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Charles James Fox$
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L. G. Mitchell

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201045

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201045.001.0001

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The Talents Ministry, 1806

The Talents Ministry, 1806

(p.220) 11 The Talents Ministry, 1806
Charles James Fox

L. G. Mitchell

Oxford University Press

1806 was a terrible year in British politics. It not only saw the deaths of two men, who had dominated politics for over twenty years, but it also saw the public exposure of their policies. Pitt could not win his war. Fox could not secure his peace. Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz clouded Pitt's last days, suggesting that his grand strategy of a European coalition to contain France, pursued since 1793, was in ruins. Equally, Fox's humiliating failure to bring Talleyrand to a serious discussion of peace was a terrible indictment of much of what he had been arguing for nearly two decades. Catholics and other reformers had been told to stay their demands until peace had been secured, and now they could reasonably accuse Fox of betrayal. The great achievement of ending the slave trade could be set against this record of failure, but it hardly moved the overall balance. Both Pitt and Fox died in disillusionment.

Keywords:   Charles James Fox, Talents Ministry, 18th-century politics, Pitt, France, Talleyrand

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