Imperialism In Linda Colley's The Ordeal Of Elizabeth Marsh

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At the start of the 18th century Britain begun to explore foreign lands to expand the breadth of its empire further than its present conquests. The reasons for Britain’s newfound desire to expand its empire are numerous and varied, but can be categorized into three groups: economic, religious and military. It is important to first understand these broad reasons for Britain’s expansionist objectives because they underscore how it was that they came to become, by the early nineteenth century, the largest empire in the world. Economic, religious and military constructs of the British empire are especially clear in Linda Colley’s historical biography, The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh, where the characters present in Marsh’s life, including herself, come in contact with Britain’s imperialist endeavors. By telling the story of Elizabeth Marsh, Colley is able to tell the story of others greatly affected by globalization and British imperialism both positively and negatively. Prior to his bankruptcy in 1767, Elizabeth Marsh’s husband, James Crisp, was a successful merchant whereby he traded a myriad of goods around the world. As Colley explains, the most significant of Crisp’s chosen…show more content…
When cargo ships commissioned by Crisp were deprived the market value of their goods due to severe shortages in Genoa, Britain became involved with setting the precedent that the free market cannot be disturbed by country specific events. These involvements of Britain in various merchant affairs throughout Europe highlight how important it was in their view to remain in complete control of the money being moved. They understood that if they were going to remain a world power after the Seven Years War they needed to monitor trade because that was their most valuable bargaining tool. (Colley
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