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British Imperialism [P.J. Cain, A. G. Hopkins] on hartdullsamanwohn.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. British Imperialism 3rd Edition. by P.J. Cain (Author).
Table of contents

From the early s at the latest there was large-scale investment in schools, universities and hospitals. The nation's growth rate was high by the standards of its own history, there was full employment and declining inequality; living standards, especially those of the working class and the middle class, rose steadily. Nevertheless, the Thatcherite critique prevailed and the rather successful British nation was dismantled in the decades after It became increasingly internationalized. By the early 21st century Britain was a global, free market society characterised by growing inequality.

Its leading national companies and publicly owned industries were sold off and, along with a large part of its publicly owned housing stock, often ended up in the hands of foreign owners; the London Stock Exchange was dominated after by overseas businesses, many in the USA; unemployment rose to levels which in the early post-war decades would have been regarded as scandalous as large parts of British manufacturing were allowed to collapse; workers' rights were eroded or destroyed in the name of competitiveness; significant parts of the health and social care system were handed over to 'providers' located abroad; universities became 'vast enterprises and property portfolios'; even sport was affected, as leading football clubs were taken over by foreign millionaires, some turning into global brands.

Margaret Thatcher had made it her aim to reverse Britain's mythical decline by stimulating the entrepreneurial energies of its people. Edgerton finds little evidence that she succeeded, pointing to the examples of Richard Branson 'a brand' who no longer owns many of the firms using his name ; Sir James Dyson, who relocated his manufacturing business from Malmesbury to Malaysia and Singapore retaining only the firm's research and development facility in Britain ; and Sir Alan Sugar, once a serious force in the UK computing industry but now running what is mainly an extensive property portfolio and, it might be added, fronting a television programme which is more self-parody than the entertaining guide to the role of innovation and management in business it purports to be.

Average per annum growth was below the level achieved between and Notwithstanding this unimpressive record, no challenge to the new, post-national Britain was made by Labour. When it returned to power as 'New Labour' in , after 18 years in opposition, it did not attempt to alter the fundamentals of Thatcher's Britain. Indeed it built on her legacy, continuing to promote a significant role for the private sector in the delivery of public services, even when, as with the Private Finance Initiative, this proved to be a very bad deal for the taxpayer.

Its economic strategy revolved around fantasies such as 'Cool Britannia' and the 'knowledge economy'. Blair continued with Thatcher's strong Atlanticism and was a willing participant in and cheerleader for George W. Bush's disastrous Iraq War. Power was all to New Labour; the Party, in its new guise, abandoned its tradition of criticising capitalism and embraced the system.

The very idea of opposition disappeared from British politics, where better management of the existing order was seen as the path to success. Edgerton concludes his study with a snapshot of Britain on Thatcher's death in the 'iron lady' being granted 'an all-but-state funeral', complete with gun carriage, procession and military honours.

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As this proceeded, 'forgotten former miners celebrated bitterly' in 'the old and distressed pit villages' of England, Scotland and Wales. Meanwhile Tony Blair was making money 'working for some of the vilest torturers and dictators on earth'.


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Edgerton concludes his book with the melancholy observation that 'only satirists could do justice to this turn of events'. This is, overall, a very fine book. Its argument, well supported by a wide range of material and much learning, makes for a new and persuasive interpretation of British history since Its account of post-war British modernization, discussion of the central but often ignored role played by intellectuals, grasp of how Thatcherism in effect dismantled and then internationalized what had been a distinctive social democratic nation, and concluding discussion of New Labour are particular strengths.

It is written with learning and, at times, with some passion; and is shot through with humanity. There are, however, some areas where Edgerton's grasp is not so secure. First, in his discussion of imperial Britain he criticises the work of Peter Cain and Tony Hopkins for overplaying 'the role of pure finance', arguing that British overseas interests were 'commercial and industrial' as well as financial and rentier. This is to attack a straw man.

