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The transformation of Britain from a relatively isolated European kingdom in the late 17th century to a nascent economic empire by the late 18th century and then to arguably the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world during the reign of Queen Victoria (r. 1837–1901) was based initially on trade and maritime power, but shifted to territorial expansion and a true empire roughly from about 1700–1900, with the Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars (1652–1784) and the Second Boer War (1899–1902) serving as bookends. This transition to empire also occurred as Britain led the way during the Industrial Revolution, which itself had major effects on areas such as political ideals, military and naval thinking, population, social conditions, agriculture, wages, and nutrition.

Trade and Maritime Power

The Stuart, Georgian, Victorian, ...

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