Historiography of the British Empire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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 1780s) there was no single imperial vision, but rather a multiplicity of private operations led by different groups of English businessmen or religious groups. While 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 John Darwin argues the British Empire was distinguished by the adaptability of its builders. Darwin says, "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

Idea of Empire

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.

Theories of imperialism

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.78

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.910

Benevolence and human rights

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,11 and the expansion of Christian missionary work.12 Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796–1852) spearheaded efforts to create model colonies (such as South Australia, Canada and New Zealand.13 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.14

Slavery

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.15 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.16

Environment

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.17

Regions

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.18 The American Loyalist James Matra in 1783 write "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).19 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.20

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.21

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.22

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.23 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.24

United States

Although American historians have always paid attention to the negative causes of the revolt by which the 13 colonies broke away from the Empire, around 1900 the "Imperial School," including Herbert L. Osgood, George Louis Beer, Charles M. Andrews and Lawrence Gipson took a highly favorable view of the benefits achieved by the economic integration of the Empire.25

Mercantilism was the basic policy imposed by Britain on its colonies.26 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.2728

"The New Imperial History"

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". 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.29 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.30 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.31

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.32 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.33 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.34 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.35

See also

Further reading

Basic bibliography

  • Bayly, C. A. ed. Atlas of the British Empire (1989). survey by scholars; heavily illustrated
  • Brendon, Piers. "A Moral Audit of the British Empire." History Today, (Oct 2007), Vol. 57 Issue 10, pp 44–47, online at EBSCO
  • Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 (2008), wide ranging survey
  • Bryant, Arthur. The History of Britain and the British Peoples, 3 vols. (1984–90), popular.
  • Dalziel, Nigel. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire (2006), 144 pp
  • Darwin, John. The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970 (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Darwin, John. Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (2013)
  • Ferguson, Niall. Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2002),
  • Howe, Stephen ed., "The New Imperial Histories Reader" (2009)
  • James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (1997).
  • Marshall, P. J. (ed.), The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire (1996).
  • Simms, Brendan. Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire (2008), 800pp excerpt and text search
  • Stockwell, Sarah, ed. The British Empire: Themes and Perspectives (2008) 355pp.

Overviews

  • Belich, James. Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1780-1930 (Oxford University Press, 2009), 448pp. focus on British settlement colonies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, emphasizing the heavy British investments involved
  • Black, Jeremy. The British Seaborne Empire (2004)
  • Brendon, Piers. "A Moral Audit of the British Empire." History Today, (Oct 2007), Vol. 57 Issue 10, pp 44–47, online at EBSCO
  • Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 (2008)
  • Buckner, Phillip, ed. Canada and the British Empire (2010)
  • Cain, P. J. and A.G. Hopkins. British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (2nd ed. 2001), 739pp, detailed economic history that presents the new "gentlemanly capitalists" thesis
  • Colley, Linda. Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850 (2004), 464pp
  • Darwin, John. The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2009) 800 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Darwin, John. Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (London: Allen Lane, 2012), 478pp excerpt
  • Ferguson, Niall. Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2002),
  • Hyam, Ronald. Britain's Imperial Century, 1815-1914: A Study of Empire and Expansion (1993).
  • James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (1997), very highly regarded survey.
  • Judd, Denis. Empire: The British Imperial Experience, From 1765 to the Present (1996). online edition
  • Lloyd; T. O. The British Empire, 1558-1995 Oxford University Press, 1996 online edition
  • Louis, William. Roger (general editor), The Oxford History of the British Empire, 5 vols. (1998–99).
    • vol 1 "The Origins of Empire" ed. by Nicholas Canny
    • vol 2 "The Eighteenth Century" ed. by P. J. Marshall excerpt and text search
    • vol 3 The Nineteenth Century edited by William Roger Louis, Alaine M. Low, Andrew Porter; (1998). 780 pgs. online edition
    • vol 4 The Twentieth Century edited by Judith M. Brown, (1998). 773 pgs online edition
    • vol 5 "Historiography" ed, by Robin W. Winks (1999)
  • Marshall, P.J. (ed.) The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire (1996). excerpt and text search
  • Robinson, Howard . The Development of the British Empire (1922), 465pp online edition
  • Rose, J. Holland, A. P. Newton and E. A. Benians (gen. eds.), The Cambridge History of the British Empire, 9 vols. (1929–61); vol 1: "The Old Empire from the Beginnings to 1783" 934pp online edition Volume I
  • Schreuder, Deryck, and Stuart Ward, eds. Australia's Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series) (2010)
  • Smith, Simon C. British Imperialism 1750-1970 (1998). brief
  • Stockwell, Sarah, ed. The British Empire: Themes and Perspectives (2008) 355pp.

