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BRITISH REVERSAL OF ALLIANCE
Posted by: Simon Waldron (ID *****1504) Date: September 10, 2003 at 00:28:15
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At the showpiece Commons debate in November 1755 Pitt opposed the Ministry's proposals for Hessian subsidies and for ratification of the September 1755 St Petersburg treaty with Russia. A vote ensued supporting the Ministry and Pitt and Legge left their posts.

Notwithstanding Pitt's departure, the anti-Russian Treaty of Westminster with Prussia was concluded in January 1756. Can anyone advise who were the main negotiators of the Treaty on the British and Prussian sides? Which Prussian first contacted which British official to sound out a change in policy? In Pitt's absence, who in the remaining Cabinet was responsible from November 1755-January 1756 for talking the Ministry round to siding with Prussia rather than Russia?

Recognising the time needed for information to cross borders - from Russia to Britain, Britain to Prussia, Prussia to Britain etc - how is it that the Prussians could influence the British Ministry at such speed to abandon their Russian alliance and side with Prussia?


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