By Martin Robson
Within the maelstrom of Napoleonic Europe, Britain remained defiant, resisting French imperial pursuits. This Anglo-French competition was once, basically, 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 rapidly and decisively to enforce maritime-based suggestions to restrict French army and advertisement profits in Europe, whereas holding British in another country pursuits. The coverage is especially obtrusive in family with Britain's "Ancient Ally": Portugal. That nation and, by way of organization her South American empire, turned front line within the conflict among Napoleon's goals and British maritime defense. laying off new light on British conflict goals and maritime method, this is often a vital paintings for students of the Napoleonic Wars and British political, diplomatic, fiscal and maritime/military heritage.
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Extra info for Britain, Portugal and South America in the Napoleonic Wars: Alliances and Diplomacy in Economic Maritime Conflict (International Library of Historical Studies)
22 The point can also be made that Britain only had to wait for Napoleon to fall out with one of the continental powers for a new European war to commence. If the Talents strategy was to hang in and wait for something to turn up, then they only had to look to the experience since 1793. The European powers had been beaten only to resume the war if it was in their interests or if backed into a corner, such as Austria and Russia in 1805, Prussia and then Russia during 1806-1807, (of course, something would turn up in Spain during 1808 and with Austria in 1809).
The one remedy to solve this inherent strategic vulnerability was to move the seat of Portuguese gov- 30 BRITAIN, PORTUGAL AND SOUTH AMERICA ernment to the New World. Such a move would entail a fundamental reorganisation of the Portuguese structure of government and would be a frank admission that Portugal was too weak to remain as an independent country. This idea had been discussed in Portugal as early as 1580, but the plan would only be seriously considered after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary war in 1793.
In the wider naval context during 1806-1808 the port of Lisbon and the Portuguese Navy became increasingly important in the Anglo-French conflict. Finally, Portugal had an important colonial possession in South America: Brazil, with its raw materials and potential markets, was a region with attractive opportunities for British commerce. The main strategic concern for Portugal was the attitude of her powerful neighbour Spain. Due to her geographical position with regard to Spain and the position of Brazil with regard to Spanish America the politics of Portugal were, according to one contemporary, ‘interwoven with the politics of her neighbours’.
Britain, Portugal and South America in the Napoleonic Wars: Alliances and Diplomacy in Economic Maritime Conflict (International Library of Historical Studies) by Martin Robson