Asian migration and the British World, c.1850–c.1914
in Empire, migration and identity in the British world
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This chapter explores shifting attitudes towards Asian migrants within the British World from the 1850s when European and 'free' Asian migration increased to the temperate zones, which were thought most suited to European settlement. It provides how networks of people and information spread shared concepts of 'Asians' which transcended class barriers. The chapter discusses how the desire to limit Asian migration posed a serious challenge to the unity of the British Empire. It considers throughout why a British World could conceptually materialise across strong networks of people and ideology, but why wider imperial federation and citizenship remained elusive. The notion of imperial citizenship thus lost all meaning, despite the Colonial Office continuing to advocate it and to insist hollowly that Indians and other non-whites were not second class imperial subjects.

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