Historiography of the British Empire

The historiography of the British Empire refers to the studies, sources, critical methods and interpretations used by scholars to study the history of the British Empire. Scholars have long studied the Empire, looking at the causes for its formation, its relations to the French and other empires, and the kinds of people and their ideas who became imperialists or anti-imperialists. The history of the breakdown of the Empire has attracted scholars of the United States (which broke away in 1776), as well as India (independent in 1947) and the African colonies (independent in the 1960s). John Darwin (2013) identifies four imperial goals: colonizing, civilizing, converting, and commerce.[1] In the First British Empire (before the 1780s) there was no single imperial vision, but rather a multiplicity of private operations led by different groups of English, then after 1707, British businessmen or religious groups. Although protected by the Royal Navy, they were not funded or planned by the government.

In the Second British Empire, which emerged after the loss of the Thirteen Colonies (1783) and the victory in the Napoleonic Wars (1815) there four distinct elements in the colonies. The most politically developed colonies were the self-governing colonies in the Caribbean and those that later formed Canada and Australia. India was in a category by itself, and its immense size and distance required control of the routes to it, and in turn permitted British naval dominance from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea. The third group was a mixed bag of smaller territories, including isolated ports used as way stations to India, and emerging trade entrepots such as Hong Kong and Singapore, along with a few isolated ports in Africa. The fourth kind of empire was the "informal empire," that is financial dominance exercised through investments, as in Latin America, and including the complex situation in Egypt (it was owned theoretically by the Ottoman Empire, but ruled by Britain).[2] Darwin argues the British Empire was distinguished by the adaptability of its builders: "The hallmark of British imperialism was its extraordinary versatility in method, outlook and object." The British tried to avoid military action in favour of reliance on networks of local elites and businessmen who voluntarily collaborated and in turn gained authority (and military protection) from British recognition.[3]

In recent years scholars have paid special attention to its impact on the native peoples of Asia and Africa who became part of its domain, with respect to the impact on their economy, social structure, demography, politics and world view. The cultural turn in historiography has recently emphasized issues of language, religion, gender, and identity. Recent debates have considered the relationship between the "metropole" (Britain itself, especially London), and the colonial peripheries. The "British world" historians stress the material, emotional, and financial links among the colonizers across the imperial diaspora. The "new imperial historians," by contrast, are more concerned with the Empire's impact on the metropole, including everyday experiences and images.[4]


British Empire in red, 1897
Contents
1 Idea of Empire
1.1 Mercantilism
2 First British Empire and Second British Empire
3 Theories of imperialism
4 Benevolence and human rights
4.1 Slavery
4.2 Public health
4.3 Religion
4.4 Indirect control
4.5 Environment
5 Regions
5.1 13 American colonies
5.2 Australia
5.3 Canada
5.4 India
6 The New Imperial History
7 See also
8 References
9 Further reading
9.1 Basic bibliography
9.2 Overviews
9.3 Atlases, geography, environment
9.4 Political, economic and intellectual studies
9.5 Foreign policy
9.6 Social and cultural studies
9.7 Regional studies
9.8 Historiography and memory
9.9 Primary sources
10 External links
Idea of Empire[edit]
Armitage (2008) traces the emergence of a British imperial ideology from the time of Henry VIII to that of Robert Walpole in the 1720s and 1730s. Using a close reading of English, Scottish and Irish authors from Sir Thomas Smith (1513–77) to David Hume (1711–1776), Armitage argues that the imperial ideology was both a critical agent in the formation of a British state from three kingdoms and an essential bond between the state and the transatlantic colonies. Armitage thus links the concerns of the 'New British History' with that of the Atlantic history. Before 1700, Armitage finds that contested English and Scottish versions of state and empire delayed the emergence of a unitary imperial ideology. Furthermore, the notions of republicanism produced in the writers a tension between "empire and liberty" and "imperium and dominium". However political economists Nicholas Barbon and Charles Davenant in the late 17th century emphasized the significance of commerce, especially mercantilism or commerce that was closed to outsiders, to the success of the state. They argued that "trade depended on liberty, and that liberty could therefore be the foundation of empire."[5] To overcome competing versions of 'empires of the seas' within Britain, Parliament undertook the regulation of the Irish economy, the Act of Union (1707) and the formation of a unitary and organic 'British' empire of the sea. Walpole's opponents in the 1730s in the "country party" and in the American colonies developed an alternative vision of empire that would be "Protestant, commercial, maritime and free."[6] Walpole did not ensure the promised "liberty" to the colonies because he was intent on subordinating all colonial economic activity to the mercantilist advantages of the metropolis. Anti-imperial critiques emerged from Francis Hutcheson and David Hume, presaging the republicanism that swept the American colonies in the 1770s and led to the creation of a rival empire.

