Copper Empire is a study of the evolving relationship between the British colonial state and the copper mining industry in Northern Rhodesia, from the early stages of development to decolonization, encompassing depression, wartime mobilisation and the Cold War, during which there were fundamental changes in the nature and context of colonial rule. It explores the vital importance of Northern Rhodesian copper to British economic and strategic interests, and to Britain's ambitious post-war plans to integrate its Central African territories. Against the background of the disintegration of the Central African Federation, the book examines the implications of decolonization for the Northern Rhodesian copper industry, and the industry's responses. Among the key themes addressed are contemporary debates on the ownership of mineral resources and on the colonial state's responsibility to promote and control mining development and the wealth it generated.

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