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Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World
Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780141007540
Pages: 448
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Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World is an alternative viewpoint, deviating from the common theme of fighting against imperialism and colonization. From the 14th century onward, European countries vied with each other to acquire land and resources outside their own geographical and political boundaries. The discovery of the vast territories of America spurred the race into a frenzy.

The British settled in the vast open spaces of America, especially Virginia. Slowly, they started to acquire other lands in the New World. The colonial powers were also in a scramble to gain control of Asia and Africa. Ultimately, the British gained control of a majority of these lands. Empire : How Britain Made the Modern World says that the British viewed their acquisitions as places to settle in and exploit, rather than plunder and run as the Spaniards did.

The author says that this was ultimately for the good in America, as the British settlers slowly spread out, acquired land, exploited the natural resources, and made a country. He explains how in Africa, the Europeans united thousands of little tribal kingdoms and created 40 nations in about two decades. Then, they set out exploiting the resources in these territories. The British took over half of Africa. He talks about the missionaries and says that the colonists viewed themselves as taking civilization and commerce to heathens. He picks on the most famous of them all, David Livingston, and relates his exploits.