Mercantilism[edit]
Main article: Mercantilism
Mercantilism is an economic theory practice, commonly used in Britain, France and other major European nations from the 16th to the 18th century that promoted governmental regulation of a nation’s economy for the purpose of augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers. It was the economic counterpart of political absolutism.[7][8] It involves a national economic policy aimed at accumulating monetary reserves through a positive balance of trade, especially of finished goods. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from the 16th to late-18th centuries.[9] Mercantilism was a cause of frequent European wars and also motivated colonial expansion.

High tariffs, especially on manufactured goods, are an almost universal feature of mercantilist policy. Other policies have included:

Building overseas colonies;
Forbidding colonies to trade with other nations;
Monopolizing markets with staple ports;
Banning the export of gold and silver, even for payments;
Forbidding trade to be carried in foreign ships;
Export subsidies;
Promoting manufacturing with research or direct subsidies;
Limiting wages;
Maximizing the use of domestic resources;
Restricting domestic consumption with non-tariff barriers to trade.
The term "mercantile system" was used by its foremost critic Adam Smith,[10]

Mercantilism in its simplest form was bullionism which focused on accumulating gold and silver through clever trades (leaver the trading partner with less of his gold and silver). Mercantilist writers emphasized the circulation of money and rejected hoarding. Their emphasis on monetary metals accords with current ideas regarding the money supply, such as the stimulative effect of a growing money supply. In England, mercantilism reached its peak during the Long Parliament government (1640–1660). Mercantilist policies were also embraced throughout much of the Tudor and Stuart periods, with Robert Walpole being another major proponent. In Britain, government control over the domestic economy was far less extensive than on the Continent, limited by common law and the steadily increasing power of Parliament.[11] Government-controlled monopolies were common, especially before the English Civil War, but were often controversial.[12]


The Anglo-Dutch Wars were fought between the English and the Dutch for control over the seas and trade routes.
With respect to its colonies, British mercantilism meant that the government and the merchants became partners with the goal of increasing political power and private wealth, to the exclusion of other empires. The government protected its merchants – and kept others out – by trade barriers, regulations, and subsidies to domestic industries in order to maximize exports from and minimize imports to the realm. The government had to fight smuggling – which became a favorite American technique in the 18th century to circumvent the restrictions on trading with the French, Spanish or Dutch. The goal of mercantilism was to run trade surpluses, so that gold and silver would pour into London. The government took its share through duties and taxes, with the remainder going to merchants in Britain. The government spent much of its revenue on a superb Royal Navy, which not only protected the British colonies but threatened the colonies of the other empires, and sometimes seized them. Thus the British Navy captured New Amsterdam (New York) in 1664. The colonies were captive markets for British industry, and the goal was to enrich the mother country (not the colonists).[13]

British mercantilist writers were themselves divided on whether domestic controls were necessary. British mercantilism thus mainly took the form of efforts to control trade. A wide array of regulations was put in place to encourage exports and discourage imports. Tariffs were placed on imports and bounties given for exports, and the export of some raw materials was banned completely. The Navigation Acts expelled foreign merchants from England's domestic trade. The nation aggressively sought colonies and once under British control, regulations were imposed that allowed the colony to only produce raw materials and to only trade with Britain. This led to smuggling by major merchants and political friction with the businessmen of these colonies. Mercantilist policies (such as forbidding trade with other empires and controls over smuggling) were a major irritant leading to the American Revolution.[14]

Mercantalism taught that trade was a zero-sum game with one country's gain equivalent to a loss sustained by the trading partner. Whatever the theoretical weaknesses exposed by economists after Adam Smith, it was under mercantilist policies before the 1840s that Britain became the world's dominant trader, and the global hegemon.[15] Mercantilism in Britain ended when Parliament repealed the Navigation Acts and Corn Laws by 1846.[16]


