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Frozen EmpiresAn Environmental History of the Antarctic Peninsula$
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Adrian Howkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190249144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190249144.001.0001

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An Environmental History of Decolonization

An Environmental History of Decolonization

(p.83) 3 An Environmental History of Decolonization
Frozen Empires

Adrian Howkins

Oxford University Press

The contest between British imperialism and South American nationalism connects the Antarctic Peninsula region to a much broader mid-twentieth-century history of decolonization. Given the centrality of the environment to the politics of the region, this chapter suggests that the dispute over sovereignty can usefully be viewed as an environmental history of decolonization. The challenge to British imperial claims also came from economic concerns, a loss of imperial will, and rivalry from the United States and the Soviet Union. In responding to these various threats, the British redoubled their assertions of environmental authority in the region through a secret wartime expedition known as Operation Tabarin (which after the conflict became known as the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey). The chapter suggests that the history of the Antarctic Peninsula region in the 1940s and 1950s might provide a model for thinking about environmental histories of decolonization in other parts of the world.

Keywords:   decolonization, United States, Soviet Union, Operation Tabarin, Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey

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