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This chapter focuses on metropolitan poor and colonial peoples, which are often considered as one of the most threatening antitheses to progress. The writings of travellers and evangelicals were by far the most influential and provided the clearest evidence of a concern—realized in practical action—that embraced the plight of slaves and the poor. In terms of their chronologies, rhetoric, narratives and agencies, there were distinct homologies between the discursive appropriations of the antithesis of progress during the long nineteenth century. Agents operating across narrowly defined boundaries using an intellectual and linguistic repertoire forged from the transformation in human consciousness conceptualized imperial progress on the fronts of slavery, poverty and colonialism. Furthermore, the chapter explores the rise of the idea of progress and how it structured British thought on the place of non-European peoples in the new world order.

in The other empire
Open Access (free)
One or two ‘honorable cannibals’ in the House?

This chapter focuses on the expansion of the British Empire and early political developments in the British settler colonies in the region of Australasia from the late 1830s to around 1870. The first colonies on the Australian continent and the islands of New Zealand in the decades from the late 1830s to 1870 were notable for their swift movement politically from initial Crown colonies to virtual local self-government. The British Government first made arrangements for representative government based on a property franchise for all of these colonies, and then conceded responsible government to the settler colonists. Further, by 1860, the legislatures of the eastern and southeastern Australian colonies had instituted full manhood suffrage. The Indigenous peoples of the Australasian colonies, Aborigines and Maori, were included in this process to self-government and democracy. The means by which colonists could acquire land and their subsequent usage of it would strongly influence Maori and Aborigines' entitlement to political citizenship and the likelihood of their exercising it.

in Equal subjects, unequal rights
Open Access (free)
‘Australia for the White Man’

This chapter focuses on the political outcomes of the intensified appropriation of Indigenous lands by British settler colonists in Australasia from the 1870s to 1910. From the 1870s to the first decade of the twentieth century, settler governments in the Australasian colonies built on their foundation years in their treatment of Indigenous political rights in their political systems. The seven colonies in the Australasian region contemplated federating into one nation state despite sharp divisions among them. Settlers wanting manhood suffrage for themselves in Australasian colonies, including New Zealand, Queensland and Western Australia, tried to keep Maori and Indigenous people in a marginalized situation. In the Electoral Bill, which was passed in 1879, politicians were enfranchised. White property-holders could have plural votes in any number of electorates, but Maori landowners were restricted to one settler electorate. In the Australasian colonies in the early 1890s, a debate on women's political rights intersected with the debates on Indigenous rights, and votes for women successfully passed through three Australasian colonial legislatures in the 1890s: New Zealand in 1893, South Australia in 1894; and Western Australia in 1899.

in Equal subjects, unequal rights
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Dethroning And Exiling Indigenous Monarchs Under British And French Colonial Rule, 1815– 1955

The overthrow and exile of Napoleon in 1815 is a familiar episode in modern history, but it is not well known that just a few months later, British colonisers toppled and banished the last king in Ceylon. This book explores confrontations and accommodations between European colonisers and indigenous monarchs. It discusses the displacement of a few among the three dozen 'potentates' by British and French authorities from 1815 until the 1950s. The complicated relationship between the crown of a colonising country and colonial monarchies has often lain in the background of historical research, but relatively seldom appeared in the forefront except in the case of the Indian princely states. The book further examines particular cases of the deposition and exile of rulers: King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha in Ceylon in 1815, Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar in 1897, and Emperors Ham Nghi, Thanh Thai and Duy Tan in Vietnam during 1885-1916. It also provides more composite accounts of Asia and Africa: the British ouster of Indian princes, the last Burmese king and a sultan in Malaya, and then British and French removal of a host of 'chieftains' in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, the book looks at the French colonial removal of rulers in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia - and the restoration of a Moroccan sultan on the eve of decolonisation. By the end of the colonial period, in many countries around the globe, monarchism - kingship, had lost its old potency, though it has not disappeared.

