Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire / Edition 1

Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire / Edition 1

by David Cannadine
ISBN-10:
019515794X
ISBN-13:
9780195157949
Pub. Date:
12/05/2002
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
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Overview

Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire / Edition 1

With the return of Hong Kong to the Chinese government in 1997, the empire that had lasted three hundred years and upon which the sun never set loosened its hold on the world and slipped into history. But the question of how we understand the British Empire—its origins, nature, purpose, and effect on the world it ruled—is far from settled.

In this incisive new work, already being hailed as a landmark, David Cannadine looks at the British Empire from a new perspective—through the eyes of those who created and ruled it—and offers fresh insight into the driving forces behind the Empire. Arguing against the views of Edward Said and others, Cannadine suggests that the British were motivated not by race but by class. The British wanted to domesticate the exotic world of their colonies and to reorder the societies they ruled according to an idealized image of their own class hierarchies. In reestablishing the connections between British society and colonial society, Cannadine shows that Imperialists loathed Indians and Africans no more nor less than they loathed the great majority of Englishmen and were far more willing to work with maharajahs, kings, and chiefs of whatever race than with "sordid" white settlers. Revolted by the triumph of democracy in Britain itself, the Empire's rulers embraced a feudal vision of the colonies which successfully endured until the 1950s.

About the Author:
David Cannadine is Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Historical Research at London University. He is the author of many acclaimed books including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, Class in Britain, and History in Our Time. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195157949
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 12/05/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 8.06(w) x 5.38(h) x 0.55(d)

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