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Up to World War II and beyond, the British ruled over a vast empire. Modern western attitudes towards the imperial past tend either towards nostalgia for British power or revulsion at what seem to be the abuses of that power. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire adopts neither of these approaches. It aims to create historical understanding about the British empire on the assumption that such understanding is important for any informed appreciation of the modern world. Through striking illustration and a text written by leading experts, this book examines the experience of colonialism in North America, India, Africa, Australia, and the Caribbean, as well as the impact of the empire on Britain itself. Emphasis is placed on social and cultural history, including slavery, trade, religion, art, and the movement of ideas. How did the British rule their empire? Who benefited economically from the empire? And who lost?
The phenomenon of imperialism has never been under such intense scrutiny, by such a wide range of academic disciplines, as it is today. From cultural studies to the history of science, academics are engaged in a series of debates about empire which move far beyond traditional preoccupations with metropolitan strategy, economics, and rivalry. Using primary and secondary documentary sources, this reader negotiates the many trends and concerns in recent debates to provide a broad-based, comparative history of the British Empire. Selected readings are presented within a chronological framework, from the origins of empire to decolonization and beyond. Samson adopts a theme of identity to explore different perspectives through the sources, including metropolitan, colonial, and indigenous responses. General and section introductions explore such issues as the role of economics and religion in imperial expansion and rule; how indigenous and Creole populations constructed and expressed their own identities; and what changes were wrought by the process of decolonization. Bringing together a wide range of documentary evidence, this volume allows the varied and vital debates on aspects of imperialism and identity to be seen in the context of the broad history of the British Empire.
In 1800, Europeans governed about one-third of the world's land surface; by the start of World War I in 1914, Europeans had imposed some form of political or economic ascendancy on over 80 percent of the globe. The basic structure of global and European politics in the twentieth century was fashioned in the previous century out of the clash of competing imperial interests and the effects, both beneficial and harmful, of the imperial powers on the societies they dominated. This encyclopedia offers current, detailed information on the major world powers of the nineteenth century and their global empires, as well as on the people, events, and ideas, both European and non-European, that shaped the Age of Imperialism.--Publisher description.
From the eighteenth century until the 1950s the British Empire was the biggest political entity in the world. The territories forming this empire ranged from tiny islands to vast segments of the world's major continental land masses. The British Empire left its mark on the world in a multitude of ways, many of them permanent. In this Very Short Introduction, Ashley Jackson introduces and defines the British Empire, reviewing its historiography by answering a series of key questions: What was the British Empire, and what were its main constituent parts? What were the phases of imperial expansion and contraction and the general causes of expansion and contraction? How was the Empire ruled? What were its economic effects? What were the cultural implications of empire, in Britain and its colonies? What was life like for people living under imperial rule? What are the legacies of the British Empire and how should we view its place in world history? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
As well as presenting a lively narrative of events, Bernard Porter explores a number of broad analytical themes, challenging more conventional and popular interpretations. He sees imperialism as a symptom not of Britain's strength in the world, but of her decline; and he argues that the empire itself both aggravated and obscured deep-seated malaise in the British economy.
Ten fictional stories about children in various points of history, based on facts with extensive research bibliography. Snippets alongside add information without intruding into the enjoyment of the story. The book ends with a visual activity section.

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