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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Fall 2008

HIS 350L • Liberalism and British Empire-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This upper-level undergraduate seminar focuses on British overseas expansion in the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. At the height of its power, the British Empire stretched across four continents and incorporated one quarter of the world's population and landmass. Prior to the twentieth century, no political institution was as global in scope. The readings and discussions for this course revolve around one central question: what was the relationship between the British Empire and the global spread of modern society? The topics covered include overseas expansion and capitalist economic development; the relationship between liberalism and imperialism; the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and changing conceptions of Britains role in the non-European world; the American Revolution and the rupture of the Old Colonial System; British India and the Second Empire; the relationship between state power and imperial expansion; metropolitan industrialization and colonial underdevelopment; racism and the new imperialism of the late nineteenth century; and the rise of anti-colonial nationalism.

Grading Policy

Grades are based on two short papers (3-5 pp.) (30%), one interpretive essay (8-12 pp.) on a topic determined in consultation with the instructor (40%), and class participation and attendance (30%).


1. Niall Ferguson, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power 2. P. J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins, British Imperialism, 1688-2000 3. P. J. Marshall, The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America, c. 1750-1783 4. Eliga H. Gould, The Persistence of Empire: British Political Culture in the Age of the American Revolution 5. Ranajit Guha, A Rule of Property for Bengal: An Essay on the Idea of Permanent Settlement 6. C. A. Bayly, Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World, 1780-1830 7. Bernard Semmel, The Rise of Free Trade Imperialism: Classical Political Economy, The Empire of Free Trade, and Imperialism, 1750-1850 8. Catherine Hall, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830-1867 9. Thomas C. Holt, The Problem of Freedom: Race, Lab or, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938 10. Thomas R. Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj 11. Uday Singh Mehta, Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth-Century British Liberal Thought


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