chapter  1
50 Pages

The Means of Policy

Conflict with Spain, the War of Jenkins Ear, which broke out in 1739, is generally presented as a response to popular pressure as articulated ably by opposition politicians. In 1738, moreover, the opposition gained a new-found vigour, in part because of new leadership, not least the support of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales. Frederick pursued in Parliament his quarrel with his father about receiving a fixed allowance out of the Civil List, instead of being dependent on George II's generosity. Horatio Walpole played a large role in the negotiation of commercial differences with Spain, and Geraldino, the Spanish envoy, contrasted his ability favourably with that of other ministers. In a Committee of the Whole House, Pulteney accused the ministry of doing nothing to protect trade. The move to war with Spain had consequences for the wider character of British foreign policy and has so also for current scholarly arguments. Anglo-Spanish problems were both separate from and related to, Anglo-French relations.