The British Empire and Commonwealth: A Short History

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From its modest beginnings as marginal scraps of territory in America and the Caribbean to its recent disappearance, the British Empire was an extraordinary and paradoxical entity. North America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Australasia and innumerable small islands and territories have been fundamentally shaped - economically, socially and politically - by a nation whose imperial drive came from a bewildering mixture of rapacity and moral zeal, of high-mindedness and viciousness, of strategic cunning and...
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0312163932 Hardcover in dust jacket, light wear, light scuffing to dust jacket, else a nice copy!

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1996 Hardcover Very Good 0312163932 Hardcover in dust jacket, light wear, light scuffing to dust jacket, else a nice copy!

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Overview

From its modest beginnings as marginal scraps of territory in America and the Caribbean to its recent disappearance, the British Empire was an extraordinary and paradoxical entity. North America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Australasia and innumerable small islands and territories have been fundamentally shaped - economically, socially and politically - by a nation whose imperial drive came from a bewildering mixture of rapacity and moral zeal, of high-mindedness and viciousness, of strategic cunning and feckless neglect. The relative indifference and ease with which Britain finally divested itself of Empire in the 1950s, when compared to the ferocity and enterprise shown in its acquisition over the previous four centuries, suggests a quite baffling sea-change in the British psyche. Martin Kitchen has written a fascinating, crisp, informative account of the rise and fall of the British Empire, concentrating on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but giving the background of the 'First British Empire', which was lost with the creation of the United States of America. His book is of particular value in relating the importance of the Empire to Britain's success both as the only genuine world power in the Victorian era and as a victor in the two great wars of the twentieth century.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kitchen (history, Simon Fraser U., British Columbia) focuses on British relations with overseas possessions during the 19th and 20th centuries, but also gives background on the earlier American colonies that were lost to independence in the 18th. He makes no mention of the much earlier and continuing imperial domination of the Celtic peoples in Great Britain herself. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312163938
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Maps
1 From the First to the Second Empire: 1400s to 1830s 1
2 The British Empire in the Nineteenth Century 24
3 The Heyday of Empire, 1876-1914 43
4 The Empire in War and Peace, 1914-1939 61
5 The Empire and Commonwealth at War, 1939-1945 84
6 Labour and the Empire, 1945-1951 103
7 The End of the Empire 123
8 The Commonwealth Today 143
9 The Commonwealth: Problems and Perspectives 162
Selected Bibliography 178
Index 182
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