Atlases, geography, environment

  • Bartholomew, John. Atlas of the British empire throughout the world (1868 edition) online 1868 edition; (1877 edition) online 1877 edition, the maps are poorly reproduced
  • Bayly, C. A. ed. Atlas of the British Empire (1989). survey by scholars; heavily illustrated
  • Beattie, James. "Recent Themes in the Environmental History of the British Empire," History Compass (Feb 2012) 10#2 pp 129–139</ref>
  • Beinart, William, ed. Environment and Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion) (2007)
  • Dalziel, Nigel. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire (2006), 144 pp
  • Faunthorpe, John Pincher. Geography of the British colonies and foreign possessions (1874) online edition
  • Lucas, Charles Prestwood. A Historical Geography of the British Colonies: part 2: West Indies (1890) online edition
  • Lucas, Charles Prestwood. A Historical Geography of the British Colonies: part 4: South and East Africa (1900) online edition
  • Olson, James S. and Robert S. Shadle; Historical Dictionary of the British Empire (1996) online edition
  • Porter, A. N. Atlas of British Overseas Expansion (1994)
  • The Year-book of the Imperial Institute of the United Kingdom, the colonies and India: a statistical record of the resources and trade of the colonial and Indian possessions of the British Empire (2nd. ed. 1893) 880pp; online edition

