Download e-book for iPad: A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain by Jennifer Pitts

By Jennifer Pitts

ISBN-10: 0691115583

ISBN-13: 9780691115580

A dramatic shift in British and French rules approximately empire spread out within the sixty years straddling the flip of the 19th century. As Jennifer Pitts indicates in A flip to Empire, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Jeremy Bentham have been between many first and foremost of this era to criticize eu empires as unjust in addition to politically and economically disastrous for the conquering countries. through the mid-nineteenth century, notwithstanding, the main renowned British and French liberal thinkers, together with John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville, vigorously supported the conquest of non-European peoples. Pitts explains that this mirrored an increase in civilizational self-confidence, as theories of human growth turned extra triumphalist, much less nuanced, and no more tolerant of cultural distinction. whilst, imperial growth in another country got here to be visible as a political venture that would support the emergence of solid liberal democracies inside of Europe. Pitts indicates that liberal thinkers frequently celebrated for respecting not just human equality and liberty but additionally pluralism supported an inegalitarian and decidedly nonhumanitarian overseas politics. but such moments symbolize now not an important characteristic of liberal suggestion yet a extraordinary departure from perspectives shared via accurately these late-eighteenth-century thinkers whom Mill and Tocqueville observed as their forebears. Fluently written, A flip to Empire bargains a singular overview of contemporary political idea and foreign justice, and an illuminating point of view on carrying on with debates over empire, intervention, and liberal political commitments.

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Extra resources for A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France

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399) While Indian backwardness was invoked as justification for civilizing British rule by liberal supporters of the empire, then, that rule more probably created, exacerbated, or entrenched aspects of Indian society that the British considered backward. Race and Human Difference Changing perceptions of race and new forms of racism also contributed to the dramatic shift in European perceptions of many non-European societies, even among those, such as Mill and Tocqueville, who reviled theories of biological differences among races.

Whereas the opposition to slavery spread in the early decades of the next century beyond the coterie of reformers and intellectuals that had first led the movement, to be taken up by much wider circles, evangelical and otherwise, such unqualified criticism of British actions in India faded by the late 1790s. Marshall argues that while both “slavery and the East India company appeared to have won reprieves in the 1790s,” when Britain was preoccupied with Jacobinism and then Napoleon in France, opposition to slavery soon regained its former vigor, while “many sections of British opinion .

This method, applied to the goods valued in hunting societies— namely wild game—produces an idea of legitimate possession as being direct possession only. Smith’s narrative of the “progress” by which this notion of property, natural to hunting societies, gradually gave way to one that recognized ownership even when an owner was absent did not rely on changes in the very mental structures and capacities of the people involved, but rather in the emergence of new kinds of valuable possessions thanks to the natural development of a new mode of subsistence.

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A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France by Jennifer Pitts


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