The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism

ISBN 9780415742160
Published August 25, 2016 by Routledge
486 Pages

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism examines the global history of settler colonialism as a distinct mode of domination from ancient times to the present day. It explores the ways in which new polities were established in freshly discovered ‘New Worlds’, and covers the history of many countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Africa, Liberia, Algeria, Canada, and the USA.

Chronologically as well as geographically wide-reaching, this volume focuses on an extensive array of topics and regions ranging from settler colonialism in the Neo-Assyrian and Roman empires, to relationships between indigenes and newcomers in New Spain and the early Mexican republic, to the settler-dominated polities of Africa during the twentieth century. Its twenty-nine inter-disciplinary chapters focus on single colonies or on regional developments that straddle the borders of present-day states, on successful settlements that would go on to become powerful settler nations, on failed settler colonies, and on the historiographies of these experiences.

Taking a fundamentally international approach to the topic, this book analyses the varied experiences of settler colonialism in countries around the world. With a synthesizing yet original introduction, this is a landmark contribution to the emerging field of settler colonial studies and will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the global history of imperialism and colonialism.

Table of Contents


List of contributors

Introduction: settler colonialism as a distinct mode of domination


Settler colonialism in the ‘Old World

Introduction to Part I

1 – Settler colonialism from the Neo-Assyrians to the Romans

2 – Settler colonialism in ancient Israel

3 – Mediterranean and Atlantic settler colonialism from the late fourteenth to the early seventeenth centuries

4 - Settler colonialism in Ireland from the English conquest to the nineteenth century

5 - Northern Ireland and settler colonialism to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998


The Americas

Introduction to Part II

6 - Colonies of settlement and settler colonialism in Northeastern North America, 1450-1850

7 – Atlantic North America from contact to the late nineteenth century

8 - Settler colonialism in New Spain and the early Mexican republic

9 - Northwestern North America (Canadian West) to 1900

10 - Settler colonialism in postcolonial Latin America

11 - Settler colonialism and the consolidation of Canada in the twentieth century

12 - Adaptation, resistance, and representation in the modern US settler state



Introduction to Part III

13 - Settler colonialism in South Africa, 1652–1899

14 - French Algeria, 1830-1962

15 - Americo Liberia as a settler society

16 - Settler colonialism in Kenya, 1880-1950

17 - Settler rule in Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1979

18 - The Italian fascist settler empire in Ethiopia, 1936-1941

19 - White settler politics and Euro-African nationalism in Angola, 1945-1975

20 - Settler colonialism in South Africa: land, labour, and transformation, 1880-2015



Introduction to Part IV

21 – Russian settler colonialism

22 – Settler colonialism in the making of Japan’s Hokkaidō

23 - Theorizing Zionist settler colonialism in Palestine

24 - A dying settler colonialism: Israel and the Palestinians after 1948



Introduction to Part V

25 - Australian settler colonialism over the long nineteenth century: new insights into history, gender and biopolitics

26 - Settler colonialism in New Zealand, 1840-1907

27 - Settler colonialism in New Caledonia, 1853 to the present

28 - Settler Australia in the twentieth century

29 - Settler colonialism in twentieth-century New Zealand


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Edward Cavanagh has received degrees from universities in Australia, South Africa and Canada. He has published in the fields of history and law, including Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa (Palgrave, 2013) and The Griqua Past and the Limits of South African History, 1902–1994 (Peter Lang Publishers, 2011).

Lorenzo Veracini is Associate Professor in History at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. His research focuses on the comparative history of colonial systems and on settler colonialism. His publications include The Settler Colonial Present (Palgrave 2015), Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (Palgrave, 2010) and Israel and Settler Society (Pluto, 2006). Lorenzo is editor in chief of Settler Colonial Studies.


"This volume shows how the deep history of settler colonialism has shaped our world today. As settlers move to new lands, the result is almost always unsettling. We need studies like this to better appreciate the ongoing consequences of our shared colonial legacies."

Coel Kirkby, University of Melbourne, Australia

"The essays in this work as a collection and as individual studies are a useful and thought-provoking addition to the topic of settler colonialism that can shed light on it as a global phenomenon that is at once universal and peculiar to particular places. What is more, they offer a challenge to the field of global history to utilize settler colonialism as a lens or dispose of it as too broad, ineffective, or too ill-defined to be useful."

Jack Seitz is a PhD Candidate in the Rural, Agricultural, Technological, and Environmental History program at Iowa State University, World History Connected