Recent Themes in the Environmental History of the British Empire
Beattie, J. (2012). Recent Themes in the Environmental History of the British Empire. History Compass, 10(2), 129-139.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8056
Accessing and controlling environments underpinned British imperialism. Imperialism gave Britain control over millions of hectares of cropland and access to countless other resources. In the search for efficient ways of using natural resources, British imperialism shifted flora, fauna and commodities around the world. Ecological disruption and radical environmental changes never before experienced in history resulted. Imperialism also contributed to the production of many modern attitudes and disciplines through which we now understand nature. Given the fundamental importance of the use and role of natural resources in British imperialism, this article presents an overview of its environmental historiography, examining issues of agency, scale and exchange.