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Beyond the state

The Colonial Medical Service in British Africa

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Edited by: Anna Greenwood

A collection of essays about the Colonial Medical Service of Africa in which a group of distinguished colonial historians illustrate the diversity and active collaborations to be found in the untidy reality of government medical provision. The authors present important case studies in a series of essays covering former British colonial dependencies in Africa, including Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar. These studies reveal many new insights into the enactments of colonial policy and the ways in which colonial doctors negotiated the day-to-day reality during the height of Imperial rule in Africa. The book provides essential reading for scholars and students of colonial history, medical history and colonial administration.

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Governing natives

Indirect rule and settler colonialism in Australia’s north

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Ben Silverstein

In the 1930s, a series of crises transformed relationships between settlers and Aboriginal people in Australia’s Northern Territory. This book examines archives and texts of colonial administration to study the emergence of ideas and practices of indirect rule in this unlikely colonial situation. It demonstrates that the practice of indirect rule was everywhere an effect of Indigenous or ‘native’ people’s insistence on maintaining and reinventing their political formations, their refusal to be completely dominated, and their frustration of colonial aspirations to total control. These conditions of difference and contradiction, of the struggles of people in contact, produced a colonial state that was created both by settlers and by the ‘natives’ they sought to govern.

By the late 1930s, Australian settlers were coming to understand the Northern Territory as a colonial formation requiring a new form of government. Responding to crises of social reproduction, public power, and legitimacy, they rethought the scope of settler colonial government by drawing on both the art of indirect rule and on a representational economy of Indigenous elimination to develop a new political dispensation that sought to incorporate and consume Indigenous production and sovereignties. This book locates Aboriginal history within imperial history, situating the settler colonial politics of Indigeneity in a broader governmental context. Australian settler governmentality, in other words, was not entirely exceptional; in the Northern Territory, as elsewhere, indirect rule emerged as part of an integrated, empire-wide repertoire of the arts of governing and colonising peoples.

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Science at the end of empire

Experts and the development of the British Caribbean, 1940–62

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Sabine Clarke

This book produces a major rethinking of the history of development after 1940 through an exploration of Britain’s ambitions for industrialisation in its Caribbean colonies. Industrial development is a neglected topic in histories of the British Colonial Empire, and we know very little of plans for Britain’s Caribbean colonies in general in the late colonial period, despite the role played by riots in the region in prompting an increase in development spending. This account shows the importance of knowledge and expertise in the promotion of a model of Caribbean development that is best described as liberal rather than state-centred and authoritarian. It explores how the post-war period saw an attempt by the Colonial Office to revive Caribbean economies by transforming cane sugar from a low-value foodstuff into a lucrative starting compound for making fuels, plastics and medical products. In addition, it shows that as Caribbean territories moved towards independence and America sought to shape the future of the region, scientific and economic advice became a key strategy for the maintenance of British control of the West Indian colonies. Britain needed to counter attempts by American-backed experts to promote a very different approach to industrial development after 1945 informed by the priorities of US foreign policy.

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Cultures of decolonisation

Transnational productions and practices, 1945–70

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Edited by: Ruth Craggs and Claire Wintle

What were the distinctive cultures of decolonisation that emerged in the years between 1945 and 1970, and what can they uncover about the complexities of the ‘end of empire’ as a process? Cultures of Decolonisation brings together visual, literary and material cultures within one volume in order to explore this question. The volume reveals the diverse ways in which cultures were active in wider political, economic and social change, working as crucial gauges, microcosms, and agents of decolonisation.

Individual chapters focus on architecture, theatre, museums, heritage sites, fine art, and interior design alongside institutions such as artists’ groups, language agencies and the Royal Mint in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe. Drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives, these contributions offer revealing case studies for those researching decolonisation at all levels across the humanities and social sciences.

