chapter  12
25 Pages

The Anglo-French struggle for empire

Colonial events, at least transatlantic ones, now no longer took place in a different political world as well as a different continent. The Anglo-Spanish war of 1739 and the undeclared Anglo-French one of 1755, the first great struggles between European states to be provoked solely by commercial and colonial rivalries, showed unmistakably how things had changed in this respect. The Asiento agreement which she had extorted from an unwilling Spanish government in March 1714 provided for the sale each year by the English South Sea Company to Spanish America of a specified number of African slaves at a fixed price. The defeat of Lally by Sir Eyre Coote at Wandewash in January 1760 and the fall a year later of Pondicherry, France's main stronghold in India completed the British victory. The colonial wars of the middle decades of the century had thus changed the political face of much of the world.