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History Great Britain

Building Better Britains?

Settler Societies in the British World, 1783-1920

by (author) Cecilia Morgan

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Great Britain, 19th Century, 18th Century
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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The impact of empires and the lingering presence of colonialism continue to be major preoccupations for scholars in the twenty-first century. This concise text explores the spread of settler colonies within the British Empire over the course of the nineteenth century, specifically those in New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.




In Building Better Britains?, Cecilia Morgan examines how imperial powers reshaped the lives and landscapes of millions through colonial relationships with Indigenous peoples, and the processes of migration and settlement that facilitated the British Empire’s global expansion. Identity and culture in geographically diverse settler societies are compared, highlighting shared histories and the nuances that differentiated them. Morgan encourages readers to consider settler societies from multiple perspectives, including those of the colonists themselves. Eight maps and eight illustrations enhance the text, along with a bibliography and index.

About the author

Cecilia Morgan is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She is the author of Commemorating Canada: History, Heritage, and Memory, 1850–1990s (2016), as well as Creating Colonial Pasts: History, Memory, and Commemoration in Southern Ontario, 1860–1980 (2015).

Cecilia Morgan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘The text is incredibly timely… Morgan successfully uncovers the complexities of the British world colonial encounter… Future historians can now build upon the platform and further broach questions of interaction between settler societies, and whether settles societies were really better Britains.’

Canadian Historical Review vol 99:01:2018

"[Building Better Britians?] is the most ambitious volume in the series, in terms of both its geographical and its chronological reach."

British Journal of Canadian Studies, vol 31 no 1

‘A useful addition to the growing field of settler colonialism, this book is an excellent introduction to the topic… Highly recommended.’

Choice Magazine vol 55:02:2017

"Building Better Britains? Is a well-crafted and necessary study of the complexities of emergent settler polities in the nineteenth century…This book will be a welcome addition to those teaching or studying the complicated histories of settler colonialism or nineteenth-century British imperialism."

Victorian Studies, Indiana University-vol 60.2 Winter 2018