The Dynamics of Global Dominance: European Overseas Empires, 1415-1980
For centuries Europeans ruled vast portions of the world, as inhabitants of west European countries sailed to distant continents and took possession of territories whose societies and economies they set out to change. How and why did these farflung empires form, persist, and finally fall? David Abernethy addresses these questions in this magisterial survey of the rise and decline of European overseas empires.
Abernethy identifies broad patterns across time and space, interweaving them with fascinating details of cross-cultural encounters. He argues that relatively autonomous profit-making, religious, and governmental institutions enabled west European countries to launch triple assaults on other societies. Indigenous people also played a role in their eventual subjugation by inviting Europeans to intervene in their power struggles. Abernethy finds that imperial decline was often the unanticipated result of wars among major powers. Postwar crises over colonies' unmet expectations empowered movements that eventually took territories as diverse as the thirteen British North American colonies, Spain's South American possessions, India, the Dutch East Indies, Vietnam, and the Gold Coast to independence.
In advancing a theory of imperialism that includes European and non-European actors, and in analyzing economic, social, and cultural as well as political dimensions of empire, Abernethy helps account for Europe's long occupation of global center stage. He also sheds light on key features of today's postcolonial world and the legacies of empire, concluding with an insightful approach to the moral evaluation of colonialism.
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Europeans on the Move
Why Did the Overseas Empires Rise Persist and Fall?
PHASES OF IMPERIAL EXPANSION
Unstable Equilibrium 191439
NonEuropean Initiatives and Perceptions
PartIV CONSOLIDATING POWER
Sectoral Institutions and Techniques of Control
Sources of Colonial Weakness
PartV ACCOUNTING FOR IMPERIAL CONTRACTION
PartVI CONSEQUENCES OF EUROPEAN OVERSEAS RULE
Appendix Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of
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activities administrators Algeria America Amerindians Angola Arab areas Asia Asian autonomy became Britain British capacity capital century Ceuta chaps chapter Chinese Christian claims colonial colonial rule conquest countries cultural decolonization dominance Dutch Dutch East Indies early East Indies economic effect elites enclaves Euro Europe's European rule expansion export factors forces foreign France French gain global goal groups Haiti impact imperial independence India Indian Ocean indigenous Indonesia industrial initiatives islands Kenya labor land leaders Malacca merchants metropole metropole's metropolitan military mission missionaries mobilization movements Muslim nationalist Nations Nigeria non-European officials Old World Ottoman overseas empires patterns pean phase plantation political population Portugal Portuguese private profit sector public sector racial region religious sector Revolution role rulers Saint Domingue sectoral institutions settlers slave social societies soldiers South Africa Spain Spanish status territory tion took trade United West Africa west European western Europe