Historians have so far made few attempts to assess directly the costs and benefits of Britain's investment in empire. This book presents answers to some of the key questions about the economics of imperialism: how large was the flow of finance to the empire? How great were the profits on empire investment? What were the social costs of maintaining the empire? Who received the profits, and who bore the costs? The authors show that colonial finance did not dominate British capital markets; returns from empire investment were not high in comparison to earnings in the domestic and foreign sectors; there is no evidence of continued exploitative profits; and empire profits were earned at a substantial cost to the taxpayer. They depict British imperialism as a mechanism to effect an income transfer from the tax-paying middle class to the elites in which the ownership of imperial enterprise was heavily concentrated, with some slight net transfer to the colonies in the process.
Two centuries ago, Punjab's Sikh ruling elite lavishly patronised artists and craftsmen to enhance the extraordinary splendour of their flourishing empire. A sumptuous array of objects fit for Sikh kings, queens, warriors and saints were produced by skilled artisans to reflect a vibrant and potent new power on the world's stage. By the mid-19th century, the Sikh kingdom had met its demise at the hands of the British Empire. With the loss of Sikh patronage, artistic production switched to serve the tastes of the new colonial rulers, bringing to an end a unique cultural endeavour. Over the next century and a half, original Sikh artefacts gradually dispersed across the globe, often as official gifts, prized auction purchases and also as loot. Some of these remnants of empire ended up in institutional collections, while others were bartered and sold by collectors. Through the remarkable achievements of one such collector who pursued his passion to create the world's finest private collection of Sikh art, this book reveals the lasting legacy of the Sikh Empire.
The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea
Author: Steve Levine
Publisher: Random House
Remote, forbidding, and volatile, the Caspian Sea long tantalized the world with its vast oil reserves. But outsiders, blocked by the closed Soviet system, couldn’t get to it. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and a wholesale rush into the region erupted. Along with oilmen, representatives of the world’s leading nations flocked to the Caspian for a share of the thirty billion barrels of proven oil reserves at stake, and a tense geopolitical struggle began. The main players were Moscow and Washington–the former seeking to retain control of its satellite states, and the latter intent on dislodging Russia to the benefit of the West. The Oil and the Glory is the gripping account of this latest phase in the epochal struggle for control of the earth’s “black gold.” Steve LeVine, who was based in the region for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Newsweek, weaves an astonishing tale of high-stakes political gamesmanship, greed, and scandal, set in one of the most opaque corners of the world. In LeVine’s telling, the world’s energy giants jockey for position in the rich Kazakh and Azeri oilfields, while superpowers seek to gain a strategic foothold in the region and to keep each other in check. At the heart of the story is the contest to build and operate energy pipelines out of the landlocked region, the key to controlling the Caspian and its oil. The oil pipeline that resulted, the longest in the world, is among Washington’s greatest foreign policy triumphs in at least a decade and a half. Along the way, LeVine introduces such players as James Giffen, an American moneyman who was also the political “fixer” for oil companies eager to do business on the Caspian and the broker for Kazakhstan’s president and ministers; John Deuss, the flamboyant Dutch oil trader who won big but lost even bigger; Heydar Aliyev, the oft-misunderstood Azeri president who transcended his past as a Soviet Politburo member and masterminded a scheme to loosen Russian control over its former colonies in the Caspian region; and all manner of rogues, adventurers, and others drawn by the irresistible pull of untold riches and the possible “final frontier” of the fossil-fuel era. The broader story is of the geopolitical questions of the Caspian oil bonanza, such as whether Russia can be a trusted ally and trading partner with the West, and what Washington’s entry into this important but chaotic region will mean for its long-term stability. In an intense and suspenseful narrative, The Oil and the Glory is the definitive chronicle of events that are understood by few, but whose political and economic impact will be both profound and lasting.
The pursuit of Lakshmi, the fickle goddess of prosperity and good fortune, is a metaphor for the aspirations of the state and people of independent India. In the latest of their distinguished contributions to South Asian studies, scholars Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph focus on this modern-day pursuit by offering a comprehensive analysis of India's political economy. India occupies a paradoxical plane among nation states: it is both developed and underdeveloped, rich and poor, strong and weak. These contrasts locate India in the international order. The Rudolphs' theory of demand and command polities provides a general framework for explaining the special circumstances of the Indian experience. Contrary to what one might expect in a country with great disparities of wealth, no national party, right or left, pursues the politics of class. Instead, the Rudolphs argue, private capital and organized labor in India face a "third actor"—the state. Because of the dominance of the state makes class politics marginal, the state is itself an element in the creation of the centrist-oriented social pluralism that has characterized Indian politics since independence. In analyzing the relationship between India's politics and its economy, the Rudolphs maintain that India's economic performance has been only marginally affected by the type of regime in power—authoritarian or democratic. More important, they show that rising levels of social mobilization and personalistic rule have contributed to declining state capacity and autonomy. At the same time, social mobilization has led to a more equitable distribution of economic benefits and political power, which has enhanced the state's legitimacy among its citizens. The scope and explanatory power of In Pursuit of Lakshmi will make it essential for all those interested in political economy, comparative politics, Asian studies and India.
