In the 1870's, What Were Britain's Strategic Objectives?

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In the Early 1870’s, what were Britain’s strategic objectives?
When approaching a topic as broad as strategy, especially strategic objectives, it’s important for one to realize just what of just what is covered under the term ‘strategy.’ It could mean political, economic or militant strategy. In this essay I will be exploring what Britain’s strategic objectives were, but I will focus on foreign policy for the most part, and aim to explore how foreign policy changed under different government parties.
Strategic objectives, whether it’s defined corporately or politically, are the long-term goals to convert a mission statement, (or in this case, a manifesto,) from a broader vision into specific plans and projects. For 1870’s Britain, the goals set were to maintain and expand the British Empire, and by extension, economic superiority. But also Britain had set out to grow trade networks via improvements in infrastructure, and also the purchase of shares in the Suez Canal made international trade quicker and cheaper for the British to operate. The industrial revolution of Great Britain also added to this, as Podmore states, “The British Empire’s pioneer industrial supremacy was the basis of this pioneer imperial supremacy.” (Podmore, 2008) 1
Trade was a vital element to Britain’s economic successes, which is what made the purchase of Suez Canal shares so imperative to its sustainment. Because of the expansionary British Empire, Her sphere of influence spanned greater than most other powerful countries. Countries such as India, Cyprus, and Canada had all felt the effects of Britain’s sphere of influence in some form, either through trade or cultural spill-over. As Cowie states, “The empire was of vast importance to Britain in terms of global influence, economic prosperity and national morale.” (Cowie, 2013)2. In the 1840’s Britain had experienced a massive change in the…...

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