Mercantilism helped create trade patterns such as the triangular trade in the North Atlantic, in which raw materials were imported to the metropolis and then processed and redistributed to other colonies.
First British Empire and Second British Empire[edit]
The concept of a first and second British Empire was developed in the late 19th century, and is a concept usually used by advanced scholars.[17] The first Empire was founded in the 17th century, and based on the migration of large numbers of settlers to the American and Canadian colonies, as well as the development of the sugar plantation colonies in the West Indies. It ended with the British loss of the American War for Independence. The second Empire had already started to emerge. It was originally designed as a chain of trading ports and naval bases. However, it expanded inland into the control of large numbers of natives when the East India Company proved highly successful in taking control of most of India. India became the keystone of the Second Empire, along with colonies later developed across Africa. A few new settler colonies were also built up in Australia and New Zealand, and to a lesser extent in South Africa. Marshall says, "the concept of a first British Empire has proved to be a useful and even an indispensable one for some 150 years.[18][19]

Theories of imperialism[edit]
Theories about imperialism typically focus on the British Empire, with side glances elsewhere. The term "Imperialism" was originally introduced into English in its present sense in the late 1870s by opponents of the allegedly aggressive and ostentatious imperial policies of British prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. It was shortly appropriated by supporters of "imperialism" such as Joseph Chamberlain. For some, imperialism designated a policy of idealism and philanthropy; others alleged that it was characterized by political self-interest, and a growing number associated it with capitalist greed. Liberal John A. Hobson and Marxist Lenin added a more theoretical macroeconomic connotation to the term. Many theoreticians on the left have followed either or both in emphasizing the structural or systemic character of "imperialism." Such writers have expanded the time period associated with the term so that it now designates neither a policy, nor a short space of decades in the late 19th century, but a world system extending over a period of centuries, often going back to Christopher Columbus and, in some accounts, to the Crusades. As the application of the term has expanded, its meaning has shifted along five distinct but often parallel axes: the moral, the economic, the systemic, the cultural, and the temporal. Those changes reflect - among other shifts in sensibility - a growing unease, even squeamishness, with the fact of power, specifically, Western power.[20][21]

The relationship among capitalism, aristocracy, and imperialism has long been debated among historians and political theorists. Much of the debate was pioneered by such theorists as J. A. Hobson (1858–1940), Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950), Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929), and Norman Angell (1872–1967). While these non-Marxist writers were at their most prolific before World War I, they remained active in the interwar years. Their combined work informed the study of imperialism's impact on Europe, as well as contributed to reflections on the rise of the military-political complex in the United States from the 1950s. Hobson argued that domestic social reforms could cure the international disease of imperialism by removing its economic foundation. Hobson theorized that state intervention through taxation could boost broader consumption, create wealth, and encourage a peaceful multilateral world order. Conversely, should the state not intervene, rentiers (people who earn income from property or securities) would generate socially negative wealth that fostered imperialism and protectionism.[22][23]

Benevolence and human rights[edit]
The British had a duty to protect and promote the human rights of the natives, and to help pull them from the slough of traditionalism and cruelties (such as suttee in India and foot binding in China). The notion of "benevolence" was developed in the 1780-1840 era by idealists who proved a pain to efficiency-oriented colonial administrators and profit-oriented merchants. Partly it was a matter of fighting corruption in the Empire, as typified by Edmund Burke's long, but failed, attempt to impeach Warren Hastings for his cruelties in India. The most successful development came in the abolition of slavery led by William Wilberforce and the Evangelicals,[24] and the expansion of Christian missionary work.[25] Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796–1852) spearheaded efforts to create model colonies (such as South Australia, Canada and New Zealand.[26] In Wakefield’s vision, the object of benevolence was to introduce and promote values of industriousness and a productive economy, and not use colonies as a dumping ground for transported criminals.[27]

Slavery[edit]
One of the most controversial aspects of the Empire is its role in first promoting and then ending slavery. In the 18th century British merchant ships were the largest element in the "Middle Passage" which transported millions of slaves to the Western Hemisphere. Most of those who survived the journey wound up in the Caribbean, where the Empire had highly profitable sugar colonies, and the living conditions were bad (the plantation owners lived in Britain). Parliament ended the international transportation of slaves in 1807, and used the Royal navy to enforce that ban. In 1833 it bought out the plantation owners and banned slavery. Historians before the 1940s argued that moralistic reformers such as William Wilberforce were primarily responsible.

