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From Alliance to Confrontation : Anglo-French Relations 1731-1740

Jeremy Black

Jeremy Black, From Alliance to Confrontation : Anglo-French Relations 1731-1740, dans : Francia - Forschungen zur westeuropäischen Geschichte, vol. 19/2 (1992), p. 23-46.

Extrait de l’article

Anglo-French relations in the 1730s have been relatively neglected for several décades. There are three major reasons. First, the general neglect that has affected »ancien régime« international relations in the scholarship of the last fifty years. Thus, the last major work devoted to French foreign policy during the administration of Cardinal André Hercule de Fleury (1726-1743) was published in 1936 and, although its author had an excellent knowledge of the published sources, he was only able to consult a small number of volumes in the foreign ministry archives. Secondly, an excellent book on Anglo-French relations between 1731 and 1742 appeared to make any other study unnecessary. Thirdly, these years seemed less interesting than those when the two powers had been allied, 1716-31, and, in particular, than the years of war and imperial struggle between 1743 and 1763. The latter period appeared full of significance, the preceding decade inconsequential. Indeed, a very stress on war and struggle helped to make the 1730s appear not only inconsequential, but misleading, the last echo of the attempt to secure better Anglo-French relations that had since 1716 marked simply an interlude in what has been termed the "Second Hundred Years War" between the two powers.

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