By Martin Robson
Within the maelstrom of Napoleonic Europe, Britain remained defiant, resisting French imperial pursuits. This Anglo-French contention used to be, primarily, a politico-economic clash for pre-eminence fought on a world scale and it reached a zenith in 1806-1808 with France's obvious dominance of Continental Europe. Britain reacted quickly and decisively to enforce maritime-based ideas to restrict French army and advertisement profits in Europe, whereas conserving British in a foreign country pursuits. The coverage is especially obtrusive in kinfolk with Britain's "Ancient Ally": Portugal. That nation and, through organization her South American empire, grew to become front line within the conflict among Napoleon's objectives and British maritime protection. laying off new light on British struggle goals and maritime process, this can be a vital paintings for students of the Napoleonic Wars and British political, diplomatic, financial and maritime/military historical past.
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Additional info for Britain, Portugal and South America in the Napoleonic Wars: Alliances and Diplomacy in Economic Maritime Conflict (International Library of Historical Studies)
Portuguese imports were mainly necessities from Britain, such as textiles and cereals, while British imports from Portugal consisted of mainly luxury items, especially wine. The growth of the British textile industry and corresponding rise in cotton imports helped the Portuguese economy. 5 Portugal’s expansion as a wine producer brought benefits but ‘enchained Portugal to England’. 6 Portugal bought back manufactured woollen goods from Britain for export to Brazil, with the imbalance made up by specie shipments, direct from Brazil to England by the Royal Navy and the Falmouth packet service.
Britain also committed herself to despatching a Royal Naval squadron of equal or greater strength to any hostile fleets that might be off the coast of Portugal and to help defend Portuguese colonies. 44 Throughout the wars the Portuguese navy varied little in strength, fluctuating between 11 and 13 battleships in service. Apart from a 74 gun ship launched in 1802 there were no additions to battlefleet strength in the years prior to 1807. As Glete has argued ‘the Portuguese navy had changed little in either size or operational tasks since the early 16th century’.
11 Peace would remain a possibility in 1806 and 1807. But, without the inclusion of Austria, Prussia and Russia, this could never be a general peace, rather another compromise peace THE STRATEGY OF THE TALENTS MINISTRY 23 like Amiens. In 1803 Britain was not willing to compromise on basic issues concerning her maritime security, even when it meant probable war, for instance not evacuating Malta. By 1806 neither side could offer up much at the peace talks. 12 As Schroeder has argued, the Talents were attempting to formulate policy within three distinct competing dynamics in European power politics: Britain with naval and colonial supremacy, Russia with control over east and northern Europe, and France with her influence over Western, Central and Southern Europe.