This book seeks to reclaim E. A. Freeman (1823–92) as a leading Victorian historian and public moralist. Freeman was a prolific writer of history, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and outspoken commentator on current affairs. His reputation declined sharply in the twentieth century, however, and the last full-scale biography was W. R. W. Stephens’ Life and Letters of Edward A. Freeman (1895). When Freeman is remembered today, it is for his six-volume History of the Norman Conquest (1867–79), celebrations of English progress, and extreme racial views. Revisiting Freeman and drawing on previously unpublished materials, this study analyses his historical texts in relationship to the scholarly practices and intellectual preoccupations of their time. Most importantly, it draws out Thomas Arnold’s influence on Freeman’s understanding of history as a cyclical process in which the present collapsed into the past and vice versa. While Freeman repeatedly insisted on the superiority of the so-called ‘Aryans’, a deeper reading shows that he defined race in terms of culture rather than biology and articulated anxieties about decline and recapitulation. Contrasting Freeman’s volumes on Western and Eastern history, this book foregrounds religion as the central category in Freeman’s scheme of universal history. Ultimately, he conceived world-historical development as a battleground between Euro-Christendom and the Judeo-Islamic Orient and feared that the contemporary expansion of the British Empire and contact with the East would prove disastrous.
‘steeped in’ and obsessed by empire, Freeman’s writings support Bernard Porter’s alternative thesis that ‘Britons did not particularly take to their empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth century – or took to it less enthusiastically, at any rate, than is often assumed’. 2 Again, where Christine Bolt, Patrick Brantlinger, and Hall see a clear connection between later nineteenth-century racism, jingoism, and imperial expansion, Freeman’s attitudes exemplify Christopher Harvie’s point that ‘Racialism was far from being a reflex of Unionism – or Imperialism for that
In the imperial sphere, the Labour
government pursued a policy of ‘conservatism decked out to appear
… progressive’. 2 Retreat from the Indian subcontinent led to renewed
attempts to preserve British influence throughout the Middle East and
sub-Saharan Africa as ministers and officials attempted to redevelop the
Empire along new lines. While numerous studies have focused on colonial
: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), pp. 36–52.
28 Jackson, France: The Dark Years, p. 398.
29 Brooks, British Propaganda, p. 53.
30 O. Wieviorka, ‘La presse clandestine’, Mélanges de l’École française de
Rome, 108.1 (1996), pp. 125–36.
31 Wieviorka, ‘La presse clandestine’, p. 127, cites, among others, an issue of
Combat (‘Vous l’avait-on dit’, Combat, 1 September 1943) that challenged
Vichy’s contention about the Allies’ motives, stating: ‘The English have
promised never to take our Empire from us.’
32 Brookes, British Propaganda, pp. 68–9.
33 BBC WAC, French Scripts, ‘Discussion
d’histoire, 22.2 (2015), pp. 221–41.
13 T. Zahra, The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World
War II (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011).
14 See, for example, D. Marshall, ‘The construction of children as an object of
international relations: the Declaration of Children’s Rights and the Child
Welfare Committee of League of Nations, 1900–1924’, International Journal
of Children’s Rights, 7.2 (1999), pp. 103–48; E. Baughan, ‘ “Every Citizen of
Empire Implored to Save the Children!” Empire, internationalism and the
Save the Children
, in much the same way that prisoners of war and their families provoked a broad charitable response. Donations and condolences flooded
into bombed towns from across France and its empire. The government
tried to co-opt this goodwill, translating it into the National Revolution’s
language of duty and sacrifice. While charitable giving could be put down
to duty and sacrifice, it must also be seen as compassion and generosity
of individuals towards strangers. But solidarity worked best at a distance.
When refugees arrived in quiet villages, eventually generosity wore
endorsement. The Maginot Line,
the French army and France’s empire and allies were frequent stars of
films and newsreels during the 1930s.8 But official thinking perceived
the air threat too. Instruction manuals issued by the Défense Passive (see
Figure 1) illustrated the obstacles enemy planes would face before they
reached their targets: detected by look-out and listening posts, French
fighter planes would intercept them, batteries of anti-aircraft fire would
fire and mobile barrage balloons would shield civilians.9 Défense passive
was the name given to civil defence
dimension of a law backed by sanctions. What is specific to legal validity, the tension between facticity and validity inhabiting law itself, does not come into view” (ibid., 64, original emphasis).
The exclusion of the question of violence is explicit in Ronald Dworkin,
who distinguishes between the “grounds” and the “force of law” –see R.
Dworkin, Law’s Empire (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1986), 108–13 –so he
can then limit himself to a discussion of the grounds, the –nonviolent –
justification, of the law. It is not surprising that he would conclude with
D. Loick, Kritik der Souveränität (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2011), 279.
46 Benjamin, “Critique of Violence,” 246; H. Brunkhorst, How Is a Critique of
Violence Historically Possible?, lecture at the 2010 Benjamin conference in
Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires (manuscript), 6.
47 H. Brunkhorst, “Das öffentliche Recht in ‘Empire’,” in R. Faber (ed.),
Imperialismus in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Würzburg: Königshausen
& Neumann, 2005), 177; G. Teubner, Constitutional Fragments: Societal
Constitutionalism and Globalization (Oxford: Oxford
-given, in other words, a
pre-legally constituted unity or community (e.g., a city, nation, empire).
With this assumption they miss the logic of unification that is intrinsic and hence specific to law –including to its non-state forms that
A reply to my critics
they describe. This unity consists in nothing but the equality that the very
idea of legal procedure presupposes or implements in its promise “to universally represent all the parties” (Acosta, p. 86). There can be no equal
consideration of different perspectives, positions or individuals without