The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America c.1750-1783 (Hardback)
  • The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America c.1750-1783 (Hardback)
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The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America c.1750-1783 (Hardback)

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£76.00
Hardback 410 Pages / Published: 28/04/2005
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In The Making and Unmaking of Empires P. J. Marshall, distinguished author of numerous books on the British Empire and former Rhodes Professor of Imperial History, provides a unified interpretation of British imperial history in the later eighteenth century. He brings together into a common focus Britain's loss of empire in North America and the winning of territorial dominion in parts of India and argues that these developments were part of a single phase of Britain's imperial history, rather than marking the closing of a 'first' Atlantic empire and the rise of a 'second' eastern one. In both India and North America Britain pursued similar objectives in this period. Fearful of the apparent enmity of France, Britain sought to secure the interests overseas which were thought to contribute so much to her wealth and power. This involved imposing a greater degree of control over colonies in America and over the East India Company and its new possessions in India. Aspirations to greater control also reflected an increasing confidence in Britain's capacity to regulate the affairs of subject peoples, especially through parliament. If British objectives throughout the world were generally similar, whether they could be achieved depended on the support or at least acquiescence of those they tried to rule. Much of this book is concerned with bringing together the findings of the rich historical writing on both post-Mughal India and late colonial America to assess the strengths and weaknesses of empire in different parts of the world. In North America potential allies who were closely linked to Britain in beliefs, culture and economic interest were ultimately alienated by Britain's political pretensions. Empire was extremely fragile in two out of the three main Indian settlements. In Bengal, however, the British achieved a modus vivendi with important groups which enabled them to build a secure base for the future subjugation of the subcontinent. With the authority of one who has made the study of empire his life's work, Marshall provides a valuable resource for scholar and student alike.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199278954
Number of pages: 410
Weight: 752 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
...magnificent work of scholarship... * Patrick O'Brien, International Journal of Asian Studies *
...the attention to detail, validation of sources, adherence to chronology, together with eloquent communication in that persuasive form of an unfolding narrative are all here in an impeccably executed example of a genre of historical writing that, sadly, is passing away. * Patrick O'Brien, International Journal of Asian Studies *
...this work will stand as a valued resource for other historians, not only for its subtle interpretations, but for its astonishing wealth of carefully mined nuggets of information. * Robert Travers, The Historical Journal *
...fine scholarship * Leonard Gordon, THES *
P.J. Marshall stands pre-eminent ... The Making and Unmaking of Empires is the fruit of a life's work. * David Armitage, TLS *
This is a very welcome book indeed, not least because it is written by one of the greatest of contemporary British imperial historians. * Dennis Judd, BBC History Magazine *
...a superb work of scholarship, elegant in conception, vast in scope and eruditon, and of great significance to eighteenth-century British, Indian, American, and imperial history. * The English Historical Review *

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