impugning their proven patriotism and
their commitments to freedom and democracy against the totalitarian threat presented by both
fascism and communism. They were also dismayed by the fact that he was ‘allowing
Beaverbrook to dominate the Conservative campaign’ and that, while a great national
war leader, he was improperly seeking to exploit that reputation for sectional,
party-political ends. 11 As the
Guardian declared after Churchill’s first broadcast, ‘It is ludicrous to
hold up the men with whom he has been
1998a; Amselle 1998a, b). I have organized my essay around the
concept of ‘political rationality’, developed by Michel
Foucault (Foucault 1982, 1984, 1988a, 1991, 1997a, 1998, 2003). 2 Although
Foucault used it in multiple ways, I treat political rationality as
an analytic term that refers to socially and historically specific
logics of political practice; or, as Foucault put it, to ‘the
The political ascendancy of the
British East India Company in eastern and northern parts of India
dates back to the battle of Plassey in 1757. From then on the
Company gradually began extending its political hold to the other
parts of India. During the same period, from their base in Pune in
Western India, the Peshwa rulers (1707–1818) were also
desires and goals, or that the division’s failings were due to
South Asian squabbling. When it came down to it, partition was (from the
British perspective) a means of avoiding British responsibility while
shedding the economic burden that India had become. This fact is not
surprising – it simply reflects political realities – but it
does not jibe with imperialist propaganda about empire’s benefits
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.
The British empire was actually an amalgam of Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English empires. Punjab, 'the pride of British India', attracted the cream of the Indian Civil Service (ICS), many of the most influential of whom were Irish. Some of these men, along with Irish viceroys, were inspired by their Irish backgrounds to ensure security of tenure for the Punjabi peasant, besides developing vast irrigation schemes which resulted in the province becoming India's most affluent. This book aims to ascertain whether backgrounds of Irish public servants in Punjab, and that of Irish viceroys in dealing with Punjab affairs, engendered attitudes which were so different. The nub of the matter is whether an Irish background influenced public servants in their duties, whether or not they thought themselves primarily as British or Irish. The first part of the book deals with three Indian public services: the ICS, the Indian Medical Service (IMS) and the Indian Public Works Department (PWD). The social, religious, ethnic and educational backgrounds of Irish recruits these services and the reasons behind the remarkable increase in Irish recruitment are then discussed. British and Irish public servants influenced domestic Indian politics, especially in the admission of Indians to the very services dominated by the British. Perhaps the long-term but impermanent commitment of Irish people to the furtherance of British colonial aims merits a more apt designation, one perhaps less pejorative than 'collaborator'. Twentieth-century contemporaries made connections between north-west India and Northern Ireland by dubbing Punjab the 'Ulster of India'.
Seventeenth-century England saw the Puritan upheaval of the 1640s and 1650s and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. These crises often provoked colonial reaction, indirectly by bringing forth new ideas about government. The colonies' existence was a testament to accumulated capital and population and to a widespread desire to employ both for high and mundane ends. The growth of population and production, the rise of new and the decline of old trades were important features of 17th-century American and English history. This book presents a study that brings attention back to a century when the word imperialism had not even been coined, let alone acquired the wealth of meanings it has now. The study covers the North American and West Indian colonies as well as England. Research on American sources concentrated on the main settlements of Massachusetts, Virginia, Barbados and Jamaica, their public records, printed and manuscript correspondence and local and county records. Lesser colonies such as New York, Carolina and the New England fringe settlements they have their own stories to tell. The study firstly rests on the proposition that England's empire was shaped by the course of English politics. Secondly, it argues that although imperial history was marked by tension between colonial resistance and English authority. Finally, the broad view is taken of the politics of empire aims to establish a general framework for understanding seventeenth-century colonial history. Attention has also been paid to the political writings and the "non-colonial" activities of governments and politicians.
The relationship between Scotland and the British Empire in the twentieth century was wide-ranging. This book represents ground-breaking research in the field of Scotland's complex and often-changing relationship with the British Empire in the period. The contours of Scottish intercontinental migration were significantly redrawn during the twentieth century as a consequence of two world wars. The book reveals the apparent means used to assess the complexities of linking places of birth to migration and to various modern attempts to appeal to ethnic diasporas. The strange case of jute brings out some paradoxical dimensions to Scotland's relationship with England and the empire in the twentieth century. The book argues that the Scottish immigrants' perceptions of class, race and gender were equally important for interpreting the range of their experiences in the British Columbia. The mainstay of organised anti-colonialist critique and mobilisation, in Scotland lay in socialist and social democratic groups. The book examines how the Scottish infantry regiments, and their popular and political constituencies, responded to rapidly reducing circumstances in the era of decolonisation. Newspapers such as The Scotsman, The Glasgow Herald, and the Daily Record brought Africa to the Scottish public with their coverage of Mau Mau insurgency and the Suez Crisis. The book looks into the Scottish cultural and political revival by examining the contributions of David Livingstone. It also discusses the period of the Hamilton by-election of 1967 and the three referenda of 1979, 1997 and 2014 on devolution and independence.
The British saw Egypt as a major route to India where their interests could be threatened in alarming ways. This book sheds light on the formation of English national identities in relation to Islam as understood in the context of the British imperial mission. It focuses on the late nineteenth century, a period that marks a new departure in Anglo-Muslim relations in the context of the British Empire shifting the ground on which British identity politics operated. The role of the British Government and English activists respectively in the campaign to suppress slave traffic in Egypt and surrounding areas is discussed. Government officials and British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) members redefined English culture and proper English gender roles. Anti-slavery campaign had as much to do with English domestic as it did with Egyptian and British imperial politics. The book examines the relationships between activism in England, the implementation of government policy in Egypt and imperial encounters, as well as the production of identities and ideologies associated with these efforts. References to the East, Islam and the harem were used to define the behaviour that the English feminists sought to eliminate from their own society as un-English. The poem 'British Turk' focuses on the oppression of English women, on the burdens associated with marriage. The book also explains how the concept of the English nation as the centre of an empire helped to establish a place in England for Islam.
Gender history is more than the recovery of women's pasts and inclusion of female experiences into history. This book brings together two traditionally separate areas of historical literature: writings on women and gender on the one hand, and scholarship on British imperialism and colonialism on the other. It marks an important new intervention into a vibrant area of scholarship, creating a dialogue between the histories of imperialism and of women and gender. By engaging critically with both traditional British imperial history and colonial discourse analysis, the book demonstrates how feminist historians can play a central role in creating new histories of British imperialism. The first part of the book offers new perspectives on the nature of British imperial power through exploring the gender dimensions of the imposition of British control. It discusses study of the age of consent, body of scholarship, and British women missionaries in India. The second part talks about the gender dimensions of a spectrum of reactions to British imperialism. The focus is on colonising women and the colonized women. The third part switches from colonial contexts to explore the impact of imperialism within Britain itself. It presents both the anti-slavery discourse constructed by women anti-slavery campaigners and the 'triple discourse' of anti-slavery in early feminist tracts of 1790 to 1869 as marking key roots of the 'imperial feminism'. Finally, the inter-war period is explored focusing on the under-researched area of white women's involvement in imperial politics and race issues.