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By David Armitage

David Armitage provides the 1st entire heritage of British conceptions of empire for part a century, tracing the emergence of British imperial identification from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries. This e-book sheds new gentle on significant British political thinkers, from Sir Thomas Smith to David Hume, via supplying novel debts of the "British problem" within the early sleek interval, of the connection among Protestantism and empire, of theories of estate, liberty and political economic system in imperial point of view, and of the imperial contribution to the emergence of the British identification.

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Introduction: state and empire in British history  assumption that states – even composite states – and empires – even largely intra-European empires, like Sweden’s – belong to different areas of historical inquiry because they were distinguishable, even competing, historical processes. The model of composite monarchy offers fruitful analogies with the history of the European empires. Monarchies were compounded by the same means that empires were acquired: by conquest, annexation, inheritance and secession.

The origins of British imperial ideology are therefore to be found in   D. B. Quinn, ‘Ireland and Sixteenth Century European Expansion’, in T. ), Historical Studies,  (London, ), –; Quinn, The Elizabethans and the Irish (Ithaca, ); K. R. Andrews, N. P. Canny and P. E. H. ), The Westward Enterprise: English Activities in Ireland, the Atlantic, and America – (Liverpool, ); Canny, Kingdom and Colony: Ireland in the Atlantic World – (Baltimore, ); Canny, Making Ireland British, – (Oxford, forthcoming).

This created a novel area of historical inquiry, but it institutionalised the very separation between British history and Imperial history that Seeley had deplored; it also identified Imperial history almost exclusively as the history of the ‘Second’ British Empire. Though Seeley had reserved particular scorn for those historians of eighteenth-century Britain who had failed to recognise the true direction of British history in that century, and who overlooked the Empire at the expense of the Whiggish history of liberty, even in The Expansion of England the eighteenth century was important only as a prelude to the Imperial grandeur of the nineteenth.

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