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This is the first detailed and comprehensive study of the British foreign policy before and during the war that led to the loss of the American colonies. Using a wide range of sources, Scott examines the problems faced by Britain after the Seven Years War and the way in which they were exacerbated during the mid-1760s by its British statesmen. He proceeds to chart the limited recovery started later in the decade, the renewed setbacks following the American revolt in 1775, and the subsequent intervention of France and Spain. The resulting isolation is shown to have been the result of a realignment of the European powers which undermined many of the traditional premises of British diplomacy. A scholarly reassessment of British diplomacy, this volume analyzes both the impact of the personalities involved and the successes and failures of their policies.