Even if his case for imperialism is correct, it needs much more elaboration and argument than is presented here. The empire was maintained through a combination of factors, chief among them military might, naval power, and technical superiority. Indeed, it is the first major rebel against British hegemony. This explains some of the book's oddities where the narrative seems to be dr I was initially quite impressed by this book but I suggest you read a standard narrative of empire and return to this afterwards as a useful and often wise interpretation of that history. He was educated at the private Glasgow Academy in Scotland, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. An enjoyable read all the same and something that you can argue at and with, at least Ferguson is thought provoking even if you do not agree with him, it makes you examine what you believe and why. The enormous expansion of India's infrastructure in the late 19th century, particularly the construction of its railway, telegraph, port systems, the expansion of its area of irrigated land, were primarily intended to make British India a going concern.
Until Americans understand both the costs and benefits of the last great experiment in Anglophone empire, they will not understand the costs and benefits of the project they have undertaken in our own time. Ferguson, contrary to what his critics charge pure and straight love for imperialism holds no punches in describing the sheer brutality of the British towards their more rebellious subjects. It is an empire, in short, that dare not speak its name. As it turned out, Britain was broke after the war so the empire collapsed of its own accord. Are there some lessons for the future for the U.
But when one reads his version of the story and contrasts it with an alternative history book, the difference between a modernist and a political economist becomes very clear. Cases against Empire include many varieties of political persuasion from classical liberal, free trade, and Marxism, a whole gamut of opposition. Ferguson writes a pro-Empire historian, but one who is not blind to the awful aspects of the process. In 2008, Allen Lane published his most recent book, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World which he also presented as a Channel 4 television series. Why did it stop at the Rio Grande to the south? His books include Paper and Iron: Pity of War, an account of the origins of strategies and the meaning of the First World War; The House of Rothschild, the award-winning history of the bank that for generations played power broker in half a dozen European countries; and Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, which offers a radical new history of the link between politics and economics. You outlined differences crucial to the nature of an imperial project: the willingness to live in hot, poor countries, and the belief that this actually matters and that it is the right thing to do and that you want to get on with it. There is a second and more powerful argument, which has to do with security.
American history needs to be understood in the normal language of history, the language of history which can be applied from the time of Alexander, to the time of Clive, to the time of Queen Victoria. By the end, the Empire was getting the attention of second rate minds. Ditto the English treatment of Australian aborigines: they were treated horrifically, we are told, but at least the English weren't as complete in their extirpation as, say, the Americans in dealing with their own indigenous inhabitants. One reason that the British Empire was more successful than the French or the Dutch was simply that there were more people willing to leave the British Isles and spend their entire lives in hot, poor countries. It is, after all, a rubbery term, but he uses it to mean Australia and New Zealand later. It has been tried before and there are lessons to be learned from its successes and its failures.
They had sailed from Deptford, from Greenwich, from Erith -- the adventures and the settlers; kings' ships and the ships of men on 'Change; captains, admirals, the dark 'interlopers' of the Eastern trade, and the commissioned 'generals' of East India fleets. There are distinctive features of the British Empire and a long list could be developed. We look entirely backwards, to ask ourselves questions through the Hutton inquiry as to whether it was right or wrong to intervene and overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein on the ground that he possessed weapons of mass destruction which might imminently be used against us or our allies. Nearly all the key features of the twenty-first-century world can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth--economic globalization, the communications revolution, the racial make-up of North America, the notion of humanitarianism, the nature of democracy. I had a row with an American editor about the fact that only 1 percent of U. Secondly, I know that Ferguson is a well-known conservative intellectual - so I am happily surprised to see that this is a clear-eyed, well-balanced endeavor, one that does not sugarcoat the evils and flaws of the empire while making a convincing effort to enumerate its good points. But much of what is different about the United States is also what makes the British Empire different from most empires.
But this is not a jingoistic or details-oriented book. Despite some of the horrors reigned on territories such as India throughout colonial rule, Ferguson makes an interesting, though completely economic argument that colonialism was, essentially, a good thing and certainly the best alternative to other empires such as the Belgian, French and especially the empires of the Axis Powers. The spread of capitalism, the communications revolution, the notion of humanitarianism, and the institutions of parliamentary democracy-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. American power and British power a hundred years ago consist of more than simply military capability. He notes that America's own history -- freeing itself from the British Empire -- has made it wary of ''formal rule over subject peoples'' but exhorts it to face up to its imperial duties; he calls the United States ''an empire in denial,'' an empire ''that dare not speak its name. Its fascinhation stems in part, I think, because it is an aspect of the world's history which stirs up so many conflicting emotions.
At the very height of its economic power, in the aftermath of the industrial revolution, when Britain was the world leader in economic terms, total British output was still less than 10 percent of total world output. He does mention how the interwar generation was beset by doubts about the entire imperial undertaking, but then does not really get into why their imperial elan had been exhausted since his examples, e. Did not that sacrifice alone expunge all the empire's other sins? If you compare, for example, Donald Rumsfeld's interview with Al-Jazeera shortly before the war in Iraq, in which he heatedly denied that the U. There is one final difference between British and American empire. Ones which sometimes seem diammetrically opposed to each other; shame because of the abuse and oppression which is undoubtedly present in some corners or even whole rooms of t For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated by the British Empire; this enormous edifice which towered over the world and 'bestrode' enormous amounts of the world's land-mass. From from the negatives to the positives. The most important deficit, which lames American power, is an attention deficit.
The British ruled Iraq, on and off, formally and informally, for about forty years. Lessons for Global Power A grand narrative history of the world's first experiment in globalization, with lessons for an ever-expanding American Empire - from England's most talented young historian. We must try to understand how very like the late 19th century world our world has become, not only in its economic structures but also in its diplomatic structures. All this was accomplished with a relatively small number of administrators and soldiers. This morning we are pleased to have with us Niall Ferguson, the author of Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. It's just that it's a different kind of settler that flocks here. Ferguson shows that far from being a subject for nostalgia, the story of the Empire contains.
This concern with modernity is shown further in the opening chapter to the book. As they do, they will reveal the true Achilles heel of the colossus, if I can mix my classical images. Even though he makes the case for the positive role played by the British Empire in world history, his book, drawing on lessons from the British experience, will also serve as a cautionary tale for the United States today. It's based on computing the present value of all anticipated revenues of the federal government and all anticipated expenditures, on the assumption of constant policy. His last chapter sums up the case for the defence, and it is a strong one.