Environment and Empire
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Environment and Empire by William Beinart
Book DescriptionEuropean imperialism was extraordinarily far-reaching: a key global historical process of the last 500 years. It locked disparate human societies together over a wider area than any previous imperial expansion; it underpinned the repopulation of the Americas and Australasia; it was the precursor of globalization as we now understand it. Imperialism was inseparable from the history of global environmental change. Metropolitan countries sought raw materials of all kinds, from timber and furs to rubber and oil. They established sugar plantations that transformed island ecologies. Settlers introduced new methods of farming and displaced indigenous peoples. Colonial cities, many of which became great conurbations, fundamentally changed relationships between people and nature. Consumer cultures, the internal combustion engine, and pollution are now ubiquitous. Environmental history deals with the reciprocal interaction between people and other elements in the natural world, and this book illustrates the diverse environmental themes in the history of empire. Initially concentrating on the material factors that shaped empire and environmental change, Environment and Empire discusses the way in which British consumers and manufacturers sucked in resources that were gathered, hunted, fished, mined, and farmed. Yet it is also clear that British settler and colonial states sought to regulate the use of natural resources as well as commodify them. Conservation aimed to preserve resources by exclusion, as in wildlife parks and forests, and to guarantee efficient use of soil and water. Exploring these linked themes of exploitation and conservation, this study concludes with a focus on political reassertions by colonised peoples over natural resources. In a post-imperial age, they have found a new voice, reformulating ideas about nature, landscape, and heritage and challenging, at a local and global level, views of who has the right to regulate nature.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199260317
(239mm x 163mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 11-Oct-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author William Beinart
Environment and Empire, Paperback (April 2009)
Environment and Empire uncovers the fascinating interaction between people and the elements in very different British colonies throughout the world. Providing a rich overview of socio-environmental change, driven by imperial forces, this fascinating new study examines a key global historical process of the last 500 years.
Political Economy of Pondoland 1860-1930, Paperback (January 2009)
The book questions some of the assumptions in the literature on 'underdevelopment' in Africa.
Rise of Conservation in South Africa, Paperback (May 2008)
A major contribution to the environmental history of settler societies, William Beinart's innovative study analyses the development of conservationalist ideas over the long term in South Africa, examining them as a response to the rapid transformation of natural pastures brought about as the Cape became a major exporter of wool.
Twentieth-Century South Africa, Paperback (October 2001)» View all books by William Beinart
This text examines the forces - both destructive and dynamic - which have shaped 20th-century South Africa. The book draws on the rich and lively tradition of radical history writing on the country and weaves economic and cultural history into the political narrative.
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