Empire, migration and identity in the British world

This book introduces the reader to emerging research in the broad field of 'imperial migration' and shows how this 'new' migration scholarship had developed our understanding of the British World. This is done through an analysis of some of former colonies of British Empire such as Australia, Canada, India and Zambia. The book focuses on the ideas of Reverend Thomas Malthus of how population movements presaged forces within sectors of a pre-industrial economy. The formation of national and imperial identities along racial lines in the mid-nineteenth century is covered by an analysis of the mid-nineteenth century British censuses. The clergy played a pivotal role in the importation and diffusion of a sense of British identity (and morality) to Australian churchgoers. The resistance and accommodation of Welsh Presbyterianism in Eastern Bengal is investigated through the varieties of engagement with Indian Christians and non-Christians. The book argues that Asian migration and the perceived threat it posed to the settler colonies was an issue which could unite these seemingly incongruent elements of the British World. Child migration has become a very sensitive and politically charged issue, and the book examines one of the lesser studied child migration agencies, the Middlemore Children's Emigration Homes. The book also deals with the cultural cross-currents in the construction of an Anglo-Canadian or 'Britannic' national identity. The white settlers' decisions to stay on after independence was granted to Zambia are instructive as it fills an important gap in our understanding of Africa's colonial legacy.


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