“By the middle of the eighteenth century, the mercantile ‘empire of liberty’ was critically dependent or its fortune on the economic universe made from slavery”. Britain’s single most valuable import was the sugar produced by three quarters of a million West Indian slaves, generating huge personal fortunes and general enrichment which was in turn to transform both the economy and British society. The ports of Bristol and Liverpool developed and expanded significantly as a direct result of the transatlantic trade. The great library at All Soul’s College, Oxford was built thanks to a donation from the Codmingtons of Barbados. The banking houses of Barclays and Lloyds grew rich, and reinvested in manufacturing. And thenouveaux riches of the trade were now throwing their weight around in Westminster and the City of London. Their liberty, at least, had been greatly enhanced.


The greatest threat to the serene continuation of these happy arrangements came from – where else? – France. The plantation plutocrats may have aroused little sympathy with their complaints about the rising cost of slaves and the falling price of sugar, but when they complained about the French they were sure of an audience.
The dynastic links of the Bourbon royal houses meant that the French could operate in the Western Hemisphere free from harassment from the Spanish coastguard, whose attentions had been a source of consternation to British patriots for some years. The French made inroads into the markets of West Africa, provided tough competition for the British Caribbean plantations from their own colonies such as St Domingue (later Haiti) and began to interfere in the affairs of India, to which the British East India Company took principled exception, waging war to expel its new competitors.
In North America, the population of the British colonies now exceeded that of Britain itself, but the westward expansion seen by the colonists as their natural right was blocked by French territorial acquisitions, which also threatened their hold over trade in fish and furs.
Skirmishes in Ohio in which the French prevailed (involving, amongst others, one George Washington) were the prelude to worldwide war. Prussia was subsidised to pin the French down in Europe, starving it of men and resources that might otherwise have been deployed in the theatres of India, West Africa, the Caribbean or North America, while the Royal Navy guarded the British coast and harassed the French in the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
But while Robert Clive prevailed in Bengal , Britain initially floundered elsewhere. In 1757, William Pitt was brought in to run the government, and instantly set about turning the situation around. Money and resources were thrown into the war effort, particularly in North America, where complacent and overbearing generals were replaced with pragmatists who were more disposed to take a collaborative approach with the local militia. £200,000 was given annually to Frederick the Great to keep French forces in Europe occupied. The 1758 military budget was a hitherto inconceivable £12.5m; half-borrowed and half-taxed. This bought Britain 120-130,000 regular and irregular troops, a 70,000-man Navy and, ultimately, victory. The French lost imperial footholds in India, the Caribbean, West Africa, and finally Canada in 1760.

Benjamin Franklin was overjoyed by the conquest of Canada, believing that it cleared the way for a British-American Empire of Liberty to expand westward, making itself “broad and strong enough to support the greatest political structure human wisdom ever yet erected”. So how did Franklin get from there to signing the declaration of independence in 17 years?
Parting of the Ways
Peace with France was settled with the Treaty of Paris in 1763, leaving Britain the pre-eminent world power. But at a cost. The Treasury was in debt, credit was tight due to a Dutch banking crisis, and half the army was demobilised and in need of work just as labour-intensive industry was being scaled back to pre-war levels. The economic situation was already causing political instability, as harvests failed and prices rose, so more domestic taxation was not an attractive option.

conclusion:- British started looting wealth from India under their control and china (opium war followed by- COMPULSORY -selling of opium to chinese population).;to make coffers full.

Alas!  now(2011)-- they are again almost pauperised due to various economic reasons.

wonder what happened to all the wealth looted from India?!
and what happened to all the money made in china by drug trade?!
and what happened to all that money made by slave trade between Africa and american colonies?!