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Unfinished Empire

The Global Expansion of Britain

John Darwin

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Description

A both controversial and comprehensive historical analysis of how the British Empire worked, from Wolfson Prize-winning author and historian John Darwin

The British Empire shaped the world in countless ways: repopulating continents, carving out nations, imposing its own language, technology and values. For perhaps two centuries its expansion and final collapse were the single largest determinant of historical events, and it remains surrounded by myth, misconception and controversy today.

John Darwin's provocative and richly enjoyable book shows how diverse, contradictory and in many ways chaotic the British Empire really was, controlled by interests that were often at loggerheads, and as much driven on by others' weaknesses as by its own strength.

Publishers Weekly Review

15 October 2012 – Nostalgic Brits esteem the Empire as a redemptive “civilizing mission,” others as an exercise in greed on a global scale. Oxford historian Darwin (After Tamerlane) argues convincingly that it was an ad hoc, largely private enterprise pursued by traders, migrants, soldiers, missionaries, and entrepreneurs with sporadic official support from the Crown. The book begins with Elizabethan England, at the time an outsider on the world stage: Spain enjoyed a “silver-rich empire” in the Americas; Holland controlled Asian spice islands; and Portugal had an outpost on the west coast of India. But by 1700, an “English Atlantic” was prospering with settlements strewn from Jamaica to Newfoundland, and though colonists played a minor role in Asia, traders there used military aid to assume control of the Indian subcontinent. By century’s end, America had broken free, but the defeat of France at Waterloo in 1815 ushered in a golden age of trade and enlargement for the U.K. Though U.S. and German economies surged around the dawn of the 20th century, British expansion continued until WWII, when the unwieldy and far-flung agglomeration of territories began to finally break free from the shackles of colonialism. Temporally and geographically sprawling, Darwin’s study is as expansive as his subject, yet his lucidly rendered project holds together remarkably well. Maps, illus.
Unfinished Empire
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  • 8,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Europe
  • Published: 06 September 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Print Length: 496 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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