The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 18301970

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 24, 2009 - History
5 Reviews
The British Empire, wrote Adam Smith, 'has hitherto been not an empire, but the project of an empire' and John Darwin offers a magisterial global history of the rise and fall of that great imperial project. The British Empire, he argues, was much more than a group of colonies ruled over by a scattering of British expatriates until eventual independence. It was, above all, a global phenomenon. Its power derived rather less from the assertion of imperial authority than from the fusing together of three different kinds of empire: the settler empire of the 'white dominions'; the commercial empire of the City of London; and 'Greater India' which contributed markets, manpower and military muscle. This unprecedented history charts how this intricate imperial web was first strengthened, then weakened and finally severed on the rollercoaster of global economic, political and geostrategic upheaval on which it rode from beginning to end.
  

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Review: The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970

User Review  - Brian - Goodreads

2/2 stars for content, 1/3 stars for writing style. Read full review

Review: The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970

User Review  - Simon - Goodreads

The author has a tendency to allude to major historical events without explaining them, as if the reader already has a detailed knowledge of the subject matter. He also dog-whistles pro-empire values ... Read full review

Contents

the project of an Empire
1
Towards The Sceptre of the World the elements of Empire in the long nineteenth century
21
Victorian origins
23
The octopus power
64
The commercial republic
112
The Britannic experiment
144
UnBritish rule in AngloIndia
180
The weakest link Britain in South Africa
217
Making imperial peace 19191926
359
Holding the centre 19271937
418
The strategic abyss 19371942
476
The price of survival 19431951
514
The third world power 19511959
566
Reluctant retreat 19591968
610
Conclusion
649
Notes
656

The Edwardian transition
255
The great liner is sinking the British worldsystem in the age of war
303
The war for Empire 19141919
305
Select bibliography
789
Index
795
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

John Darwin teaches Imperial and Global History at Oxford where he is a Fellow of Nuffield College. His previous publications include After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire since 1400 (winner of the Wolfson History Prize for 2007), The End of the British Empire: The Historical Debate (1991) and Britain and Decolonization: The Retreat from Empire in the Post-War World (1988).

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