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Public Opinion, National Character, and Britain’s Failed Defence of the Netherlands, 1793-1795

Callister, Graeme (2022) Public Opinion, National Character, and Britain’s Failed Defence of the Netherlands, 1793-1795. Diplomacy and Statecraft, 32 (4). pp. 627-647.

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Abstract

This article examines the British government’s failure to commit adequate resources to defend the Netherlands from the threat of revolutionary France in the campaigns of 1793, 1794 and 1795. It is argued that alongside the well-known military and diplomatic setbacks, the inadequacy of Britain’s engagement can be understood by examining ministers’ preconceptions of the Netherlands and Dutch national character. These understandings were largely derived from British public opinion of the Netherlands. The article shows that British perceptions of Dutch strength, wealth and national character led ministers to presume too much of their ally, and contributed to the limitation of their own commitments.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09592296.2021.1996706
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DH Netherlands (The Low Countries)
D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5023

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