British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765

By George Louis Beer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
PLANS FOR A UNION OF THE CONTINENTAL COLONIES IN 1754

THE English government was loath to renew the struggle. Great Britain was in one of her frequent pessimistic moods, belittling her own strength and magnifying that of the enemy. It was feared that France would acquire not only political but also complete commercial supremacy, and that Great Britain would be absolutely at the mercy of her rival. The aggressions of the French in the Ohio Valley, however, forced the government to take some action. On August 28, 1753, Holdernesse, the secretary of state in charge of colonial affairs, addressed a circular despatch to the governors authorizing them to repel, by force if necessary, any invasion of his Majesty's unquestioned dominions, but cautioning them not to be the aggressors.1 At the same time, in view of the great emergency, the home government sent £10,000 to Dinwiddie, the lieutenant-governor of Virginia, that colony being the one most affected by the French advance, and allowed him to draw £10,000 in addition for the defence of

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1
Am. and W.I. 74.

-16-

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