Zoë Laidlaw
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Imperial complicity
Indigenous dispossession in British history and history writing
in Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world
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Following emancipation in 1833 there was an increasing divergence in British colonial policy and thinking about the empire between, on the one hand, the treatment of those freed from enslavement and the conditions of migrant non-European indentured labour and on the other aboriginal peoples. As white settler societies expanded, aboriginal peoples were increasingly dispossessed, murdered and systematically disadvantaged. In this chapter, Zoë Laidlaw examines the ramifications of this disjuncture in the work of both organisations like the Aborigines Protection Society and in men like Earl Grey, one of the key imperial politicians of the age. The disjuncture is also apparent in much work in imperial history. In order to overcome this it is argued that bringing together the threads of connections between different imperial sites we can better understand the nature of the imperial state and bring into the same framework indigenous dispossession and slavery and labour exploitation.

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