Reading Niall Ferguson's Empire (Part 9)
Still in Chapter 5 (-p.282)
Some statistics on British investment in the empire (p.244).
(T)he terms of trade - the relationship between export and import prices - moved by around 10 per cent in Britain's favour between 1870 and 1974. (p.245)
What are the causes? I wonder.
Was the Empire really economically beneficial to the mass of British voter? (p.255)
Another good question. And the tricky answer of his is:
Yet imperialism did not have to pay to be popular. For many people it was sufficient that it was exciting. (p.255)
Right. This type of reasoning always reminds me of bread and circus in the case of Roman empire. I would say one of the merits of democracy and precisely the demerit of non-democracy is not that the politics is not exciting enough for the mass.
Northcliffe was also quick to discover the price elasticity of newspaper demand (p.258)
(The heroic archetypes of this popular imperialism) were members of an elite educated at Britain's exclusive public schools. (p.259)
(T)he British Empire of the 1890s resembled nothing more than an enormous sports complex. (p.260)
Hunting, rugby, and cricket!
Some description on phrenology and eugenics is found in pp.263-264.
(T)hey said rather less about the procreative efforts of those men who were deemed to be at the top of the evolutionary scale. (p.265)
The answer is that they were homosexuals (p.265).
What Vietnam was to the United States, the Boer War very nearly was to the British Empire, in two respects: its huge cost in both lives and money (p.276)