“This important book offers a revolutionary assessment of the history and modern prestige of imperialism. Based on authoritative contributions from academics and activists, it examines imperialism from a range of insightful perspectives. The result sees theoretical reflection combined with subtle research to make an imaginative and stimulating contribution. Highly recommended. John Hassard, University of Manchester “The continued imperialism of free trade is an indispensable contribution for academics and activists. Beginning with Gallagher and Robinson`s groundbreaking 1953 article, this anthology combines historical reflection with contemporary examples. This is crucial work at a time when the resurgence of nationalism often leads to an instinctive respect for “internationals” as the supposed ground for just cooperation and freedom. Intellectual historians, historians of the Empire, economists and international jurists will find in this volume stories and theoretical ideas that can advance our research in new and creative ways. Ntina Tzouvala, Senior Lecturer, ANU College of Law Therefore, from the 1870s onwards, the expansion of the formal and informal empires accelerated. Between 1870 and 1914, there was a dramatic increase in surplus economic capital in Britain. By this time, London had firmly established itself as the commercial and financial centre of the world, and British companies dominated the global markets for shipping, insurance and manufacturing. Britain`s promotion of free trade was seen by both the public and the elites as a way to further increase the nation`s wealth.
As other European states developed their colonial empires and often excluded British merchants from trade in colonized regions, British business leaders lobbied various governments to support better access to new markets and materials. Other states have imitated British tactics. For example, after the First Opium War, the United States and France used the threat of military force to obtain from China concessions similar to those granted to Britain in the Treaty of Nanjing. Proponents of free trade imperialism, initially called the “Little Englanders,” rejected broader arguments in favor of imperialism based on the alleged strategic or cultural advantages associated with acquiring new territories. The growing emphasis on the realization of national economic advantages by leaders such as Richard Cobden led to the growth of the “informal” empire and prompted pro- and anti-colonial factions to support trade expansion in underdeveloped regions of the world. In this article, imperialism is used in the sense of its original meaning, that is, as a term for the expansion of formal or informal, mainly European, domination over Asian and African countries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as more generally for other forms of Western domination during and after the colonial period. Thus defined, imperialism is useless as a scientific concept. However, in serious studies, the word has always had a more limited meaning.
The problem is exactly how limited its meaning should be. Sometimes the word is used universally historically to characterize the politics of a dominant power. Thus, some historians have spoken of Roman or even Assyrian imperialism, but it is very extraordinary. In historical studies, imperialism generally refers to the policies of European countries, and in particular the United Kingdom, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries aimed at extending their power and influence to other continents. In this context, the term imperialism appeared and began to be used as a political and historical concept. Historically, the word imperialism is therefore obviously closely linked to colonialism. While colonialism was only used to refer to a particular form of foreign domination, namely colonial domination, imperialism took on a broader meaning and included various other forms of influence over foreign nations and states. For example, the financial influence of France and Germany in the Russian and Ottoman empires, or things like the British “gunboat policy” and the American “dollar diplomacy”.
However, we can begin to develop alternatives to “free trade” that shift both power and wealth from the North to the South and from the few elites to the popular masses throughout the North and South. Building on the conclusions of Keynes and Schumacher of the attempt to create the intensive care unit and the attempt of the Non-Aligned Movement to use UNCTAD to reform the world economy, we can work towards a progressive international political economy that promotes material dignity and freedom for all the peoples of the world. This book provides an innovative assessment and analysis of the history and current state of imperial control. It does so in four parts and examines the historical emergence and traditions of imperialism; relations between the periphery and the metropolis; the role of supranational agencies in expanding imperial control; and how these relate to financialization and international political economy. The book offers a dynamic and unique perspective on imperialism by bringing together a range of contributors – both established and emerging academics, activists, and industry – from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. By offering these authors a space to apply their ideas, this captivating volume sheds light on the practical implications of imperialism for today`s world. Routledge & CRC Press eBooks are available through VitalSource. With the free VitalSource Bookshelf app®, you can access your eBooks anytime, anywhere. After the end of colonial empires, the word “colonialism” could only be used for a phenomenon of the past and thus fell into disuse. However, “imperialism” continued to be used and now also indicated forms of government that were formally different from those of the colonial powers, but were in fact comparable.
For a while, the word “neocolonialism” was also used for this purpose, but somehow this term was less successful. By the end of World War II, America had become the new superpower. As a result, imperialism has now been used primarily to describe US foreign policy toward other countries, particularly in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Attempts were also made to apply the concept to the Soviet Union`s policy towards the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that were under its influence after 1945 (Seton-Watson 1961), but this was not very successful. The reason for this is that imperialism historically has connotations with capitalism and not with communism and with overseas possessions and not with neighboring countries. Although there was clearly a Soviet empire, it was not seen as an example of imperialism, but of traditional power politics. Only in its very general sense as another word for all forms of power politics or simply as an insult, it has also been used to describe communist countries such as the Soviet Union and China. After the end of the Cold War, this use of the word imperialism lost much of its former appeal. From the 1840s to the 1870s, the Manchester School of Free Trade Advocates had a political and economic influence in England. Supported by factory owners as well as many working-class supporters of this style of free trade, stressed the importance of exports and the need for the government to take steps to remove foreign barriers to British products. Free trade was seen both as a means of strengthening the nation and as a mechanism for promoting universal values (in this case, British values). However, while Manchester supporters believed that the government`s role was to advocate for free trade, they sought to limit government spending for military or colonial administration, viewing such spending as a misuse of resources.
It is important to note that the governments of the countries of the North used protectionism to maintain those unequal economic relations that developed during colonialism. For example, the British used tariffs and subsidies to help their companies become the dominant producer and exporter of textiles and machinery of the early Industrial Revolution, the most profitable industrial goods of the time. They did not stop pursuing protectionism, even though they tried to impose free trade on all other countries, including their American colonies, until they became the dominant producer of industrial goods in the 1800s. Similarly, the United States relied heavily on tariffs until it became the leading producer and exporter of industrial goods in the early 1900s. . .