Clocks, Sabbaths and seven-day weeks
The forging of European temporal identities
in The colonisation of time
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Europeans who travelled to and from the colonies, with or without clocks at their disposal, carried a set of internal temporal values and beliefs that were intrinsically connected to the convictions of their age. This chapter investigates how to generate a rhythm of life that was quite distinct from any other in the world, the clock and the seven-day week reinforced the colonisers' sense of who they were: a modern, God- and time-aware civilisation. Before the invention of the first European mechanical clocks, monastic communities relied on a host of relatively inaccurate devices and contraptions designed to keep track of time. In the emerging temporal landscape that was gradually shaped by the mechanical clock, time also helped forge social boundaries within European communities. The trend towards the centralisation of time did not stop at the geo-graphical borders of Europe but continued until it had encompassed the entire globe.

The colonisation of time

Ritual, routine and resistance in the British Empire

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