The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Crisis and Transformation of Britain's Imperial State

The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Crisis and Transformation of Britain's Imperial State

by James M. Vaughn

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Overview

An important revisionist history that casts eighteenth-century British politics and imperial expansion in a new light
 
In this bold debut work, historian James M. Vaughn challenges the scholarly consensus that British India and the Second Empire were founded in “a fit of absence of mind.” He instead argues that the origins of the Raj and the largest empire of the modern world were rooted in political conflicts and movements in Britain. It was British conservatives who shaped the Second Empire into one of conquest and dominion, emphasizing the extraction of resources and the subjugation of colonial populations. Drawing on a wide array of sources, Vaughn shows how the East India Company was transformed from a corporation into an imperial power in the service of British political forces opposed to the rising radicalism of the period. The Company’s dominion in Bengal, where it raised territorial revenue and maintained a large army, was an autocratic bulwark of Britain’s established order. A major work of political and imperial history, this volume offers an important new understanding of the era and its global ramifications.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300208269
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Series: The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

James M. Vaughn is assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and a former postdoctoral fellow at the MacMillan Center at Yale University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Author's Note xii

Introduction 1

Part 1 The First British Empire And Its Crisis

1 The First British Empire, the Whig Supremacy, and the East India Company 19

2 Bourgeois Radicalism and the "Empire of Liberty" in the Age of Pitt 50

3 The Plassey Revolution in Bengal and the Company's Civil War in Britain 88

Part 2 The Making Of The Second British Empire

4 Clive's Conquest of East India House and the Company's Conquest of Bengal 131

5 The New Toryism and the Imperial Reaction at the Accession of George III 165

6 The Triumph of the New Toryism and the Spirit of the Second British Empire 201

Epilogue 232

Notes 249

Index 295

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