This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Copy of the Asian-African Conference Bulletin held at the Foreign Affairs Archives in Belgium. The Indonesian government produced a Bulletin on the Bandung Conference, intended to bolster its prestige, 1955.
Copy of the Asian-African Conference Bulletin held at the Foreign Affairs Archives in Belgium. The Indonesian government produced a Bulletin on the Bandung Conference, intended to bolster its prestige, 1955.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From Christian imperialism to 1945’s forgotten heroes of Paris, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America

 

Adam Nadeau
University of New Brunswick

Review of Jonathan Eacott, Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1600–1830. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016. $45.00 (Cloth).

JacketJonathan Eacott’s Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1600– 1830 (2016) reinforces two important historiographical points. One is that, contrary to David Armitage’s insistence that ‘the emergence of the concept of the “British Empire” . . . was long drawn out, and only achieved by the late seventeenth century at the earliest’,[1] the English polity that later incorporated the kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland was consciously imperial as early as the late sixteenth century. The second is that Britain’s imperial efforts were, from the start, transoceanic in nature. On the latter point, Selling Empire breaks with the older historiographical trend of distinguishing between a ‘first’ and ‘second’ British Empire delineated by a late eighteenth-century ‘swing to the east’.[2] Instead, Eacott asks readers to consider ‘America the India’ as well as ‘India the place’, for it was the idea of India that ‘fostered, propelled, and supported English and British imperial expansion and power in America’ (1–3). Rather than ‘separate “worlds” of empire’, Eacott sees ‘the British empire in the world’ (7), an important shift in perspective that, along with other recent studies of the peripheries of Britain’s American empire,[3] will continue to push scholars of early modern British imperialism nearer towards contemporary interdisciplinary debates surrounding notions of indigeneity and the legacies of settler colonialism.[4] Continue reading “Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

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Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From uncovering the brutal truth about the British Empire to the false economic promise of global governance, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

When Protectionism Dominated American Politics

“Cleveland Will Have a Walk-Over.” Republican magazine Judge depicts Grover Cleveland balancing precariously on a fraying rope, holding a balancing pole labeled “Free Trade Policy” and carrying the Democratic Party donkey and John Bull on his back. John Bull’s back pocket is stuffed with “Cobden Club Free Trade Tracts.” Judge, 25 Aug. 1888.
“Cleveland Will Have a Walk-Over.” Republican magazine Judge depicts Grover Cleveland balancing precariously on a fraying rope, holding a balancing pole labeled “Free Trade Policy” and carrying the Democratic Party donkey and John Bull, a common representation of Britain,  on his back. John Bull’s back pocket is stuffed with “Free Trade Tracts.” Judge, 25 Aug. 1888.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

Cross-posted from The Globalist Magazine

How the 1888 elections decided the protectionist course of U.S. economic expansion for decades to come.

For most people alive today, Republicans have been the advocates of a free trade strategy for the United States, while the Democrats usually have sat on the fence.

The emergence of Donald Trump brings back the memory of when it was the other way around – when Republicans vehemently opposed open trade relations with the world, while Democrats advocated for free trade.

Era when Democrats were pro-free trade

The year was 1888, the tail end of Grover Cleveland’s first administration (1885-89). He was the only Democrat to hold the U.S. presidency in the half-century since the Civil War. And because of his actions, it was the tariff question that overshadowed all other economic issues that year.

The “Great Debate” of 1888 over U.S. trade policy arose after Cleveland, in his December 1887 annual message to Congress, had voiced his support for freer trade.

Cleveland’s free-trade message created political waves, both at home and upon the shores of Great Britain. Continue reading “When Protectionism Dominated American Politics”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

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Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From ending the world’s weirdest border dispute to Russia’s strange world of Soviet nostalgia, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Brexit and food prices: the legacy of the Hungry Forties

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Cross-posted from History & Policy

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Plenty of attention is being paid to the political and constitutional effects of Brexit, but what will its economic impact be on life’s most basic commodities? How did food prices inform the debate in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum, and how have they informed debate in the past? How have the spectres of want and hunger been invoked over the last century and a half in political contexts, and are we paying them enough attention now?

Debating these questions will be five historians and policy makers with combined expertise covering the period since the 1840s, the “Hungry Forties,” which live in political memory as the UK’s last serious sustained period of food poverty. The discussion is aimed at policy makers and practitioners working in the area of food poverty and food security, and aims to show how lessons from the past can inform decision-making today. Continue reading “Brexit and food prices: the legacy of the Hungry Forties”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

The Commune as Seen by Jacques Tardi (“Le cri du peuple”), 2002.
The Commune as Seen by Jacques Tardi (“Le cri du peuple”), 2002.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From when Nazis held mass rallies in Madison Square Garden to colonial-era bear migrations, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”