Lineages of Despotism and Development: British Colonialism by Matthew Lange

By Matthew Lange

Generally, social scientists have assumed that earlier imperialism hinders the longer term improvement clients of colonized international locations. difficult this frequent trust, Matthew Lange argues in Lineages of Despotism and improvement that nations as soon as less than direct British imperial keep an eye on have built extra effectively than those who have been governed indirectly.            Combining statistical research with in-depth case reports of former British colonies, this quantity argues that direct rule promoted cogent and coherent states with excessive degrees of bureaucratization and inclusiveness, which contributed to enforcing improvement coverage in the course of overdue colonialism and independence. however, Lange unearths that oblique British rule created patrimonial, susceptible states that preyed on their lonesome populations. Firmly grounded within the culture of comparative-historical research whereas supplying clean perception into the colonial roots of asymmetric improvement, Lineages of Despotism and improvement will curiosity economists, sociologists, and political scientists alike.   (20080624)

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As a result, the British invested heavily in order to construct intrusive and effective institutions underpinning the colonies’ economies. Although less intensive than in Hong Kong and Singapore, Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) also experienced direct colonial rule. It differed, however, in that plantations were introduced and that the colony was much larger in terms of territory and indigenous population. Because the majority of the population lived outside of the plantations, the plantations evolved as economic enclaves within a larger system of socioeconomic relations, not totalizing institutions that shaped nearly all aspects of life as in the Caribbean (Beckford 1983).

After the conflict, the British attempted to prevent future disturbances by strengthening indigenous elites in some regions of the colony and allowing them to rule local lands along supposedly traditional lines. This form of rule became known as indirect rule. The British also conquered South Africa during the second period of colonial expansion. It began as a Dutch settler colony, was conquered by the British during the late eighteenth century, and subsequently became a British settler colony with large Dutch and African populations.

With this influx, the African population in the British West Indies increased from 25 percent of the total population in 1650 to 90 percent in 1770 (Abernethy 2000: 54). The settler colonies differed from the plantation colonies in several ways (Beckford 1983: 813; Ferguson 2002: 60–113). Although more rugged than and quite independent from their motherland, the settler colonies were for all intents and purposes British transplants. With the Native American population declining and pushed westward, peoples of European origins soon dominated all aspects of life in Canada and the United States.

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