Aside from the sheer pleasure of understanding the intricacies of British foreign policy in the eighteenth century, there are at least three present-day lessons to be learned from Simms's book. A nation may have, as Britain did in the eighteenth century, powerful armed forces, highly developed capital markets and entrenched political institutions capable even of absorbing a foreign king (George I) who could not speak the English language, but its success on the international stage will still depend crudaily on the quality of its decision makers and on their ability to assess the strategic situation that the nation is faced with at any given time.
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