Chatham and the British Empire

Chatham and the British Empire

Chatham and the British Empire

Chatham and the British Empire

Excerpt

This is not a biography in the proper sense of the term of William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham. Those who desire such will find it in the standard Life (2 vols.) by Prof. Basil Williams, F.B.A., supplemented by the later volume (W. Pitt, Earl of Chatham) by Brian Tunstall (1938), to which they can safely be referred.

What is attempted here, in limited space, is a study of the imperial problem of the First British Empire, with which (as the major issue of British and European affairs) the political career of William Pitt, from his entry into the House of Commons in 1735 to his collapse (April 7th) in the House of Lords in 1778, was continuously concorned. That First British Empire ended in 1783, five years after Chatham's death, in disaster and disruption, and a new imperial problem of the Second British Empire commenced with the recognition of the independence of the United States of North America, and with the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles (1783) which registered the victory of France and her allies.

William Pitt was not, as he has often erroneously been called, the Founder of the First British Empire; but unquestionably he saved it in the great Ministry (1757-1761). This achieve-

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