The collection demonstrates the transnational character of cultures of decolonisation (and of decolonisation itself), and illustrates the value of comparison – between different sorts of cultural forms and different places – in understanding the nature of this dramatic and wide-reaching geopolitical change. Cultures of Decolonisation illustrates the value of engaging with the complexities of decolonisation as enacted and experienced by a broad range of actors beyond ‘flag independence’ and the realm of high politics. In the process it makes an important contribution to the theoretical, methodological and empirical diversification of the historiography of the end of empire.

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‘The better class’ of Indians

Social rank, imperial identity, and South Asians in Britain 1858–1914

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A. Martin Wainwright

This book focuses on the role of class in the encounter between South Asians and British institutions in the United Kingdom at the height of British imperialism. The leaders of Britain's cricketing institutions recognised the validity of ranks in an Indian social hierarchy which they attempted to translate into British equivalents. Achievement of Kumar Shri Ranjitsinjhi, one of the greatest cricketers of all time was truly an imperial one, combining the cultures and societies of India and Britain to propel him to a prominence that he would not otherwise have attained. The most important government institution to interact with Indians in Britain was the India Office. The National Indian Association was the most popular forum for interaction among Indians in Britain and Britons interested in India. The London City Mission and the Strangers' Home for Asiatics were the prominent inner-city missions to reach out to Indians in London. The book explores the extent to which British institutions treated Indians as British subjects, sharing a common legal and imperial identity with the inhabitants of the British Isles. It identifies patterns of compassion among Britain's elite when interacting with needy Indians in the United Kingdom, and establishes the central role of education in the civilising mission, particularly through scholarships to study in Britain. The book focuses on the ambiguous responses of British institutions to Indian students in the United Kingdom, ranging from accommodation of Indian culture to acquiescence in British bigotry.

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Genteel women

Empire and domestic material culture, 1840–1910

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Dianne Lawrence

Missing familiar faces, practices and places is a commonplace amongst all who relocate, an inevitable response as old as human migration itself. During the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth, colonial expansion prompted increasing numbers of genteel women to establish their family homes in far-flung corners of the world. This book explores ways in which the women's values, expressed through their personal and household possessions, dress, living rooms, gardens and food, were instrumental in constructing various forms of genteel society in alien settings. The book examines the transfer and adaptation of British female gentility across the British Empire, including Africa, New Zealand and India. In so doing, it offers a revised reading of the behaviour, motivations and practices of female elites, thereby calling into doubt the oft-stated notion that such women were a constraining element in new societies. The central focus is upon the physical and the social (and also racial) environments of settlers and their colonial territories. The creation of the living room was a critical space on the basis of which a woman would be judged as to whether she had succeeded in creating a respectable, refined and genteel household. The book also highlights that food and the repetitive nature of its sourcing, preparation and presentation generated a multitude of ways for signalling genteel distinction. Scrutinising the practices of female gentility also highlights how the culture's innate sensibility to social conditions made it such a controlling device in colonial society.

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Materials and medicine

Trade, conquest and therapeutics in the eighteenth century

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Pratik Chakrabarti

Medicine was transformed in the eighteenth century. Aligning the trajectories of intellectual and material wealth, this book uncovers how medicine acquired a new materialism as well as new materials in the context of global commerce and warfare. It studies the expansion of medicine as it acquired new materials and methods in an age of discovery and shows how eighteenth-century therapeutics encapsulates the intellectual and material resources of conquest. Bringing together a wide range of sources, the book argues that the intellectual developments in European medicine were inextricably linked to histories of conquest, colonisation and the establishment of colonial institutions. Medicine in the eighteenth-century colonies was shaped by the two main products of European mercantilism: minerals and spices. Forts and hospitals were often established as the first signs of British settlement in enemy territories, like the one in Navy Island. The shifting fortunes on the Coromandel Coast over the eighteenth century saw the decline of traditional ports like Masulipatnam and the emergence of Madras as the centre of British trade. The book also explores the emergence of materia medica and medical botany at confluence of the intellectual, spiritual and material quests. Three different forms of medical knowledge acquired by the British in the colonies: plants (columba roots and Swietenia febrifuga), natural objects and indigenous medical preparations (Tanjore pills). The book examines the texts, plants, minerals, colonial hospitals, dispensatories and the works of surgeons, missionaries and travellers to demonstrate that these were shaped by the material constitution of eighteenth century European colonialism.

