Your assignment takes the shape of a 2500 word essay on the development of “Empire” in the history of Britain between the years 1660-1760. The overall strategy for this year’s fast-track course is Power politics, with the attempt being made to line up historical strategies for domination with contemporary issues currently on view in the world today.
Here are some of the topics that must be addressed in your essay:
1. The importance of sea power in this process
2. The nature and extent of Britain’s colonial control and commercial expansion in the period. The growth and nature of British overseas trade and the ways in which this involved the development of colonial and quasi- colonial relationships in India, the Americas and West Africa;
3. Why trade increasingly flowed between colonies and from, and to, the mother country.
You should also have knowledge and understanding of developing British policy on commercial and colonial developments, including increasing investment in the British navy, although don’t offer detailed knowledge of specific governments.
You should have knowledge and understanding of the extent to which wars in the late seventeenth and early and mid eighteenth centuries impacted on the development of colonial and commercial relations.
You should also understand why key events and developments might be considered as turning points in the development of the British Empire in this period. The relevant key events and developments are:
1. the Anglo- Dutch Wars of the 1660s and 1670s:
2. British government investment in naval power in this period;
3. The expansion of commercial and colonial developments in India;
4. the expansion of British commercial and colonial developments in the West Indies and eastern seaboard states of North America;
5. the commercial significance of the Act of Union (1707)
6. the significance of the War of Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht; the Seven Years’ War.
The focus of this unit is on the process of change over a long period of time, so don’t concentrate exclusively on depth of knowledge, for example, about one particular colony or on technical developments in British shipping, but you should understand the context within which the key maritime, colonial and commercial developments took place, why they were important and what their main effects were.
You should also be able to construct a developmental account, in which events or factors are included for their significance in creating change, or maintaining continuity.