Daniel R. Headrick, The Tools of Empire

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Daniel R. Headrick's book is a staple of history teaching in the United States, discussing as it does, the rise of Europeans in the 'New' World, due to the introduction of new technologies that aided the advent of travel and conquests in these previously unexplored regions of the world.


He argues throughout the book, with reference to many well-researched examples, that pre-Industrial Revolution, the journeying, living and conquering of such regions simply was not possible, as the technology was just not available for this to be achieved, managed or sustained successfully. However, as Headrick argues, with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the technological advances this forged, these technological advances allowed people to travel and live in countries other than their own, such that the expansion of the Empire became possible at this period in history.
Continuing on from this general introduction, throughout the book, Headrick analyzes the technological advances that allowed this dominance to proceed, both by presenting a straight-forward mechanical analysis of the actions of the people and the inventions and technological advances involved, and by presenting a detailed analysis of secondary sources, which allows him to offer an interpretation of the thoughts and motivations of the people involved; this e ...
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