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Reading Niall Ferguson's Empire (Part 4)

At last, I'm in the Chapter 2: White Plague (-p.64).  Well, there are a number of interesting sentences. 

One of the great puzzles of the 1780s is therefore, why it was to France - where taxes were much ligher and less regressive - rather than to Britain that political revolution finally came in the 1780s. (p.46)

I did not know that.  My guess is that democracy is an efficient instrument of outlet for national discontent.  The impeachment of Hastings vividly ilustrates the point.

This marked the beginning of what would become an institution celebrated for its sea-green incorruptibility - the Indian Civil Service. (p.50)

I did not know that, either.

No other country in the world came close to exporting so many of its habitants. (p.53)

Of course, it speaks of Britain.

But could an empire, implying as it did British rule over foreign lands, be based on liberty? (p.54)

Good question.  Sometims, the merit of reading books is not in getting information or knowledge, but in getting proper and interesting questions.

So Ireland was the experimental laboratory of British colonization and Ulster was the prototype plantation. (p.57)


One of the most important questions of modern history is why the North European settlement of North America had such different results from the South European settlement of South America. (p.58)

I agree.

In short, the economics of British America were precarious; and by economics alone British America could not have been built.  Something more was needed - an additional inducement to cross the Atlantic over and above the profit motive.  That something turned out to be religious fundamentalism. (p.61)

Very good and quite convincing.

New England really was a new England, far more than New Spain would ever be a new Spain.

A great composition.  Ok, so far, still, so good.


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