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Power, ritual and knowledge
Christopher Prior

enquiries were underway, ritual, grand spectacle and the creation of a false omnipotence were judged crucial to the maintenance of imperial authority in the short term. As far as civilian officials were concerned, the process of collecting information about Africa meant that imperial authority increasingly rested on real power, rather than symbolic power. This underpinned the confidence that meant

in Exporting empire
Policing and politics in a colonial state
John McCracken

Among the various attempts made over the last two decades to provide an explanation for the maintenance and ultimate dissolution of colonial authority in Africa, one stands out above all others. Ronald Robinson’s ‘sketch for a theory of collaboration’ may no longer be accepted as helpful in explaining why Africa was partitioned, but on the larger question of how colonial

in Policing and decolonisation
Special worship in the British world, 1783–1919
Author: Joseph Hardwick

European settlers in Canada, Australia and South Africa said they were building ‘better Britains’ overseas. But devastating wars, rebellions, epidemics and natural disasters often threatened these new societies. It is striking that settlers in such environments turned to old traditions of collective prayer and worship to make sense of these calamities. At times of acute stress, colonial governments set aside whole days of fasting, humiliation and intercession so that entire populations could join together to implore God’s intervention, assistance or guidance. And at moments of relief and celebration, such as the coming of peace, or the birth of a royal, the whole empire might participate in synchronised acts of thanksgiving and praise to God. This book asks why acts of ‘special worship’ with origins in early modernity became numerous in the democratic, pluralistic and often secularised conditions found in the settler societies of the ‘British world’. Such intense and highly visible occasions had the potential to reach all members of a colonial society: community-wide occasions of prayer were hard to ignore, they required considerable organisation, and they stimulated debate and reflection on a range of political, social and religious issues. The book argues that religion, and more specifically traditional rituals and practices, had a vital role to play in the formation of regional identities and local particularisms in what remained, in many ways, a loosely networked and unconnected empire.

English Politics and the American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century
Editor: Robert M. Bliss

Seventeenth-century England saw the Puritan upheaval of the 1640s and 1650s and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. These crises often provoked colonial reaction, indirectly by bringing forth new ideas about government. The colonies' existence was a testament to accumulated capital and population and to a widespread desire to employ both for high and mundane ends. The growth of population and production, the rise of new and the decline of old trades were important features of 17th-century American and English history. This book presents a study that brings attention back to a century when the word imperialism had not even been coined, let alone acquired the wealth of meanings it has now. The study covers the North American and West Indian colonies as well as England. Research on American sources concentrated on the main settlements of Massachusetts, Virginia, Barbados and Jamaica, their public records, printed and manuscript correspondence and local and county records. Lesser colonies such as New York, Carolina and the New England fringe settlements they have their own stories to tell. The study firstly rests on the proposition that England's empire was shaped by the course of English politics. Secondly, it argues that although imperial history was marked by tension between colonial resistance and English authority. Finally, the broad view is taken of the politics of empire aims to establish a general framework for understanding seventeenth-century colonial history. Attention has also been paid to the political writings and the "non-colonial" activities of governments and politicians.

Convicts, settlers and the state in early colonial Australia
Author: Kirsty Reid

Between 1803 and 1853, some 80,000 convicts were transported to settle in Van Diemen's Land, today's Tasmania, Australia. The book explores the attempts to construct a hierarchical and gendered social order in the new settlements. An attachment to the patriarchal familial ideal as a model of authority, and to the notion of the male convict-turned-virtuous-yeoman-farmer which went with it, was evident in the settlements. The book examines the ways similar tensions began systematically to rework the relationships between state and society during the 1810s and early 1820s. Initially, convicts were channelled into their own households and encouraged to marry and rear families. Subsequently, convicts were systematically re-ordered as a coerced colonial labour force and redirected from their own households into the homes of free settlers, there to work without wages. The shift to greater servitude was accompanied by the forcible and fairly systematic reconfiguration of the convict private sphere. Although the population was 'entirely British', it was entirely 'un-British in social and civilised spirit and in moral feeling and character'. Convict transportation had enabled 'the English' to create 'from their own loins a nation of Cyprians and Turks'. Organic and familial visions were fundamental to the conceptual schemes of the Colonial Reformers, a group dedicated to the reform of the empire and to the restructuring of imperial relations. During the 1840s and 1850s, a home-grown abolitionist movement raised the spectre of the sexual addiction of male convicts, fostering a major moral panic about the threat of sodomy and child rape.

