The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783

By A. T. Mahan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII.
SEVEN YEARS' WAR, 1756-1763. -- ENGLAND'S OVERWHELMING POWER AND CONQUESTS ON THE SEAS, IN NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE, AND EAST AND WEST INDIES. -- SEA BATTLES: BYNG OFF MINORCA; HAWKE AND CONFLANS; POCOCK AND D'ACHÉ IN EAST INDIES.

THE urgency with which peace was desired by the principal parties to the War of the Austrian Succession may perhaps be inferred from the neglect to settle definitely and conclusively many of the questions outstanding between them, and notably the very disputes about which the war between England and Spain began. It seems as though the powers feared to treat thoroughly matters that contained the germs of future quarrels, lest the discussion should prolong the war that then existed. England made peace because the fall of Holland was otherwise inevitable, not because she had enforced, or surrendered, her claims of 1739 against Spain. The right of uninterrupted navigation in West Indian seas, free from any search, was left undetermined, as were other kindred matters. Not only so, but the boundaries between the English and French colonies in the valley of the Ohio, toward Canada, and on the land side of the Nova Scotian peninsula, remained as vague as they had before been. It was plain that peace could not last; and by it, if she bad saved Holland, England surrendered the control of the sea which she had won. The true character of the strife, shrouded for a moment by the continental war, was revealed by the so- called peace; though formally allayed, the contention continued in every part of the world.

In India, Dupleix, no longer able to attack the English openly, sought to undermine their power by the line of policy

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