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British Imperialism: 1688-2015 (3rd Edition) by A. G. Hopkins, P.J. Cain

By A. G. Hopkins, P.J. Cain

A milestone within the knowing of British background and imperialism, this ground-breaking booklet extensively reinterprets the process glossy financial improvement and the explanations of out of the country enlargement up to now 3 centuries. utilising their notion of 'gentlemanly capitalism', the authors draw imperial and household British background jointly to teach how the form of the country and its economic climate relied on overseas and imperial ties, and the way those ties have been undone to supply the post-colonial international of this present day.

Containing a considerably improved and up to date Foreword and Afterword, this 3rd version assesses the advance of the controversy because the book’s unique ebook, discusses the imperial period within the context of the debate over globalization, and exhibits how the research of the age of empires continues to be correct to figuring out the post-colonial global.

Covering the whole quantity of the British empire from China to South the USA and taking a large chronological view from the 17th century to post-imperial Britain this day, British Imperialism: 1688–2015 is the suitable learn for all scholars of imperial and worldwide background.

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Additional info for British Imperialism: 1688-2015 (3rd Edition)

Example text

A fuller characterisation would establish more clearly than we did that gentlemanly capitalists were one element among a larger cohort of gentlemen who occupied high-ranking positions in the military, the professions and the Anglican Church. These men were removed from the business of money-making but were related to it through a shared code of conduct, dependence on income streams that flowed from the City and landed rents, and social connections, often extending to inter-marriage. Most gentlemen, even if not active in the market, were aware of the economic world through land or finance, and it was natural for them to imagine that these activities, rather than the distant mills of industry, were central to Britain’s power and progress.

This decision had a price: by the time our books appeared in 1993, economic history had fallen out of favour, and interest had shifted to the other end of the spectrum, where post-colonial studies, strongly influenced by trends in literary criticism, had directed the attention of a new generation of researchers to cultural issues centred on imagined empires and representations of subject peoples. In some scholarly circles ‘productive forces’, as they were once termed, had been taken off the agenda, and ‘totalising projects’ that attempted to generalise about long-term structural change were regarded as being theoretically flawed and ideologically suspect.

In discussing the run-up to the Boer War of 1899–1902, we should have distinguished more clearly between the priorities of two of the principal figures, Joseph Chamberlain and Alfred Milner, and those of the gentlemen of the City. 101 There is no doubt that Chamberlain thought that a united South Africa under British control was vital to the success of his broader plan. Although Chamberlain’s view prevailed in 1899, and the war was eventually won, his imperial dream was not realised: in 1906, the electorate decisively rejected his bid to promote imperial economic union through tariff reform.

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