Moving between Britain and Jamaica this book examines the world of commerce, consumption and cultivation created and sustained through an engagement with the business of slavery. Tracing the activities of a single extended family – the Hibberts – it explores how the system of slavery impacted on the social, cultural, economic and political landscape of Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Integrating an analysis of the family as political and economic actors with an examination of their activities within the domestic and cultural sphere, the book provides an overview of the different ways in which slavery reshaped society both at home and out in the empire. From relatively humble beginnings in the cotton trade in Manchester, the Hibberts ascended through the ranks of Jamaica’s planter-merchant elite. During the abolition campaigns they were leading proslavery advocates and played a vital role in securing compensation for the slave owners. With a fortune built on slavery, the family invested in country houses, collecting, botany and philanthropy. Slavery profoundly altered the family both in terms of its social position and its intimate structure. The Hibberts’ trans-generational story imbricates the personal and the political, the private and the public, the local and the global. It is both the personal narrative of a family and an analytical frame through which to explore Britain’s participation in, and legacies of, transatlantic slavery. It is a history of trade, colonisation, exploitation, enrichment and the tangled web of relations that gave meaning to the transatlantic world.
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.
Southern Africa played a varied but vital role in Britain's maritime and imperial stories. The region was one of the most intricate pieces in the British imperial strategic jigsaw, and representations of southern African landscape and maritime spaces reflect its multifaceted position. This book examines the ways in which British travellers, explorers and artists viewed southern Africa in a period of evolving and expanding British interest in the region. Cape Town occupied in the visual and cultural understanding of British people in the 1760s. It is a representation of southern Africa. The book presents a study that examines and contextualises such representations of southern African landscapes, seascapes and settlements by British officials, travellers and artists. It interrogates how and why these descriptions and depictions came about, as well as the role they played in the British imagining and understanding of southern African spaces. The focus is on a period of evolving and expanding British interest and intervention in southern Africa, its impact on peoples and their environs, and the expression in contemporary landscape and seascape representation. British formal control at the Cape of Good Hope brought European aesthetic frameworks to bear on the viewing of landscapes. Exploration and imperialism were defining features of the British experience in southern Africa. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, contemporary travelogues and visual images, the book posits landscape as a useful prism through which to view changing British attitudes towards Africa.
Much of the world today is governed by the clock. The project to incorporate the globe within a matrix of hours, minutes and seconds demands recognition as one of the most significant manifestations of Europe's universalising will. This book is an examination of the ways that western-European and specifically British concepts and rituals of time were imposed on other cultures as a fundamental component of colonisation during the nineteenth century. It explores the intimate relationship between the colonisation of time and space in two British settler-colonies and its instrumental role in the exportation of Christianity, capitalism and modernity. Just as the history of colonialism is often written without much reference to time, the history of time is frequently narrated without due reference to colonialism. Analysing colonial constructions of 'Aboriginal time', the book talks about pre-colonial zodiacs that have been said to demonstrate an encyclopedic oral knowledge of the night sky. Temporal control was part of everyday life during the process of colonization. Discipline and the control of human movements were channelled in a temporal as well as a spatial manner. In the colony of Victoria, missions and reserves sought to confine Aboriginal people within an unseen matrix of temporal control, imposing curfews and restrictions which interrupted the regular flow of pre-colonial patterns, rituals and calendars. Christianity had brought civilised conceptions of time to the Xhosa. Reports of Sabbath observance were treated by Britain's humanitarians as official evidence of missionary success in planting the seeds of Christianity, commerce and civilization.
This book is about the impact of decolonisation on British society in the 1960s.
It moves away from the traditional focus on cultural, media, and governmental
archives to analyse public agency and civic forms of engagement with the
declining empire. Through a close examination of middle-class associational life
it broadens our understanding of who had a stake in decolonisation while also
revealing the optimism and enthusiasm with which members of the British public
developed visions for a post-imperial global role. By studying a wide range of
associational organisations this book shows that globalisation and
decolonisation opened up new opportunities for international engagement for
middle-aged members of middle-class society. In the 1960s for many participants
in associational life it became a civic duty to engage, understand, and
intervene to help the shrinking world in which they lived. This book uncovers
how associations and organisations acted on this sense of duty, developing
projects that promoted friendship and hospitality as the foundations of world
peace, visions for secular and religious forms of humanitarianism that
encouraged relationships of both sympathy and solidarity with those in the
global South, and plans to increase international understanding through
educative activities. This book will be useful to scholars of modern British
history, particularly those with interests in empire, internationalism, and
civil society. The book is also designed to be accessible to undergraduates
studying these areas.