Historical revisionism arrived with West Indian historian Eric Williams in Capitalism and Slavery (1944), rejected this moral explanation and argued that abolition was now more profitable, for a century of sugar cane raising had exhausted the soil of the islands, and the plantations had become unprofitable. It was more profitable to sell the slaves to the government than to keep up operations. The 1807 prohibition of the international trade, Williams argued, prevented French expansion on other islands. Meanwhile, British investors turned to Asia, where labor was so plentiful that slavery was unnecessary. Williams went on to argue that slavery played a major role in making Britain prosperous. The high profits from the slave trade, he said, helped finance the Industrial Revolution. Britain enjoyed prosperity because of the capital gained from the unpaid work of slaves.

More recently historians have challenged Williams. They have shown that slavery remained profitable in the 1830s because of innovations in agriculture so the profit motive was not central to abolition.[28] Richardson (1998) finds Williams's claims regarding the Industrial Revolution are exaggerated, for profits from the slave trade amounted to less than 1% of domestic investment in Britain. Richardson further challenges claims (by African scholars) that the slave trade caused widespread depopulation and economic distress in Africa—indeed that it caused the "underdevelopment" of Africa. Admitting the horrible suffering of slaves, he notes that many Africans benefited directly, because the first stage of the trade was always firmly in the hands of Africans. European slave ships waited at ports to purchase cargoes of people who were captured in the hinterland by African dealers and tribal leaders. Richardson finds that the "terms of trade" (how much the ship owners paid for the slave cargo) moved heavily in favor of the Africans after about 1750. That is, indigenous elites inside West and Central Africa made large and growing profits from slavery, thus increasing their wealth and power.[29]

Economic historian Stanley Engerman finds that even without subtracting the associated costs of the slave trade (e.g., shipping costs, slave mortality, mortality of British people in Africa, defense costs) or reinvestment of profits back into the slave trade, the total profits from the slave trade and of West Indian plantations amounted to less than 5% of the British economy during any year of the Industrial Revolution.[30] Engerman’s 5% figure gives as much as possible in terms of benefit of the doubt to the Williams argument, not solely because it does not take into account the associated costs of the slave trade to Britain, but also because it carries the full-employment assumption from economics and holds the gross value of slave trade profits as a direct contribution to Britain’s national income.[30] Historian Richard Pares, in an article written before Williams's book, dismisses the influence of wealth generated from the West Indian plantations upon the financing of the Industrial Revolution, stating that whatever substantial flow of investment from West Indian profits into industry there was occurred after emancipation, not before.[31]

Public health[edit]
A high priority for Imperial officials after 1850 was establishing a public health system in each colony. They applied the best practices as developed in Britain, using an elaborate administrative structure in each colony. The system depended on trained local elites and officials to carry out the sanitation improvements, quarantines, inoculations, hospitals, and local treatment centers that were needed. For example, local midwives were trained to provide maternal and infant health care. Propaganda campaigns using posters, rallies, and later films were used to educate the general public.[32] A serious challenge came from the intensified use of multiple transportation routes and the emergence of central hubs such as Hong Kong all of which facilitated this spread of epidemics such as the plague in the 1890s, thus sharply increasing the priority of public health programs.[33]

The most advanced program in public health (apart from the dominions) was established in India, with the Indian Medical Service (IMS).[34] The Raj set up the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine between 1910 and its opening in 1921 as a postgraduate center for tropical medicine on the periphery of the Empire.[35][36]

Religion[edit]
In the 18th century, and even more so in the 19th century, missionaries based in Britain saw the Empire as a fertile field for proselytizing for Christianity. All the main denominations were involved, including the Church of England, the Presbyterians of Scotland, and the Nonconformists. Much of the enthusiasm emerged from the Evangelical revival.[37][38]

Before the American Revolution, Anglican and Methodist missionaries were active in the 13 Colonies. The Methodists, led by George Whitefield, were the most successful and after the revolution and entirely distinct American Methodist denomination emerged that became the largest Protestant denomination in the new United States.[39] A major problem for colonial officials was the demand of the Church of England to set up an American bishop; this was strongly opposed by most of the Americans had never happened. Increasingly colonial officials took a neutral position on religious matters, even in those colonies such as Virginia where the Church of England was officially established, but in practice controlled by laymen in the local vestries. After the Americans broke free, British officials decided to enhance the power and wealth of the Church of England in all the settler colonies, especially British North America (Canada).[40]

