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The Duke of Newcastle's war : Walpole's ministry and the war against Spain, 1737-1742

Woodfine, Philip (1994) The Duke of Newcastle's war : Walpole's ministry and the war against Spain, 1737-1742. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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This thesis examines the last years of the Walpole ministry. It attempts to shed light on the
inner workings of that ministry through an examination of its foreign policy, exploring the
origins and impact of the 1739 war with Spain. This dissertation is the only extended
modem study of the Anglo-Spanish diplomacy in these years. It is the only work to give
adequate consideration both to the varying influence of British domestic pressures and to
Spanish concerns. The thesis attempts to treat Spain's negotiations as variable, contingent
on chance and on personalities, as well as on certain intractable beliefs and principles.
Events are viewed largely from the perspective of the centre, the handful of leading
ministers and diplomats who discussed and made political and diplomatic decisions. The
personalities of ministers both in Spain and England, their interactions and rivalries and
their differing views, are important to understanding how diplomacy worked. Though
concentrating mainly on such interactions, and particularly the growing rivalry between
Newcastle and Walpole, the thesis tries to show how influential others were. The inner
circle of British ministers was preoccupied with the voice of those `without doors', and
public opinion set limits to diplomacy even in Spain. The domestic context of British
foreign policy included also a developing popular patriotism.

The thesis contends that the Walpole ministry nearly succeeded in procuring a genuine
commercial peace with Spain, and that the reasons for failure did not arise exclusively
from domestic political clamour. Royal prestige and individual ministerial personalitites, in
both countries, affected the outcome at least as much. The full explanation of a complex
breakdown can only be found in a close attention to the chronology of negotiation. The
thesis is therefore mainly chronological in form. In each chapter, though, an attempt is
made to take up relevant themes and develop them with a less strict regard to chronology.
Some issues, such as the role of monarchy, and of public opinion, the press campaign and
Opposition tactics, the contribution of the South Sea Company, recur.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2009 10:23
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 05:03


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