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European Colonialism since 1700 by James R. Lehning


European Colonialism since 1700 by James R. Lehning

This masterful synthesis provides a much-needed, complete survey of European colonialism from 1700 to decolonization in the twentieth century. Written by an award-winning author, this advanced undergraduate and graduate level textbook bridges, for the first time, the early modern Atlantic empires and the later Asian and African empires of 'high imperialism'. Viewing colonialism as a phenomenon of contact between Europe and the rest of the world, the author takes an 'entangled histories' approach, considering the surprising ways in which the imperial powers of Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands displayed their identities in colonial settings, as much as in their imperial capitals. The author illuminates for students the common themes of colonial government, economic development and cultural contact across empires, and reveals the ways in which these themes played out, through contrast of the differing development, structure and impact of each empire.


'Maintaining both a comparative and transnational focus, [Lehning] offers a detailed consideration of the social, economic and cultural changes wrought on societies and communities by the varied impacts of colonial rule. The result is a refreshingly ambitious history that, among other things, will allow students to connect North and South American colonial encounters, ideas and arguments.'
Martin Thomas, University of Exeter

'This eagerly anticipated book fills a gaping hole in the literature on European colonialism. It is an impressive synthesis of the diversity of colonial regimes and encounters across the globe, both on land and on the oceans. The author has incorporated an enormous amount of scholarship, including recent trends in imperial history and postcolonial studies ... masterfully weaving together political, economic, social, and cultural history with great breadth and nuance.'
Jeffrey Auerbach, California State University, Northridge


'Lehning's work is one of the few examples of a near-complete analysis of the complex parameters of European colonial conquest and rule that takes into account the growing complexities of the historiography, including the scope of gender, race, and concepts of freedom and citizenship in European colonial rule.'
Jacob Ivey, H


About the Author

James R. Lehning is Professor of History at the University of Utah. His previous publications include To Be a Citizen: The Political Culture of the Early French Third Republic (2001) which won the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies in 2003 and, as co-editor, Europeans in the World: Sources on Cultural Contact (2 volumes, 2002).

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Book Info

Publication date

29th August 2013


James R. Lehning

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Cambridge University Press


324 pages


Colonialism & imperialism
European history
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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