Missionary societies funded their own operations that were not supervised or directed by the Colonial Office. Tensions emerged between the missionaries and the colonial officials. The latter feared that missionaries might stir up trouble or encourage the natives to challenge colonial authority. In general, colonial officials were much more comfortable with working with the established local leadership, including the native religions, rather than introducing the divisive force of Christianity. This proved especially troublesome in India, were very few local elites were attracted to Christianity. In Africa, especially, the missionaries made many converts. Of the 21st century there were more Anglicans in Nigeria than in England.[41][42]

Missionaries increasingly came to focus on education, medical help, and long-term modernization of the native personality to inculcate European middle-class values. They established schools and medical clinics. Christian missionaries played a public role, especially in promoting sanitation and public health. Many were trained as physicians, or took special courses in public health and tropical medicine at Livingstone College, London.[43]

Indirect control[edit]
Main article: indirect rule
Some British colonies were ruled directly by the Colonial Office in London, while others were ruled indirectly through local rulers who are supervised behind the scenes by British advisors. In 1890 Zanzibar became a protectorate (not a colony) of Britain. Prime minister Salisbury explained his position:

The condition of a protected dependency is more acceptable to the half civilised races, and more suitable for them than direct dominion. It is cheaper, simpler, less wounding to their self-esteem, gives them more career as public officials, and spares of unnecessary contact with white men.[44]
The Princely States of India were ruled indirectly.[45] So too was much of the West African holdings.[46]

Environment[edit]
In recent years scholars have examined the environmental impact of the Empire. The discovery and commercial or scientific use of new plants was an important concern in the 18th and 19th centuries. The efficient use of rivers through dams and irrigation projects was an expensive but important method of raising agricultural productivity. Searching for more efficient ways of using natural resources, the British moved flora, fauna and commodities around the world, sometimes resulting in ecological disruption and radical environmental change. Imperialism also stimulated more modern attitudes toward nature and subsidized botany and agricultural research.[47]

Regions[edit]
13 American colonies[edit]
Main articles: Thirteen Colonies and American Revolution
The first British empire centered on the 13 American colonies, which attracted large numbers of settlers from across Britain. much of the historiography concerns the reasons the Americans revolted in the 1660s and 1670s and successfully broke away. The mainstream of historiography emphasizes the growth of American consciousness and nationalism, and it's Republican value system but stood in opposition to the aristocratic viewpoint of British leaders. However, in 1900 - 1930s the "Imperial School," including Herbert L. Osgood, George Louis Beer, Charles M. Andrews and Lawrence Gipson took a favorable view of the benefits of empire, emphasizing its successful economic integration.[48]

Mercantilism was the basic policy imposed by Britain on its colonies.[49] Mercantilism meant that the government and the merchants became partners with the goal of increasing political power and private wealth, to the exclusion of other empires. The government protected its merchants—and kept others out—by trade barriers, regulations, and subsidies to domestic industries in order to maximize exports from and minimize imports to the realm. The government had to fight smuggling—which became a favorite American technique in the 18th century to circumvent the restrictions on trading with the French, Spanish or Dutch. The goal of mercantilism was to run trade surpluses, so that gold and silver would pour into London. The government took its share through duties and taxes, with the remainder going to merchants in Britain. The government spent much of its revenue on a superb Royal Navy, which not only protected the British colonies but threatened the colonies of the other empires, and sometimes seized them. Thus the British Navy captured New Amsterdam (New York) in 1664. The colonies were captive markets for British industry, and the goal was to enrich the mother country.[50][51]

Australia[edit]
Main articles: History of Australia (1788–1850) and History of Australia
Australia marks the beginning of the Second British Empire. It was planned by the government in London and designed as a replacement for the lost American colonies.[52] The American Loyalist James Matra in 1783 wrote "A Proposal for Establishing a Settlement in New South Wales" proposing the establishment of a colony composed of American Loyalists, Chinese and South Sea Islanders (but not convicts).[53] Matra reasoned that the land country was suitable for plantations of sugar, cotton and tobacco; New Zealand timber and hemp or flax could prove valuable commodities; it could form a base for Pacific trade; and it could be a suitable compensation for displaced American Loyalists. At the suggestion of Secretary of State Lord Sydney, Matra amended his proposal to include convicts as settlers, considering that this would benefit both "Economy to the Publick, & Humanity to the Individual". The government adopted the basics of Matra’s plan in 1784, and funded the settlement of convicts.[54]

