In a by now classic definition, European expansion in the nineteenth century has been characterised as the integration of large tracts of the earth's surface into a world-economy dominated by Britain,. Distinctions are conventionally drawn between two processes of integration: on the one hand, the creation of new economies by European settlement in ‘empty’ lands of temperate climate, from which a thinly scattered indigenous population had been displaced, and, on the other, the subordination and partial development of existing economic systems in densely populated tropical areas. Migration from Europe clearly had a role in both processes. It was crucial to the first: economic integration of ‘new’ lands could hardly take place without it, or at least historically it has not done so. The role of European migration in the second process would appear to be more limited. Whites were only likely to be involved in productive processes of agriculture or manufacturing at the highest managerial levels or as technical experts, and much of the military and administrative underpinning deemed necessary for economic domination could be provided by Asian or African clerks and soldiers.