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Title: Review of 'Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939'. By James Belich: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009. 592pp. NZ price: $64.99. ISBN 978-0-19-929727-6.
Contributor(s): Lloyd, Christopher  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: James Belich sets out to describe and explain the remarkable explosion in the nineteenth century in the size and wealth of the Anglo world, reflected in its massive population growth, the rise of megacities and expansion of its industrial wealth, taking an approach which is resolutely and applaudably historical, conceptual and comparative. This is grand history on a global scale, an outstanding contribution to the world history genre that has produced many excellent books in recent years. Indeed, Belich firmly situates his work within this field and takes issue with many of the central themes and debates about the driving forces of the European Age of global history, especially the rise to centrality of the English-speaking nations. That the Anglo world would become so central and powerful was not at all predictable before the mid-eighteenth century. Indeed, the Spanish world, the French world, the Chinese world, and even the Indian and Russian worlds, were larger, richer and more powerful, at least until the early eighteenth century. After that time, and in spite of, or perhaps because of, the American War of Independence (which initially sundered the Anglo Atlantic zone), from 1815 the demographically and economically reunifying Anglo zone rapidly moved to centre stage. It has remained there ever since, eclipsing and sometimes militarily defeating rival zones. But now, in the twenty-first century, it seems the Anglo world is at last losing its hegemony, to be replaced probably not by a new hegemonic zone, based in China or India or Europe, but by a much more complex interstate and non-state system with far greater flows of knowledge and understanding of the whole by the particular and far greater human subjective agency. It seems clear that no zone will dominate again.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: New Zealand Journal of History, 44(2), p. 190-194
Publisher: University of Auckland
Place of Publication: Auckland, New Zealand
ISSN: 0028-8322
Field of Research (FOR): 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
140203 Economic History
160806 Social Theory
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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