The Global Context of American Empire: A New Book from Professor Antony Hopkins

Cain and Hopkins see the overseas lobby as a complex, composed of economic interests not all of whom were financiers. Many were owners of shipping companies and firms building railways, ports and roads.


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  5. There were exporters of Chilean nitrates, tea planters in India, owners of Brazilian coffee plantations and farmers of Argentinian beef and of grain from the prairies, for example. What linked all these interests together was their connection to the City: London banks and financiers provided insurance and credits for trade and the vast resources of capital which allowed Britain to pull one region of the globe after another into the world market. Britain itself was an externally oriented economy; in J.

    British imperialism : 1688-2015 / P.J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins.

    Hobson's words, finance was 'the governor Secondly, although Edgerton is right to stress the continuity between the s and s in welfare policy, he does underplay the differences between the two eras. One great change of the s was that everyone could see the doctor and be prescribed medicine without having to pay: 'free at the point of need' was a profound improvement to many, especially women who had not been covered by pre-war insurance schemes. Another was the removal of the humiliating petty cruelties of the means test, which was greeted with relief by many working-class families who had experienced them prior to the war my own being a case in point.

    Thirdly, Edgerton's characterizes post-war Britain as economically nationalist and social democratic. Yet social democracy was in fact nationalist from the start, by its nature. It grew out of the need of Parliamentary socialist parties to win elections. To do this, they needed to be accountable to national electorates and above all to the working-class communities whose interests they had been created to represent and defend back in the s. In practically all the countries where these movements were strong they built coalitions with middle-class professional groups sympathetic to social reform and the redistribution of wealth away from landlords, industrialists and financiers.

    British Imperialism in India

    In consequence, left-of-centre parties across Western Europe including, of course, the UK developed political programmes which aimed, successfully after in particular to deliver various versions of welfare states, full employment and the public ownership of major industries and banks. The need to prevent this new social order being disrupted by market forces, promote modernization of key economic sectors and preserve jobs at the same time led governments to adopt protectionist measures - import quotas, tariffs, investment in new technology and in firms deemed to be at the cutting edge of development.

    All this was seen as essential to the maintenance of national economic growth and the creation of the wealth which socialist and social democratic parties could redistribute to the interests which had created them and which continued to fund and support them. Yet politics was not just about winning votes: it was also about building a fairer society, a more just social and economic order, a New Jerusalem as it was sometimes called.

    What else but the nation state had the power and resources and political institutions capable of building this new world? Despite the pioneering work of Alan Milward in a series of seminal texts over a period of two decades [3] , it is still not widely appreciated that the material roots of the European Economic Community were to be found in the determination of the six nation states creating it to build an external economic environment congenial to continuation of the growth and full employment generated by developmental and dirigiste post reconstruction policies.

    Selected bibliography

    After completing his doctorate, Hopkins was employed as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Birmingham; he was subsequently a Lecturer and then a Reader there, before his appointment in as a Professor of Economic History on the University's faculty. In , he moved over to the University of Geneva to be Professor of History, an appointment which lasted until , when he became Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Cambridge. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Stirling D.

    He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in Arguably, an important reason for the growing recognition of CE is its inclusive strength to integrate economic development, environmental protection and social prosperity all within one actionable and achievable framework for sustainable development.

    Evolving from multiple schools of thought CE provides a systemic change that ensures a new industrial model which is restorative and regenerative by intention and design. One of the things very interesting about this seminar was its venue; the largest financial hub in the world opened its door to discuss environmental and social issues.

    Bangor Business School

    It was indeed a very positive and optimistic gesture. Even the centre of the capital markets realise the importance of systemic change to address critical natural environment issues and ensuring ecosystem sustainability. The guest speaker was Professor Walter Stahel, Director-Founder of Product-Life Institute Geneva, the oldest established consultancy in Europe working on developing sustainable strategies and policies. He discussed the need for adopting CE in business organisations while highlighting the role of individuals and the importance of collaborative networks to transition to CE.

    On a reply to a question asked by the researchers from Bangor Business School, Prof.