Chapter

Measuring the World: Exploration, Empire and the Reform of the Royal Geographical Society, c. 1874–93

Max Jones

in The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263266
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734854 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263266.003.0014

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Measuring the World: Exploration, Empire and the Reform of the Royal Geographical Society, c. 1874–93

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This chapter discusses the relationship between geography, exploration and empire. It focuses on the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and how it influenced the organisation of knowledge in Victorian Britain. It describes the transformation of the RGS, resulting from four forces in which new imperialism acted as catalyst rather than a cause: firstly, the scientific revolution unleashed by the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859; secondly, the global rise of ideas of bureaucratic government and expertise; thirdly, the expansion of the British education system; and finally, the challenge posed by the inexorable extension of the map of the world.

Keywords: geography; exploration; empire; Royal Geographic Society; knowledge; imperialism; scientific revolution; Origin of Species; bureaucratic government; British education system

Chapter.  10776 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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