Scholars of British America generally conclude that the early
eighteenth-century Anglo-American empire was commercial in
economics, liberal in politics, and parochial in policy,
somnambulant in an era of "salutary neglect," but Stephen Saunders
Webb here demonstrates that the American provinces, under the spur
of war, became capitalist, coercive, and aggressive, owing to the
vigorous leadership of career army officers, trained and nominated
to American government by the captain general of the allied armies,
the first duke of Marlborough, and that his influence, and that of
his legates, prevailed through the entire century in America.
Webb's work follows the duke, whom an eloquent enemy described
as "the greatest statesman and the greatest general that this
country or any other country has produced," his staff and soldiers,
through the ten campaigns, which, by defanging France, made the
union with Scotland possible and made "Great Britain" preeminent in
the Atlantic world. Then Webb demonstrates that the duke's legates
transformed American colonies into provinces of empire.
Marlborough's America, fifty years in the making, is the
fourth volume of The Governors-General.
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