British Expansion Into the Pacific Essay

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British Expansion Into the Pacific In 1763 the British Empire rose from the Seven Years’ War triumphant. This victory offered them the opportunity to explore and colonise the relatively unknown region of the Pacific. There were a number of reasons why they were interested in the Pacific region; these include military advantage, popular interest, economic prosperity, scientific exploration, moral obligations and population control. However the Pacific never achieved the British hopes as it was limited by distance, size and difficulties. Prior to 1763, Britain was one of several empires vying for international domination and commercial power. The British began their international endeavours relatively late, primarily due to internal conflicts and wars with France, and experienced considerable rivalry from the French, the Dutch and the Spanish Empires. The British Empire was made up of a collection of colonies in the Caribbean and Americas, with some commercial activity in West Africa and India and did not appear to be particularly determined to annex further territory. The colonies were unimpressive compared with their rivals, and produced only a modest return of revenue, but by 1763 the British victory in the Seven Years’ War launched them into an expansion of colonial holdings, primarily appropriated from French territories and opened up the Pacific in a way unmatched to any in the past. This victory provided the British with the confidence to explore the Pacific unrivalled and they were eager to establish trade and commercial connections to compensate for the war expenses they had just accumulated and to expand their commercial empire. There is an observable shift in the focus for the British Empire from one of military dominance to trade enterprise and the documentation from government officials to British voyagers shows an emphasis on obtaining

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