ABSTRACT

The growing crisis over North America was to interact with tensions in British politics following the unexpected death of Henry Pelham on 6 March 1754. The prospect of war with France in North America posed an immediate problem: it was unclear how far this conflict could be limited to North America and the high seas. Newcastle was able to reconstitute the ministry after Pelham died without reference to foreign policy and without having to take into office those whom he disliked. The projected treaty with Russia was regarded as dependent on Austria. Problems in the alliance with Austria, nevertheless, ensured that there was speculation about existing and possible alignments. The government no longer had confidence in its ability to secure parliamentary support for its policies, and was wary about the political vulnerability and costs of its policy.