Volume III covers the long watershed of the nineteenth century, from the American independence of the 1780s to the eve of world war in 1914. This period saw Britain's greatest expansion as an empire-builder and a dominant world power.
We begin with several thematic chapters--some are on Britain while others consider the empire's periphery--exploring the key dynamics of British expansion that made imperial influence possible and imperial rule prevalent. The volume also studies the economic, cultural, and institutional frameworks that shaped Britain's overseas empire. Focus then shifts to the principal areas of imperial activity overseas, including both white-settler and tropical colonies, and the question of how British interests and imperial rule shaped the political, social, and economic histories of individual regions. The themes include economics, institutions, defense, technology, imperial and colonial cultures, science, and exploration. The volume examines not only the formal empire, stretching from Australasia and the West Indies to India and the African colonies, but also China and Latin America, which were the central components of Britain's "informal" empire.
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Oxford University Press
October 20, 1999
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