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Walter L. Dorn


Harper Torchbook, NYC., 1940, 424 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illusrations, map, paperback


Reviewer comment The period studied in this history is at the center of the epoch of the 'territorial state' as described by Philip Bobbitt. This was based also on the concept of 'balance of power' in which no state was to grow too powerful at the expense of others and war was justified to insure that did not happen. But the power of states was enhanced by their size and ability to control additional natural resources. This also saw increasing size to armies and fortification systems necessitating greatly increased government revenue. Wars became frequent but with relatively limited strategic objectives. 'Cabinet Wars' In Chapter 6 the author describes how the colonial empires of France and Britain were expanded as part of the means for generating this added wealth.


Chapter 1 - The Competitive State System


Chapter 2 - The Leviathan State


Chapter 3 - Eighteenth - Century Militarism


Chapter 4 - The Balance of the Continents


Chapter 5 - The Age of Enlightenment


Chapter 6 - Commerce and Empire

"In this process of expansion of Europe over the world, predatory or otherwise, the old mercantilist imperialism had already passed its meridian". "What intensified the danger of a renewal of war (between France and Britain) was the circumstance that they faced each other in four different parts of the world: North America, The West Indies, Africa and India, and fought for the control of four different commodities: negroes, sugar, tobacco and indigo".

I Colonies and National Economy;

"By the middle of the eighteenth century the age of colonial chimeras was over and the colonies had become an important and inegral part of the national economy of Great Britain and France". "The overseas colonies furnished important necessities to the French textile industries - dyestuffs, of which indigo was the most common - not only to the infant manufacture of cotton but also of linen and wool".

The author continues to describe the important place colonies and foreign commerce played in French economy. And:

"It is undeniable, however, that in 1750 overseas expansion was already conditioning the entire life and character of the English people, even of the landowning aristocracy which, while affecting to despise trade, participated in it and married it".

Again, Dr. Dorn describes the changes this brought to English society.

"Industrial processes, geared up by the agencies which had taken charge of selling, had slowly been modified in the proceeding years, and the succeeding decades were to witness a still more profound change in productive technology. Large-scale production had already become a recognized feature of certain industries, particularly of the textile manufactures and the metal trades, and if production on a small scale still predominated, entrepreneurs were multiplying from year to year. With a growing class of entrepreneurs, who were accustomed to seek out new markets both for the supply of raw materials and the disposal of finished products and who were accustomed to handle large labor forces, English industry revealed a capacity to meet the requirements of distant and and varied markets. The Bank of England set the pace of monetary economy".

II The French and British Imperial System;
III The West Indies;
IV India;
V North America and the Outbreak of War


Chapter 7 - The Diplomatic Revolution


Chapter 8 - The Seven Years' War


- Bibliographical essay


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