Political, economic and intellectual studies

  • Andrews, Kenneth R. Trade, Plunder and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480–1630 (1984).
  • Armitage, David. The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (2000). online edition
  • Armitage, David, 'Greater Britain: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?' American Historical Review, 104 (1999), 427–45. in JSTOR
  • Armitage, David, ed. Theories of Empire, 1450–1800 (1998).
  • Armitage, David, and M. J. Braddick, eds. The British Atlantic World, 1500–1800, (2002)
  • Ballantyne, Tony, "Orientalism and Race: Aryanism in the British Empire
  • Barker, Sir Ernest, The Ideas and Ideals of the British Empire (1941).
  • Baumgart, W. Imperialism: The Idea and Reality of British and French Colonial Expansion, 1880-1914 (1982)
  • Bayly, C. A. Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World, 1780-1831 (1989).
  • Bell, Duncan The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860-1900 (2007)
  • Bell, Duncan (ed.) Victorian Visions of Global Order: Empire and International Relations in Nineteenth Century Political Thought (2007)
  • Bennett, George (ed.), The Concept of Empire: Burke to Attlee, 1774–1947 (1953).
  • Blaut, J. M. The Colonizers' Model of the World 1993
  • Bowen, H. V. Business of Empire: The East India Company and Imperial Britain, 1756-1833 (2006), 304pp
  • Cain, P. J. and A.G. Hopkins. British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (2nd ed. 2001), 739pp, detailed economic history that presents the new "gentlemanly capitalists" thesis
    • Cain, P. J.. and A. G. Hopkins. "Gentlemanly Capitalism and British Expansion Overseas I. The Old Colonial System, 1688-1850," Economic History Review, 2nd ser. 39, 4 (1986): 501-525 in JSTOR
    • Cain, P. J.. and A. G. Hopkins. "Gentlemanly Capitalism and British Expansion Overseas II: New Imperialism, 1850-1945," The Economic History Review Vol. 40, No. 1 (Feb., 1987), pp. 1–26 in JSTOR
    • Cain, P. J.. and A. G. Hopkins. "The Political Economy of British Expansion Overseas, 1750-1914," The Economic History ReviewVol. 33, No. 4 (Nov., 1980), pp. 463–490 in JSTOR
  • Darby, Philip. The Three Faces of Imperialism: British and American Approaches to Asia and Africa, 1870-1970 (1987)
  • Doyle, Michael W. Empires (1986).
  • Drescher, Seymour. Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Dumett, Raymond E. Gentlemanly Capitalism and British Imperialism: The New Debate on Empire. (1999). 234 pp.
  • Elliott, J.H., Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 (2006), a major interpretation excerpt and text search
  • Etherington, Norman. Missions and Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series) (2008) on Protestant missions
  • Gallagher, John, and Ronald Robinson. "The Imperialism of Free Trade" The Economic History Review, Vol. 6, No. 1 (1953), pp. 1–15 in JSTOR, online free at Mt. Holyoke highly influential interpretation in its day
  • Gilbert, Helen, and Chris Tiffin, eds. Burden or Benefit?: Imperial Benevolence and Its Legacies (2008)
  • Harlow, V. T. The Founding of the Second British Empire, 1763–1793, 2 vols. (1952–64).
  • Heinlein, Frank. British Government Policy and Decolonisation, 1945-1963: Scrutinising the Official Mind (2002).
  • Herbertson, A. J. The Oxford Survey of the British Empire, (1914) online edition
  • Ingram, Edward. The British Empire as a World Power: Ten Studies (2001)
  • Jackson, Ashley. British Empire and the Second World War (2006)
  • James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (1994).
  • Johnson, Robert. British Imperialism (2003). historiography
  • Keith, Arthur Berriedale (1921). War government of the British dominions. , First World War
  • Kennedy, Paul, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery (1976).
  • Kenny, Kevin, ed. Ireland and the British Empire (2004).
  • Koehn, Nancy F. The Power of Commerce: Economy and Governance in the First British Empire (1994) online edition
  • Knorr, Klaus E., British Colonial Theories 1570–1850 (1944).
  • Lester, Alan, "Imperial Networks: Creating Identities in Nineteenth-Century South Africa and Britain", (2001).
  • Louis, William Roger. The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (1984) online edition
  • Louis, William Roger. Imperialism at Bay: The United States and the Decolonization of the British Empire, 1941-1945 (1978) online edition
  • Marshall, Peter, and Glyn Williams, eds. The British Atlantic Empire before the American Revolution (1980) online edition
  • Mehta, Uday Singh, Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth-Century British Liberal Thought (1999).
  • Taylor, Alan. The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies (2010), on War of 1812
  • Webster, Anthony. Gentlemen Capitalists: British Imperialism in South East Asia, 1770-1890 (1998)

Foreign policy

  • Bartlett, C. J. British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (1989)
  • Black, Jeremy. America or Europe? British Foreign Policy, 1739-63 (1998) online edition
  • Black, Jeremy, ed. Knights Errant and True Englishmen: British Foreign Policy, 1660-1800 (2003) online edition, essays by scholars
  • Dilks, David. Retreat from Power: 1906-39 v. 1: Studies in Britain's Foreign Policy of the Twentieth Century (1981); Retreat from Power: After 1939 v. 2 (1981)
  • Ferguson, Niall. Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2002),
  • Hyam, Ronald. Britain's Imperial Century, 1815-1914: A Study of Empire and Expansion (1993).
  • Jones, J. R. Britain and the World, 1649-1815 (1980)
  • Mulligan, William, and Brendan Simms, eds. The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History, 1660-2000 (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 345 pages
  • Otte, T.G., The China Question: Great Power Rivalry and British Isolation, 1894-1905 (Oxford University Press, 2007), with reference to influence of Joseph Chamberlain on policy of Salisbury's administration.
  • Vickers, Rhiannon. The Evolution of Labour's Foreign Policy, 1900-51 (2003) online edition, focus on decolonization
  • Ward, A.W. and G.P. Gooch, eds. The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 1783-1919 (3 vol, 1921–23), old classic
  • Webster, Charles. The Foreign Policy of Palmerston (1951) online edition
  • Wiener, Joel H. ed. Great Britain: Foreign Policy and the Span of Empire, 1689-1971: A Documentary History (1972) 876pp online edition; primary sources

