Environment and Empire

Paperback | May 15, 2009

byWilliam Beinart, Lotte Hughes

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European imperialism was extraordinarily far-reaching: a key global historical process of the last 500 years. It locked disparate human societies together over a wider area than any previous imperial expansion; it underpinned the repopulation of the Americas and Australasia; it was theprecursor of globalization as we now understand it. Imperialism was inseparable from the history of global environmental change. Metropolitan countries sought raw materials of all kinds, from timber and furs to rubber and oil. They established sugar plantations that transformed island ecologies.Settlers introduced new methods of farming and displaced indigenous peoples. Colonial cities, many of which became great conurbations, fundamentally changed relationships between people and nature. Consumer cultures, the internal combustion engine, and pollution are now ubiquitous. Environmental history deals with the reciprocal interaction between people and other elements in the natural world, and this book illustrates the diverse environmental themes in the history of empire. Initially concentrating on the material factors that shaped empire and environmental change,Environment and Empire discusses the way in which British consumers and manufacturers sucked in resources that were gathered, hunted, fished, mined, and farmed. Yet it is also clear that British settler and colonial states sought to regulate the use of natural resources as well as commodify them.Conservation aimed to preserve resources by exclusion, as in wildlife parks and forests, and to guarantee efficient use of soil and water. Exploring these linked themes of exploitation and conservation, this study concludes with a focus on political reassertions by colonised peoples over naturalresources. In a post-imperial age, they have found a new voice, reformulating ideas about nature, landscape, and heritage and challenging, at a local and global level, views of who has the right to regulate nature.

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European imperialism was extraordinarily far-reaching: a key global historical process of the last 500 years. It locked disparate human societies together over a wider area than any previous imperial expansion; it underpinned the repopulation of the Americas and Australasia; it was theprecursor of globalization as we now understand it....

William Beinart, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, and Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford. Lotte Hughes, Lecturer in African Arts and Cultures, The Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, The Open University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:May 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199562512

ISBN - 13:9780199562510

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Environmental Aspects of the Atlantic Slave Trade and CaribbeanPlantations3. The Fur Trade in Canada4. Hunting, Wildlife, and Imperialism in Southern Africa5. Imperial Travellers6. Sheep, Pastures, and Demography in Australia7. Forests and Forestry in India8. Water, Irrigation, and Agrarian Society in India and Egypt9. Colonial Cities: Environment, Space, and Race10. Plague and Urban Environments11. Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis in East and Central Africa12. Imperial Scientists, Ecology, and Conservation13. Empire and the Visual Representation of Nature14. Rubber and the Environment in Malaysia15. Oil Extraction in the Middle East: the Kuwait Experience16. Resistance to Colonial Conservation and Resource Management17. National Parks and the Growth of Tourism18. The Post-Imperial Urban Environment19. Reassertion of Indigenous Environmental Rights and Knowledge

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition 'This is welcome and it will be hoped that it will influence many other historians of empire.' ' John M MacKenzie, The Overseas Pensioner