For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the British ruled over a colossal empire that stretched from one end of the map to the other. One cannot contemplate modern history without considering the role of the British Empire. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire is an illuminating survey of the development and impact of the British Empire from the end of the American Revolution to the present day. Against a background of striking illustrations, twelve experts on imperial history survey the experience of colonialism in North America, the Caribbean, India, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Asia. They emphasize social and cultural history: the movement of peoples, including slavery, and of ideas, including Christianity, art, and literature; the development of trade, transport, and urban life; the impact of imperialism on food, dress, and recreation; and the emergence of new national identities. Imperialism can be a contentious issue. While not seeking to avoid controversial topics, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire is by no means a nostalgic look at a bygone era.
It is a lively document chronicling an important part of our cultural history. It will be of wide interest to history enthusiasts, students, and scholars alike.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the world shaped by empire P. J. Marshall; Part I. The History of Empire: 1. The British empire at the end of the eighteenth century P. J. Marshall; 2. 1783-1870: an expanding empire P. J. Marshall; 3. 1870-1918: the empire under threat P. J. Marshall; 4. 1918 to the 1960s: keeping afloat P. J. Marshall; Part II. The Life of the Empire: 5. For richer, for poorer? David Fieldhouse; 6. Power, authority, and freedom A. J. Stockwell; 7. Empires in the mind Andrew Porter; 8. Imperial towns and cities Thomas R. Metcalf; 9. British emigration and new identities Ged Martin and Benjamin E. Kline; 10. The diaspora of the Africans and the Asians P. J. Marshall; 11. Art and the empire John M. Mackenzie; Part III. The Imperial Experience: 12. Imperial Britain P. J. Marshall; 13. Australia K. S. Inglis; 14. Africa Toyin Falola; 15. British rule in India: an assessment Tapan Raychaudhuri; Conclusion: Empire in retrospect P. J. Marshall; Reference Guide: British imperial territories from 1783; Further reading; Contributors; Acknowledgements; Index.
P. J. Marshall is Emeritus Professor of History at King's College, London, where he taught the history of empire from 1959-93. He was born in Calcutta, educated at Oxford, and is a Fellow of the British Academy. His numerous publications include The Impeachment of Warren Hastings; The British Discovery of Hinduism; East Indian Fortunes; and Bengal, the British Bridgehead. Professor Marshall is an associate editor of The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke.