Richard J. Evans: Empire - Exploitation And Resistance: This lecture looks at the impact of empire on the colonizers and the colonized. In Europe, ideologies of imperialism emerged, increasingly mingled with racism. These had a material effect on the attitudes of political elites that helped push Europe towards war in 1914. Critics of imperialism argued that colonies were crucial mainly to ensure the continued existence of capitalist economies. Economic exploitation was indeed a key part of imperial rule, as settlers grabbed land to farm, merchants, traders and planters sought profits in commodities such as rubber and coffee, and state administrators tried to minimize the costs of running the colonies by turning them into profitable enterprises. In many cases, notoriously the Belgian Congo, this led to horrific acts of cruelty against indigenous people conscripted as labourers. At the same time, economic imperatives led to attempts to develop the colonies, to provide a transport infrastructure, and to train and educate indigenous elites to meet modern economic needs. This sowed the seeds of later movements of national resistance and liberation.
For transcript and download versions of this lecture, please visit the event's page on the Gresham College website: The Rise and Fall of European Empires from the 16th to the 20th Century: Exploitation and Resistance."
Professor Sir Richard J. Evans FBA
Professor Richard J. Evans FBA is Regius
Professor of Modern History and President of Wolfson College at the University
has lectured extensively all over the world at a variety of literary festivals
and events, is widely published and is a frequent contributor to the broadcast
media and the press.
He has been Editor of theJournal
of Contemporary Historysince
1998 and a judge of the Wolfson Literary Award for History since 1993.
His most recent publication was the third volume of his monumental large-scale
history of the Third Reich,The Third Reich at War, which was
published in 2008.
Evans's area of research interest lies predominantly in German history,
especially social and cultural history, since the mid-nineteenth century.
He has worked on movements of emancipation and liberation, including the
feminist movement and the labour movement, on social inequality in the urban
environment, and on the social history of death and disease. His work on
the history of crime has involved examining literary discourses and their
interaction with social models of deviance, both those articulated by the
authorities and those lived by deviants themselves. Since acting as
principal expert witness in the David Irving libel trial before the High Court
in London in 2000, his work has dealt with Holocaust denial and the clash of
epistemologies when history enters the courtroom.