International Relations Imperialism
by
Carl Cavanagh Hodge
  • LAST REVIEWED: 19 September 2014
  • LAST MODIFIED: 02 March 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0010

Introduction

Imperialism refers to the extension of the dominion of one nation over others by military conquest, political or economic compulsion, or some combination of the three. Derived from the Roman notion of imperium, connoting the dominion brought by way of the conquest, imperialism is in substance a form of large-scale political organization as old as recorded history. Varying both in terms of territorial expanse and formal institutional organization, all imperialism entails a fundamental political inequality between the imperial nation and its various subject nations or tribes. Ancient empires, such as Pharaonic Egypt, lasting from the founding of the Old Kingdom in 3500 BCE to the end of the New Kingdom in 715 BCE, the Persian Empire (556–330 BCE), the First and Second Athenian empires (454–404 BCE and 378–355 BCE), the Roman Empire (264 BCE–527 CE), and the successive Chinese empires from the Qin (221–206 BCE) to the Han (206 BCE–8 CE ) developed governing and administrative institutions sophisticated and durable enough to be ranked as significant chapters in the history of government. Others, such as the Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great (334–324 BCE ) accomplished rapid expansion over vast territory yet left little behind, save military inspiration to future conquerors such as Gaius Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte. The most expansive empire in human history, the Mongol Empire of Chinggis Khan (1206–1294) brought peoples from China through Central Asia to the Black Sea and Poland under its sway but left mostly desolation in its wake.

General Overviews

General overviews of imperialism include classic works, dominated by histories of the Roman Empire that have ever since influenced both the governance of European empires in particular and, to varying extents, the scholarship of imperialism. Reference works on imperialism, by contrast, tend to concentrate on modern European imperialism and colonialism. The contemporary literature on ancient empires is generally of a very high quality but tends to steer clear of both comparative study and theoretical generalization. Many overviews of modern imperialism feature sweeping comparative observations, and a select few venture into theory.

Classic Works

The most influential works by classical and modern European scholars are dominated by the study of the Roman Republic and Empire; Livy 1965 and Polybius 1979 interpret Rome’s wars with Carthage as the defining struggle of the Mediterranean world. Both Gibbon 1994 and Mommsen 2010 rank as major influences on all subsequent scholarship of Rome and in the transmission of a scholarly understanding of Roman imperialism to modern European imperialism. Hobson 2005 distinguished 19th century imperialism from all previous forms, both in its stress on global imperial competition and its examination of global financial networks. Kelly 2006 and Wells 1992 are recent overviews of a caliber to ensure them a long shelf life. Lincott 1981 and Richardson 1991 have long since become standards on reading lists, above all for their rigor in exploring the meaning of empire in the Roman world.

  • Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 6 vols. London: Penguin, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Considered by many the finest historical work in English, first published between 1776 and 1789 in six volumes. Covers Roman decline from 180 to 1453, tracing its source to the loss of civic virtue among Rome’s leadership.

    Find this resource:

    • Hobson, J. A. Imperialism: A Study. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2005.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      First published in 1902, the pioneering work in attempting a social scientific interpretation of modern imperialism, a “depraved choice of national life” and the “besetting sin of all successful States.”

      Find this resource:

      • Kelly, Christopher. The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        At 168 pages covering the Empire from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius, the most lucid introduction available.

        Find this resource:

        • Lincott, Andrew. “What Was the ‘Imperium Romanum’?” Greece and Rome 28.1 (1981): 53–67.

          DOI: 10.1017/S0017383500033490Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          The relationship between Rome and its allies and dependencies, with administrative change imposing more uniformity and enhancing exploitation.

          Find this resource:

          • Livy, Titus. The War with Hannibal. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Edited by Betty Radice. London: Penguin, 1965.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            History from the Second Punic War to the Battle of Zama, vividly told, an enormous influence on Machiavelli.

            Find this resource:

            • Mommsen, Theodor. The History of Rome. Vol 1. Translated by William Purdie Dickson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              A monumental study driven by a powerful narrative from Roman origins and the monarchy, through the Republic and Punic Wars, to the civil wars and the reign of Julius Caesar, first released between 1854 and 1856.

              Find this resource:

              • Polybius. The Rise of the Roman Empire. Translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert. London: Penguin, 1979.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Greek statesman explains Rome to the Romans, from the First Punic War to Carthage’s final defeat.

                Find this resource:

                • Richardson, J. S. “Imperium Romanum: Empire and the Language of Power.” Journal of Roman Studies 81 (1991): 1–9.

                  DOI: 10.2307/300484Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  The understanding of the term imperium from the Republic to Augustus as power fit for a monarch.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Wells, Colin. The Roman Empire. 2d ed. New York: Fontana, 1992.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    Life in the empire from 44 BCE to 235 CE, superbly written with extensive notes on further reading but dreadful maps.

                    Find this resource:

                    Single-Volume and Multivolume Collections

                    The Rose, et al. 1929–1936 collection on the British Empire set a standard for scholarly rigor that has generally been met by other collections. At eight volumes, Louis 1998–1999 is slightly more compact, but it also includes more recent scholarship. Edwards 2006 deals with the imperial theme along with many others in its magisterial coverage of ancient history; the same can be said for Fairbank and Twitchett 1978–2009 on China and Fage and Oliver 1975–1986 on Africa. The only single-volume collection, the Shepherd 2009 collection on Byzantium, is a superb effort in comprehensiveness.

                    • Edwards, I. E. S., ed. The Cambridge Ancient History. 14 vols. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      A project begun between 1924 and 1939 with contributions from scholars over several generations, now established as a definitive work of reference.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Fage, J. D., and Roland Oliver, eds.The Cambridge History of Africa. 8 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1975–1986.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        African history dating from 500 BCE to 1975. Eight volumes, edited by J. Desmond Clark, J. D. Fage, Roland Oliver, Richard Gray, John E. Flint, and G. N. Sanderson. Begun in 1975. Set published in 1986.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Fairbank, John K., and Denis Twitchett, eds.The Cambridge History of China. 13 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1978–2009.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          The most comprehensive history of China in English of political, social, economic, social, and intellectual life, written for scholars and general readers.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Louis, William Roger, ed. The Oxford History of the British Empire. 8 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998–1999.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Massive survey composed of essays of high academic pedigree, pointedly disinterested in critical revisionist literature.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Rose, John Holland, A. P. Newton, and E. A. Benians, eds.The Cambridge History of the British Empire. 8 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1929–1936.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              A standard reference offering superb scholarship and writing of genuine literary merit.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Shepherd, Jonathan, ed. The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c.500–1492. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Written by a team of twenty-four international scholars, covering political and military events, religious controversies, economic and social change.

