Robbins, William G.
Colony and Empire: The Capitalist Transformation of the American West
. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1994.Robbins’
Colony and Empire
presents the west as a massive underdevelopedarea that was envisioned as a source of enormous profit by businessman in thelarge financial centers of the western world. Following the revisionist “New Western”History model, Robbins views the history of the west without the usual romanticexceptionalism tendency attempting to show the “true” west.Robbins defines the west as from the ninety-eighth meridian west to thePacific, not including Hawaii or Alaska. This is a massive area encompassingseventeen states. This area has many different complex geographic and culturalfactors.Robbins defines his thesis on page three: “The movement of capital frompoints of accumulation to points of investment triggered mass migrations anddisrupted indigenous populations worldwide, circumstances that reflect the totalityof the modernizing forces that must be called “global capitalism”. For Robbins,understanding capitalism is essential to understanding the history of the west.Robbins argues the total ideology of capitalism is a social and political ideology, not just an economic factor, which was typified by the development of the AmericanWest. Robbins highlights the complexity of the capitalist networks in the west.Robbins believed the development of the West created a system of dependency. Robbins views the west as a place where foreign capital andinvestment dictated its development and a place of “greed, debasement and