Wales and the British overseas empire

Interactions and influences, 1650–1830

Editor: H. V. Bowen

Written by leading specialists in the field, this book is a collection of essays that explore economic, social, cultural, political, and religious interactions between Wales and the empire. It discusses the many relationships that developed between Wales and the British overseas empire between 1650 and 1830. The book looks at Welsh influences on the emergence of 'British' imperialism, as well as the impact that the empire had upon the development of Wales itself. Using the West Indian and East Indian connection, the book quantifies different interactions that occurred between Wales and the overseas empire. It highlights how expansion in Asia served to draw Wales and the Welsh into the domestic and overseas worlds of the London-based East India Company. The book also explores the aspects of the impact that expansion had upon the development of the Welsh economy. The focus then turns to the Atlantic-facing parts of the Welsh economy. How British expansion in the Atlantic basin opened up opportunities for people from Wales to take a prominent place in international communities of religious thought and belief is shown. Participation in an expanding spiritual empire brought like-minded individuals together in transoceanic networks and this engagement helped to shape the emergence of Welsh evangelical identities. Finally, Welsh interactions with the nascent British empire in India are analysed. Much work remains to be done if Wales is to be fully integrated into the British imperial historiography and the empire is to be afforded a central role in the writing of Welsh history.

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