This book has argued that perceptions of western American geography influenced the course of imperial diplomacy, that ideas about the undiscovered West contributed to the origins, unfolding, and outcome of the mid-eighteenth century's Great War for Empire. Unease about the implications of British Hudson Bay exploration helped draw France into war with Britain. Spanish concerns about French westward exploration reinforced Spain's neutral tendencies, keeping the Iberian empire out of the Seven Years' War until its entry was too late to forestall French defeat or British victory. Increasing French skepticism about the value of the unexplored West and lingering Spanish disquiet about the danger it might hold shaped a diplomatic settlement removing France from the continent and pushing Spain east to the Mississippi.
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