As the nineteenth century progressed more and more of the world was taken and controlled by European nations.
At the height of its power the British Empire covered a quarter of the earth and held sway over a fifth of its population.
But what were the social and economic implications of imperialism?
And was imperialism profitable?
J. A. Hobson’s seminal account of 19th century European, published over 100 years ago, goes far to answer these questions and ultimately provides a damning critique of it.
Studying its impact in Asia, Africa, Canada and everywhere else that Europeans dominated Hobson analyses why such an economic system developed and what imperialism actually meant to the varying regions.
Imperialism, by J. A. Hobson, was one of the foremost political studies of the twentieth century that influenced many writers including Nikolai Bukharin, Vladimir Lenin and Hannah Arendt.
‘Hobson’s Imperialism belongs to the small group of books in the years from 1900 to the outbreak of war that have definitely changed the contours of social thought.’ The Guardian.
‘Hobson’s book remains an indispensable starting point for the understanding of imperialism.’ John Newsinger
J. A. Hobson (1858-1940) was an English economist and early social theorist. In Imperialism, published in 1902, he argued that imperial expansion was caused by the need to find new markets for the output of the Industrial Revolution, resulting in capitalistic exploitation of the colonies, and leading to international conflict.
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