                                Find this resource:

                                Contemporary Overviews

                                Among the durable surveys of modern imperialism, the work of Hobsbawm, Mommsen, and Wallerstein stand out, although for very different and complementary reasons. Hobsbawm 1987 represents only part of a larger project in comprehensive modern history, yet manages to incorporate domestic political change, the rise of the labor movement, and cultural change into the comparative study of European imperialism from 1875 to World War I. As an introduction to modern European imperialism, it remains unrivaled. Mommsen 1977 and Wallerstein 1974 are concerned with theory, the former offering a succinct review of theoretical approaches to imperialism, the latter incorporating imperial expansion into a multidisciplinary “world-systems” theory of capitalism since the 15th century. As ambitious and yet less dogmatic is Darwin 2008, which views imperialism as a mainspring of world history and places European imperialism at the western periphery of Asian empires. Abernethy 2000 is widely considered the most notable contribution to the study of European colonial history by a political scientist; commendably detached, it steers clear both of apologetics and moral outrage. Birmingham 2000 and Elliot 2006 are highly complementary comparative works, between them making a major contribution to the roles of Britain, Portugal, and Spain in the development of Atlantic commerce over four centuries. Albertini 1982 and Baumgart 1982 are both translations from German. They are dated but both worthwhile, Albertini for its comparative scope, Baumgart for its consistent conceptual rigor and its application to British and French imperialism.

                                • Abernethy, David B. The Dynamics of Global Dominance: European Overseas Empires, 1415–1980. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  The social scientific approach to the subject at its best. An integrated historical comparative, covering European overseas empires from 1415 to 1980.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Albertini, Rudolf von. European Colonial Rule, 1880–1940: The Impact of the West on India, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Translated by John G. Williamson. Contributions in Comparative Colonial Studies. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1982.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    A sound English translation of Europäische Kolonialherrschaft, published in 1976 by an outstanding Swiss authority on comparative colonial history.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Baumgart, Winfried. Imperialism: The Idea and Reality of British and French Colonial Expansion, 1880–1914. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Originally published in German, an exploration of what “imperialism” means, first in definitional terms and then as interpreted through two domestic political contexts.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Birmingham, David. Trade and Empire in the Atlantic, 1400–1600. Introductions to History. New York: Routledge, 2000.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        A concise introduction to the colonial systems developed by Portugal and Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Darwin, John. After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405. New York: Bloomsbury, 2008.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          Highly original comparative study placing European imperialism in perspective relative to older, more durable Asian dynasties.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Elliot, J. H. Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492–1830. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Masterly treatment of the conquest and reconstruction of much of the Americas by two European powers, the political legacy of the one vastly more favorable than the other.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Hobsbawm, E. J. The Age of Empire, 1875–1914. New York: Vintage, 1987.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Volume three of a four-volume history of the modern world. A masterpiece mandatory read, with photographs, maps, further reading, and a useful index.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Mommsen, Wolfgang J. Imperialismustheorien: Ein Überblick über die neueren Imperialismusinterpretationen. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1977.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                A compact survey of 132 pages covering the major grand theoretical explanations, critical and informative. Among the very best reference sources available in any language.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Wallerstein, Immanuel. The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century. Studies in Social Discontinuity. New York: Academic Press, 1974.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Marxist interpretation of the extending boundaries of a European world economy enabled by military domination and driven by trade in commodities.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  Reference Works

                                                  Reference works include bibliographies and bibliographical guides, such as Duignan and Gann 1974 on sub-Saharan Africa, Faroqhi 1999 on the Ottoman Empire, or Porter 2002 on the British Empire and Commonwealth. Less numerous are dictionaries and encyclopedias, featuring alphabetically organized entries written by scholars across a variety of fields of specialization. Hodge 2008 and Olson and Shadle 1991 fit this category. Both are broadly comparative, with hundreds of entries and appendices of reference materials. Slick and Olson 1991 is the most comprehensive study available on Spain.

                                                  • Duignan, Peter, and L. H. Gann, eds. Colonialism in Africa, 1870–1960. Vol. 5, A Bibliographical Guide to Colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1974.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    An ambitious research guide, including entries of reference materials, libraries and archives.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Faroqhi, Suraiya N. Approaching Ottoman History: An Introduction to the Sources. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Introduction to the literature, including primary and secondary sources and the recurrent historiographical debates.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Hodge, Carl Cavanagh, ed. Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2008.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        More than 800 essays and entries by more than sixty contributors, maps, chronology of events, further reading, contributors, primary documents, bibliography, index.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Olson, James, and Robert Shadle, eds. Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1991.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          More than 800 entries covering European empires since 1492, references, appendices, chronology, complete table of island systems.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Porter, Andrew. Bibliography of Imperial, Colonial, and Commonwealth History Since 1600. Royal Historical Society Bibliography. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            More than 1,000 pages in one volume, a superb and supremely useful bibliographical tool.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Slick, Sam L., and James S. Olson, eds. Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402–1975. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1991.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              More than 1,300 entries covering colonies, personalities, laws, treaties, conferences, wars, and revolutions.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              Journals

                                                              Journals dealing with international history—political, economic, or social—offer a variety of perspectives on modern empires and colonial. The International History Review is prominent in searches for articles and reviews. Also useful for breadth of coverage are the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. More specialized regionally are the Journal of African History, the Journal of Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and the Slavic Review. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History speaks for itself, offering articles ranging from British imperialism to the postcolonial experience of former subject peoples. The Journal of Roman Studies integrates imperialism into its commitment to the study of the Roman world.

                                                              Ancient Empires

                                                              Histories of ancient empires are generally conceived in the broad thematically, offering scholarship on ancient societies, cultures, and civilizations as much as on imperial rule. This is true of the Garnsey and Saller 1987 study of the waxing of Roman power throughout the Mediterranean. The Olmstead 1948 study of Persia is a dated but still popular study of standard length but broad sweep, while Cook 1983 devotes greater attention to governance and military history. The Meiggs 1972 volume on Athens can at 648 pages surpass the requirements of an introduction and satisfy the appetite of advanced scholars, a quality that sustains its longevity on reading lists. Lewis 2007 is the first of a six-volume series on Imperial China and is a strong introduction accessible to general readers and scholars. Works on the Byzantine Empire, the history of which straddles the late classical and early postclassical periods, 284 to 1200 CE, tend to focus on religion and culture as much as politics and government. Runciman 1933 set a standard for comprehensiveness, which is in evidence again in Cameron 2009. Cameron 1993, on the late Roman period, also paints with a broad brush but leans more heavily toward politics than Olobensky 1971.

