©National Archives

Map of New York, 1765 This is a map of New York and Fort St George, dated 1 November 1765. The city was at that time governed by Britain, and Royal Navy ships are shown in the harbour.

The establishment of British colonies in North America during the reign of Elizabeth I was followed by almost two centuries of harmonious relations between the two countries. Their union led to prosperity on both sides and was the envy of much of Europe. Right up until the outbreak of hostilities in the 1760s, it seemed a stable union.