The 'Scramble for Africa' is the phrase often used to describe the apparent competition between European countries - Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spain - for territory, people and resources between 1880 and 1914. Professor Robert Bickers (University of Bristol), who will speak to us in October about 'The Shanghai British and the First World War', has written, superbly, about The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils and the Qing Empire, 1832-1914 (Penguin, 2011).
Scrambling, competing, each imperial nation seeking to outdo its rivals ... Our speaker this month, Richard Drayton, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King's College London, has focused on the ways in which, from the sixteenth century onwards, European imperial powers collaborated in linking together the human communities of their various empires into one world society, deploying science, Christianity, political economy, myths of empires as drivers of development and universal improvement, and extraordinary violence. Professor Drayton's lecture will examine this process and its legacy in the uneasy and unequal contemporary relationship between Europe and its diaspora and the peoples of Asia, Africa, South and Central America and the Pacific.
Professor Drayton's lecture will be followed by the Bath Branch Annual General Meeting, at which the lecture programme for the 2015-16 season will be published.