Preferred Name

Giuseppe Gerardo Vitale

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Kevin Hardwick

David Dillard

Timothy Fitzgerald


The British Empire was still relatively in its infancy throughout the 1730s and far from the global superpower it would later become, mostly due to it being the most recent of the major European imperial powers to begin colonizing the America’s. However, their long-standing feud with the Spanish carried over across the Atlantic, and the two heavyweights were embattled in a series of diplomatic struggles in the mid to late 1730s, resulting in an outbreak of war at the tail end of the decade, known as the War of Jenkin’s Ear. While most of the historiography surrounding this period in British history revolved around the actual conflict, not much in-depth study has been done to examine the ever-degrading relationship between the British and Spanish in the time between 1734 and 1739. This thesis expands upon the historiography of the early British Empire by examining a series of correspondences from the era which have been documented in the British Calendar of State Papers, which subsequently serves as the primary source collection for this project. Through careful analysis of these correspondences, readers will gain a better understanding of intelligence gathering, communication amongst colonial era officials and governors, as well as foreign policy within a growing British Empire during the second half of the 1730s.

Available for download on Saturday, July 12, 2025