The Profits of Nature: Colonial Development and the Quest for Resources in 19th-Century China

Peter Lavelle ’02, Columbia University Press, March 2020

During a critical juncture in Chinese history, an unprecedented conjunction of natural disasters, domestic rebellions, and  foreign incursions created profound turmoil. The imperial government responded by introducing policies to bolster its power. In the process, officials launched campaigns for development of the empire’s lands, waters, and minerals. Lavelle offers a unique approach to understanding the dynamic relationship among social crises, colonialism, and the natural world. Lavelle is associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut.