Mobility was central to imperialism, from the human movements entailed in exploration, travel, and migration, to the information, communications and commodity flows vital to trade, science, governance and military power. While historians have written on exploration, commerce, imperial transport and communications networks, and the movements of slaves, soldiers, and scientists, few have reflected upon the social, cultural, economic and political significance of mobile practices, subjects, and infrastructures that underpin imperial networks, or examined the qualities of movement valued by imperial powers and agents at different times. This collection explores the intersection of debates on imperial relations, colonialism and empire with emerging work on mobility. In doing this, it traces how the movements of people, representations, and commodities helped to constitute empires. The collection examines things that moved across the British Empire, including, objects and ideas, as well as the efforts made to prevent and govern these movements. It also considers the systems, networks and infrastructures that enabled imperial mobilities to happen, and things that went wrong. The collection ranges from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, a period that witnessed the eclipse of the ‘first’ British Empire in North America and the Caribbean, and the expansion of an imperial presence in Asia and Africa, and ends with the empire at its greatest extent in the interwar period. Geographically, it encompasses much of the territorial breadth of the British Empire in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Caribbean. It also ranges off-shore and into the air.
Kenya’s white settlers have long captivated observers. They are alternately celebrated and condemned, painted as romantic pioneers or hedonistic bed-hoppers or crude racists. If we wish to better understand Kenya’s tortured history, however, we must examine settlers not as caricatures, but as people inhabiting a unique historical moment. We must ask, what animated their lives? What comforted them and what unnerved them, to whom did they direct love, and to whom violence? The Souls of White Folk takes seriously – though not uncritically – what settlers said, how they viewed themselves and their world. It argues that the settler soul was composed of a series of interlaced ideas: settlers equated civilization with a (hard to define) whiteness; they were emotionally enriched through claims to paternalism and trusteeship over Africans; they felt themselves constantly threatened by Africans, by the state, and by the moral failures of other settlers; and they daily enacted their claims to supremacy through rituals of prestige, deference, humiliation, and violence. The book explains how settlers could proclaim real affection for their African servants, tend to them with intimate medical procedures, as well as whip, punch and kick them – for these were central to the joy of settlement, and the preservation of settlement. It explains why settlers could be as equally alarmed by an African man with a fine hat, Russian Jews, and a black policeman, as by white drunkards, adulterers, and judges – all posed dangers to white prestige.
The question of cattle has been ignored not just by scholars working on agrarian
conditions, but also by historians of medicine in India. This book is the first
full-length monograph that examines the history of colonial medicine in India
from the perspective of veterinary health. It not only fills this gap, but also
provides fresh perspectives and insights that might challenge existing
arguments. The book explores a range of themes such as famines, urbanisation,
middle-class attitudes, caste formations etc. One of the most striking features
of veterinary administration was its preoccupation with the health of horses and
military animals until the end of the nineteenth century. Examining veterinary
records, it becomes evident that colonial officials were much less imbued with
the 'white man's burden' when it came to preserving indigenous
cattle stock. The book shows that the question of finances could influence areas
such as laboratory research, as is evident in the operations of the Imperial
Bacteriological Laboratory. In its account on famines and cattle mortality, it
highlights the meagreness and ineffectiveness of relief measures. The book then
examines the question of caste identities, especially that of the Chamars
(popularly known as leatherworkers). It also explores the process whereby
stereotypes regarding caste groups were formed, inspecting how they came to be
crystallised over time. A central concern of the book is to study the nature,
priorities, and guiding principles of the colonial state. Finally, the book
adopts a long-term perspective, choosing to study a rather long chronological
In the 1940s, the British king, the Dutch queen and the Japanese emperor reigned
over colonial possessions in Asia, whose ‘protected’ indigenous monarchs
included Indian and Himalayan maharajas, Shan princes in Burma, and sultans in
the Malay states and the Dutch East Indies, as well as the Vietnamese emperor
and the Cambodian and Lao king in the French republican empire, and the ‘white
raja’ of Sarawak. Decolonisation posed the question about the form of government
to be adopted in successor states to the colonial empires and about the fate of
local dynasties. As their possessions gained independence, the European and
Japanese monarchies also had to adapt to a post-imperial world. This collection
of original essays by an international group of distinguished historians argues
that the institution of monarchy, and individual monarchs, occupied key roles in
the process of decolonisation. It analyses the role of monarchy (both foreign
and indigenous) in the late colonial period and with decolonisation. It examines
the post-colonial fate of thrones buffeted and sometimes destroyed by
republicanism and radicalism. It assesses the ways that surviving dynasties and
the descendants of abolished dynasties have adapted to new social and political
orders, and it considers the legacies left by extant and defunct dynasties in
Indigenous people in Britain’s settler colonies engaged Queen Victoria in their diplomacy and politics, and incorporated her into their intellectual and narrative traditions. These interpretations of Victoria have much to tell us about indigenous peoples’ experiences of and responses to British colonization, and they also make a significant contribution to historical and contemporary understandings of British imperial and colonial history. The essays in this volume, that focus on Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, offer detailed studies from these settings, of the political, imaginative, diplomatic and intellectual uses of Queen Victoria by indigenous peoples. They also consider the ways in which the Crown’s representatives employed the figure of the monarch in their dealings with the people displaced by British colonization. The collection offers compelling examples of the traffic of ideas, interpretations and political strategies among and between indigenous people and colonial officials across the settler colonies. Together the chapters demonstrate the contributions that Indigenous peoples of the settler colonies made to British imperial culture and cultures of monarchy.
In the Club presents a comprehensive examination of social clubs across South Asia. Often a target of intellectual scorn or literary ridicule, In the Club reorients attention towards the complex – and until now, often hidden inner workings of club life, while at the same time arguing for clubs as key contributors to South Asia’s colonial associational life and civil society. Using government records, personal memoirs, private club records, and club histories themselves, In the Club thematically explores colonial club life. All clubs had legal underpinnings that enmeshed them in larger colonial legal networks. Clubs maintained physical locations that demanded a wide variety of accommodations in their local Indian environs. No club could avoid veering near or off financial cliffs as their profits and losses swung wildly, sometimes out of control. Indians and Britons worked shoulder to shoulder in clubs, often utilizing a vast employment network to better themselves and move up the club hierarchy. Clubs are (in) famous for their racial overtones and policies, but In the Club challenges this assertion for what has been more hype than reality. By the early twentieth century, Indian and British women benefited from their own clubs, while "The Club", far from being a colonial relic, has continued to thrive in postcolonial South Asia. Woven together, these chapters shed light on a variety of networks (social, ideological, and logistical) that penetrated every club, while at the same time locating clubs in a growing associational world that reached from India to Britain and beyond.
Crowns and Colonies is a set of sixteen original essays by distinguished international scholars that explore the relationship between European monarchies and overseas empires. The essays argue that during much of the history of colonialism there existed a direct and important link between most colonial empires and the institutions of monarchy. The contributions, which encompass the British, French, Dutch, Italian and German empires, examine the constitutional role of the monarchs in overseas territories brought under their flag, royal prerogatives exercised in the empires, individual connections between monarchs and their colonial domains, such aspects of monarchical rule as royal tours and regalia, and the place of indigenous hereditary rulers in the colonial system. Several chapters also focus on the evolution of the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth and former British colonies.
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.
Imperial heroes embodied the symbolic implementation of the colonial project and performed a highly mythologized meeting between conquerors and conquered. They were a crucial element of the 'European encounter with Africa' that took place as part of the Scramble for Africa. The book explores systematically the multiple outlets through which heroes of the British and French empires were celebrated, how their reputations were made over several decades and who sustained them. It looks at the general socio-cultural and political trends prevalent in Britain and France, and considers micro-economic tendencies and technological developments in the cultural industry that the development of legends revolving around imperial heroes. The book allows the reader to grasp the variety of print and audiovisual media, genres and formats through which meanings were conveyed, allowing imperial heroes to reach a 'public presence'. Two major aspects invested imperial heroes with a role in society. First is the use of their image as political argument or their own political roles. The other is the values that they embodied through their own personal dedication above and beyond the call of duty. The book presents the micro-histories of the making of the legends surrounding the figures of Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand and the Sirdar Kitchener. It details how a war correspondent George Warrington Steevens, and a publisher, Blackwood and Sons, converted the fall of Khartoum to market 'With Kitchener to Khartoum' as patriotic writing.
Legacies of colonial empire are present in the demarcations of state borders, in architecture, on the pedestals of monuments, in books, and in other forms. Heroic men have not been forgotten but at the same time erstwhile insurgents rebelling against the colonial order are now celebrated as freedom fighters. Even commodities of daily life, such as coffee or rubber, bear the deep imprint of their colonial histories. This book presents imperial history as a history of interwoven, overlapping, partly contradictory memories in which non-European outlooks are considered on a more equal footing, alongside the recollections of former colonial masters. These include imperial architecture in nineteenth-century Algeria, the Koregaon obelisk in India, the Hungarian monument commemorating the thirteen martyrs of Arad, and Japan's twentieth-century post-war repositories of memories of war, empire, suffering and heroism. The heroes and villains of the imperial era include the Dutch colonial governor Jan Pietersz Coen; Robert Clive, the victor of Plassey; and the explorer and missionary David Livingstone. Other manifestations of memory include Imam Shamil who resisted the troops of Tsarist Russia. The book looks at the fragility and precariousness of repositories of imperial memory. It traces the cycles of obliviousness and remembrance, of suppression and political instrumentalisation that have accompanied the history of Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. The history of Berlin's Botanical Garden is intimately intertwined with Germany's colonial endeavours but this important aspect of the institution's history has remained all but suppressed.