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Martial races

The Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857–1914

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Heather Streets

This book examines the nineteenth-century ideology of 'martial races', the belief that some groups of men are biologically or culturally predisposed to the arts of war. It explores how and why Scottish Highlanders, Punjabi Sikhs and Nepalese Gurkhas became linked in both military and popular discourse as the British Empire's fiercest, most manly soldiers. The violent disruption of the Rebellion of 1857, and the bitterness with which it was fought on both sides, had effects in both Britain and India that went far beyond the cessation of hostilities. The reactions of the British and Indian armies to the European threat created the preconditions for the rise of martial race ideology and discourse. This book also argues that in addition to helping shape Victorian culture more generally, the army influenced the regional cultures of the Highlands, the Punjab and Nepal in remarkably enduring ways. The Victorian army was in fact instrumental in shaping late Victorian British popular culture. The book documents the concrete ways that the 'martial races' themselves were, in a very real sense, self-conscious constructs of the British imagination in spite of the naturalised racial and gendered language that surrounded them. The book bridges regional studies of South Asia and Britain while straddling the fields of racial theory, masculinity, imperialism, identity politics, and military studies. It challenges the marginalisation of the British Army in histories of Victorian popular culture, and demonstrates the army's enduring impact on the regional cultures of the Highlands, the Punjab and Nepal.

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Engines for empire

The Victorian army and its use of railways

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Edward M. Spiers

The railway represented one of pivotal technological developments of the nineteenth century. This book reviews the way in which the British army exploited the potential of railways from the 'dawn of the railway age' to the outbreak of the First World War. It explores the use of railways when the army was acting in aid of the civil power, as a factor in the planning for home defence, and as an increasingly efficient means of supporting the army on active service. If the early Victorian army welcomed railways as an ancillary means of responding to domestic emergencies, it encountered similar challenges in fulfilling its role in home defence. Over nearly thirty years from the Crimean War to the intervention in Egypt, the Victorian army both experimented with railways and observed the employment of railways. The Sudan Military Railway was regarded as 'astounding in conception'. The book reveals that the army monitored the use of railways in foreign wars, experimented in the use of railways within rear areas, designed and built railways for strategic defence in India, and later exploited railways to transform the prospects of military success in the Sudan and South Africa. The Victorian army demonstrated a capacity to integrate the railway into its logistic planning, to grasp the imperative of operational management, and to envisage it as a key element in mobilisation and strategic planning.

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Edited by: Dana Arnold

The need for a single public culture - the creation of an authentic identity - is fundamental to our understanding of nationalism and nationhood. This book considers how manufactured cultural identities are expressed. It explores how notions of Britishness were constructed and promoted through architecture, landscape, painting, sculpture and literature, and the ways in which the aesthetics of national identities promoted the idea of nation. The idea encompassed the doctrine of popular freedom and liberty from external constraint. Particular attention is paid to the political and social contexts of national identities within the British Isles; the export, adoption and creation of new identities; and the role of gender in the forging of those identities. The book examines the politics of land-ownership as played out within the arena of the oppositional forces of the Irish Catholics and the Anglo-Irish Protestant ascendancy. It reviews the construction of a modern British imperial identity as seen in the 1903 durbar exhibition of Indian art. The area where national projection was particularly directed was in the architecture and the displays of the national pavilions designed for international exhibitions. Discussions include the impact of Robert Bowyer's project on the evolution of history painting through his re-representation of English history; the country houses with architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Greek Revivalist; and the place of Arthurian myth in British culture. The book is an important addition to the field of postcolonial studies as it looks at how British identity creation affected those living in England.