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England and Its Enemies

This cartoon illustrates the grave difficulty Britain faced in winning the American Revolution. What had started as a colonial rebellion became a world war in which Britain, the lion, faced four major adversaries: Spain, the spaniel; France, the rooster; the American colonies, the snake; and the Dutch Republic, the pug. In contrast to its other wars of the 1700s, Britain had no major allies in this one.

“The British Lion engaging Four Powers,” 1782

“The British Lion engaging Four Powers,” 1782

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London