By Shigeru Akita
British imperial heritage can now be noticeable as a bridge to international background. This learn attempts to resume the controversy on British imperialism through combining Western and Asian historiography and developing a brand new international historical past as an relief to the certainty of globalization within the overdue twentieth and twenty first centuries. half One takes a predominantly metropolitan view of the globalizing forces unleashed by way of British imperialism; half makes a speciality of the foreign order of East Asia and its reference to gentlemanly capitalism.
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Extra resources for Gentlemanly Capitalism, Imperialism and Global History
495). 24 Bushman, ‘American High-style and Vernacular Cultures’, pp. 366–7. A similar point is made with reference to the Chesapeake in Lois Green Carr and Lorena S. Walsh, ‘Changing Lifestyles and Consumer Behavior in the Colonial Chesapeake’ in Carson et al. (eds), Of Consuming Interests, pp. 59–60. 25 Steele, English Atlantic, p. 268. Carson, ‘The Consumer Revolution’, pp. 149–52. Of course, colonial condemnation of English cultural and social forms, and the boycott of goods, was to gather pace during the political crisis of the 1760s.
Indeed, an overview of British expansion might well suggest that it was an entirely haphazard, uncertain and discontinuous process, played out in fardistant and unconnected parts of the world. But although the acquisition of individual territories or possessions can often be explained by the fortunes of war, quirks of fate, or the rogue actions of a ‘man on the spot’, the steady establishment of a global empire implies the existence of deeper, strong-running causal currents. Two particularly strong currents were to be found in the long-term and reasonably consistent application of metropolitan resources to overseas activity, and in the creation of a set of common attitudes and assumptions among Britons everywhere.
This served to impose some basic coherence and order upon an otherwise fragmented empire, and also helped to bind overseas territories to the imperial core and metropolitan society. Indeed, the unsuccessful attempts to redefine Britain’s relationship with her American colonies during the 1760s and 1770s underscored the point that the Atlantic empire could be better sustained and exploited through the development of informal ties and associations than it ever could be by heavy-handed assertions of metropolitan authority that could not be backed by force.