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Recruitment policies, ethnic divisions and new foci of loyalty ensured that in most colonies there would always be men ready to enlist as guardians of Empire. Imperial authority rested ultimately on military power and the ability of Empire to mobilize its metropolitan and colonial armed forces. The majority of recruits for colonial armies came from specific ethnic groups and peoples whom the Europeans perceived as 'martial races'. Colonial police forces, which often began life as paramilitary units, invariably divided into separate military and civilian bodies. In the nineteenth century, the British Empire was based on the idea that metropolitan control over white settler colonies would eventually be surrendered to local rule. Throughout the colonial empires, police surveillance increased as nationalist activity grew, first in the Asian colonies and then in Africa.
All the colonial powers in Africa established small colonial armies, lightly armed bodies of locally recruited, uniformed and disciplined men who were used to conquer and 'pacify' territory, and to guard frontiers. This chapter addresses gender relations of African colonial armies. The armies of the Second World War contained a substantial number of white women in uniform, with whom some African soldiers enjoyed close relations, despite the best attempts of the authorities to keep races and sexes apart. The majority of European officers in colonial armies were professional soldiers drawn for the most part from the middle and upper classes. Social class separated them from the few European NCOs and they used separate messes and clubs. Colonial armies were male institutions but in peacetime the camps or 'lines' also housed women who played an important role in the life and social economy of each force.
This chapter explores the influences that shaped Harold Moody's thinking and behaviour. It also describes how those beliefs were applied throughout his active life in countering racial prejudice and promoting the interests of black peoples. Moody's path to recognising his black and African-descended identity was a slow one, but it was firmly forged by his struggle in confronting British racism. The most decisive influence in Moody's life was his conversion to Christianity. Christian doctrine underwrote Moody's ideas of humanity and race. Although the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) was a multi-racial body, Moody's intention was that it should be led solely by black people. He regarded the LCP as a Christian organisation. The LCP, along with other organisations, kept the question of race relations prominently before British politicians. After Moody died in 1947, the LCP had lost its way.
This chapter discusses the development of a formal system of policing in the Gold Coast, the concluding date of 1913 marking the consolidation of British control over the territory that approximates to modern Ghana. It looks at the way in which a dual system of policing developed. The dual system includes an armed frontier force to secure the extending territory of the Gold Coast and a smaller unarmed civil police force to extend social control over the coastal towns and villages. The origin of the police as an armed constabulary, the system of direction and control, and the continuing political instability of the Gold Coast, ensured that policing relied primarily on a paramilitary force. Official rhetoric often proclaimed evolution to a system of civil policing by consent; popular hostility to the police and political realities dictated that policing remained predominantly a paramilitary activity throughout the whole of the colonial period.
For imperialists, the concept of guardian is specifically to the armed forces that kept watch on the frontiers and in the heartlands of imperial territories. Large parts of Asia and Africa, and the islands of the Pacific and the Caribbean were imperial possessions. This book discusses how military requirements and North Indian military culture, shaped the cantonments and considers the problems posed by venereal diseases and alcohol, and the sanitary strategies pursued to combat them. The trans-border Pathan tribes remained an insistent problem in Indian defence between 1849 and 1947. The book examines the process by which the Dutch elite recruited military allies, and the contribution of Indonesian soldiers to the actual fighting. The idea of naval guardianship as expressed in the campaign against the South Pacific labour trade is examined. The book reveals the extent of military influence of the Schutztruppen on the political developments in the German protectorates in German South-West Africa and German East Africa. The U.S. Army, charged with defending the Pacific possessions of the Philippines and Hawaii, encountered a predicament similar to that of the mythological Cerberus. The regimentation of military families linked access to women with reliable service, and enabled the King's African Rifles to inspire a high level of discipline in its African soldiers, askaris. The book explains the political and military pressures which drove successive French governments to widen the scope of French military operations in Algeria between 1954 and 1958. It also explores gender issues and African colonial armies.
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.
From the Victorian period to the present, images of the policeman have played a prominent role in the literature of empire, shaping popular perceptions of colonial policing. This book covers and compares the different ways and means that were employed in policing policies from 1830 to 1940. Countries covered range from Ireland, Australia, Africa and India to New Zealand and the Caribbean. As patterns of authority, of accountability and of consent, control and coercion evolved in each colony the general trend was towards a greater concentration of police time upon crime. The most important aspect of imperial linkage in colonial policing was the movement of personnel from one colony to another. To evaluate the precise role of the 'Irish model' in colonial police forces is at present probably beyond the powers of any one scholar. Policing in Queensland played a vital role in the construction of the colonial social order. In 1886 the constabulary was split by legislation into the New Zealand Police Force and the standing army or Permanent Militia. The nature of the British influence in the Klondike gold rush may be seen both in the policy of the government and in the actions of the men sent to enforce it. The book also overviews the role of policing in guarding the Gold Coast, police support in 1954 Sudan, Orange River Colony, Colonial Mombasa and Kenya, as well as and nineteenth-century rural India.
From the Victorian period to the present, images of the policeman have played a prominent role in the literature of empire, shaping popular perceptions of colonial policing. The administrative and legal systems within which the colonial police worked and the laws which they sought to enforce were often significantly different in many respects from those which prevailed in England. In the early stages of the establishment of colonial control, or in the process of its extension over outlying territories, in function and form the colonial police were often indistinguishable from a military garrison. As patterns of authority, of accountability and of consent, control and coercion evolved in each colony the general trend was towards a greater concentration of police time upon crime. The most important aspect of imperial linkage in colonial policing was the movement of personnel from one colony to another.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book 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. It 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 of powers. In Cyprus and Malaya especially, the origins and ethnic backgrounds of serving policemen came to determine the effectiveness with which they were able to carry out their duties, and set limits upon their reliability as agents of colonial control.