                                                              • Cameron, Averil. The Later Roman Empire. Fontana History of the Ancient World. London: Fontana, 1993.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                A remarkable work of integrative scholarship on the shift of power and influence from Rome to Constantinople, dealing adroitly with politics, economy, social structure, urban life, and not least of all the rise of Christianity.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Cameron, Averil. The Byzantines. The Peoples of Europe. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Essentially a study of the peoples and cultures of the Byzantine Empire rather than of its governance, but a valuable contribution to a neglected topic.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Cook, J. M. The Persian Empire. London: J. M. Dent, 1983.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Solid scholarship on the Achaemenian succession of kings who ruled Persia and much of the civilized world from 550 to 330 BCE.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Garnsey, Peter, and Richard P. Saller. The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Remarkably compact for its comprehensiveness, concerned with how the empire prospered and spread its influence among Mediterranean peoples.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Lewis, Mark Edward. Early Chinese Empires, Qin and Han. History of Imperial China. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2007.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A solid introduction to Chinese imperial history, very strong on the creation of institutions capable of lasting for centuries.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Meiggs, Russell. The Athenian Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          A monumental volume and enduring standard on Athenian imperialism.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Olmstead, A. T. The History of the Persian Empire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            A standard, with useful chapters especially on economics, religion, the progress of science, and the Babylonian heritage of Persia.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Olobensky, Dimitri. Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe, 500–1453. History of Civilisation. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Mandatory introductory reading on the empire and its neighbors, diplomacy, and the spread of religion, law, and literature.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Runciman, Steven. Byzantine Civilization. London: Arnold, 1933.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A comprehensive treatment of the life of the Eastern Empire during the period bounded by Constantine and the Turkish conquest.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                Liberalism and Imperialism

                                                                                The inherent conflict between the vogue of a political ideology based above all on liberty and the simultaneous imposition of European rule over non-European peoples has been examined primarily as a study in political thought. Bell 2007 is a solid introductory reader on Victorian thought, while Mantena 2010 and Morefield 2005 provide intellectual biographies typifying the moral tension between liberal and imperial impulses. Muthu 2003, by contrast, turns to the inherently anti-imperial logic of the European Enlightenment. Armitage 2000 and Pitts 2005 turn to the integration of imperial reasoning into the political culture and political leadership of Britain and France.

                                                                                • Armitage, David. The Ideological Origins of the British Empire. Ideas in Context 59. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  An erudite study of how from the 16th century Britons reconciled the ideal of their own national identity as lovers of liberty with their expanding and deepening dominion over other peoples.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Bell, Duncan, ed. Victorian Visions of Global Order: Empire and International Relations in Nineteenth Century Political Thought. Ideas in Context 86. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    A remarkably coherent collection of essays on political thought during the high water mark of British imperial power, ranging from radical critiques of empire to liberal imperialism, to free trade and protection, the influences of Bentham and Mill, Marx and Hobson.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Mantena, Karuna. Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.

                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      The work of the Victorian legal scholar Henry Maine as a central agent in the shift from liberal imperialism to “new culturalism” and the promotion of indirect rule.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Morefield, Jeanne. Covenants Without Swords: Idealist Liberalism and the Spirit of Empire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        A study of the thought of Gilbert Murray and Alfred Zimmern and their impact on interwar liberalism, and above all their hopes for an international moral order and paradoxical inattention to international institutions that might sustain it.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Muthu, Sankar. Enlightenment Against Empire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Sound scholarship on the assault of late-18th century political thinkers—Diderot, Kant, and Herder—against the claims of European imperial expansion.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Pitts, Jennifer. A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            A rich comparative study explaining how liberal politicians who initially opposed imperial policies came to accept and even champion the idea of it civilizing mission.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            Marxism and Imperialism

                                                                                            More than any school of thought, Marxism has attempted to treat imperialism as a contemporary phenomenon rather than a historical artifact. Since Lenin insisted on the capitalist lineage and inherently aggressive militarist nature of imperialism in 1916, Marxist works Arrighi 1978 and Amin 1977 have sought to adapt Marxist logic to late-20th century conditions. Cardoso and Faletto 1979 and Frank 1969 posit imperial relationships between the main capitalist and the dependent Latin American economies, while Brewer 1990 and Warren 1980 offer an extremely durable survey of the evolution of Marxist thought.

                                                                                            • Amin, Samir. Imperialism and Unequal Development. New York: Monthly Review, 1977.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Imperialism not as a project in the colonization of foreign peoples but rather as a progressive centralization of capital, the underdevelopment of the peripheral economies to the benefit of the developed, and the exploitation of peripheral labor.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Arrighi, Giovanni. The Geometry of Imperialism. London: New Left Books, 1978.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                A landmark to the debate among Marxists over the meaning of the transformation of capital since Lenin argued its relationship to imperialism.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Brewer, Tony. Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey. London: Routledge, 1990.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  A lucid introductory survey of the development of Marxist thought from classical Marxism to contemporary neo-Marxism.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Cardoso, Fernando Henrique, and Enzo Faletto. Dependency and Development in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    A classic work of the Marxist “dependency” school, according to which Latin American countries have exchanged old forms of political and economic dependence for a new dependence on world markets and multinational capitalism.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Frank, Andre Gunder. Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical Cases of Chile and Brazil. London: Monthly Review, 1969.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Now a classic of neo-Marxist literature, at its publication a radical reinterpretation of Latin American history in which underdeveloped economies have become permanently subordinated to a world capitalist system.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Lenin, Vladmir Illyich. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Living Marxism Originals. London: Pluto, 1996.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        First published in 1916, the work that put brought anti-imperialism to the core of Marxist thought with its stress on the global spread of capitalism, competition for markets and resources, and international instability leading to war.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Warren, Bill. Imperialism: Pioneer of Capitalism. London: Verso, 1980.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          An attempt to recover Marx’s original conception of capitalism, as a revolutionary economic force still radically changing much of the undeveloped world, and to critique much of the anti-imperialism of the Marxist left.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          Modern Empires

                                                                                                          The literature on imperialism generally recognizes empires as modern that survived the European Enlightenment and Revolutionary era to continue in one form or another into the 19th century, some of which were in steep decline by 1800. The Qing dynasty in China, the last of a succession of imperial regimes going back more than 2,000 years, is the most obvious example. The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, and the Habsburg and Ottoman empires also found themselves less able to cope with more commercially dynamic and militarily powerful competitors during the 19th century. The British, French, and Russian empires all realized significant territorial gains during this period, despite varying degrees of domestic political upheaval. By contrast, imperial Germany and Japan were late arrivals to imperial competition, each the creature of reformist political regimes in the last half of the 19th century. The United States was somewhat unique in that its leadership was never formally committed to an imperial policy, yet acquired massive tracts of new territory in North America before adding overseas possessions after 1896.

