Can someone translate this into English!

  • 0 votes

This is a source in my history textbook, an extract from 'The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume IV'. I get the general idea, but I don't really understand it.

"Hobson argued that mal-distribution of wealth at home meant that domestic markets were characterised by under-consumption. Since excess savings could not be profitably invested in these artificially saturated markets at home, they were forced to seek less dependable outlets overseas. This new imperialism was manipulated by parasitic interests: arms manufacturers and shippers, aristocrats anxious to find jobs for less talented sons in military or colonial civil services or as planters, ranchers, or missionaries. Co-ordinating their activities were international financiers whose interests were only indirectly responsive to British interests. But while only a narrow coterie benefited from the Empire, its costs were borne by the nation as a whole."

Could someone explain this without dumming it down.

Posted Sat 7th April, 2012 @ 01:46 by Former Member

2 Answers

  • 1 vote

Okay, so the entire passage is pretty much saying that Hobson said:

  • wealth was distributed badly, so some were very rich whilst there was extreme poverty
  • the extremely poor could not afford to buy clothes, books and other luxuries, so it was not worthwhile for salesmen to sell in Britain
  • therefore they began to sell abroad, mainly to the colonies - however this market was manipulated by people who wanted to advance their family interest
  • therefore, although in theory colonialism helped the British, they paid the costs as the market was manipulated by the upper classes 
Answered Sun 8th April, 2012 @ 17:37 by Tiula
  • 0 votes


Answered Sun 8th April, 2012 @ 23:53 by Former Member