History of England, Part III, William and Mary to 1887

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York




THE history of the English race has long ceased to be simply the history of a small corner of North-Western Europe. For the last two centuries a constant Expansion of England has been going on which is from many points of view the most striking fact of our recent history.

In the seventeenth century England was only one of several European colonising and trading powers. The Revolution of saw her already striving for the first place. Portugal and Holland, the first countries of modern Europe to found trading Empires, now became her dependants. The wars of the eighteenth century effectually got rid of the more formidable rivalry of France and Spain.

The English triumph brought about two great results. It led to the establishment of a vast dependency in . It resulted in the settlement of a great series of English colonies all over the world.

The loss of America, though it split for ever the British race in twain, hardly seemed to check this development. During the very years in which America was winning her independence, Warren was building up the British Empire in . A New Colonial Empire, won by force from less successful foreign colonists, or settled in wildernesses hitherto untrodden by civilised man, now grew up with wonderful rapidity.

We have now to see how during the period between the early years of and the present day British and the New Colonial Empire came into being.

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