First published in 1944, this volume covers the period of the old Empire and of the readjustments of the second Empire which followed the failure of the old after the revolt of the American colonies, ending with the emergence of free trade, and is significant to the history of the American colonies and of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Its purpose is to present and examine significant British colonial theories on the advantages and disadvantages resulting to the mother country from the establishment and maintenance of overseas colonies. This study is interested not in persons but in ideas and divides itself into chronological periods within which arguments and theories are discussed on the basis of topical classifications. For what reasons, the author asks, was the building and preservation of Empire thought profitable or unprofitable to the British nation?
Part I. 1. Introduction. 2. Colonial Theories: 1570-1660. 3. Colonial Theories: 1660-1776. 4. The Old Colonial System: Basic Objectives, Conceptions, Policies. Part II. 5. Introduction. 6. Adam Smith and the Dissenters. 7. Colonial Theories: 1776-1815. 8. Bentham, James Mill, and Ricardo. 9. Emigration and Colonization: 1815-1850. 10. The Fall of the Old Colonial System. 11. Some Additional Items in the Balance Sheet of Imperialism. 12. The White Man’s Burden. 13. The Problem of Convict Transportation. 14. A Note on the Lake Poets and Thomas Carlyle. 15. The Middle Class and the Empire.
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