                                                                                                          Modern China

                                                                                                          Hucker 1975 remains a reliable standard preparation for the Michael 1942 study of the Ming-Manchu succession, followed logically by Wakeman 1985, a very detailed account of China’s subsequent reconstruction. Hsü 2000, an account of late Qing China’s unraveling, from the collision with modernity and Western imperialism to the republican and Communist era, rounds out the sequence.

                                                                                                          • Hsü, Immanuel Cheung-yueh. The Rise of Modern China. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Magisterial scholarship from the decline of the Qing dynasty to the rise of the People’s Republic to a great power.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Hucker, Charles O. China’s Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1975.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              A introduction to the sweep of Chinese history starting with the “Formative Age” through the “Prehistory” to 206 BCE and on finally to the Late Empire.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Michael, Franz H. The Origin of Manchu Rule in China: Frontier and Bureaucracy as Interacting Forces in the Chinese Empire. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1942.

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                A study of the economic, social, and political factors that enabled Ming China’s Manchurian neighbors to absorb the Chinese ideas and practices by which they extended control over the entire country.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Wakeman, Frederick, Jr. The Great Enterprise: The Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in Seventeenth Century China. 2 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  A masterpiece of scholarship by a top-tier Western historian of China on the Ming-Qing transition, topped off by an eighty-seven-page bibliography.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  The British Empire

                                                                                                                  The massive literature on the British Empire breaks down roughly into three groupings, dealing first with general overviews of the empires growth or its role in the international system over time, thereafter with British imperialism in regional context, in which British India and British colonialism in Africa account for much of the literature. In the vast literature on British imperialism, Porter 1975 remains the best read for the uninitiated. Black 2004 establishes British sea power as the foundation of a restless overseas expansion governed by no central strategic logic. Bayly 1989 is a more challenging introduction to the empire through a turbulent half-century, but it is also more intellectually rewarding. More comprehensive are the interpretations of Darwin 2009 and Judd 1996, although Darwin’s is more balanced and a stronger contribution to the appreciation of Britain’s role in modern global history. Cain and Hopkins 2001 is a comparatively dry read, but its synthesis of competing interpretations, especially on economic matters, makes it an advanced standard. The Cambridge and Oxford multivolume histories (Rose, et al. 1929–1936 and Louis 1998–1999) are separated by some years but remain equally valuable references. Simms 2008, finally, deals with Britain’s 18th century struggle to fashion Europe to its advantage while holding on to an overseas empire.

                                                                                                                  • Bayly, C. A. Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World, 1780–1830. Studies in Modern History. London: Longman, 1989.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Ambitious and complex work, nicely written, that finds a middle ground between general macro-interpretations of world history theory and detailed micro-treatments.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Black, Jeremy. The British Seaborne Empire. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      Extraordinary chronological sweep and geographical range, dealing with maritime and naval power as the foundation of British global dominance.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Cain, Peter J., and A. G. Hopkins. British Imperialism, 1688–2000. 2d ed. Harlow, UK: Longman, 2001.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Massive synthesis and reinterpretation of scholarly work covering three hundred years of the British Empire and stressing the impact of finance and commercial services on the evolution of the British economy and state.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Darwin, John. The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World System, 1830–1970. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Superb study of Britain as a commercial and political agent of global integration. Destined to be a standard for decades.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Judd, Denis. Empire: The British Imperial Experience from 1765 to the Present. London: Fontana, 1996.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Heavily weighted toward the theme of imperial decline and retreat in the 20th century, from the Irish Easter Rising of 1916 to Rhodesia’s unilateral declaration of independence in 1965.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Louis, William Roger, ed. The Oxford History of the British Empire. 5 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998–1999.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              A broad survey by highly ranked scholars featuring mostly orthodox interpretations.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Porter, Bernard. The Lion’s Share: A Short History of British Imperialism 1850–1984. 3d ed. London: Longman, 1975.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Among the best surveys of the motivations and expedients behind British imperial policy beginning with the Victorian Age.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • Rose, John Holland, A. P. Newton, and E. A. Benians, eds.The Cambridge History of the British Empire. 8 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1929–1936.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  In most respects the gold standard for multi-volume works on the subject.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Simms, Brendan. Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire. New York: Basic Books, 2008.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A fine and original study of Britain’s military commitment to a European balance of power, successful enough to make it a global power yet insufficient to hold its American colonies.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    British Africa

                                                                                                                                    Literature on British imperialism in Africa is dominated by the South African experience. A notable exception to the rule is Daly 1988, a study of the politics and diplomacy of the late empire’s strategic interest in the Lower Nile. Packenham 1979 and Saul 2005 deal with two pivotal British colonial wars in the development of South Africa; both are strong narratives, but Packenham’s is superior scholarship on a war of more lasting consequence. Rotberg 1988 is a study of individual commercial ambition, which was critical to British imperialism but which remains underrepresented in the literature.

                                                                                                                                    • Daly, M. W. Empire on the Nile: The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1898–1934. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      The men, forces, and ideas that shaped the Anglo-Egyptian condominium, meticulously researched.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Packenham, Thomas. The Boer War. London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1979.

                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Superb narrative history, based on primary and secondary sources in English and Dutch.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Rotberg, Robert. The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          British advance in South Africa as an expression of personal commercial ambition ultimately translated into colonial war and expansion.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Saul, David. Zulu: The Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879. London: Penguin, 2005.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            A case study in imperial hubris, of unnecessary war ventured against a capable enemy, all subsequently turned into a romance of empire

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            British India

                                                                                                                                            James 1997 offers the best introductory read on Britain’s most valued imperial possession. Because of the enterprise’s central role in driving commercial and territorial ambition, the Lawson 1993 study of the East India Company is mandatory; more sociological yet equally critical to an understanding of the early phase of British penetration is Marshall 1988. Kerr 1995 rightly stresses the importance of railway construction—an understudied aspect of imperialism studies generally—to India’s commercial unification. Huttenback 2004 covers the history of the northwestern frontier from the time of the Sikh Wars to partition.

                                                                                                                                            • Huttenback, Robert A. Kashmir and the British Raj, 1847–1947. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Highly readable century in the history of an imperial frontier.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • James, Lawrence. Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India. London: Little, Brown, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                A massive, erudite study related with wit and empathy of British dominion over India from the romance of Robert Clive’s wars, 1740–1755, to the evolution of Indian nationalism to democratic self-government.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Kerr, Ian J. Building the Railways of the Raj, 1850–1900. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Superb book on a British contribution to Indian nationhood, a railway second only to that of imperial Russia.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Lawson, Philip. The East India Company: A History. Studies in Modern History. London: Longman 1993.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    The company’s exploits as a major agent in the rise of Britain to a commercial colossus and world power.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Marshall, P. J. Bengal: The British Bridgehead, Eastern India, 1740–1828. New Cambridge History of India 2.2. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      The shifting balance of power among elites in Indian society in the face of British incursion and the commerce in its train.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      The Dutch Empire

                                                                                                                                                      Of the older books listed, Boxer and Plumb 1990 is concerned primarily with the domestic pressures favoring overseas expansion generally, whereas Worden 1985 documents the Dutch traffic in human beings, specifically on the African cape. A related book thematically, Ward 2008 casts a wider net in examining efforts in trade and monopoly on the other side of the world. Israel 1998 is more ambitious and rewarding than the other three, integrating Dutch political development from subjection under the Habsburgs and national emancipation to the rise of material culture and quest for overseas commerce.