Canada[edit]
Main article: History of Canada
Canadian historian Carl Berger argues that an influential section of English Canadians embraced an ideology of imperialism as a way to enhance Canada's own power position in the international system, as well as for more traditional reasons of Anglophillia. This was the first book that identified Canadian imperialism as a distinct ideology, rival to anti-imperial Canadian nationalism or pro-American continentalism, the other nationalisms in Canada.[55]

India[edit]
Main article: British Raj
Further information: Economic history of India
Debate continues about the economic impact of British imperialism on India. The issue was actually raised by conservative British politician Edmund Burke who in the 1780s vehemently attacked the East India Company, claiming that Warren Hastings and other top officials had ruined the Indian economy and society. Indian historian Rajat Kanta Ray (1998) continues this line of attack, saying the new economy brought by the British in the 18th century was a form of "plunder" and a catastrophe for the traditional economy of Mughal India. Ray accuses the British of depleting the food and money stocks and imposing high taxes that helped cause the terrible famine of 1770, which killed a third of the people of Bengal.[56]

Rejecting the Indian nationalist account of the British as alien aggressors, seizing power by brute force and impoverishing all of India, British historian P. J. Marshall argues that the British were not in full control but instead were players in what was primarily an Indian play and in which their rise to power depended upon excellent cooperation with Indian elites. Marshall admits that much of his interpretation is still rejected by many historians.[57] Marshall argues that recent scholarship has reinterpreted the view that the prosperity of the formerly benign Mughal rule gave way to poverty and anarchy. Marshall argues the British takeover did not make any sharp break with the past. The British largely delegated control to regional Mughal rulers and sustained a generally prosperous economy for the rest of the 18th century. Marshall notes the British went into partnership with Indian bankers and raised revenue through local tax administrators and kept the old Mughal rates of taxation. Professor Ray agrees that the East India Company inherited an onerous taxation system that took one-third of the produce of Indian cultivators.[58]

The New Imperial History[edit]
Since the 1990s a new set of approaches to imperial history have developed and these are often grouped together under the heading of the "new imperial history".[59] These approaches have been distinguished by two features. Firstly, they have suggested that the British empire was a cultural project as well as a set of political and economic relationships. As a result, these historians have stressed the ways in which empire building shaped the cultures of both colonized peoples and Britons themselves. In particular they have shown the ways in which British imperialism rested upon ideas about cultural difference and in turn how British colonialism reshaped understandings of race and gender in both the colonies and at home in Britain. Mrinalini Sinha's Colonial Masculinity (1995) showed how supposed British manliness and ideas about the effeminacy of some Indians influenced colonial policy and Indian nationalist thought.[60] Antoinette Burton has been a key figure and her Burdens of History (1995) showed how white British feminists in the Victorian period appropriated imperialist rhetoric to claim a role for themselves in 'saving' native women and thereby strengthened their own claims to equality in Britain.[61] Historians like Sinha, Burton, and Catherine Hall have used this approach to argue that British culture at 'home' was profoundly shaped by the empire during the 19th century.[62]

The second feature that defines the new imperial history is its stress on the flows that connected different parts of the empire together. Both Burton and Sinha stressed the ways in which the politics of gender and race linked Britain and India. Sinha suggested that these linkages were part of an 'imperial social formation', an uneven but integrative set of arguments, ideas and institutions that connected Britain to its colonies.[63] More recent work by scholars like Alan Lester and Tony Ballantyne (historian) have stressed the importance of the networks that made up the empire. Lester's Imperial Networks (2001) reconstructed some of the debates and policies that linked Britain and South Africa during the 19th century.[64] Ballantyne's Orientalism and Race developed an influential new model for writing about colonialism in highlighting the 'webs of empire' that he suggested made up the empire. These webs were made up of the flows of ideas, books, arguments, money, and people that not only moved between London and Britain's colonies, but also moved directly from colony to colony, from places like India to New Zealand.[65] Many historians now focus on these 'networks' and 'webs' and Alison Games has used this as a model for studying the pattern of early English imperialism as well.[66]

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