This course traces the emergence of an England-centered empire, which from the 1600s to the near-present facilitated a vast and violent movement of goods, peoples, technologies, diseases, cultural artifacts, and cultural practices. Attention is paid to issues of negotiation, domination and resistance; the effects of gender across cultures; politicization, identity formation, and nationalism; the complications and uses of race; and the empire’s effects on Britain. Prerequisite: HIST 102 or HIST 112.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
HIST 102 or HIST 112.
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Most current editions of the following:
- Choose one textbook from Texts 1-6 below.
- Choose at least two textbooks from Texts 7-19 below.
Additional primary and secondary texts may be assigned as well.
The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire
By Marshall, P.J., Ed. (Cambridge University Press) Recommended
The Lion’s Share
By Porter, Bernard (Longman) Recommended
The British Empire, 1558-1995
By Lloyd, T.O. (Oxford University Press) Recommended
British Imperialism (Histories and Controversies)
By Johnson, Robert (Palgrave Macmillan ) Recommended
The British Empire
By Samson, Jane (Oxford University Press) Recommended
The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset
By Levine, Philippa (Pearson) Recommended
Britain and Empire: Adjusting to a Post-Imperial World
By Butler, L.J. (I.B. Tauris) Recommended
By Said, Edward (Vintage) Recommended
Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience
By Hyam, Ronald (St. Martin's Press) Recommended
Gandhi: 'Hind Swaraj' and Other Writings
By Gandhi, Mohandas (Cambridge University Press) Recommended
By Orwell, George (1st World Library ) Recommended
Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850
By Colley, Linda (Anchor) Recommended
Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire
By Cannadine, David (Oxford University Press) Recommended
She: A History of Adventure
By Haggard, H. Rider (Modern Library Classics) Recommended
Imagining Home: Gender, Race and National Identity, 1954-1964
By Webster, Wendy (University of Central Lancashire Press) Recommended
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire
By Dalziel, Nigel (Penguin) Recommended
The Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism
By Headrick, Daniel (Oxford University Press) Recommended
Mastery, Tyranny, & Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World
By Burnard, Trevor (Univ. North Carolina Press) Recommended
The Scandal of Empire: India and the Creation of Imperial Britain
By Dirks, Nicholas (Harvard UP) Recommended
To explore and better understand the different ideologies pertaining to the British Empire including mercantilism, classical liberalism, and protectionism.
To understand the roles of politics, economics, and public opinion for the history of the British Empire, and better understand the diversities of practice and policy in various geographical and temporal locations.
To understand the complexities of colonial encounter and domination, including issues of negotiation, complicity, accommodation and resistance.
Explain major themes and theoretical frameworks of the British Empire.
Identify and characterize significant historical factors which contribute to patterns of change and continuity.
Identify and assess the different phases and configurations of the British Empire through the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Define the economic benefits and costs of the British Empire.
Identify motivating factors for imperialism/colonization, in addition to economic, cultural and political factors.
Explain the struggles accompanying decolonization during the twentieth century.
Explain the role of politics, including domestic and foreign concerns on empire building and consolidation
Explain how gender, race, and class affected the development of the empire and human relations within colonial societies.
Explain the effects of empire upon domestic British society, including the legacies of decolonization.
NOTE: Students will write a historical research paper which utilizes primary texts, an original argument, historical analysis, and proper Chicago documentation.
Historiography of British Empire
Mercantilism as ideology and practice
Protectionist and free trade policies
The role of public opinion and propaganda
The relationship of the metropole and the periphery
Gender, race, and class
Forms of resistance
Colonial identity and nationalism
Instruction should cover at least five of the following geographical areas:
British North America
The Middle East
Australia and New Zealand
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical
outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.