                                                                                                                                                      • Boxer, C. R., and J. H. Plumb. The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800. The History of Human Society. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        More concerned with conditions in the mother Netherlands than with overseas possessions but useful on the conditions of Dutch commercial expansion. First published in 1965 (New York: Knopf).

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Israel, Jonathan I. The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall, 1477–1806. Oxford History of Early Modern Europe. Oxford: Clarendon, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Massive treatment of Dutch political development, of which overseas expansion was an integral part.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Ward, Kerry. Networks of Empire: Forced Migration in the Dutch East India Company. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            The company as a vehicle of trade, administration, migration, and resettlement.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Worden, Nigel. Slavery in Dutch South Africa. African Studies Series 44. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              The expansion of slavery on the African Cape, its role in the economy, and legacy to Cape society, supported by extensive data.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              The French Empire

                                                                                                                                                              French imperialism involves the acquisition of overseas colonies prior to the Revolution of 1789, the loss of many of them during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods compensated by Bonaparte’s reckless career of conquest in Europe itself, followed finally by the Third Republic’s acquisition of a new overseas colonial empire second only to that of Britain.

                                                                                                                                                              Napoleonic France

                                                                                                                                                              Rose 1935 and Englund 2004 together offer a solid understanding of the most important personality of early-19th century Europe and the relationship between his military and political goals. Esdaile 2007 is an unrivaled single volume on the impact of Napoleonic arms in Europe that foreshadowed later forms of imperial aggression. Schroeder 1996 is especially strong on the connection between force and diplomacy when discussing the successive coalitions opposing Napoleonic France and its war with its European subjects between 1810 and 1815.

                                                                                                                                                              • Englund, S. Napoleon. A Political Life. New York: Scribner, 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Superb political biography dealing intelligently with Bonaparte’s ambiguous concept of a French Grand Empire in Europe, with its persistent use of revolutionary symbolism, its Caesarist hankerings, and impatience with the ingratitude of the emperor’s European subjects.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • Esdaile, Charles. Napoleon’s Wars: An International History. London: Allen Lane, 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  A fully integrated military and international history, superbly documented and lavishly illustrated, due to be unrivaled for some time to come.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Rose, J. Holland. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Era, 1789–1815. 7th ed. Cambridge Historical Series 6. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1935.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Dated yet still a judicious and reliable account of Bonaparte’s destruction of the ancien régime.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Schroeder, Paul W. The Transformation of European Politics, 1763–1848. Oxford History of Modern Europe. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      A landmark work of high scholarship on lawless Napoleonic imperialism as the vehicle for the destruction of the European system and the harbinger of still greater change after 1848.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      Overseas Expansion

                                                                                                                                                                      Aldrich 1996 has become a standard introduction in English covering French overseas expansion, but for a comprehensive history of modern French imperialism, Bouche 1991 has no equal in English. Whereas Quinn 2000 is something of a sociology of French imperial motivation covering half a millennium, Andrew and Kanya-Forstner 1981 concentrates on the fateful threshold crossed by the colonial empire during France’s existential struggle in Europe from 1914 to 1918.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldrich, Robert. Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion. European Studies Series. New York: St. Martin’s, 1996.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        Clear and up-to-date survey of French imperial expansion in Africa, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, Asia, and the Pacific.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Andrew, Christopher M., and A. S. Kanya-Forstner. France Overseas: The Great War and the Climax of French Imperial Expansion. London: Thames and Hudson, 1981.

                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          The war goals of the French government, in which officially colonial matters were only of peripheral importance.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Bouche, Denise. Histoire de la colonisation français. Vol. 2, Flux et reflux, 1815–1962. Paris: Fayard, 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            A balanced account of France’s 19th century overseas expansion, followed by the French colonial empire’s passage through world war to the rise and ultimate triumph of colonial nationalisms. Solidly based on massive documentation.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            • Quinn, Frederick. The French Overseas Empire. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              An impressive survey of five centuries of French expansionism economically told in only 250 pages. French imperialism as the work of explorers, traders, and missionaries, was never fully appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              French Africa

                                                                                                                                                                              Canale 1971 is a solid introduction to the life and times of French Africa, which explains the popularity of the Gottheiner translation on university syllabi. Kanya-Forstner 1969, a study of the French army in Sudan, is mandatory reading for an understanding of the military’s critical role in shaping French colonialism all over Africa. The impact of French dominion both on the French and on African peoples, by contrast, is appreciated by pairing Cohen 2003, which covers three centuries, with Manning 1998, which concentrates on the late empire and contemporary Africa.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Canale, Jean-Suret. French Colonialism in Tropical Africa 1900–1945. Translated by Till Gottheiner. New York: Pica, 1971.

                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                A detailed examination of French colonialism in Africa from the dawn of the 20th century to the end of World War II.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Cohen, William B. The French Encounter with Africans: White Response to Blacks, 1530–1880. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  French sentiment and thought about Africa and Africans based on three themes: slavery and the slave trade, the intellectual basis of French colonialism in Africa and the Americas, and attitudes about the role of race in society.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kanya-Forstner, A. S. The Conquest of Western Sudan: A Study in French Military Imperialism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Not military history but rather a study of the French military as an agent of colonization running well ahead of official policy in Paris.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Manning, Patrick. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa 1880–1995. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      A textbook arguing that, following French conquest of sub-Saharan peoples, the French and Africans subscribed to contending visions of the African destiny, a struggle involving enterprise and creativity, arrogance and oppression.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      The German Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                      The literature on German imperialism is dominated by the European experience of the Second and Third Reichs, into which the scholarship on German militarism in the 19th and 20th centuries has been comprehensively integrated. The literature on Germany’s comparatively small overseas empire is an almost wholly separated subfield.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Militarism and Imperialism