What did it mean to be ‘civilized’ in Early Modern England? Keith Thomas's seminal studies Religion and the Decline of Magic, Man and the Natural World, and The Ends of Life, explored the beliefs, values and social practices of the years between 1500 and 1800. In Pursuit of Civility continues this quest by examining what the English people thought it meant to be `civilized' and how that condition differed from being `barbarous' or `savage' . Thomas shows how the upper ranks of society sought to distinguish themselves from their social inferiors by developing distinctive forms of moving, speaking and comporting themselves - and how the common people in turn developed their own forms of civility. The belief of the English in their superior civility shaped their relations with the Welsh, the Scots and the Irish. By legitimizing international trade, colonialism, slavery, and racial discrimination, it was fundamental to their dealings with the native peoples of North America, India, and Australia. Yet not everyone shared this belief in the superiority of Western civilization. In Pursuit of Civility throws light on the early origins of anti-colonialism and cultural relativism, and goes on to examine some of the ways in which the new forms of civility were resisted. With all the author’s distinctive authority and brilliance - based as ever on wide reading, abounding in fresh insights, and illustrated by many striking quotations and anecdotes from contemporary sources - In Pursuit of Civility transforms our understanding of the past. In so doing, it raises important questions as to the role of manners in the modern world.
In the last years of the nineteenth century peace proposals were first stimulated by fear of the danger of war rather than in consequence of its outbreak. In this study of the nature and history of international relations Mr Hinsley presents his conclusions about the causes of war and the development of men's efforts to avoid it. In the first part he examines international theories from the end of the middle ages to the establishment of the League of Nations in their historical setting. This enables him to show how far modern peace proposals are merely copies or elaborations of earlier schemes. He believes there has been a marked reluctance to test these theories not only against the formidable criticisms of men like Rousseau, Kant and Bentham, but also against what we have learned about the nature of international relations and the history of the practice of states. This leads him to the second part of his study - an analysis of the origins of the modern states' system and of its evolution between the eighteenth century and the First World War.
Situated at the intersection of the colonial and the postcolonial, the modern and the postmodern, the novelists Christina Stead, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer all bear witness to this century's global transformations. From the Margins of Empire looks at how the question of national identity is constructed in their writings. These authors—white women who were born or grew up in British colonies or former colonies—reflect the subject of national identity in vastly different ways in both their lives and their work. Stead, who resided outside of her native Australia, has an unsettled identity. Lessing, who grew up in southern Rhodesia and migrated to England, is or has become English. Gordimer, who was born in South Africa and remains there, considers herself South African. Louise Yelin shows how the three writers' different national identities are inscribed in their fiction. The invented, hybrid character of nationality is, she maintains, a constant throughout. Locating the writings of Stead, Lessing, and Gordimer in the national cultures that produced and read them, she considers the questions they raise about the roles that whites, especially white women, can play in the new political and cultural order.
This collection of Alaskan adventures begins with a newspaper article written by John Muir during his first visit to Alaska in 1879, when the sole U.S. government representative in all the territory's 586,412 square miles was a lone customs official in Sitka. It closes with accounts of the gold rush and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Jean Meaux has gathered a superb collection of articles and stories that captivated American readers when they were first published and that will continue to entertain us today. The authors range from Charles Hallock (the founder of Forest and Stream, a precursor of Field and Stream) to New York society woman Mary Hitchcock, who traveled with china, silver, and a 2,800 square foot tent. After explorer Henry Allen wore out his boots, he marched barefoot as he continued mapping the Tanana River, and Episcopal Archdeacon Hudson Stuck mushed by dog sled in Arctic winters across a territory encompassing 250,000 miles of the northern interior. Although the United States acquired Alaska in 1867, it took more than a decade for American writers and explorers to focus attention on a territory so removed from their ordinary lives. These writers-adventurers, tourists, and gold seekers-would help define the nation's perception of Alaska and would contribute to an image of the state that persists today. This collection unearths early writings that offer a broad view of American encounters with Alaska accompanied by Meaux's lively and concise introductions. The present-day adventurer will find much to inspire exploration, while students of the American West can gain new access to this valuable trove of pre-Gold Rush Alaska archives. For more information go to: http://www.inpursuitofalaska.com
A History of Classical Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Author: Stephen L. Dyson
Publisher: Yale University Press
divThe stories behind the acquisition of ancient antiquities are often as important as those that tell of their creation. This fascinating book provides a comprehensive account of the history and development of classical archaeology, explaining how and why artifacts have moved from foreign soil to collections around the world. As archaeologist Stephen Dyson shows, Greek and Roman archaeological study was closely intertwined with ideas about class and social structure; the rise of nationalism and later political ideologies such as fascism; and the physical and cultural development of most of the important art museums in Europe and the United States, whose prestige depended on their creation of collections of classical art. Accompanied by a discussion of the history of each of the major national traditions and their significant figures, this lively book shows how classical archaeology has influenced attitudes about areas as wide-ranging as tourism, nationalism, the role of the museum, and historicism in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art./DIV