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The French and three emperors in Vietnam

In the nineteenth century, the French were seeking an outpost in Southeast Asia to compete with the well established British, Dutch and Spanish, and at the end of the 1850s, gunboat diplomacy secured a foothold in Saigon. French occupation of Hué sparked four years of armed resistance in Annam and Tonkin that targeted the foreigners and Vietnamese Christians, the Can Vuong movement. From the emperor's hideout, an imperial edict was issued in Ham Nghi's name and under his seal. French residents of Vietnam appeared little troubled by the tempests. The French nevertheless maintained support for the throne in Hué, though with the sovereign reduced to virtual impotence. The circumstances of the exile of Ham Nghi in the 1880s, Thanh Thai in 1907 and Duy Tan in 1916 illustrate the difficult coexistence of a paramount colonial power and a vassal 'protected' monarchy.

in Banished potentates
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Royal travel between colonies and metropoles

Tours developed a personal relationship between sovereign and colonial subjects, such as, viceregal officials, settlers, indigenous peoples and diasporic migrants. The expansion of European colonial empires provided a strengthened imperative for royal tours. Royal tours have also produced more official accounts by court chroniclers, often published in illustrated commemorative albums. Libraries, museums and private collections, and even landscapes, thus abound with evidence of royal tours. Tours by 'native' monarchs from Africa, Asia and Oceania presented, arguably, an even more complex scenario than those by Europeans. Partly because of risks and reservations, long-distance travel by European monarchs and other royals really emerged as a phenomenon only in the mid-1800s. The royal visitor was the central actor in a tour, but was surrounded by an entourage of other people and a store of paraphernalia that played essential roles.

in Royals on tour
Open Access (free)

Gladstone's Government established a temporary military occupation of Egypt to ensure the victory at Tel-el-Kebir. Egypt employed a retired British officer, Lieutenant-General William Hicks, to lead an army of 11,000 men against the Mahdists, an offensive that ended in spectacular failure on the plain of Shaykan, near El Obeid, where his army was annihilated with only a few hundred survivors. Gladstone's cabinet wanted to evacuate the Egyptian garrisons from the Sudan as the rebels threatened further towns, including Khartoum. Gladstone reluctantly agreed to send a British relief force to Tokar. The ensuing campaign was extremely brief, but represented the first encounter of British forces with the Mahdists and their first experience of campaigning in the eastern Sudan. Some 4,000 men, drawn from the garrisons in Egypt, Aden and India, served under Sir Gerald Graham, VC. They comprised two brigades of infantry, including a body of Royal Marine Light Infantry, a cavalry brigade under Colonel Herbert Stewart, and a naval detachment operating three Gatling and three Gardner machine-guns.

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
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in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Indigenous people in British settler colonies, 1830s–1910

This book focuses on the ways in which the British settler colonies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa treated indigenous peoples in relation to political rights, commencing with the imperial policies of the 1830s and ending with the national political settlements in place by 1910. Drawing on a wide range of sources, its comparative approach provides an insight into the historical foundations of present-day controversies in these settler societies.

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Empire, migration and the 1928 English Schoolgirl Tour

This chapter focuses on the lengths to which the IODE would go to produce a Canada that emulated Britain, with a case study of the 1928 English Schoolgirl Tour of Canada. The IODE placed high hopes that, on a micro level, the tour would directly encourage British migration to Canada, and collaborated with the Society for the Oversea Settlement of British Women (SOSBW) in this impressive cross-Canada tour. The itinerary formed a narrative of superior British-based culture, economy and politics in a modern resource-rich, technologically advanced, democratic Canadian nation. The tour captured a 1928 moment in the narrative of hegemonic Anglo-Canada. As a result of this tour, the 1920s saw nationalism and imperialism modernise, with the schoolgirls' experiences tied up in an era of technological improvement.

in Female imperialism and national identity
The Tolai of East New Britain in the writings of Otto Finsch

The German ornithologist and colonial pioneer Otto Finsch (1839-1917) spent eight months on Matupit Island, East New Britain, during his first Pacific voyage of 1879-82. He departed in the company of a young Tolai man, Tapinowanne Torondoluan, who accompanied him on his further travels to Australia, New Zealand, south-east New Guinea and finally Germany, where he remained for almost a year before returning home. On 3 November 1884, Finsch returned to Matupit Island to see the German flag hoisted by crew members of the warships Elisabeth and Hyäne, a ceremony which formally initiated the declaration of north-east New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago as German protectorates. This chapter examines the interactions of social developmentalist theory, cultural relativism, romantic primitivism, colonial interests and personal experience in Finsch’s depictions of the Tolai as a ‘talented race’ who far exceeded their ‘evil reputation’ as ‘naked savages’ and ‘cannibals’.

in Savage worlds
The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire

Through a study of the British Empire's largest women's patriotic organisation, formed in 1900 and still in existence, this book examines the relationship between female imperialism and national identity. It throws light on women's involvement in imperialism; on the history of ‘conservative’ women's organisations; on women's interventions in debates concerning citizenship and national identity; and on the history of women in white settler societies. After placing the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) in the context of recent scholarly work in Canadian, gender and imperial history, and post-colonial theory, the book follows the IODE's history through the twentieth century. Chapters focus upon the IODE's attempts to create a British Canada through its maternal feminist work in education, health, welfare and citizenship. In addition, the book reflects on the IODE's responses to threats to Anglo-Canadian hegemony posed by immigration, World Wars and Communism, and examines the complex relationship between imperial loyalty and settler nationalism. Tracing the organisation into the postcolonial era, where previous imperial ideas are outmoded, it considers the transformation from patriotism to charity, and the turn to colonisation at home in the Canadian North.

Organizing principles, 1900–1919

This chapter covers the beginning years of the IODE, through to the end of the First World War, and introduces the ‘racial hierarchy’ of the IODE and its preference for British immigration. It covers the IODE's work with immigrants and its maternal wartime labour. The IODE was not a pacifist organisation, as, during the First World War, the goal was victory for Canada and the Empire. Its military involvement refutes the arguments of some contemporary theorists, who consider war and peace as opposites, with women as ‘beautiful souls’ and life-givers, and men as ‘just warriors’ and life-takers. During the IODE's first years, immigration and war work had in common the intended construction of a strong British Canada. The IODE was able to use its élite social status and gender to achieve its objectives. It supported a ‘racial hierarchy’ which asserted that British people and their Anglo-Celtic Canadian descendants were superior to all other races, and discriminatory immigration laws which legislated this preference.

in Female imperialism and national identity
Open Access (free)

This chapter presents the initiatives taken by Sir Garnet Wolseley, who was appointed by the British Government as administrator and commander-in-chief on the Gold Coast on 13 August 1873. He was despatched with twenty-seven special-service officers to work with the local Fante tribesmen to resist the Asante. He promptly requested British reinforcements after his arrival in September, planned a short campaign over the less hazardous months of December, January and February, and then decisively defeated the Asante in battle before sacking their capital, Kumase. His skepticism about the resolve, reliability and martial prowess of the coastal tribes, particularly if required to fight in the bush, was widely shared by British officers and men. He continued to employ native auxiliaries and requested the dispatch of British soldiers. He accepted Cardwell's instructions that ‘every preparation should be made in advance’, that the forces should not be disembarked until the decisive moment occurred, and that they should operate only in the most favorable climatic conditions, namely the four months from December to March.

in The Victorian soldier in Africa