By Jennifer Pitts
A dramatic shift in British and French principles approximately empire opened up within the sixty years straddling the flip of the 19th century. As Jennifer Pitts indicates in A flip to Empire, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Jeremy Bentham have been between many at first of this era to criticize ecu empires as unjust in addition to politically and economically disastrous for the conquering international locations. by way of the mid-nineteenth century, despite the fact that, the main favorite British and French liberal thinkers, together with John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville, vigorously supported the conquest of non-European peoples. Pitts explains that this mirrored an increase in civilizational self-confidence, as theories of human growth turned extra triumphalist, much less nuanced, and not more tolerant of cultural distinction. while, imperial enlargement in a foreign country got here to be visible as a political undertaking that will help the emergence of sturdy liberal democracies inside of Europe.
Pitts exhibits that liberal thinkers frequently celebrated for respecting not just human equality and liberty but in addition pluralism supported an inegalitarian and decidedly nonhumanitarian overseas politics. but such moments symbolize now not an important characteristic of liberal inspiration yet a awesome departure from perspectives shared by means of accurately these late-eighteenth-century thinkers whom Mill and Tocqueville observed as their forebears.
Fluently written, A flip to Empire deals a singular evaluation of contemporary political idea and overseas justice, and an illuminating viewpoint on carrying on with debates over empire, intervention, and liberal political commitments.
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Additional resources for A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France
A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France by Jennifer Pitts