Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt
Magisterial history of the foundation of the British empire, and the forgotten story of resistance to its formation.
This revelatory new history punctures the still widely held belief that the British Empire was an enlightened and civilizing enterprise of great benefit to its subject peoples. Instead, Britainís Empire reveals a history of systemic repression and almost continual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a military dictatorship. For colonized peoples, the experience was a horrific oneóof slavery, famine, battle and extermination.
Yet, as Richard Gott illustrates, the empireís oppressed peoples did not go gently into that good night. Wherever Britain tried to plant its flag, there was resistance. From Ireland to India, from the American colonies to Australia, Gott chronicles the backlash. He shows, too, how Britain provided a blueprint for the genocides of twentieth-century Europe, and argues that its past leaders must rank alongside the dictators of the twentieth century as the perpetrators of crimes against humanity on an infamous scale. In tracing this history of resistance, all but lost to modern memory, Richard Gott recovers these forgotten peoples and puts them where they deserve to be: at the heart of the story of Britainís empire.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
A history of the British Empire from the mid-eighteenth (the Seven Years' War) through the mid-nineteenth century (the Indian Mutiny, or The Great Rebellion as Gott calls it). The author shows that the establishment of the Empire was not a simple process, was not humanitarian, and was carried out against resistance by indigenous people (in Ireland, in North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Australasia, and Africa), and by settlers. In general well written, but often superficial and often in need of editing (as shown by dates which are frequently wrong).