Social and cultural studies

  • August, Thomas G. The Selling of the Empire: British and French Imperialist Propaganda, 1890-1940 (1985)
  • Bailyn, Bernard, and Philip D. Morgan (eds.), Strangers within the Realm: Cultural Margins of the First British Empire (1991)
  • Brantlinger, Patrick. Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914 (1988).
  • Broich, John. "Engineering the Empire: British Water Supply Systems and Colonial Societies, 1850-1900." Journal of British Studies 2007 46(2): 346-365. Issn: 0021-9371 Fulltext: at Ebsco
  • Burton, Antoinette, "Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915.
  • Clayton, Martin. and Bennett Zon. Music and Orientalism in the British Empire, 1780s-1940s (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Constantine, Stephen. "British Emigration to the Empire-commonwealth since 1880: from Overseas Settlement to Diaspora?" Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 2003 31(2): 16-35. ISSN 0308-6534
  • Etherington, Norman. Missions and Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series) (2008) on Protestant missions
  • Hall, Catherine, and Sonya O. Rose. At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (2007)
  • Hall, Catherine. Civilising Subjects: Colony and Metropole in the English Imagination, 1830–1867 (2002)
  • Harper, Marjory, and Stephen Constantine, eds. Migration and Empire (The Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series) (2010)
  • Hodgkins, Christopher. Reforming Empire: Protestant Colonialism and Conscience in British Literature (U of Missouri Press, 2002) online edition
  • Hyam, Ronald. Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience (1990).
  • Karatani, Rieko. Defining British Citizenship: Empire, Commonwealth, and Modern Britain (2003) online edition
  • Lassner, Phyllis. Colonial Strangers: Women Writing the End of the British Empire (2004) online edition
  • Lazarus, Neil, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (2004)
  • Levine, Philippa, ed. Gender and Empire'. Oxford History of the British Empire (2004).
  • McDevitt, Patrick F. May the Best Man Win: Sport, Masculinity, and Nationalism in Great Britain and the Empire, 1880-1935 (2004).
  • Morgan, Philip D. and Hawkins, Sean, ed. Black Experience and the Empire (2004).
  • Morris, Jan. The Spectacle of Empire: Style, Effect and Pax Britannica (1982).
  • Naithani, Sadhana. The Story-Time of the British Empire: Colonial and Postcolonial Folkloristics (2010)
  • Porter, Andrew. Religion Versus Empire?: British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion, 1700-1914 (2004)
  • Potter, Simon J. News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System. Clarendon, 2003
  • Price, Richard. "One Big Thing: Britain, its Empire, and Their Imperial Culture." Journal of British Studies 2006 45(3): 602-627. Issn: 0021-9371 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Rubinstein, W. D. Capitalism, Culture, and Decline in Britain, 1750-1990 (1993),
  • Rüger, Jan. "Nation, Empire and Navy: Identity Politics in the United Kingdom 1887-1914" Past & Present 2004 (185): 159-187. ISSN 0031-2746 online
  • Sauerberg, Lars Ole. Intercultural Voices in Contemporary British Literature: The Implosion of Empire (2001) online edition
  • Sinha, Mrinalini, "Colonial Masculinity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the 'Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century" (1995)
  • Spurr, David. The Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse in Journalism, Travel Writing and Imperial Administration (1993).
  • Trollope, Joanna. Britannia's Daughters: Women of the British Empire (1983).
  • Wilson, Kathleen. The Island Race: Englishness, Empire, and Gender in the Eighteenth Century (2003).
  • Wilson, Kathleen, ed. A New Imperial History: Culture Identity, and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660–1840 (2004)
  • Wilson, Kathleen. "Rethinking the Colonial State: Family, Gender, and Governmentality in Eighteenth-Century British Frontiers," American Historical Review (2011) 116#5 pp 1294–1322

