Failure in America raised questions about the value of colonies and the future of the British empire. British governments, however, considered that certain colonial possessions remained of fundamental importance and that they should continue to be managed on established principles. The prominence given to Ireland and the West Indies together with the remaining North American colonies meant that the Atlantic remained the main sphere of British concerns, although the East India Company's Indian territories was becoming a major imperial commitment which was gaining in consequence. The chapter stresses continuities rather than changes which might be seen as marking any immediate shift towards the creation of second empire different from that before the loss of America. A concluding section notes the beginnings of a new American continental empire purporting to be very different from the British one.
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