Open Access (free)

Sir Garnet Wolseley utilized his powers as both high commissioner in southeastern Africa and governor of Natal and the Transvaal to attack Chelmsford as GOC, South Africa. He sought to impose a settlement upon both Zululand and the neighboring Transvaal. He resolved that Zululand should be ruled by thirteen minor chiefs. He then moved into the Transvaal to restore British prestige by overthrowing Sekhukhune, whom the Boers had failed to defeat in 1876. He assembled a formidable composite force, comprising the 2/21st and the 94th with two companies of the 80th, four guns, and a party of Royal Engineers with explosives to attack Sekhukhune. The sappers were ‘employed from dawn till dark’, cutting pathways, preparing drifts for ox-driven wagons, and organizing the construction of forts. The British forces in the Transvaal were reduced when Wolseley departed, and were cut again under Sir George Pomeroy Colley, Asante veteran, who replaced Wolseley, until he had only 1,800 men, with no cavalry and only four guns. The soldiers were also widely dispersed in six isolated posts.

in The Victorian soldier in Africa

King Leopold's 'personal colony', based on ruthless exploitation and violence, was annexed by the Belgian State in 1908, after years of heavy criticism both in the country and abroad. The new authorities eliminated the extreme forms of violence and extortion prevalent in Leopoldian Congo, but coercive practices remained, including forced recruitment of labourers. The effects royal voyages had on the Congolese themselves are extremely difficult to assess. The domestic political tensions relating to the Question royale might explain the relative discretion of the Belgian authorities. The development of photography and film had important effects on the staging and impact of royal and princely voyages. During the interwar period, royal and princely voyages gradually opened up to propaganda through press articles and images, but distrust of or lack of interest by the media persisted. From 1960, the international significance of royal visits to the Congo of course changed drastically.

in Royals on tour
Daughters of the Empire, mothers in their own homes, 1929–45

This chapter examines the changes in Anglo-Canadian identity through the 1930s, and also documents the effects of the Second World War in re-defining and shifting this identity towards centering Canada. During the Second World War, when Canada came to Britain's aid, stringent organisation led to a massive contribution to the war effort by large numbers of IODE women. The IODE used its maternal position to reinforce allegiance to Britain, but its perception was ever more Canada-centered. With women's increasing status in society, the IODE's war work was ever confident and impressive. The Second World War accentuated the contradictions between feminism and patriotism. During the war, women had shown that, in the absence of many of Canada's men, they were capable of keeping the country going, whether in the home or in gendered male occupations. The IODE's metaphorical conception of home as nation and Empire became, during the Second World War, more assertive, more confident, more proven and more Canadian in its focus.

in Female imperialism and national identity
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Visions of history, visions of Britain

This chapter reconstructs the more fragmentary but important things C. L. R. James did say about Britain, Britishness and their relations to Caribbean histories and identities. The nature of James' writings means that discussion of their influence in Britain must explore not only a ‘bilateral’ British-Caribbean relationship, but a triangular one. He insisted that the Britishness was part of a rich, complex, internationally open and distinctively modern cultural mix. His views on the character of racism in Britain were distinctive. In addition, his views of British colonialism were built around a stark contrast between imperial Britain and what he thought of as the truer, better values of Britishness ‘at home’. In his most influential works, James set out to assail and demolish views of Britain's history which he regarded as myths.

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain

This chapter provides the information on the Ninth Cape Frontier War (1877–78) and campaign against Sekhukhune and focuses on Anglo-Zulu War. The campaigns of 1877–78 were a series of largely desultory engagements, often involving small bodies of imperial troops and/or mounted police and their auxiliaries. The abortive campaign against Sekhukhune, undertaken over peculiarly difficult terrain by an under-strength force, had less impact upon British military thinking than did the bush fighting in the Transkei. For the Anglo-Zulu War, Lieutenant-General Baron Chelmsford duly assembled his army of 17,929 officers and men, including over 1,000 mounted colonial volunteers and some 9,000 natives, and also managed the variety of different forms of transport. Chelmsford launched an attack on Chief Sihayo's mountainous kraal above the Batshe River within a day of crossing into Zululand. Chelmsford also employed the reinforcements to relieve Eshowe and entered Zululand moving slowly across the terrain and forming wagon laagers with external entrenchments.

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Open Access (free)
‘If they treat the Indians humanely, all will be well’

This chapter focuses on the early political developments in the British settler colonies in the region of North America, which later became Canada, from the late 1830s to around 1870. By 1840, there were four colonies in mainland British North America, clustered in the south-eastern corner of the vast Canadian land mass, the rest of which remained under the administration of the Hudson's Bay Company. Representative government had been introduced during the last quarter of the eighteenth century, beginning with the maritime colonies of Nova Scotia (1758), Prince Edward Island (1773) and New Brunswick (1785), and extending to Upper and Lower Canada, the constituent parts of the new province of Canada, in 1791. Discussions of the status of Indigenous peoples in the British North American colonies reflect competing and at times conflicting understandings among the four major stakeholders: the Colonial Office, with its locally based governors and Indian agents; the missionaries; the settlers; and the Indigenous peoples themselves.

in Equal subjects, unequal rights