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Palgrave Macmillan

Empire and Environmental Anxiety

Health, Science, Art and Conservation in South Asia and Australasia, 1800-1920

ISBN 9780230312852
Publication Date June 2011
Formats Ebook (EPUB) Hardcover Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series

A fascinating new interpretation of imperialism and environmental change, revealing the anxieties imperialism generated through environmental transformation and interaction with unknown landscapes. Demonstrating that systematic deforestation accompanied anxieties about human-induced climate change, soil erosion, and a looming timber famine, the book illuminates colonial fears about the power of environments – and environmental change – to affect health. It looks at concerns at the ugliness of urban environments and attempts at improving their appearance, but it also argues that some of the conservation policies and bureaucracies that resulted from expressions of environmental anxiety represented a form of imperial control designed to generate revenue and to enable the more efficient exploitation of resources. Environmental anxiety tied together parts of South Asia and Australasia. Policies, people, plants and ideas were exchanged between these areas, but adapted in light of colonies' particular political, economic and environmental circumstances and problems.

JAMES BEATTIE has published nearly forty articles and chapters on Asian and Australasian environmental history, garden history, medical history, history of science and Asian art collecting, and sits on the editorial panels of several international journals, including Environment and History and New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. He is Senior Lecturer, History Programme, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

List of Figures
Notes on the Author
Origins of Environmental Anxieties
Imperial Health Anxieties
Colonial Aesthetic Anxieties
Scottish-trained Doctors: Environmental Anxieties and Imperial Development, 1780s-1870s
German Science and Imperial Forestry, 1840s-1900s
South Asian and Australasian Forestry: Anxieties and Exchanges, 1870s-1920s
Thwarting Imperial Agricultural Development: The Spectre of Drifting Sands, 1800s-1920s


'...a rich and complex book..' -Journal of the Australian Garden History Society
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