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Britain and France at the Birth of AmericaThe European Powers and the Peace Negotiations of 1782-83$
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Andrew Stockley

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780859896153

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859896153.001.0001

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The Approach of Peace

The Approach of Peace

(p.11) 1 The Approach of Peace
Britain and France at the Birth of America

Andrew Stockley

Liverpool University Press

In 1777, the third year of the American Revolution, Britain began to realise that the conflict with the American colonies was likely to prove long and costly, and might even end in failure. This chapter, which examines the history of the peace negotiations of 1782–1784 that ended the War of American Independence, begins by looking at the ministry of Lord North that had presided over the outbreak and the expansion of the war, before turning to British peace overtures to America. It then considers the role of Jacques Necker, France's finance minister, and British talks with Spain as well as the mediation of Austria and Russia. The chapter also analyses the British defeat at Yorktown on October 19, 1781 and the role of the Rockingham ministry in the peace negotiations, Charles James Fox's advocacy of unconditional American independence, and the stalemate in Europe. It concludes with a discussion of the death of the marquess of Rockingham and its implications for the peace talks.

Keywords:   peace negotiations, American Revolution, Britain, American colonies, Lord North, American Independence, America, Jacques Necker, France, Spain

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