ABSTRACT

Domestic politics were a concern as ministers considered how far, by strengthening the alliance system with Austria and the Dutch; they could both bring the war to a close, and begin the post-war world. Both Spain and Prussia in particular were assessed as potential helps to peace and as possible post-war allies for Britain. The views of existing allies, notably Austria and Sardinia, had to be considered, and, linked to this, Britain's hopes from these allies. It was also necessary to assess the likely consequences in terms of the political debate over foreign policy within Britain, and in a variety of milieux from George II's Closet to the public sphere. The possibility that the latter would become more complex, and the ministry less stable, rose markedly in 1747 when the restless Frederick, Prince of Wales went into opposition to his father's ministers and, thus, to his father.