How do empires work?
This free course asks you to think about what glues empires together: what makes an empire into a ‘system of power’? It does this by looking at dramatic events in 1842, when Royal Navy ships and British East India troops penetrated right into the inland heart of the Chinese empire, 120 miles up the Yangzi River. It shows what military, economic, cultural and logistical components made up the contrasting British (maritime) and Chinese (land) empires. It uses this analysis to explain how Britain could successfully overawe another, mighty empire thousands of miles away from Europe, and so gain Hong Kong.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.