This book examines British imperial attitudes towards China during their early
encounters from 1792 to 1840. It makes the first attempt to bring together the
political history of Sino-Western relations and cultural studies of British
representations of China, as a new way of understanding the origins of the Opium
War – a deeply consequential event which arguably reshaped relations between
China and the West for the next hundred years. The book focuses on the crucial
half-century before the war, a medium-term (moyenne durée) period which scholars
such as Kitson and Markley have recently compared in importance to that of the
American and French Revolutions. This study investigates a range of
Sino-British political moments of connection, from the Macartney embassy
(1792–94), through the Amherst embassy (1816–17) to the Napier incident (1834)
and the lead-up to the opium crisis (1839–40). It examines a wealth of primary
materials, some of which have not received sufficient attention before, focusing
on the perceptions formed by those who had first-hand experience of China or
possessed political influence in Britain. The book shows that through this
period Britain produced increasingly hostile feelings towards China, but at the
same time British opinion formers and decision-makers disagreed with each other
on fundamental matters such as whether to adopt a pacific or aggressive policy
towards the Qing and the disposition of the Chinese emperor. This study, in the
end, reveals how the idea of war against the Chinese empire was created on the
basis of these developing imperial attitudes.
In November 1880 the Reverend Charles Thompson arrived at Kherwara, Rajasthan, India, to establish the first Anglican mission to the Bhils, a primitive tribe, by going amongst them as a healer. This book sets out the history of the interaction between the missionaries and the Bhils, a history of missionary medicine, and how certain Bhils forged their own relationship with modernity. During the 1870s, the Church Missionary Society declared its intention to open more missions 'among the non-Aryan hill-people', and the Bishop of Lahore wanted more missions to work amongst the 'aboriginal' Bhils. A great famine that began in 1899 brought radical changes in the mission to the Bhils. After the famine, many of the Bhagats, a local sect, became convinced that the sinless deity was the God of Christians, and they decided to convert en masse to Christianity. The missionaries working amongst the Bhils believed that Satan was in their midst, who was constantly enticing their hard-won converts to relinquish their new faith and revert to their 'heathen' ways. It was argued that 'heathen' beliefs and culture could be attacked only if female missionaries were required to work with native women. Mission work had always been hampered by a lack of funds, and at one time, the hospital at Lusadiya had to dissuade many would-be inpatients from coming for treatment due to lack of beds. The book also deals with the work of the mission in the post-colonial India, which laid more stress to healing than evangelism.
The age of steam was the age of Britain's global maritime dominance, the age of enormous ocean liners and human mastery over the seas. This book charts the diverse and often conflicting interests, itineraries and experiences of commercial and political elites, common seamen and stewardesses, and Islander dock workers and passengers. It tracks the beginnings of routine steamship operations in the 1870s and the consolidation of regional trading relations in the Pacific, through to the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the First World War. Charting the rise of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand (USSCo.) and its extension into the island and transpacific trades, the book examines the ways political leaders in New Zealand and Australia recruited maritime transport operations to support regional agendas. Accounts for continuity and change in crew culture heralded by the transition from sail to steam and the rise of managerial capitalism in the late nineteenth century come next. The imperial maritime labour market was racially diverse. The book also examines the presence of stewardesses and passengers, working and living at the 'coal face' of a new world of transport and trade, and Suva's early years as the Fijian capital. It explores how the savages on the shoreline have in fact become peaceable, non- threatening wharf labourers through the transformative reach of imperial transport, communication and trading networks. Under the terms of the Merchant Shipping Act 1823 (the Lascar Act), Indian sailors were not freely entitled to serve on merchant vessels trading internationally.
While most of the Germans who suffered expulsion during the First World War lived within British shores, the Royal Navy brought Germans from throughout the world to face incarceration in the their network of camp. This book offers a new interpretation of global migration from the early nineteenth until the early twentieth century. It examines the elite German migrants who progressed to India, especially missionaries, scholars and scientists, businessmen and travellers. The book investigates the reasons for the migration of Germans to India. An examination of the realities of German existence in India follows. It then examines the complex identities of the Germans in India in the century before the First World War. The role of the role of racism, orientalism and Christianity is discussed. The stereotypes that emerged from travelogues include: an admiration of Indian landscapes; contempt for Hinduism; criticism of the plight of women; and repulsion at cityscapes. The book moves to focus upon the transformation which took place as a result of this conflict, mirroring the plight of Germans in other parts of the world. The marginalisation which took place in 1920 closely mirrored the plight of the German communities throughout the British Empire. The unique aspect of the experience in India consisted of the birth of a national identity. Finally, the book places the experience of the Germans in India into four contexts: the global history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; German history; history of the British Empire in India; and Indian history.
The Victorian private solider was a despised figure. Yet in the first sixteen months of the Great War two and a half million men from the UK and many more from the empire, flocked to the colours without any form of legal compulsion. This book is the result of reflection on one of the most extraordinary mass movements in history: the surge of volunteers into the British army during the first sixteen months of the Great War. The notion that compulsory service in arms was repugnant to British tradition was mistaken. The nation's general state of mind, system of values and set of attitudes derived largely from the upper middle class, which had emerged and become dominant during the nineteenth century. The book examines the phenomenon of 1914 and the views held by people of that class, since it was under their leadership that the country went to war. It discusses the general theoretical notions of the nature of war of two nineteenth-century thinkers: Karl von Clausewitz and Charles Darwin. By 1914 patriotism and imperialism were interdependent. The early Victorians directed their abundant political energies chiefly towards free trade and parliamentary reform. It was the Germans' own policy which jolted the British into unity, for the Cabinet and the nation were far from unanimously in favour of war until the Germans attacked Belgium. Upper-class intellectual culture was founded on the tradition of 'liberal education' at the greater public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge.