Global expansion: Britain and its empire, 1870-1914 by WILLIE THOMPSON


During this reassessment of British imperialism, Willie Thompson examines the underlying social, monetary and political forces that facilitated growth in the course of the key interval of 1870-1914. Thompson emphasizes that the British Empire used to be in the beginning proven by means of predatory the right way to satisfy the monetary pursuits of imperial energy with no regard to the welfare of indigenous people.Thompson examines how expertise, together with the fast advances in communications and armed forces process, enabled a deeper penetration of latest colonies and the purchase of recent colonies in Africa and Asia. along this, he evaluates Britain's response to adjustments within the foreign political enviornment, together with the imperial enlargement of different eu international locations. New overseas relationships confirmed by means of the British Empire - corresponding to people with the semi-autonomous payment colonies, similar to Australia, and the absolutely subordinated African territories, in addition to Britain's quasi-colonial preparations with China and the Ottoman Empire - are all thought of intensive. ultimately, he examines the impression of this new imperial ideology on British society.

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In general terms it represented a recrystallisation of social and class structures after the tectonic shifts and eruptions of the Industrial Revolution. The manual workforce, whether or not employed in technologically advanced industry, adapted to the reality and permanence of industrial society or sought better prospects overseas. As Edward Thompson put it, they ‘proceeded to warren it from end to end ... 10 The propertied (except for occasional brief panics) no longer lived in fear of the mob.

And whereas ... the Kings, Chiefs, and other peoples of various territories in the basin of the River Niger ... have ceded the whole of their respective territories to the Company ... and whereas the Company ... have purchased the business of all the European traders in the region aforesaid and are now the sole European traders ... 16 The charter went on to prohibit the RNC from establishing a trade monopoly, or discriminating commercially against foreign nationals, but effectively negated the significance of that prohibition by stipulating that ‘foreigners alike with British subjects will be subject to administrative dispositions in the interests of commerce and order’.

The ideological foundations were being laid for the annexations and colony-seizure that was to follow, with Africa as the principal theatre. In 1872 the British agent Sir Bartle Frere coerced the Arab Sultan of Zanzibar, 26 Global Expansion ruler of a trading empire that had in 1832 shifted its base from the Oman and the nominal overlord of wide domains in East Africa, into putting his signature to a treaty that ostensibly prohibited slave trading within his territories. The question of that commerce and the difficulty of extirpating it by diplomatic or informal means was to be made into a favourite piece of rhetoric employed by the interests promoting commercial penetration and territorial takeover in that part of the continent.

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