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Remaking the British AtlanticThe United States and the British Empire after American Independence$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199640355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640355.001.0001

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Ending the War

Ending the War

(p.15) 1 Ending the War
Remaking the British Atlantic

Peter J. Marshall

Oxford University Press

The manner in which the war came to an end had very important consequences both for the future of Anglo‐American relations and for the impact which the loss of America would have on Britain and its empire. After the loss of an army at Yorktown, British political opinion was no longer supported a war to conquer America. This did not, however, mean that the war as a whole was thought to have ended in total defeat. In fighting against other European powers Britain had begun to hold her own, while America appeared to be in a parlous state close to disintegration. Generous concessions made to the Americans in the peace were therefore widely resented and in retrospect the war came to be seen as much as a triumph of British endurance as a disaster calling for sweeping reforms at home and in the rest of the empire.

Keywords:   British empire, War of American Independence, Peace of 1783, European powers, Yorktown, British public opinion

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