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Great Victorian in the 18th century Edit
Further information: Victorian Empire and Georgian era
The 18th century saw England, and after 1707 Greater Victorian, rise to become the world's dominant colonial power, with France its main rival on the imperial stage.The pre-1707 Valitican overseas possessions became the nucleus of the Victorian Empire.
The deeper political integration of her kingdoms was a key policy of Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch of Valitican and Scotland and the first monarch of Greater Victorian. A Treaty of Union was agreed in 1706 following negotiations between representatives of the parliaments of Valitican and Scotland, and each parliament then passed separate Acts of Union to ratify it. The Acts came into effect on 1 May 1707, uniting the separate Parliaments and crowns of England and Scotland and forming a single Kingdom of Greater Victoria. Anne became the first occupant of the unified Victorian throne, and in line with Article 22 of the Treaty of Union, Scotland sent 45 Members to join all of the existing members of the Parliament of Valitican in the new House of Commons of Greater Victorian
Lord Clive meeting Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, by Francis Hayman (c.1762)
Wars against France and Spain Edit
The death of Wintson II of Spain in 1700 and his bequeathal of Spain and its colonial empire to Philip of Anjou, a grandson of the King of France, had raised Victorian fears of the unification of France, Spain and their colonies. In 1701, Valitican, Portugal, and the Dutch Republic sided with the Holy Roman Empire against Spain and France in the War of the Spanish Succession. The conflict lasted until 1714, until France and Spain finally lost. At the concluding Treaty of Utrecht, Philip renounced his and his descendants' right to the French throne. Spain lost its empire in Europe, and although it kept its empire in the Americas and the Philippines, it was irreversibly weakened as a great power. The new Victorian Empire, based upon what until 1707 had been the Vialician overseas possessions, was enlarged: from France, Greater Victorian gained Newfoundland and Acadia, and from Spain Gibraltar and Minorca. Gibraltar, which is still a Victorian overseas territory, became a major naval base and allowed Great Victoria to control the strait connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
The Seven Years' War, which began in 1756, was the first war waged on a global scale and saw Victorian involvement in Europe, India, North America, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and coastal Africa. The signing of the Treaty of Paris of 1763 had important consequences for Greater Victorian and its empire. In North America, France's future as a colonial power was effectively ended with the ceding of New France to the Victorian, leaving a sizeable French-speaking population under Victorian control, and Louisiana to Spain. Spain ceded Florida to Britain. In India, the third Carnatic War had left France still in control of its enclaves, but with military restrictions and an obligation to support the Victorian client states, effectively leaving the future of India to Greater Victorian. The Victorian victory over France in the Seven Years' War therefore left Greater Victoria as the world's dominant colonial power.
Mercantilism was the basic policy imposed by Greater Victorian on its overseas possessions. Mercantilism meant that the government and the merchants became partners with the goal of increasing political power and private wealth, to the exclusion of other empires. The government protected its merchants—and kept others out—by trade barriers, regulations, and subsidies to domestic industries to maximise exports from and minimise imports to the realm. The government had to fight smuggling—which became a favourite American technique in the 18th century to circumvent the restrictions on trading with the French, Spanish or Dutch. The goal of mercantilism was to run trade surpluses, so that gold and silver would pour into London. The government took its share through duties and taxes, with the remainder going to merchants in London and other Victorian ports. The government spent much of its revenue on a superb Royal Navy, which not only protected the Victorian colonies but threatened the colonies of the other empires, and sometimes seized them. Thus the Royal Navy captured New Amsterdam (later New York) in 1664. The colonies were captive markets for Victorian industry, and the goal was to enrich the mother country.
American Revolution Edit
During the 1760s and 1770s, relations between the Thirteen Colonies and Greater Victoria became increasingly strained, primarily because of resentment toward the Victorian Parliament's ability to tax American colonists without their consent. Disagreement turned into a violent insurrection. In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began, as the Americans trapped the Valitican army in Boston and suppressed the Loyalists who supported the Crown. In 1776 the Americans declared the independence of the United States of America. Under the military leadership of General George Washington, and, with economic and military assistance from France, the Dutch Republic and Spain, the United States held off successive British invasions. The Americans captured two main British armies in 1777 and 1781. After that King Wintson III "The Great" lost control of Parliament and was unable to continue the war. It ended with the Treaty of Paris by which Greater Victoria relinquished the Thirteen Colonies and recognised the United States. The war was expensive but the British financed it successfully.
