Imperialism pp 248-283 | Cite as

The Exercise of Imperium

  • Philip D. Curtin
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


The imperialists were very much concerned about the proper way to rule an empire, even though their ideas were sometimes confined to administrative reports and memoranda for the internal use of the governments themselves. The nineteenth century was, also, the period when administration became far more complex in Europe itself, and each European government passed through phases of administrative consolidation and reform. In this process, European countries borrowed ideas from one another, and all arrived at a structure of bureaucracy sharing many common features, though each country retained its own administrative style. The imperial administrations took this bureaucratic tradition overseas, often simplifying and making it more uniform in the process, and some improvements in the technology of administration originated overseas—as in British India—only later being applied in the home country.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1971

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  • Philip D. Curtin

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