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Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire$
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G. A. Bremner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713326.001.0001

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Early Colonial Architecture

(p.19) 1 Beginnings
Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire

Daniel Maudlin

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the colonial architecture of the early British empire. Initially, colonists built the buildings they needed to survive and prosper in a range of locations and climates. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries colonial activity in the British Atlantic world, including Ireland, was typified by large-scale settlement and displacement of the indigenous population. Under the East India Company on the Indian subcontinent, however, colonial activity was largely restricted to trade, administration, and the government of the native population, whereas in West Africa it was exclusively related to trade. Across all these architectures there was a constant tension between the powerful universalizing force of a neoclassical design culture and the contingencies of local building production. However, overall, we may conclude that a coherent, intercontinental form of British imperial architecture was established by the late eighteenth century.

Keywords:   Atlantic world, early colonial, British empire, classicism, vernacular, architecture, India

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