                                                                                                                                                                                      All treatments of German imperialism to varying degrees connect Prussian militarism to popular German nationalism and Germany’s disastrous wars of the 20th century. Although there are now many books on the Franco-Prussian War, Howard 1961 remains the introduction to the war that unified the German states and thereby immediately posed questions about the future of Europe. Wehler 1997 and Berghahn 1994 are mandatory sources for an understanding of German politics and society from the birth of the Second Reich to its march to war in 1914. Whereas Chickering 2004 is concerned with the destruction of Imperial Germany in World War I, Fischer 1986, Hildebrand 1995, and Hillgruber 1969 stress elements of continuity in German political culture and policy from the 19th century forward to Nazi aggression in the 20th.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Berghahn, Volker R. Imperial Germany, 1871–1914: Economy, Society, Culture, and Politics. Providence, RI: Berghahn, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        The Second Reich from unification in war to destruction by war, an economic, social, and political history, according to which everything changed except the Prussian state at its core.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Chickering, Roger. Imperial Germany and the Great War, 1914–1918. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ideal introductory read for undergraduates, balanced and detached, based on vast knowledge of the issue as well as of the contending interpretations.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fischer, Fritz. From Kaiserreich to Third Reich. Elements of Continuity in German History, 1871–1945. Translated by Roger Fletcher. London: Allen and Unwin, 1986.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Germany as unrepentantly imperialist, seeking continental hegemony and an overseas empire, combined with the repression of democracy, from 1871 to 1945.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hildebrand, Klaus. Das vergangene Reich: Deutsche Außenpolitik von Bismarck bis Hitler, 1871–1945. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Germany’s inability to craft an imperialist ideology attractive to non-Germans and its cramped geographic position as the source of erratic and disastrous imperial ambitions.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hillgruber, Andreas. Kontinuität und Diskontinuität in der deutschen Aussenpolitik von Bismarck bis Hitler. 3d ed. Dusseldorf, Germany: Droste, 1969.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                An authority on German military and diplomatic history maintains that German leadership held Social Darwinist beliefs toward Eastern Europe long before Hitler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Howard, Michael. The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870–71. New York: Macmillan, 1961.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dated, yet still the best account of the war that united the German states under Prussia and founded the Second Reich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wehler, Hans Ulrich. The German Empire, 1871–1918. Translated by Kim Trayner. New York: Berg, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A controversial structural and revisionist history when it first appeared in German in 1973, now a classic mandatory read in the Sonderweg interpretation of German history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Overseas Colonies

