Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783

By John C. Miller | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Peace Settlement

DESPITE military defeats and diplomatic reverses that might easily have overturned another ministry, Lord North remained in power, picking his way from disaster to disaster. As the war spun itself out, North and his colleagues seemed riveted to their seats; through good news and bad, the Ministry stood firm, invulnerable to the slings and arrows of the opposition. Burke lamented that every event of the war, whether victory or defeat, the appointment of new generals or the recall of old generals, towns captured or towns surrendered, "all spurred us on to this fatal business. Victories gave us hopes, defeats made us desperate, and both instigated us to go on." "Everything has miscarried that has been undertaken," exclaimed Horace Walpole in 1779, "and the worse we succeed, the more is risked; -- yet the nation is not angry."

Lord North owed his long tenure of power primarily to the determination of Englishmen to restore the revolted colonies to the empire. As the leader of the war party, North possessed the confidence of the country to a greater degree than did any Whig statesman; in general, Englishmen opened their hearts to the man who stood for the integrity of the British Empire against rebels and republicans. In his hours of discouragement -- and they were many -- Lord North took comfort in the reflection that there was "a very great majority of the nation at large, who were for prosecuting the war against our rebellious subjects in America"; he had not only the King, but the people, on his side.

At the beginning of the war, the Duke of Richmond had predicted that nothing except defeat and hardship would induce the people of Great Britain to make peace. "Injustice, rapine, murder, desolation, loss of liberty, all these we can inflict, or suffer our fellow-subjects to endure," he declared, "but when we are to pay, we shall grumble; . . . it will only


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 722

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?