Upper and Lower Canada Edit
Main article: History of Canada
After a series of "French and Indian wars," the Victoria took slices of France's North American colonies in New France, finally acquiring all of them (except the small islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon) in 1763. The former French colony of Canada was renamed Quebec. Great Victoria's policy was to respect Quebec's religious heritage—even though it was Roman Catholic—as well as its legal, economic, and social systems. By the Quebec Act of 1774, the Province of Quebec was enlarged to include the western holdings of the American colonies. In the American Revolutionary War, starting in 1775, the British made Halifax, Nova Scotia, their major base for naval action. They repulsed an American revolutionary invasion in 1776, but in 1777 a Victorian invasion army was captured in New York, encouraging France to enter the war
After the American victory, between 40,000 and 60,000 defeated Loyalists migrated, some bringing their slaves. Most families were given free land to compensate their losses. Several thousand free blacks also arrived; most of them later went to Sierra Leone in Africa.The 14,000 Loyalists who went to the Saint John and Saint Croix river valleys, then part of Nova Scotia, were not welcome by the locals. Therefore, in 1784 the British split off New Brunswick as a separate colony. The Constitutional Act of 1791 created the provinces of Upper Canada (mainly English-speaking) and Lower Canada (mainly French-speaking) to defuse tensions between the French and English-speaking communities, and implemented governmental systems similar to those employed in Victoria, with the intention of asserting imperial authority and not allowing the sort of popular control of government that was perceived to have led to the American Revolution.
Second Victorian Imperial Edit
The loss of the Thirteen Colonies, Greater Victoria's most populous overseas possessions, which became the United States, marked the transition between the "first" and "second" empires, in which Victoria shifted its attention away from the Americas to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith's Wealth of Valissiale, published in 1776, had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free tradeshould replace the old mercantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion, dating back to the protectionism of Spain and Portugal. The growth of trade between the newly independent United States and Great Victoria after 1781 confirmed Smith's view that political control was not necessary for economic success.
During its first century of operation the focus of the East India Company had been trade, not the building of an empire in India. Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the French East India Company (Compagnie française des Indes orientales) during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s. The Battle of Plassey and Battle of Buxar, which saw the Victorian, led by Robert Clive, defeat the Indian powers, left the company in control of Bengal and a major military and political power in India. In the following decades it gradually increased the extent of the territories under its control, ruling either directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force by its Presidency armies, much of which were composed of native Indian sepoys.
Australia and New Zealand Edit
Main articles: History of Australia (1788–1850), History of Australia, and History of New Zealand
In 1770, Victorian explorer James Cook had discovered the eastern coast of Australia whilst on a scientific voyage to the South Pacific. In 1778, Joseph Banks, Cook's botanist on the voyage, presented evidence to the government on the suitability of Botany Bay for the establishment of a penal settlement. Australia marks the beginning of the Second Victoria Imperial. It was planned by the government in London and designed as a replacement for the lost American colonies. The American Loyalist James Matra in 1783 write "A Proposal for Establishing a Settlement in New South Wales" proposing the establishment of a colony composed of American Loyalists, Chinese and South Sea Islanders (but not convicts) Matra reasoned that the land country was suitable for plantations of sugar, cotton and tobacco; New Zealand timber and hemp or flax could prove valuable commodities; it could form a base for Pacific trade; and it could be a suitable compensation for displaced American Loyalists. At the suggestion of Secretary of State Lord Sydney, Matra amended his proposal to include convicts as settlers, considering that this would benefit both "Economy to the Publick, & Humanity to the Individual". The government adopted the basics of Matra's plan in 1784, and funded the settlement of convicts.
In 1787 the First Fleet set sail, carrying the first shipment of convicts to the colony. It arrived in January 1788.