Regional studies

  • Bailyn, Bernard. Strangers Within the Realm: Cultural Margins of the First British Empire (1991) excerpt and text search
  • Bruckner, Phillip. Canada and the British Empire (The Oxford History of the British Empire) (2010) excerpt and text search
  • Kenny, Kevin, ed. Ireland and the British Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion) (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Landsman, Ned. Crossroads of Empire: The Middle Colonies in British North America (Regional Perspectives on Early America) (2010) excerpt and text search
  • Schreuder, Deryck, and Stuart Ward, eds. Australia's Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion) (2010) excerpt and text search

Historiography and memory

  • Adams, James Truslow. "On the Term 'British Empire,'" American Historical Review, 22 (1927), 485–9; in JSTOR
  • Barone, Charles A. Marxist Thought on Imperialism: Survey and Critique (1985)
  • Beattie, James. "Recent Themes in the Environmental History of the British Empire," History Compass (Feb 2012) 10#2 pp 129–139.
  • Cannadine, David, "'Big Tent' Historiography: Transatlantic Obstacles and Opportunities in Writing the History of Empire," Common Knowledge 11.3 (2005) 375-392 in Project Muse
  • Cannadine, David. Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (2002)
  • Colley, Linda. "What Is Imperial History Now?" in David Cannadine, ed. What Is History Now? (2002), 132–47.
  • Griffin, Patrick. "In Retrospect: Lawrence Henry Gipson's The British Empire before the American Revolution" Reviews in American History, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 171–183 in JSTOR
  • Morris, Richard B. "The Spacious Empire of Lawrence Henry Gipson," William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr., 1967), pp. 170–189 in JSTOR
  • Pocock, J. G. A. 'The Limits and Divisions of British History: In Search of the Unknown Subject', American Historical Review, 87 (1982), 311–36.
  • Prakash, Gyan. “Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World: Perspectives from Indian Historiography,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 32, 2 (1990): 383-408 in JSTOR
  • Stern, Philip J. "History and Historiography of the English East India Company: Past, Present, and Future," History Compass (2009) Volume 7 Issue 4, pp 1146–1180
  • Webster, Anthony. The Debate on the Rise of British Imperialism (Issues in Historiography) (2006)
  • Wilson, Kathleen, ed. A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660-1840 (2004). excerpt and text search
  • Winks, Robin, ed. Historiography (1999) vol. 5 in William Roger Louis, eds. The Oxford History of the British Empire

Primary sources

  • Board of Education. Educational Systems of the Chief Crown Colonies and Possessions of the British Empire (1905). 340pp online edition
  • Boehmer, Elleke ed. Empire Writing: An Anthology of Colonial Literature, 1870-1918 (1998) online edition
  • Brooks, Chris. and Peter Faulkner (eds.), The White Man's Burdens: An Anthology of British Poetry of the Empire (Exeter UP, 1996).
  • Hall, Catherine. ed. Cultures of Empire: A Reader: Colonizers in Britain and the Empire in the 19th and 20th Centuries (2000)

