A Review of Niall Ferguson's Empire

Niall ferguson empire- how britain made the modern world

A Review of Niall Ferguson's Empire
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A detailed evaluation of how British imperialism influences our world.

 “Empire” starts its narration in the latter part of the 16th century examining the factors, which prompted the English into seeking an overseas empire similar to the ones already established by Portugal and Spain in the Americas, Asia, and Africa


Ferguson starts his succinct evaluation of the British Empire by examining the early attempts to establish English colonies in North America, the growth of British naval power, and the important roles of piracy as well as slave trading in generating wealth not to mention justifying the establishment of colonies.

Ferguson argues that it was British domination of the high seas combined with the determination to make profits from foreign trade that led to the vast expansion of empire especially from the last decades of the 18th century.  Britain had got the better of the French during the Seven Years and gained control of Canada and India as a result.

The later parts of the book go on to describe how Britain recovered from the loss of the American colonies to build an even larger empire in Africa and Asia. Ferguson also describes how Britain changed the world by spreading capitalism, and liberalism as well as Christianity, not to mention its part in abolishing slavery.

Finally the book examines Britain's imperial decline hastened by the cost of winning the Second World War and the increasing strength of the Soviet Union and the United States.  

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