The British Empire contributed greatly to the globalising of western buildings,
towns and cities across the world. The requirements of security necessitated the
construction of forts and barracks everywhere, while the need for mobility and
ceremonial led to the use of large numbers of tents. As towns and cities
developed, building types required for imperial rule, the operations of colonial
economies and the comfort and cultural edification of Europeans appeared
everywhere. These included government houses, town halls, courthouses, assembly
and parliament buildings, company headquarters, customs houses and hotels. As
the white bourgeoisie became a major global class, their representative
buildings, such as clubs, libraries, museums, theatres, religious institutions,
mission stations and schools, also spread worldwide. Some of these were designed
for the dissemination of European culture to indigenous peoples, as well as the
proselytisation of Christianity. Imperial rulers, their officials and troops
additionally required particular settlements for leisure, recreation and the
restoration of health, and these included hill stations in many colonies. The
new technologies of the age, such as the telegraph and railways, also generated
significant structures, widely dispersed. In addition to the great public and
civic buildings, residential accommodation was created for Europeans, servants
and workers. The result was a striking built environment which offers many
insights into the nature, character and social and economic development of
imperial rule, not least in the patterns of racial and class inclusion and
exclusion which such buildings represented. It is an environment which remains
key to the understanding of the modern world, and one which has survived, often
through the modern fascination with ‘heritage’ as well as through its
incorporation into new postcolonial arrangements.
Changing approaches to hunting constitute an important theme in human history. This book uses hunting as one focus for the complex interaction of Europeans with Africans and Indians. It seeks to illuminate the nature of imperial power when exercised in the relationship between humans and the natural world. The main geographical emphasis is on southern, Central and East Africa, as well as South Asia, but reference is made to other parts of Africa and Asia and to the effects of white settlement elsewhere. The great hunters of the ancient world offered protection to their subjects' life and limb and to their crops by destroying wild predators. In Britain the nineteenth-century hunting cult had an extraordinary range of cultural manifestations. Pheasant covert, grouse moor and deer forest, explored and dominated by humans in the Hunt, became prime elements in nineteenth-century Romanticism. Hunting was an important part of the pre-colonial economy and diet of many African peoples. The importance of hunting was very apparent at the court of Mzilikazi, king of the Ndebele. As the animal resources of southern Africa became more important to the international economy in the first decades of the nineteenth century they came to be studied and hunted for science and sport. This apotheosis of the hunting mentality survived at least into the inter-war years and was indeed inherited by the Indianised Indian Civil Service and army in the years leading up to independence. Hunting remains important to those who continue to exercise global power.
The European scramble for colonies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was driven by rather more than the interests of an elite, aristocratic and bourgeois. This book is about the 'colonisation of consciousness'. It surveys in comparative form the transmission of imperial ideas to the public in six European countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book offers six case studies on France, Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy, providing parallel studies of the manner in which colonial ambitions and events in the respective European empires were given wider popular visibility. The book demonstrates the inter-war years that saw the stepping up of imperial propaganda throughout the surviving imperial powers. Inspired by the directions of research pioneered by John MacKenzie, specialists of the French Empire started to combine methodologies from social and cultural history to revise the perception of French popular imperialism. Germany's imperialism is analysed along the axes of mobility and migration, 'race' and the sciences, commodities and markets, the missions and imperialist social formations, and the vast field of popular culture. What sets popular imperialism in Belgium apart from others is the remarkable yet ironic reverence reserved for Leopold II. Power rivalries, ingenious if tricky diplomacy, and Leopold's tenacity resulted in recognition of his rule over much of the Congo around the time of the Berlin conference. So far as the peoples of Europe were concerned, the imperial experience helped, paradoxically, to further 'Eurocentrism' and install the naturalisation of Europeanness as 'whiteness'.
Imperial history and the imperial idea have been examined almost entirely in a centrifugal manner, as the radiation of influences from Britain into its wider hinterland. This book explores the manifestations of the imperial idea, from the trappings of royalty through writers like G. A. Henty to the humble cigarette card. It uses popular imperialism as a focus for the examination of the theatre, the cinema, education, juvenile literature, imperial exhibitions, youth movements, and a variety of imperial propaganda bodies between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The most aggressive and innovative advertisers of the day were companies dependent on the imperial economic nexus, in tea, chocolate, soaps and oils, tobacco, meat extracts, shipping, and later rubber. Middle and upper-class attachment to the music hall developed out of its success among the working class. Radio conveyed a sense of the unity of Empire, at least in the public mind, such as the Edwardian imperial societies had found unattainable. After the Second World War the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) continued to present a vision of a beneficent and regenerative Empire. The great exhibitions which from the 1880s came to be dominated by the imperial theme offer the most striking examples of both conscious and unconscious approaches to imperial propaganda. By the 1880s the new morality had come to be wedded to the late nineteenth-century world view and was suffused with the patriotic, racial, and militarist elements which together made up the new popular imperialism.