References

  1. ^ Darwin, John. Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (2013)
  2. ^ John Darwin, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (London: Allen Lane, 2012), p 391.
  3. ^ Darwin, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain, p 388.
  4. ^ Laidlaw, Zoë. "Breaking Britannia'S Bounds? Law, Settlers, and Space in Britain's Imperial Historiography," Historical Journal (Sept 2012) 55#3 pp p807-830
  5. ^ Armitage (2000) p. 143
  6. ^ Armitage (2000) p. 173
  7. ^ Mark F. Proudman, "Words for Scholars: The Semantics of 'Imperialism'". Journal of the Historical Society, Sept. 2008, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p395-433
  8. ^ D. K. Fieldhouse, "Imperialism": An Historiographical Revision," South African Journal Of Economic History, March 1992, Vol. 7 Issue 1, pp 45-72
  9. ^ P. J. Cain, "Capitalism, Aristocracy and Empire: Some 'Classical' Theories of Imperialism Revisited," Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, March 2007, Vol. 35 Issue 1, pp 25-47
  10. ^ G.K. Peatling, "Globalism, Hegemonism and British Power: J. A. Hobson and Alfred Zimmern Reconsidered," History, July 2004, Vol. 89 Issue 295, pp 381-398
  11. ^ Richard S. Reddie, Abolition!: The Struggle to Abolish Slavery in the British Colonies (2007)
  12. ^ Norman Etherington, Missions and Empire (2008)
  13. ^ The 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, initially designed to protect Maori rights, has become the bedrock of Aotearoa-New Zealand biculturalism.
  14. ^ Helen Gilbert and Chris Tiffin, eds. Burden or Benefit?: Imperial Benevolence and Its Legacies (2008)
  15. ^ J.R. Ward, "The British West Indies in the Age of Abolition," in P.J. Marshall, ed. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume II: The Eighteenth Century (1998) pp 415-39.
  16. ^ David Richardson, "The British Empire and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1660-1807," in P.J. Marshall, ed. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume II: The Eighteenth Century (1998) pp 440-64.
  17. ^ James Beattie, "Recent Themes in the Environmental History of the British Empire," History Compass (Feb 2012) 10#2 pp 129-139
  18. ^ Deryck Schreuder and Stuart Ward, eds., Australia's Empire (Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series) (2010), ch 1
  19. ^ Harold B. Carter, "Banks, Cook and the Eighteenth Century Natural History Tradition", in Tony Delamotte and Carl Bridge (eds.), Interpreting Australia: British Perceptions of Australia since 1788, London, Sir Robert Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, 1988, pp.4–23.
  20. ^ Alan Atkinson, "The first plans for governing New South Wales, 1786–87", Australian Historical Studies, vol.24, no.94, April 1990, pp. 22–40, p.31.
  21. ^ Carl Berger, Sense of Power: Studies in the Ideas of Canadian Imperialism, 1867-1914 (1971)
  22. ^ Rajat Kanta Ray, "Indian Society and the Establishment of British Supremacy, 1765-1818," in The Oxford History of the British Empire: vol. 2, The Eighteenth Century" ed. by P. J. Marshall, (1998), pp 508-29
  23. ^ P.J. Marshall, "The British in Asia: Trade to Dominion, 1700-1765," in The Oxford History of the British Empire: vol. 2, The Eighteenth Century" ed. by P. J. Marshall, (1998), pp 487-507
  24. ^ Marshall, "The British in Asia: Trade to Dominion, 1700-1765"
  25. ^ Ian Tyrrell, "Making Nations/Making States: American Historians in the Context of Empire," Journal of American History, Vol. 86, No. 3, (Dec., 1999), pp. 1015-1044 in JSTOR
  26. ^ Max Savelle, Seeds of Liberty: The Genesis of the American Mind (2005) pp. 204-211
  27. ^ William R. Nester, The Great Frontier War: Britain, France, and the Imperial Struggle for North America, 1607-1755 (Praeger, 2000) p, 54.
  28. ^ Tim McNeese, Colonial America, 1543-1763 (2009)
  29. ^ Mrinalini Sinha, "Colonial Masculinity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the 'Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century".
  30. ^ Antoinette Burton, "Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915."
  31. ^ Catherine Hall and Sonya Rose eds, At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World."
  32. ^ Mrinalini Sinha, "Colonial Masculinity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the 'Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century", p. 2.
  33. ^ Alan Lester, "Imperial Networks: Creating Identities in Nineteenth-Century South Africa and Britain."
  34. ^ Tony Ballantyne, "Orientalism and Race: Aryanism in the British Empire".
  35. ^ Alison Games, "The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560-1660."

External links








Creative Commons License