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The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763$
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Paul W. Mapp

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833957

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838945_Mapp

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French Reactions to the British Search for a Northwest Passage from Hudson Bay and the Origins of the Seven Years' War

French Reactions to the British Search for a Northwest Passage from Hudson Bay and the Origins of the Seven Years' War

Chapter:
(p.283) 10 French Reactions to the British Search for a Northwest Passage from Hudson Bay and the Origins of the Seven Years' War
Source:
The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763
Author(s):

Paul W. Mapp

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807833957.003.0011

This chapter illustrates the manner in which British explorers, promoters, and officials sought ways to overcome the physical and diplomatic barriers to British Pacific navigation. French officials observed these British efforts and contemplated their implications. The question raised was how the French Empire would respond to the prospect of its leading rival's obtaining the South Sea access that the Utrecht settlement and North America's obstinate impermeability had so far denied to France. One response was writing. French evaluations of British South Sea and North American probes appear in the letters and memoirs circulating among mid-eighteenth-century French ministers, ambassadors, and foreign ministry officials, and the availability of these papers allows analysis of the geostrategic considerations driving French diplomats between the two great mid-eighteenth-century European wars.

Keywords:   British explorers, diplomatic barriers, British Pacific navigation, French officials, French Empire

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