After 1453

May 4 2013

The other significance of 1453 was the de facto end of the Hundred Years’ War. Territory in Europe won by Britain thereafter, other than brief occupations, amounted only to

Gibraltar

Minorca

Heligoland

Malta

the Ionian Islands and

Cyprus.

Is that complete? Essentially, islands.

For an entertaining late-Victorian account of lost possessions around the world, see Walter Frewen Lord, The Lost Possessions of England, Richard Bentley and Son, 1896.

The book purports to show:

“1. The advantage to a sea Power like Great Britain of an extended Empire – an advantage very bluntly pointed out to Sir William Draper in the secret instructions furnished to that officer prior to his departure for Manila.

2. The value in Imperial policy of the sound business principle of not throwing away rubbish – as illustrated by Tangier and the present situation in Morocco.

3. The necessity of listening to the advice of the man on the spot – by not doing which we lost Java.

4. The paramount importance of studying local climatic conditions – a neglect of which precaution cost us five thousand men in Cuba.

5. The folly of entrusting important expeditions (even against incompetent enemies) to untried leaders – a folly which cost us five thousand men and the province of Buenos Ayres.

6. The disastrous effects of a weak course of action in equivocal situations – as in the Ionian Islands.”

The essays, which were revised by Sir John Seeley, are:

Retrospect

Transition Period – Dunkirk

Tangier

Minorca

Cuba

Manila

Corsica

Buenos Ayres and Montevideo

Java

The Ionian Isands

Forecast

One Response to “After 1453”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    The medieval age of continental warfare ended for England in 1453. The modern age of European warfare began in 1494 with Charles VIII’s invasion of Italy and ended in 1945.


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