History Department
History Department

Conference explores pivotal period in British and world history

Wed, February 10, 2010
Conference explores pivotal period in British and world history
IHS conference: "1763 & All That: Temptations of Empire in the British World in the Decade After the Seven Years' War"

The IHS conference, “1763 and All That: Temptations of Empire in the British World in the Decade After the Seven Years' War,” will be held at the AT&T Conference Center and the IHS in Garrison Hall on The University of Texas campus. It is free and open to the public.

The conference will explore a pivotal period in British—and world—history. It is the critical decade following 1763 which saw the British begin to lose an empire in America and begin to obtain one in Asia in a global dynamic that encompassed events from Boston to Bengal.  

Over the course of this decade, Britons drastically transformed the way they viewed themselves and their empire. For the first time, British imperial policy extended to the governance of the French Catholic inhabitants of Canada, the Native people of the trans-Appalachian interior of North America, Africans in the new colony of Senegambia, and the twenty million inhabitants of Bengal subject to the authority of the East India Company. In Britain itself, the governance of this vastly extended empire engendered an enormous amount of bitter debate and anxious discussion in the halls of power as well as in the popular press.

Among historians of each of the different parts of the British World, this decade has long been seen as one of crucial importance. However, while invaluable work has been done to examine British and indigenous relations and exchanges in specific colonial contexts, as well as to examine connections between the metropolis and specific colonial regions, there has been as yet few attempts to interrogate the links across and between the colonial regions and to set developments in particular regions into the context of the transformation of the British Empire as a whole. The aim of the conference is to address this need by bringing scholars working on various aspects of the British World into dialogue and debate over the causes and character of the imperial transformation of the 1760s and early 1770s.

Department of History Professors Robert Olwell and James Vaughn conceived and organized this conference. They have assembled top historians from throughout the United States, Canada, and Britain who will use this conference to work toward a more complex and coherent understanding of the causes, events, and consequences of this critical period. 

Some of the panel themes include:

  • how the British imperial project changed after 1763,
  • how understandings of loyalty and rebellion were reconceived, and 
  • the complex relationship between empire and liberty in the British world.      

“1763 and All That” is sponsored by the IHS, the British Studies Program, and the Littlefield Fund for Southern History.

For a complete description, schedule, and link to free registration, please visit the IHS "1763 & All That conference page. The conference is free and open to the public.

For queries, please e-mail the IHS at: historyinstitute@austin.utexas.edu

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