Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-1775

By George Elliott Howard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE BRITISH EMPIRE UNDER GEORGE III (1760-1775)

AT the close of the French and Indian War the British Empire comprised the united kingdom of England, Wales, and Scotland; the dependencies, of Ireland, Man, and the Channel Islands; the sea fortress of Gibraltar and other stations; the Asiatic possessions; and the colonies in America. Together England, Wales, and Scotland had a population of about 8,500,000. Since the union in 1707 Scotland had enjoyed full commercial and political equality with England, and already she was becoming somewhat reconciled to the loss of independent nationality. Ireland, with perhaps 3,500,ooo people, was a "satrapy" frightfully misgoverned. There the seeds of rebellion were already sown, and before the century was out they were to bear their own proper fruit. "Ireland," says a modern English historian, "was absolutely subject to Britain, but she formed no part of it, she shared neither in its liberty nor its wealth." The forms of national life to her were a mere sham, and her people were ruthlessly exploited for the benefit of an

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