PART ONE A briefhistory of the empire
The industrialrevolution A mill – a factory – a plant Smokestack industries Manufacturedgoods Production lines Produce on a massive scale = mass produce A loom – weave Unskilledworkers Long woringhours Streamline = rationalize A drudgery = a painful, backbreaking job The work force A cheap labour force A foreman Live below the poverty line / below the bread line The monied classes – the factoryowners – the industrialists Squalidtenements – slums Upgrade = improve A hugeincrease in the population Rampant urbanization
VOCABULARY Trade: commerce, affaires, échanges Overseastrade: commerce international Do a lot of tradewith A trade agreement A two-waytrade A trader The merchant class - merchandise A privateer: un corsaire A buccaneer: boucanier, filbustier A tradebarrier: barrière douanière Rawmaterials: matières premières Goods: bien (de consommation) A charteredcompany: société bénéficiant d’un privilège octroyé par la couronne Competition: concurrence Purchase = buy Covet a market: convoiter An outlet: un débouché Growth: la croissance A provider: un fournisseur To provide a country with Levy a duty: percevoir une taxe Import levy Enjoy a monopoly over Mercantile law
The birth of the empire The British command of the seas (after the defeat of the Spanish Armada) made it possible for the country to developtrade. The Crown encouragedprivate commercial venturesthrough the creation of charteredcompanies. The first fortifiedtradingpostsgraduallyextendedtheirpowers and gainedpolitical control over largerterritories. The Europeandemand for sugar and tobaccoled to the growth of the plantations and the ensuing slave trade. Englandexporteditsmanufacturedgoods and cloth to the colonies).
Navigation Acts • The Navigation Act 1660 : ships' crews (équipages) had to be three-quarters English, products not produced by the mother country, such as tobacco, cotton, and sugar were to be shipped from the colonies only to England or other English colonies. • The Navigation Act 1663 required all European goods bound for (à destination de) America (or other colonies) to be shipped through England first. The trade had to be carried in English ships, imports of 'enumerated commodities' (such as sugar, rice, and tobacco) had to be landed and taxes had to be paid before going on to other countries. This increased the cost to the colonies, and increased the shipping time.
East IndiaCompany Wall Painting This image was painted on the ceiling of the headquarters of the British East India Company in London in 1778. It uses a range of figures to illustrate different aspects of the work of the East India Company. Britannia is sitting on a rock to show how well established the empire was and is guarded by a lion to show its power. The children behind Britannia and under her protection represent the British East India Company. The stream of water at the bottom of the painting is the Indian river Ganges. Calcutta (the main settlement of the Company in Bengal) presents a basket with pearls and other jewels. China is represented by jars of porcelain and a box of tea, and Bengal by an elephant and a camel. In the background a ship is taking the treasures of the east back to Britain.
Mercantilism Englandaimedatreaching self-sufficiency. To do so, the naval strengthhad to bereinforced and colonial tradehad to beregulated. Several Navigation Actswerepassed as early as 1651. Theyaimedat putting an end to the increasing power of Dutchmerchants and werepassedagainstthe backdrop of the development of the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Theystipulatedthat English tradewas to beconducted by English vesselsonly.
In keeping with the general policy of mercantilism, England encouraged the colonists to specialize in the production of raw materials. English factories converted raw goods to products which were then shipped back to the colonies. This provided the British with a profitable market, free from competition. In order to discourage manufacturing, regulations governed certain industries that would have been competitive with the British, such as the woolen-garment industry, hat making, and the iron industry. Meeting domestic needs was permissible within the regulations; they were intended mainly to prevent exports. In fact, there were many advantages that the colonists received from this system, such as having a built-in market for their raw products.
The Secret of England’s Greatness (1863) by Thomas Jones Barker • It depicts Queen Victoria presenting a bible to a kneeling African chief in the Audience Chamber at Windsor. • In the background are her husband, Albert, and members of the government. The painting was reproduced in engravings and was very popular at the time. • Despite the frequent depiction of empire as a masculine world, the queen was the symbolic figurehead of the British Empire.
PART TWO Mapping the empire
The Map of Empire: A conversation with Linda Colley “Very often, as I say in the book, the map mades the empire seem even more connected, by presenting stretches of homogeneous red territory joined by a web of telegraph wires extending across the world. It is a very powerful image, and of course it was intended to be a very powerful image, but one's got to go beyond it. As for the use of pink on imperial maps, as far as the British are concerned-the first time that I know that it happens is in James Rennell's maps of India from the 1770's/1780's. You can see him using pink and red there. Now I don't know how pink and red came to be the British color. It could be because British troops wore red coats. I'm not sure if cartographic scholars have worked that out. But that convention does seem to be coming into maps in the last third of the eighteenth century, which is exactly what you would expect, and becoming much more pronounced over the course of the nineteenth century.” http://www.princeton.edu/prok/issues/2-2/colley.xml
PART THREE Depicting the colonized
This watercolour (aquarelle) istakenfrom an illustrated book. • It features all the peoples who compose / make up the British Empire. • The frame (le cadre) isrichlydecorated, itscolorsbeing in harmonywiththose of the British flag. • In the top right and left hand corner, twocornucopias (cornes d’abondance) withgrapes and exotic fruit symboolize the wealth of the Empire.
In the foreground, two colonial officials are leading the retinue (cortège). • They are followed by the representants of verious continents (NorthAmerica, Africa, Asia). • The British flag stands in the middle of the crowd. • Fartherbeyond, an elephantrepresentsIndia, « the jewel of the crown », as itisusuallycalled. • The colonized people are dressed in traditional costumes.
Johan Zoffany, 1790, 'Colonel Mordaunt watching a cock fight at Lucknow', India.
The scene is set in a tent, under which Company officers and administrators from the East India Company are sitting. • In the foreground two cocks with metal spurs fight, watched by attendants. Various members of the surrounding Indian crowd hold their fighting cocks in readiness for their turn. • A group of women stand apart on the left with musicians behind them. • This picture once belonged to Warren Hastings (1732-1818), the first Governor-General of India. • It shows that colonial officers delighted in the exotic spectacles and liked being entertained by the local populations. The British administrators are in a superior position; they stand on a plateform, under a redcanopythatdistinguishesthemfrom the colorfulcrowd. Theyseem to despise (mépriser) these traditions.
The ceremony of AyudhaPuja, 1850-54 This watercolor documents the celebration of a traditionalceremony in UttarPradesh. It suggeststhat the colonizersrespected local customs even if the Indianpriests are surrounded by many British soldiers and have to performtheirceremonyunder British authority. The flag, represented in the middle of the picturesymbolizes British rule in India.
British Empire Throughout the World Exhibited In One View, 1872 British Empire Throughout the World Exhibited In One View. Compiled By John Bartholomew Junr. F.R.G.S. A. Fullarton & Co. Edinburgh, London & Dublin. Author: Fullarton, A. & Co. Date: 1872 This historical cartographic image is part of the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
THE BRITISH EMPIRE, 1886 Illustratedmap by M.P. Formerly An inset: un encart A peacock: un pan Feathers: plumes A shield: un bouclier A trident: un trident A headdress: une coiffe A cornucopia: corne d’abondance A dove: une colombre