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British Imperialism (Histories and Controversies) by Rob Johnson

By Rob Johnson

This crucial advisor bargains a succinct, easy-to-read advent to the most important concerns and historiography of British imperialism from the overdue 18th century to the current. every one bankruptcy addresses questions posed by way of the character of imperialism in its quite a few army, financial, political, and cultural kinds, whereas present controversies--including the influence of Orientalism and post-colonialism--are defined and set within the context of past debates. the 1st e-book in Palgrave Macmillan's new Histories and Controversies sequence, British Imperialism permits readers to speedily assimilate either historiography and key points of Britain's imperial strength and effect.

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Harlow suggested a ‘Swing to the East’, a shift of emphasis in the Empire as Britain became a major Asian power, and this new status was illustrated 13 14 BRITISH IMPERIALISM by the deployment, for example, of Indian troops in Egypt in 1801. Whilst Harlow’s criteria are debatable (since they ignore, for example, the attempts to influence South America at the beginning of the nineteenth century), the spread of formal rule into Asia and Africa throughout the 1800s was a significant development. The events of the last decades of the eighteenth century had a considerable impact on the direction imperialism took in the early nineteenth century, but not because, as Harlow suggested, Britain faced a setback in America.

The focus of this idea is the Indian textile industry, which flourished in the eighteenth century even though the majority of Indian textiles were produced on handlooms, not machines. 30 Investment in India, the construction of railways, irrigation canals and education, achievements of which the British were immensely proud, were also subsequently criticised. 32 But successive British administrations were eager not to add to the burden of taxation, which would have been necessary to develop India’s industry, and they were cautious in their spending.

By the mid-nineteenth century, Britain was firmly established as the main trading partner in the region. Before 1913, Latin America took 10 per cent of British exports and supplied 10 per cent of British imports. 33 British commercial and political interests also coincided in the Ottoman Empire. Preservation of the Turkish Empire was thought an essential safeguard for British trade arteries to the east. Economic penetration was regarded as the means to regenerate the Ottoman domains, thus acting as a stimulus to modernisation and increasing strength.

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