Reconciling empire
English political economy and the Spanish imperial model, 1660–90
in Making the British empire, 1660–1800
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This chapter tackles a key theme within recent historiography on the first British empire: political economy. It engages with scholarship on the different ideas that existed about land and labour, not least involving Whigs and Tories. It argues that it is vital to explore how these ideological perspectives played out in colonial settings, and at the ‘periphery’. The aim is to suggest that Whig and Tory views within the colonies did not necessarily map precisely onto English party divisions, and that the views of the latter, on issues like slavery, monopolies, labour and prerogative power, were adapted on the ground and in relation to experiences and local circumstances.

Editor: Jason Peacey


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