Help me find a quote about British imperialism
December 16, 2011 12:31 PM   Subscribe

What's the source for the quote about England conquering the world while asleep?

I'm trying to find a quote about British imperialist that's along the lines of "England conquered the world while asleep" but I can't remember the quote well enough. Does anybody know the quote I'm talking about and where it's from?
posted by mmmbacon to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is it this: "We seem... to have conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind. " - Sir John Seeley, "The Expansion of England" (1883)
I saw that here.
posted by pointystick at 12:52 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


From this?
"We seem, as it were, to have conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind."
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 12:55 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the context was that the British government wasn't especially eager expansion and colonization, but the all of these British merchants and exploration companies set up [often enormous] forts, plantations, warehouses, and the like, but when things got hairy and their private security forces couldn't deal with the population anymore, they petitioned the government to have the areas declared as British protectorates and had Royal troops "pacify" the region in the name of the England. Then they were left with a colony. Sometimes a country.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:13 PM on December 16, 2011


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