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British Imperial Strategies in the Pacific, 1750-1900

Jane Samson
ISBN: 0 7546 1961 3
Publication date: Feb 2003.

The focus of this volume is Britain's trans-Pacific empire. This began with haphazard challenges to Spanish dominion, but by the end of the 18th century, the British had established a colony in Australia and had gone to the brink of war with Spain to establish trading rights in the north Pacific. These rights led to formal colonies in Vancouver Island and British Columbia, when Britain sought to maintain a north Pacific presence despite American expansionism. In the later 19th century the international 'scramble for the Pacific' resulted in new British colonies and protectorates in the Pacific islands. The result was a complex imperial presence, created from a variety of motives and circumstances. The essays selected here take account of the wide range of economic, political and cultural factors which prompted British expansion, creating tension in Britain's imperial identity in the Pacific, and leaving Pacific peoples with a complicated and challenging legacy. Along with the important new introduction, they provide a basis for the reassessment of British imperialism in the Pacific region.

Seafaring, Sailors and Trade, 1450-1750
G.V. Scammell
ISBN: 0 86078 897 0
Publication date: March 2003

This second volume of articles by G.V. Scammell offers new insights into the history of British and European shipping in the centuries of Europe's penetration into the oceans of the world, from the 15th to the 18th century. It examines the building, ownership and operation of merchantmen in the context of economic and social developments of the period, combining this with the investigation of the vital, but still comparatively neglected, subjects of the lives, working conditions, beliefs, skills and behaviour of seamen. This is the basis for discussion of the means and methods by which British shipping and merchants established themselves in oceanic trades, including those of other powers, considered in relation to the growth of British maritime and commercial supremacy. The final studies then examine the causes and consequences of European and British seaborne expansion, particularly in Asia.

'A Free Though Conquering People': Eighteenth-Century Britain and its Empire
P. J. Marshall
ISBN: 0 86078 913 6
Publication date: May 2003

The present collection brings together a series of studies by Peter Marshall on British imperial expansion in the later 18th century. Some essays focus on the thirteen North American colonies, the West Indies, and British contact with China; those dealing specifically with India have appeared in the author's 'Trade and Conquest: Studies on the rise of British domination in India'. The majority, culminating in the four addresses on 'Britain and the World in the Eighteenth Century' delivered as President of the Royal Historical Society, deal with the processes and dynamics of empire-building and aim to bring together the history of Asia and the Atlantic. The themes investigated include the pressures that induced Britain to pursue new imperial strategies from the mid-18th century, Britain's contrasting fortunes in India and North America, and the way in which the British adjusted their conceptions of empire from one based on freedom and the domination of the seas, to one which involved the exercise of autocratic rule over millions of people and great expanses of territory.

Colonial Empires Compared: Britain and the Netherlands, 1750-1850
Bob Moore and Henk van Nierop
ISBN: 0 7546 0492 6
Publication date: April 2003

During the seventeenth century, the Dutch and English emerged as the world's leading trading nations, building their prosperity largely upon their maritime successes. During this period both nations strongly contested for maritime supremacy and colonial dominance, yet by the nineteenth century, it was Britain who had undoubtedly come out on top of this struggle, with a navy that dominated the seas and an empire of unparalleled size. This volume examines the colonial development of these two nations at a crucial period in which the foundations for the modern nineteenth and twentieth century imperial state were laid. The volume consists of ten essays (five by British and five by Dutch scholars) based on papers originally delivered to the Fourteenth Anglo-Dutch Historical Conference, 2000. The essays are arranged into five themes which take a strongly comparative approach to explore the development of the British and Dutch colonial empires in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These themes examine the nature of Anglo-Dutch relations, the culture of imperialism and perceptions of the overseas world, the role of sea power in imperial expansion, the economics of colonial expansion and the extension of the metropolitan state to the colonies. Taken together, these essays form an important collection which will greatly add to the understanding of the British and Dutch colonial empires, and their relative successes and failures.


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