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Cambridge Archive Editions: America and Great Britain

From colony to nation: The British perspective

America and Great Britain: Diplomatic Relations, 1775-1815: British Government Documents provides c. 8,000 pages of primary material, charting the emergence of an independent America.

Product Details

A.L.P. Burdett
$6,200 / £3,707.60
FORMAT: Available online only

The set is made up of the diplomatic, official correspondence between America and Britain and gives an extraordinary insight into the shaping of a nation, from America being referred to as “our Colonies and Plantations in North America” by King George the Third in 1775, to its recognition as the “United States” by Britain in 1782 and the official cessation of hostilities in 1815.

Historical Overview

The era under review in this set of documents spans forty years in the political and diplomatic maturing of the newly-formed United States of America as it developed from a British colony to a nation, then to an international partner; and it traces the fledgling establishment of US foreign relations to a level of international recognition and acceptance as a significant power on the global stage.

Sequence of events

Events span: the early rumblings of discontent and then the explosive rebellion resulting in the  eventual achievement of US legal independence from Great Britain, 1768–1781; the aftermath of claims and settlements arising as in the work of the Peace Commissioners; a negotiated revised Anglo-American treaty and its amendments 1793–1796; and desultory negotiations over neutrality, blockades, naval law, concomitant with the issue of impressment of Americans in the Royal Navy from the late 1790’s to 1811. All of which led to a second conflict – the War of 1812, with the USA emerging victorious, and the legacy of a lasting peace negotiated at Ghent in 1815.

Look Inside

Click on the images below to view a sample collection of correspondence featured in these volumes.

Letter from unknown British soldier, July 1775
Letter from George Canning, May 1809
Letter from John Adams, June 1785

Letter from unknown             British soldier, July 1775

Letter from George Canning,  May 1809

Letter from John Adams,        June 1785


Brochure cover for America and Great Britain

Read the Brochure

Explore the remarkable content through our extensive 24-page brochure, with complete content headings for each volume and fully illustrated throughout showing major events and figures of the time.

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