European Interest On The Revolutionary War

863 words - 3 pages

Although the Revolutionary War was based on the premise of liberty and equality for suppressed American colonists, it was mainly influenced and fueled by geopolitical, economic, and political interests of European nations. After the French and Indian War Britain had the largest number of foreign colonies on the freshly discovered continent of North America. The amount of land claimed however was not as significant as the value that a territory brought back to the mother country. Mercantilistic policies demanding control of vital areas, as well as nationalistic rivalries between nations had already given way to several world wars between the dueling powers of Europe. Colonies in distant lands such as America were merely marionettes controlled and manipulated coincidentally into victory by the monarchs of the old world.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the British Empire was the leading world power with the largest amount of influence as well as the greatest navy in existence. Acquiring and holding that position however, doesn’t come without the creation of a few enemies. The English had fought many wars in order to protect their own interests and defend their title in the new world. Events such as the War of Jenkins’ Ear, The War of Spanish Succession, King George’s War, and The Seven Years War granted England a great amount of strength and recently discovered treasures, but also left many nations craving vengeance (Bailey, Cohen, Kennedy
106). Despite the rising resentment of her neighbors, Britain was determined to gain and maintain key locations in America that would be economically advantageous. The Ohio River Valley for example was a key focus in the Seven Years War (Kennedy, Cohen, Bailey 109). Due to this determination France, Holland, and Spain had all lost many of their important land claims and the three of them, having had previous non-diplomatic relations with Britain prior to the new world entanglements (Tuchman), wanted revenge. The Dutch Republic in particular was vehemently involved against the English and after fighting the first, second, and third Anglo-Dutch Wars (Tuchman) the Dutch were eager to see them fail.

Anger over militaristic losses and a thirst for retribution over lost property was just a partial reason for international tension, economic competition also drove a wedge between the imperialistic powers of Europe. Trade with distant colonies become a staple source of capital. Areas such as the West Indies were for example one of the most valuable locations for gaining a profit. Britain and Holland were the two fiercest competitors during this time. After gaining independence from the Spanish Empire in 1648, the Dutch...

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