chapter  16
33 Pages

Policy abroad 1815-51

In 1815 Britain, that 'nation of shopkeepers', had emerged as one of the arbiters of the fate of Europe. By 1851 Britain had a global commercial role: the decisions in Westminster affected countries as diverse as China, Canada and India. This chapter examines how that transformation occurred through a consideration of the principles or, as Edward Grey would have it, the pragmatism underlying foreign policies and the roles of Castlereagh, Canning, Aberdeen and Palmerston, who were Foreign Secretaries for the bulk of the period.3