The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812-1815, Britain and the European Alliance

By Thomas Lawrence ; C. J. Bartlett | Go to book overview

8
Castlereagh and the
Wider World

Momentous and time-consuming as Britain's relations with the European great powers may have been from 1814 to 1822, those with the non-European world were also of great significance. Although many of these matters fell within the competence of the President of the Board of Control or the Secretary of State for War and Colonies rather than of the Foreign Secretary, Castlereagh's tenure of the Foreign Office witnessed considerable progress towards the later nineteenth-century position when a large proportion of the business of the department was concerned with non-European matters. Quite apart from the projection of European rivalries to the wider world, British foreign policy had to take account of the pressure from the anti- slave-trade movement, and from various British commercial interests in search of new and secure markets. The colossal expansion of British trade was to carry British representatives into many unlikely parts of the world, and give rise to an immense variety of questions. Although the Far East was still mainly the preserve of the East Indian Company, under the supervision of the Board of Control, Dutch activity in the East Indies led to the involvement of the Foreign Office soon after 1815. Africa, as yet, attracted comparatively little interest, save for the question of the slave trade, and it was left to the Americas to draw the attention of the Foreign Office in large measure. Here, on the one hand, Britain was still learning how to live at peace with her ex-American colonists, while on the other she was trying to restore peace between Spain and her rebellious Latin American colonists. More seemed to be at stake than Britain's commercial interests, important as they were, since the outcome of these questions might, in the long run at least,

-235-

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The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812-1815, Britain and the European Alliance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Castlereagh *
  • In Memory of Paul *
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1: The 'Mask' of Castlereagh 1
  • 2: Irish Apprenticeship 1790-1801 6
  • 3: India and the Liar Against Napoleon 1802-9 40
  • 4: The Pittites Without Pitt 1806-12 88
  • 5: Wars and Peace-Making 1812-15 106
  • 6: Leader of the House of Commons 1812-22 162
  • 7: Castlereagh and the 'New Diplomacy' 1816-22 199
  • 8: Castlereagh and the Wider World 235
  • 9: Suicide and Conclusion 259
  • Bibliographical Note 281
  • Index 287
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