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Germany’s small overseas empire is primarily the subject of a literature with few connections to that on Germany’s role in Europe. Exceptions are the Förster, et al. 1988 collection on Bismarck’s attempt to establish rules for European competition over African territory and resources and the Smith 1978 monograph on colonial policy and politics. Henderson 1993 is a solid introduction to German colonialism generally, whereas Gann and Duignan 1977 stresses incoherence in Germany’s approach to Africa specifically. Iliffe 1969 and Knoll 1978 offer excellent case studies of the German colonial regime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Förster, Stig, Wolfgang J. Mommsen, and Ronald Robinson, eds. Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Conference, 1884–1885, and the Onset of Partition. London: Oxford University Press, 1988.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thirty essays by distinguished scholars devoted to matters of borders, international law, trade, and humanitarian standards among the colonial powers in Africa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gann, L. H., and Peter Duignan. The Rulers of German Africa 1884–1914. Hoover Institution Publications. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1977.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Germany’s African possessions as four little empires rather than one, of little interest or utility to Berlin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Henderson, W. O. The German Colonial Empire 1884–1919. London: Frank Cass, 1993.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Special attention to the prehistory of German overseas commercial activities and to key figures between 1907 and 1914.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Iliffe, John. Tanganyika Under German Rule, 1905–1912. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent case study of colonial administration in Africa, white settler supremacy, and African development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Knoll, Arthur J. Togo Under Imperial Germany 1884–1914: A Case Study of Colonial Rule. Hoover Colonial Studies. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, 1978.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The smallest German colony in Africa, thought by some to be a model colony, soberly assessed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Smith, Woodruff D. The German Colonial Empire. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                An important study of a neglected field, but in substance a study of German colonial politics rather than of German colonialism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Habsburg Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bérenger 1994 and Fichtner 1997 offer excellent introductory texts of the Habsburgs, both as a dynasty and an imperial project. Jelavich 1969 is a perennial favorite on undergraduate reading lists by virtue of its succinct interpretation of the complex events of a Habsburg century. Kann 1983 is concerned with the impossibility of Habsburg dominion in Central Europe in the face of the nationalist awakenings of the 19th century. Bridge 1972 and Macartney 1971 focus on Habsburg, Bridge much more narrowly on the rearguard struggle of Vienna’s foreign policy in the half century before the disaster of 1914.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bérenger, Jean. A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1273–1700. 2 vols. Translated by C. A. Simpson. London: Longman, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sound introductory history, both of Habsburg political and administrative change and of the international history of Eastern and Central Europe. Excellent maps and genealogical tables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bridge, F. R. From Sadowa to Sarajevo: The Foreign Policy of Austria-Hungary 1860–1914. Foreign Policies of the Great Powers. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Balanced assessment of foreign policy in the last half century of Habsburg decline.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fichtner, Paula Sutter. The Habsburg Empire. From Dynasticism to Multinationalism. Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Introductory survey from the 13th to the 20th century, fully half the book is a collection of documents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Jelavich, Barbara. The Habsburg Empire in European Affairs, 1814–1918. Rand Mcnally European History Series. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1969.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mandatory reading on the last century of Habsburg power, its social and political setting, in a lucid 170 pages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kann, Robert. The Multinational Empire: Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1848–1918. 2 vols. New York: Octagon, 1983.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Landmark work on Central European nationalism and the forlorn Habsburg struggle to contain it. Originally published in 1950 (New York: Columbia University Press).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Macartney, C. A. The Habsburg Empire, 1790–1918. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A narrative of decline, sound as a record of events yet weak on explanation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Japanese Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beasley 1991 is the best introduction to Japanese imperialism from the Sino-Japanese War through to unconditional surrender in 1945. Supplementary readings covering the same period are available in the Myers and Peattie 1984 collection of essays on Japanese colonialism. The Nish 1977 study of Japanese foreign ministers between 1869 and 1942 charts the decay of imperial diplomacy. Connaughton 1988 and Warner and Warner 2004 offer complementary interpretations of Japan’s imperial coming-out in war with tsarist Russia. Excellent studies of Japanese rule in the Asian mainland are available, including Duus 1995, an account of Korea to 1910, and Matsusaka 2001, an account of the militarization of Japanese policy in Manchuria over three decades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Beasley, William G. Japanese Imperialism, 1894–1945. Oxford: Clarendon, 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Superb synthesis of archival research with the best secondary literature, from the imperial ambitions of the Meiji state to political anarchy and national catastrophe in World War II.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Connaughton, R. M. The War of the Rising Sun and the Tumbling Bear: A Military History of the Russo-Japanese. London: Routledge, 1988.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Battle history of a pivotal imperial clash of the early 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Duus, Peter. The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895–1910. Twentieth-Century Japan 4. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A vision of regional progress and enlightened development combined with racial contempt and brutal repression.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Matsusaka, Yoshihisa Tak. The Making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904–1932. Harvard East Asian Monographs. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Political, military, and commercial dimensions of Japan’s penetration of Manchuria, from the Russo-Japanese War to the misadventures of the Kwantung army.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Myers, Ramon H., and Mark R. Peattie, eds. The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A unified collection of essays, especially strong on the nature of colonial administration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nish, Ian H. Japanese Foreign Policy, 1869–1942: Kasumigaseki to Miyakezaka. Foreign Policies of the Great Powers. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Careers of twelve influential foreign ministers, the shift from civilian to military dominance; a valuable book based on impeccable handling of Japanese source materials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Warner, Denis, and Peggy Warner. The Tide at Sunrise: A History of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904–1905. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vivid account of the Russo-Japanese War—its political, diplomatic and military dimensions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Ottoman Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Goodwin 1998 and McCarthy 1997 are reliable introductions and are complementary, the former a portrait in the round and the latter a systematic study of Ottoman rule to the founding of the Turkish Republic. Quataert 2000 is a mandatory reading on the empire during two centuries of great power competition; Imber 1990, a study of Ottoman origins, and Macfie 1998, a study of its final collapse, are supplementary. Anscombe 1997 is a superb book on the Ottoman Gulf that is critical to an understanding of the modern Middle East.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Anscombe, Frederick F. The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ottoman attempts, usually counterproductive, to meet the challenge of the British Empire in the Persian Gulf in the 19th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Goodwin, Jason. Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. London: Chatto and Windus, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A thematically organized introduction to the virtues and weaknesses of Ottoman society and political power.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Imber, Colin. The Ottoman Empire: 1300–1481. Istanbul: Isis, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A strong unified narrative of early Ottoman history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Macfie A. L. The End of the Ottoman Empire: 1908–1923. Turning Points. London: Longman, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The collapse of Ottoman power as a pivotal event in the creation of the contemporary Middle East.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923. London: Longman, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A broad introductory history of the Ottoman Empire beginning with the impact of Islam on the nomadic Turks prior to 1281, the rise of the House of Osman, and the conquest of the nomadic heritage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman Empire, 1700–1922. New Approaches to European History 17. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Solid, scholarly survey of the trends within the Ottoman Empire during the era of intensifying Great Power competition, accessible to undergraduates and general readers. Appendices with maps, plates, and chronologies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Portuguese Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Both as a history of Portugal and a contribution to international history, Russell-Wood 1998 is a standard on reading lists. Vastly more ambitious is the Disney 2009 two-volume history, which is destined for a long shelf life. Subrahmanyam 1993 covers two centuries of Portuguese activity in Asia, while Alden 1996, on the Jesuit brotherhood, is a highly original examination of a religious order as the avatar of imperialism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Alden, Dauril. The Making of an Enterprise: The Society of Jesus in Portugal, Its Empire, and Beyond, 1540–1750. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The organization, finances, and policies of the Jesuits from Brazil to Angola, India to Japan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Disney, A. R. A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From Beginnings to 1807. 2 vols. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A national history of the Portuguese as both hammer and nail in European and world history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Russell-Wood, A. J. R. The Portuguese Empire, 1415–1808: A World on the Move. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Unified analysis of Portugal’s contribution to world history, trade routes centering on Lisbon carrying everything from spices to slaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500–1700: A Political and Economic History. London: Longman, 1993.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              European and Asian history, the interaction of the local and the international, political and economic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Russian Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Much of the literature on Russian imperialism is based on studies of tsarism, tsarist politics, and tsarist foreign policy, with a strong connection drawn between domestic politics and Russian diplomacy. A smaller body literature on territorial expansion deals in some instances with a regional context, in others with Russian territorial aspirations from a more general geostrategic perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tsarist Foreign Policy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seton-Watson 1967 and Jelavich 1964 are now dated but remain stalwart introductory surveys. They can be most advantageously consulted by prior reference to Geyer 1987, the principal weakness of which is its lack of attention to the revolution of 1917. On this issue, MacKenzie 1994 is more useful, especially in examining tsarist Russia’s recurrent habit of imperial overreach; an illustrative case study is Schimmelpenninck van der Oye 2001, an examination of the policy that led Russia to a disastrous war with Japan in 1904. Hosking 1997 is the best recent book on the political legacy of Russia’s imperial past; a more stimulating but less disciplined account is offered by Lieven 2002.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Geyer, Dietrich. Russian Imperialism: The Interaction of Domestic and Foreign Policy, 1860–1914. Translated by Bruce Little. Leamington Spa, UK: Berg, 1987.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                First-rate history, concerned with Russia’s inability to play the game of capitalist imperialism with the Western European powers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hosking, Geoffrey. Russia, People and Empire: 1552–1917. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The burden of the Russian past of conquest and expansion, dating to the 16th century, on contemporary Russia in the form of a deformed and insecure sense of Russian nationhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jelavich, Barbara. A Century of Russian Foreign Policy, 1814–1914. Lippincott History Series. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1964.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A survey of Russian policy between Napoleon and World War I, imperial interests necessarily at the center, a balanced and judicious account in clear prose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lieven, Dominic. Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Comparative and sweeping, impatient with academic specialization, enormously stimulating, occasionally satisfying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • MacKenzie, David. Imperial Dreams, Harsh Realities: Tsarist Russian Foreign Policy, 1815–1917. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A tidy analysis of the gap between tsarist imperial aspirations and the limits imposed by international politics and Russian finance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, David. Toward the Rising Sun: Russian Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The intellectual mainsprings of Russian imperial impulses based on strong documentary evidence in four languages to which is added a superb bibliography.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Seton-Watson, Hugh. The Russian Empire, 1801–1917. Oxford History of Modern Europe. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A now dated standard narrative history, still useful and frequently cited.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Territorial Expansion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Russia’s progressive acquisition of contiguous territory makes the study of its empire partly an effort in geostrategic reasoning. LeDonne 1997 is a first-rate survey of this tradition, beginning with Peter the Great. In a sense, Lieven 2010, which explores the rout of Napoleon, is the logical next step, as it refutes the popular notion of Russian military backwardness. Bassin 1999 links geostrategic ambition to nationalism in his study of expansion into the Far East in the mid-19th century, whereas Demko 1969 focuses on the Russification of Kazakhstan three decades later. Stephan 1994, a history of the Russian Far East, is especially useful on the legacy of Russian imperialism to the present.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bassin, Mark. Imperial Visions: Nationalist Imagination and Geographical Expansion in the Russian Far East, 1840–1865. Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography 29. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Accessible to specialists and a general readership, a lucid study of geography and national identity in Russia’s acquisition of the Amur and Ussuri river valleys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demko, George J. The Russian Colonization of Kazakhstan, 1896–1916. Uralic and Altaic Series. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A case study of Russian migration to Central Asia in the decade before World War I, exploring the demographic and economic impact of colonization rather than its political dimension.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • LeDonne, John. The Russian Empire and the World, 1700–1917: The Geopolitics of Expansion and Containment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The process of Russian expansion as conditioned by geography, an approach in this case powerfully influenced by the geostrategic thought of Halford Mackinder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lieven, Dominic. Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace. New York: Viking, 2010.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A brilliant military history on tsarist Russia’s determination and skill in defeating Napoleonic aggression and extending tsarist diplomacy all the way to Paris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Stephan, John J. The Russian Far East: A History. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A balanced survey of the “Slav America” in tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet times, well written with equal attention to the appealing and the appalling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Spanish Empire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The obvious introductory text is Elliot 2002, which nonetheless ends in 1716; Maltby 2009 is more balanced, but both are for the undergraduate. More sophisticated and satisfying are the Parry 1990 and Thomas 2005 studies of Spain as a great maritime power. Merriman 1918-1934, a four-volume work, is a detailed account of the Iberian history as well as of Spain’s empire, beginning with the Christian reconquest. Its opposite in form and focus is Balfour 1997, a crisp account of the empire’s final gasp. MacLachlan 1988 is unrivaled as a study of Spanish imperial ideology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Balfour, Sebastian. The End of the Spanish Empire, 1898–1923. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well-written, concise, and tightly argued study of Spanish decline, linking domestic political upheaval with an incoherent colonial policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Elliott, J. H. Imperial Spain, 1469–1716. London: Penguin, 2002.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dated but often cited because it is so well written, useful to the novice scholar and general reader alike. Originally published in 1963 (London: Edward Arnold).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • MacLachlan, Colin M. Spain’s Empire in the New World: The Role of Ideas in Institutional and Social Change. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An extended essay about the “philosophical matrix” behind Spain’s imperial policy with insights and observations for the entire field of Latin American history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Maltby, William S. The Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An introduction for the general reader.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Merriman, Roger Bigelow. The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New. 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1918–1934.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exhaustive study of Spanish governance on both sides of the Atlantic, the connections between Spanish power in Europe and Spanish burdens in the Americas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Parry, J. H. The Spanish Seaborne Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sound scholarship and lucid writing on Spain’s “kingdoms of the sun” from haphazard beginnings to fiscal crisis and disintegration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Thomas, Hugh. Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to Magellan. New York: Random House, 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Massive study of the conquest of the Caribbean islands and Mexico, complete with glossary, suggested readings and bibliography, maps, and extensive index.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The United States

