Civilisation britannique

Civilisation britannique

Discipline rare Non


The British world (1780-2020)  

The course will deal with the numerous connections between Great Britain and its Empire and Commonwealth:
- from the first to the second British Empire (17th-19th C.); from the slave trade to the abolition of slavery (1833)
- the heyday of British imperialism (1870-1940): territorial expansion, colonial warfare and the informal Empire
- the “Empire project” / “Greater Britain”: imperial monarchy, the imperial federation, rituals and ceremonials (1870-1940)
- the economics of the Empire; the impact of colonisation on native peoples
- imperialism “at home”: Orientalism and popular culture (colonial exhibitions, imperialist literature, racism, etc.); British anti-imperialism
- migrations in the British world
- an Empire of knowledge: science, culture and imperial domination; religion and the missionary movement
- imperialism and the environment
- gender and Empire
- from decolonisation to the modern Commonwealth (1930-2020)
- conflicting memories and historical controversies surrounding the Empire

Volume horaire

  • CM : 1
  • TD : 2
  • Nombre de semaines : 13
  • Modalité de controle: Controle mixte


Compulsory reading :

Ashley Jackson, The British Empire. A very short introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Recommended reading :

Nigel Dalziel, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire, Londres, Penguin, 2006

John Darwin, The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009, 800 p.

Oxford History of the British Empire, Oxford University Press (general editor: William Roger LOUIS):

volumes 3 (Andrew Porter ed., The Nineteenth Century, 1999) and 4 (Judith M. Brown and Wm. Roger Louis eds., The Twentieth Century, 1999)

A handout of documents taken from primary sources will be distributed during the first class.

Diplômes intégrant cette UE

En bref

Crédits ECTS 5

Langue d'enseignement





Email : Fabrice.Bensimon @


  • Sorbonne - 1, rue Victor Cousin 75005 Paris