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Reordering the WorldEssays on Liberalism and Empire$
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Duncan Bell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138787.001.0001

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(De)Colonizing Liberalism

(p.363) Coda
Reordering the World

Duncan Bell

Princeton University Press

This chapter revisits some of the main lines of argument developed in the preceding chapters. Reiterating the centrality of historical-mindedness and settler colonialism in nineteenth-century visions of empire, it concludes with some tentative suggestions about the need to “de-colonize” liberalism, to seek ways to acknowledge and transcend the legacies of colonial occupation and rule, rather than either ignoring this tainted history or rejecting liberalism altogether. It argues that British liberalism was broadly coeval with the second settler empire. It was, in large part, a product of the violent dissolution of the thirteen colonies in North America, the revolutionary upheavals in France, and the tidal wave of economic, social, and political change that they unleashed.

Keywords:   liberalism, political thought, colonialism, empire

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