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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Domestic Political Context

The Domestic Political Context

(p.139) 4 The Domestic Political Context
Britain and France at the Birth of America

Andrew Stockley

Liverpool University Press

Hopes for a reconciliation between France and Britain did not last long. Although the British Parliament pledged to uphold the peace settlement, it censured the terms that had been agreed. The earl of Shelburne lost office in February 1783, and Charles James Fox, returning as foreign secretary, immediately reversed his policies, and in favour of the much more traditional anti-Bourbon standpoint. Charles Gravier Vergennes, the French foreign minister, continued to suggest joint action over the Crimea, but Fox responded by revealing Vergennes's overtures to Russia and his pursuit of the mirage of a continental alliance between Russia and Prussia. This chapter examines the peace negotiations of 1782–1784 that ended the War of American Independence in the context of British domestic politics. It first considers British political opinion regarding the negotiations before turning to the support provided by King George III and British foreign secretary Thomas Robinson Grantham to the earl of Shelburne concerning a rapprochement with France. The chapter then discusses the Cabinet opposition to Shelburne's way of thinking.

Keywords:   peace negotiations, France, Britain, British Parliament, earl of Shelburne, Charles James Fox, Charles Gravier Vergennes, American Independence, British domestic politics, George III

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