Colonial war played a vital part in transforming the reputation of the military and placing it on a standing equal to that of the navy. The book is concerned with the interactive culture of colonial warfare, with the representation of the military in popular media at home, and how these images affected attitudes towards war itself and wider intellectual and institutional forces. It sets out to relate the changing image of the military to these fundamental facts. For the dominant people they were an atavistic form of war, shorn of guilt by Social Darwinian and racial ideas, and rendered less dangerous by the increasing technological gap between Europe and the world. Attempts to justify and understand war were naturally important to dominant people, for the extension of imperial power was seldom a peaceful process. The entertainment value of war in the British imperial experience does seem to have taken new and more intensive forms from roughly the middle of the nineteenth century. Themes such as the delusive seduction of martial music, the sketch of the music hall song, powerful mythic texts of popular imperialism, and heroic myths of empire are discussed extensively. The first important British war correspondent was William Howard Russell (1820-1907) of The Times, in the Crimea. The 1870s saw a dramatic change in the representation of the officer in British battle painting. Up to that point it was the officer's courage, tactical wisdom and social prestige that were put on display.
Imperial power, both formal and informal, and research in the natural sciences were closely dependent in the nineteenth century. This book examines a portion of the mass-produced juvenile literature, focusing on the cluster of ideas connected with Britain's role in the maintenance of order and the spread of civilization. It discusses the political economy of Western ecological systems, and the consequences of their extension to the colonial periphery, particularly in forms of forest conservation. Progress and consumerism were major constituents of the consensus that helped stabilise the late Victorian society, but consumerism only works if it can deliver the goods. From 1842 onwards, almost all major episodes of coordinated popular resistance to colonial rule in India were preceded by phases of vigorous resistance to colonial forest control. By the late 1840s, a limited number of professional positions were available for geologists in British imperial service, but imperial geology had a longer pedigree. Modern imperialism or 'municipal imperialism' offers a broader framework for understanding the origins, long duration and persistent support for overseas expansion which transcended the rise and fall of cabinets or international realignments in the 1800s. Although medical scientists began to discern and control the microbiological causes of tropical ills after the mid-nineteenth century, the claims for climatic causation did not undergo a corresponding decline. Arthur Pearson's Pearson's Magazine was patriotic, militaristic and devoted to royalty. The book explores how science emerged as an important feature of the development policies of the Colonial Office (CO) of the colonial empire.
Museums were an expression of the western conviction in the onward march of the rational. Local civilisations were also the prime focus in other Asian imperial museums. This is the first book that examines the origins and development of museums in six major regions if the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It analyses museum histories in thirteen major centres in Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and South-East Asia, setting them into the economic and social contexts of the cities and colonies in which they were located. Museums in Canada have a longer, though somewhat chequered, history than elsewhere in the British Empire. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and the Royal British Columbia museum in Victoria were two notable, yet very different, expressions of imperial expansiveness . The book then overviews two representative museums: the South African Museum (SAM) in Cape Town and the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. The origins and development of the National Museum of Victoria (NMV) in Melbourne, South Australian Museum (SAuM) and Australian Museum (AM) are then discussed. New Zealand/Aotearoa, with its Canterbury Museum and War Memorial Museum, has discrete origins as a colony in the nineteenth century. Imperial museums in Asia were unquestionably distinctive compared with those of the territories of white settlement. A number of key themes emerge: the development of elites within colonial towns; the emergence of the full range of cultural institutions associated with this; and the modification of the key scientific ideas of the age.
Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this more true than in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. This book examines the various media through which nationalist ideas were conveyed in late-Victorian and Edwardian times in the theatre, "ethnic" shows, juvenile literature, education and the iconography of popular art. Nineteenth-century music hall was known as the 'fount of patriotism'. A heroic and romantic vision of Empire helped to widen the appeal of British imperialism, which newspaper and magazine editors insisted on communicating to the new mass reading public. Juvenile fiction included Victorian children's books, and very few seemed deliberately anti-imperialist. The book offers a bridge between the pre-1914 period and the interwar years and between the public school and state school systems. It discusses the case of Peter Lobengula as a focus for racial attributes in late Victorian and Edwardian times. The imperial economic vision lay ready to hand for the publicists and public relations men who saw the Empire Marketing Board as one of the great opportunities in the inter-war years to develop their craft. The book also argues that whereas the Scout movement was created in the atmosphere of defensive Empire in the Edwardian period, Scouting ideology underwent a significant change in the post-war years. Girl Guides remind us that the role of girls and women in youth organisations and imperial ideologies has been too little studied.
As imperial authority was established, towns and cities grew and spread into
the interior of continents. The morphology of such urban settlements was
embedded in economic, social and racial requirements, in zoning and in the
creation of buildings that would be climatically comfortable. This chapter
particularly examines structures such as town halls and assembly and
parliament buildings, as constitutional developments required them. While
these were the characteristics of what is known as formal empire,
settlements of Europeans pursuing economic objectives also created familiar
buildings in settings of informal empire, for example in the Middle or Far
East. Finally, the chapter examines the wholly new development of hill
stations, designed for the comfort, recreation and health of Europeans.
Generally associated with India, hill stations also appeared in South-East
Asia, the Far East, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean.
The nineteenth century was the era of the massive expansion of the middle
classes. This became a global phenomenon and the ‘bourgeoisification’ of the
world called into being a whole range of institutions that were being
created contemporaneously in Britain itself. These included libraries,
museums, clubs, markets, banks, commercial buildings, hotels, theatres and
cinemas. The new technologies of the age were served by striking buildings,
including dockside waiting rooms, railway stations and posts and telegraph
offices. Railway stations spread across almost the entire empire and
introduced new issues of class and racial zoning. Posts and telegraphs were
representative of the new communications of the era and often stimulated the
building of exceptionally impressive structures to represent their
centrality in the new imperial age.