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By: Arthur Hassall (1853-1930)

Book cover Making of the British Empire (A.D. 1714-1832)

At its height, the British Empire was the largest in history. This short volume traces its development through the long 18th century, from 1714 to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Founded on the prosperity of Sir Robert Walpole's ministry , the Empire emerged from the Indian conquests of that gifted military amateur, Lord Clive, and was extended under the leadership of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who drove the English to victory in the Seven Years' War . Surmounting the loss of the American colonies and twenty years of conflict with France, by the first quarter of the 19th century, the British navy, master of the oceans, presided over an Empire upon which the sun never set.

Book cover Mazarin

Guilio Raimondo , Richelieu's designated successor as chief minister of France, was a master of diplomacy. Though a cardinal, he was not a priest and was probably secretly married to the Queen-Mother, Anne of Austria. Together they ruled France, facing the great rebellion known as the Fronde, and with the help of the military genius of Turenne, prevailed over the armies of Spain, Austria, and the traitorous Grand Condé. Arthur Hassall writes of Mazarin that by the time of his death in 1661 he had, through "patience, perseverance, and sagacity," fulfilled Richelieu's foreign policy and made the twenty-one year-old Louis XIV the absolute monarch of Europe's greatest power.

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