia, he received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University and is author of British Naval Administration in the Age of Walpole (1965).


"Daniel Baugh's substantial new book on the Seven Years War illuminates the contest across the world - in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, West Africa, and Asia - between the British and the French. He provides a masterly and accessible narrative, based on many years of study and reflection."

– Stephen Conway, University College London.

"Daniel Baugh's book meets a genuine need: a one-volume history of the eight-year struggle between Britain and France for maritime and colonial dominance. He presents a clear and engaging narrative, informed and highly informative, smoothly melding political, diplomatic, military, and naval history into a single, persuasive account of a war that was as consequential as it was complex."

– John Shy, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Michigan

"Baugh, an eminent naval historian, displays astonishing breadth in describing and analysing the strategies, logistics, politics, and leading personalities of this first Anglo-French global war, fought on four continents and in seven seas. The result is a narrative bristling with fresh and challenging perspectives, insights, and evaluations. Masterful."

– Ian K. Steele, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Western Ontario

"This is an important account. It provides a comprehensive and accessible means to follow the war outside Europe, and Baugh's judgements about the skills of those involved are pithy and fair... Both expert and novice will learn much from Baugh's detailed history of a decisive conflict."

The English Historical Review