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Modernizing NatureForestry and Imperial Eco-Development 1800-1950$
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S. Ravi Rajan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277964.001.0001

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The Empire of Nature

The Empire of Nature

(p.55) 3 The Empire of Nature
Modernizing Nature


Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the growth of the idea of forest conservancy in the British Empire throughout the 19th century. It begins by examining the period 1800-60, when colonial scientists in India, and to an extent the Cape, began to lobby their respective governments to establish permanent forest conservancy. The primary method in this section of the chapter is prosopography. By compiling a collective biography of the key scientists involved in the campaign in India and the Cape, as identified from historical accounts and publications, it builds a picture of their intellectual networks and thereby explores their motivations and agendas. The second half of the chapter concentrates on India in the second half of the 19th century and examines the agendas of the Indian forestry community, culminating in the publication of Schlich's Manual of Forestry. A central concern throughout the chapter is to determine whether and to what extent the European forestry tradition influenced the formation of agendas in the British Empire.

Keywords:   forest conservancy, Manual of Forestry, Cape, Indian forestry

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