Tanucci, who attempted to thwart her, was dismissed in 1777, and the Englishman Sir John Acton (1736), who in 1779 was appointed director of marine, succeeded in so completely winning the favour of Maria Carolina, by supporting her in her scheme to free Naples from Spanish influence and securing a rapprochement with Austria and England, that he became practically and afterwards actually prime minister.
Relations with Great Britain, however, remained far from cordial until the celebration of the fourth centenary of Vasco da Gama's voyage to India, afforded the opportunity for a rapprochement in 1898.
The one bright side of this gloomy and sordid period was the rapprochement between the Scandinavian kingdoms during the revolutionary wars.
With the help of John Acton, an Englishman whom she made minister in the place of Tanucci, she freed Naples from Spanish influence and secured a rapprochement with England and Austria.
During his premiership he inaugurated the rapprochement between Italy, Austria and Germany, and reformed the naval and military administration; and before his fall he was able, as finance minister,.