In the June 1997 issue of Hong Kong Tatler , the magazine, which by this point articulated a largely postcolonial, elite ‘Hong Konger’ voice, took stock of the ‘good’, the ‘bad’, and the ‘ugly’ legacies of British colonial rule. The ‘good’ included British etiquette, the British legal system (‘despite the silly wigs’), gin and tonics, Marks and
The inter-war period saw the expansion and consolidation of British imperialism in Africa and by the end of the 1930s Africa arguably occupied ‘a more intimate place’ in British affairs than India. 2 Simultaneously, developments in black consciousness and the post-war conception of a liberal Empire ensured that the ‘colour problem’, race relations
The British community in China was rooted in the diverse cultures of imperial Britain. This book presents a study of Britain's presence in China both at its peak, and during its inter-war dissolution in the face of assertive Chinese nationalism and declining British diplomatic support. Using archival materials from China and records in Britain and the United States, the book presents a portrait of the traders, missionaries, businessmen, diplomats and settlers who constituted "Britain-in-China", challenging people's understanding of British imperialism there. Imperialism is no new subject for scholars of modern Chinese history. The largest settler communities were selfgoverning; even the smallest were still self-replicating. The book focuses on the structure and workings of this establishment in the decades before the Pacific War. The survey presented examines the processes by which Britain in China evolved, how it replicated itself and represented itself (and China). It looks at how it attempted to reform itself in the face of the militant state and mass nationalism it met in China in the mid-1920s and after. The survey also looks at the face of the efforts of the British state to regain control over it and to decolonise the British presence. All Britons in China possessed multiple identities: British, imperial and local. The book also analyzes the formation and maintenance of settler identities, and then investigates how the British state and its allies brought an end to the reign of freelance, settler imperialism on the China coast.
The Freedom from Hunger Campaign and the new humanitarian order This chapter 1 and the next are about humanitarianism as a guiding principle of international engagement. Where Chapters 2 and 3 discuss how the British public were encouraged to care about people in other countries, Chapters 4 and 5 focus on how they were encouraged to care for them. Concern for the welfare of distant strangers was not new in the 1960s, but the public's experiences of it were significantly altered by the rapid growth of the non
One of the markers by which the 1997 Blair administration may come to be known is that it witnessed the search for a new British identity. Politicians and journalists alike appear to be in the midst of a debate about how the inhabitants of the various nations which constitute the United Kingdom should define themselves in the light of devolution and the subsequent openings of a
Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.
of the Police Force themselves. 1 The colonial territories and islands of the Caribbean were often described by colonial policemen as ‘backwaters’ which constituted a retrograde step in terms of a career posting. Yet the Caribbean boasted some of the oldest police forces of the Empire which had been a testing ground for reform along British lines
Shortly after the Prince of Wales’ 1875–76 visit to India, Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India, wrote to Queen Victoria complaining that, hitherto, British rule had relied too heavily on ‘costly canals and irrigation works which have greatly embarrassed our finances, and are as yet so little appreciated by the Hindoo rustic that they do not pay the expense of making them’. 1
How did the end of empire affect the projection of British identities overseas? British decolonisation is conventionally understood in terms of the liquidation of the colonial empire in the decades after the Second World War. But it also entailed simultaneous transformations to the self-representation of peoples and cultures all over the world, variously described as British, symbolised by the eclipse of the idea of ‘Greater Britain’. Originally coined by Charles Dilke’s 1868 travelogue of the same name, Greater Britain enjoyed widespread currency throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before falling into disuse from the 1930s. But Greater British modes of thought, feeling and action persisted into the second half of the twentieth century, becoming embroiled in the global upheavals of imperial decline. Over a remarkably short time span, the ideas, assumptions and networks that had sustained an uneven and imperfectly imagined British world dissolved under the weight of the empire’s precipitate demise. Although these patterns and perspectives have been explored across a range of specific local and national contexts, this collection is the first to examine the wider mesh of interlocking British subjectivities that unravelled at empire’s end.
The cricketer prince It was mid-July 1896 and cricket fans were flocking to Old Trafford in Manchester to watch England’s second test match against Australia. But more was on their minds than simply who would win the match. Indeed, given England’s miserable performance in the first test at Lords in London, British fans had little reason to hope