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Empire Notes

History Notes > History of the British Isles V: 1685–1830 Notes

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1. What was the impact of the Empire?The Brit Empire grew hugely over the period e.g. start of C18th, pop of Eng North America = 265,000. X 9 by 1777. E.g. - First West Indian settlements = early C17th (Barbados, Leeward Islands). Total pop at start of C18th = 145,000. 3/4 = black slaves. Pop =
almost 900,000 by 1815. 745,000 = slaves.It was only really after 1760 that a single British Empire was talked of.
- The influx of new products into Britain had a significant impact (emph by J Walvin). Even if not from the Brit Empire, GLOBALISM was the real impact.
- Development of consumerism
- Implications for general wealth, rise of MC.
- Slavery had an important impact on Brit wealth. Brit slave trade exported >3.4mill people from Africa 16621807 (abolished).
- "The process was part of a much broader domestic Case study: tea
- From China (not in Empire)
- By late 1600s, began to make impression on the English elite.
- E.g. Samuel Pepys reported on 25 Sept 1660 after a meeting about peace with Spain, war with France and Holland, his colleagues 'did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink)'.
- The EIComp papers show take-off: 1720s: 9 mill pounds tea imported. 1730s: 11.5mill 1740s; 20mill 1750s: 37mill Cost fell from PS0.10 1713-21 to PS0.05 1741 onwards.
- Eventually spread down social ranks: Jonas Hanway, 1757 - complained about 'your servants' servants'' demands for tea. revolution... namely the rise of modern material consumption" (Walvin).Link: social mobility increased? More accessible feature of UC life to copy.Increased rivalry with European states.
- Had impact on military - boosted development.
- Walvin sees this as the second prong to the crucial impact of Empire on Brit (fiscal development being the first): "the development of that remarkable fiscal-military state".Helped to develop nat identity (Wilson emph).

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