The Dynamics of Empire and Expansion

  • Ronald Hyam
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series


There used to be a theory that territories came under the British flag as a result of the export of surplus capital. It would be much truer to say that the driving force behind empire-building was rather the export of surplus energy: that the expansion of Britain was the overspill of a restless people. The explorer Sir Samuel Baker wrote in 1855:1

Englishmen … are naturally endowed with a spirit of adventure. There is in the hearts of all a germ of freedom which longs to break through the barriers that confine us to our own shores; and as the newborn wildfowl takes to water from its deserted egg-shell, so we wander over the world when launched on our own resources.

This innate spirit of action is the mainspring of the power of England. Go where you will, from north to south and from east to west, you meet an Englishman.


Secret Society British Empire White Mask Sexual Opportunity Grand Master 
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Copyright information

© Ronald Hyam 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Hyam
    • 1
  1. 1.Magdalene CollegeCambridgeUK

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