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The United States is often excluded from imperial studies, due to its origins and the expressly anti-imperialist thrust of much of its foreign policy. It nonetheless has a history of rapid territorial expansion in the 19th century, fed by a combination of commercial ambition and strategic insecurity, and an enduring commitment to a liberal world order in the 20th century. The literature on American foreign policy tends to reflect these competing impulses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Foreign Policy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Far and away the best introductory work is McDougall 1997. Thereafter, Hietala 1985 and Merk and Merk 1995 are equally sound but complementary in their respective interpretations of the early-19th century impulse of manifest destiny and its legacy to American policy thereafter. A related work linking national identity to expansion is May 1961. Paolino 1973 then locates the origin of the “imperial impulse” in post–Civil War foreign policy. Dobson 1988 interprets McKinley’s policy in the Spanish-American War as reactive, whereas Merk and Merk 1995 acknowledges the imperial appetitle of his successor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dobson, John. Reticent Expansionism: The Foreign Policy of William McKinley. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 1988.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Survey of American emergence in great-power politics that adheres generally to the dominant interpretation that McKinley was essentially carried along by events rather the master of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hietala, Thomas R. Manifest Design: Anxious Aggrandizement in Late Jacksonian America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        American expansion during the Tyler and Polk administrations explained in terms of a political response to perceived national malaise and problems of race relations, industrialization, antislavery agitation, population growth, and international competition for trade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marks, Frederick W., III. Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A mostly convincing attempt to counter prevailing stereotypes of Roosevelt as an imperialist bully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • May, Ernest. Imperial Democracy: The Emergence of America as a Great Power. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Somewhat dated but still useful in terms of explaining the impact of popular nationalism on American expansionism at the turn of the 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • McDougall, Walter A. Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World since 1776. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A survey of foreign policy traditions since 1776, especially useful on American ambivalence regarding territory and security.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Merk, Frederick, and Lois B. Mark. Manifest Destiny and Mission in American History: A Reinterpretation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Landmark revision of earlier treatments of Manifest Destiny, maintaining that was a recurrent aberration of American nationalism and spirit of expansionism rather than its animating spirit. Originally published in 1963 (New York: Knopf).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Paolino, Ernest N. The Foundations of the American Empire: William Henry Seward and U.S. Foreign Policy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1973.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Forceful argument that the initial imperial stirrings of the United States date not to the 1890s but to the 1860s and the interest of Seward’s Department of State in overseas ventures.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Territorial Expansion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LaFeber 1998 is mandatory reading on American expansionism between the Civil War and the 20th century, while Healy 1976 has become a standard on the ambitious foreign policy championed by the political and economic elite of the 1890s. Beale 1984 and Graebner 1983, too, have become standards, but Beale concentrates on the assertive policy of Theodore Roosevelt as the central factor in the emergence of the United States as a great power. Finally, Miller 1982 is an excellent study of the American Philippines and the uncomfortable awkward adjustment of the republic to rule over colonials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Beale, Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A standard both on the ambitious foreign policy of the Roosevelt presidency and its diplomacy. First published in 1956.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Graebner, Norman A. Empire on the Pacific: A Study in American Continental Expansion. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1983.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A study of the settlement of the Oregon dispute and the American acquisition of California. Originally published in 1955 (New York: Ronald).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Healy, David. U.S. Expansionism: The Imperial Urge in the 1890s. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        American expansionism as the product of the thought and actions of five national leaders with the imperial appetitle: President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of State Elihu Root, Ambassador Charles Denby, the economist Charles A. Connant, and the well-connected businessman James H. Wilson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • LaFeber, Walter. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860–1898. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Among the clearest interpretations of American expansionism in the 1890s as the product of commercial ambition, in which other factors played a subordinate role to the pursuit of foreign markets. Originally published in 1963 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Miller, Stuart C. “Benevolent Assimilation”: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899–1902. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The motivations behind annexation of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War, highly critical of American actions after the fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Down