I The story of the attitude of Englishmen to the Dutch in the later seventeenth century - a story of the complex interplay of engrained hostility and growing consciousness of common interest - has already been told in some detai1. ! With the death of the Stadtholder-King, however, the subject seems to have lost its attraction for the historian. Much has been written of the workings of the Anglo-Dutch alliance in the years that followed, but little has been done to relate the develop ment of ''official'' attitudes and policies to the fluctuations and precon ceptions of public opinion . . Perhaps the very intimacy of the two countries for most of queen Anne''s reign has made enquiries as to what 2 one thought of the other seem of little moment. Such a view would be plausible enough: conflict is certainly more spectacular and often more revealing than unity. 3 It is nonetheless obvious that the subjec tion of an alliance to the stresses of war may both reveal the underlying attitudes of the partners to each other and also invest their day-to-day reactions to each other''s behaviour with a heightened significance. This is a truism which the present study is designed to illustrate. The ultimate object of this work is, through an examination of what 1 See below, Ch. II, pp. 16-17 and notes.
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