The Empire of Clouds in north-east India
Author: Andrew J. May

In 1841, the Welsh sent their first missionary, Thomas Jones, to evangelise the tribal peoples of the Khasi Hills of north-east India. This book follows Jones from rural Wales to Cherrapunji, the wettest place on earth and now one of the most Christianised parts of India. It is about the piety and practices, the perceptions and prejudices of people in early nineteenth century Wales. The book is also about the ways in which the religious ambitions of those same people operated upon the lives and ideas of indigenous societies of the distant Khasi Hills of north-eastern India. It foregrounds broader political, scientific, racial and military ideologies that mobilised the Khasi Hills into an interconnected network of imperial control. Its themes are universal: crises of authority, the loneliness of geographical isolation, sexual scandal, greed and exploitation, personal and institutional dogma, individual and group morality. In analysing the individual lives that flash in and out of this history, the book is a performance within the effort to break down the many dimensions of distance that the imperial scene prescribes. It pays attention to a 'networked conception of imperial interconnection'. The book discusses Jones's evangelising among the Khasis as well as his conflicts with church and state authority. It also discusses some aspects of the micro-politics of mission and state in the two decades immediately following Thomas Jones's death. While the Welsh missionary impact was significant, its 'success' or indeed its novelty, needs to be measured against the pre-existing activities of British imperialists.

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Politics, Pageantry and Colonialism

Royal tours of the 1800s and early 1900s, and since, have created much documentation, perhaps the most obvious record contained in newspapers and magazines, newsreels and then radio and television broadcasts. Tours expressed and promoted royal and imperial authority, though in some instances they revealed resistance against expansionist designs. 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. This book examines how presentation is managed when ambassadors are sent in place of the royal personage. Sultan Alauddin of Aceh mounted a royal tour by proxy in which he was embodied - and concealed - in his gifts and in the humbler persons of his placeholders. Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, provided a template for later royal tours in three ways. First, he pioneered a new relationship with the Royal Navy as a training institution for British princes. Second, his lengthy visits paved the way for similarly ambitious global tours. Alfred's tours cultivated a range of trusted support staff. Imperial citizenship and even Britishness were embraced by non- English and non- British subjects of the queen. One young prince who was present in Britain at some of the most glittering events was Thakur Sahib Bhagvatsinh, a Rajput who ruled Gondal. The book also discusses Kaiser Wilhelm II's tour, King Sisowath and Emperor Khai Dinh's tour to France, the Portuguese crown prince's tour of Africa, and tours during Smuts's Raj.

Politics, Nationalism and the Police, 1917–65

As imperial political authority was increasingly challenged, sometimes with violence, locally recruited police forces became the front-line guardians of alien law and order. This book presents a study that looks at the problems facing the imperial police forces during the acute political dislocations following decolonization in the British Empire. It examines the role and functions of the colonial police forces during the process of British decolonisation and the transfer of powers in eight colonial territories. The book emphasises that the British adopted a 'colonial' solution to their problems in policing insurgency in Ireland. The book illustrates how the recruitment of Turkish Cypriot policemen to maintain public order against Greek Cypriot insurgents worsened the political situation confronting the British and ultimately compromised the constitutional settlement for the transfer powers. In Cyprus and Malaya, the origins and ethnic backgrounds of serving policemen determined the effectiveness which enabled them to carry out their duties. In 1914, the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) of Ireland was the instrument of a government committed to 'Home Rule' or national autonomy for Ireland. As an agency of state coercion and intelligence-gathering, the police were vital to Britain's attempts to hold on to power in India, especially against the Indian National Congress during the agitational movements of the 1920s and 1930s. In April 1926, the Palestine police force was formally established. The shape of a rapidly rising rate of urban crime laid the major challenge confronting the Kenya Police.

Editor: Stuart Ward

The demise of British imperial power in the three decades following the Second World War is a familiar theme in the study of post-war British politics, economics and foreign relations. This book is the first major attempt to examine the cultural manifestations of the demise of imperialism as a social and political ideology in post-war Britain. It stresses and strains of imperial decline were not safely contained within the realm of high politics. British governments had to steer a delicate course between a firm display of British authority and control. The book begins with an overview of the persistence of imperialism in popular culture in the post-1945 era. Although an elitist and unashamedly 'establishment' grouping, the Round Table had always been actively engaged in the wider dissemination of an imperial outlook. The Commonwealth anaesthetic was at its most effective at the time of Queen Elizabeth's coronation in June 1953. The book then examines the remarkable coincidence of the coronation and the conquest of Everest, an event that became heavily imbued with late imperial hubris. An account of the complex picture of a British theatre, post-war cultural scene, the anti-establishment sentiment, and the shortcomings of Britain's ruling elites, follows. The book also examines Britain's steadily dwindling imperial power was mirrored by the demise of English cricket. The culture of imperial decline, namely that of popular children's literature is discussed. The book talks about the nostalgic trail of post-imperial British travellers, immigration divide, and the relationship between western feminism and colonial nationalism.

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The British Empire and the 1918–20 moment

This book explores a particular 1918–20 ‘moment’ in the British Empire’s history, between the First World War’s armistices of 1918, and the peace treaties of 1919 and 1920. That moment, we argue, was a challenging and transformative time for the Empire. While British authorities successfully answered some of the post-war tests they faced, such as demobilisation, repatriation and fighting the widespread effects of the Spanish flu, the racial, social, political and economic hallmarks of their imperialism set the scene for a wide range of expressions of loyalties and disloyalties, and anticolonial movements. The book documents and conceptualises this 1918–20 ‘moment’ and its characteristics as a crucial three-year period of transformation for and within the Empire, examining these years for the significant shifts in the imperial relationship that occurred, and as laying the foundation for later change in the imperial system.