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British imperial attitudes towards China, 1792–1840

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.

Editor: Donal Lowry

The neo-classical troopers' memorial of New Zealand, together with others around the former British Empire, illustrates the manner in which the South African War became a major imperial. This book explores how South Africa is negotiating its past in and through various modes of performance in contemporary theatre, public events and memorial spaces. Opinion on the war was as divided among white Afrikaners, Africans, 'Coloureds' and English-speaking white South Africans as these communities were from each other. The book analyses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as a live event and as an archive asking throughout how the TRC has affected the definition of identity and memory in contemporary South Africa, including disavowed memories. It surveys a century of controversy surrounding the origins of the war and in particular the argument that gold shaped British policy towards the Transvaal in the drift towards war. The remarkable South African career of Flora Shaw, the first woman to gain a professional position on The Times, is portrayed in the book. The book also examines the expensive operation mounted by The Times in order to cover the war. While acknowledging the need not to overstress the role of personality, the book echoes J. A. S. Grenville in describing the combination of Milner and Chamberlain as a 'fateful partnership'. Current renegotiations of popular repertoires, particularly songs and dances related to the struggle, revivals of classic European and South African protest plays, new history plays and specific racial and ethnic histories and identities, are analysed.

Imperialism, Politics and Society

In the twenty years between the end of the First World War and the start of the Second, the French empire reached its greatest physical extent. At the end of the First World War, the priority of the French political community was to consolidate and expand the French empire for, inter alia, industrial mobilisation and global competition for strategic resources. The book revisits debates over 'associationism' and 'assimilationism' in French colonial administration in Morocco and Indochina, and discusses the Jonnart Law in Algeria and the role of tribal elites in the West African colonies. On the economy front, the empire was tied to France's monetary system, and most colonies were reliant on the French market. The book highlights three generic socio-economic issues that affected all strata of colonial society: taxation and labour supply, and urban development with regard to North Africa. Women in the inter-war empire were systematically marginalised, and gender was as important as colour and creed in determining the educational opportunities open to children in the empire. With imperialist geographical societies and missionary groups promoting France's colonial connection, cinema films and the popular press brought popular imperialism into the mass media age. The book discusses the four rebellions that shook the French empire during the inter-war years: the Rif War of Morocco, the Syrian revolt, the Yen Bay mutiny in Indochina, and the Kongo Wara. It also traces the origins of decolonisation in the rise of colonial nationalism and anti-colonial movements.

Lord Napier and most British observers in the mid-1830s could not have foreseen that a large-scale military conflict would break out between Britain and China within just a few years. As discussed in the Introduction, much has been written about this milestone in the history of Sino-Western encounters – the First Anglo-Chinese War, or the Opium War – but some important questions have escaped our close attention. When exactly did the war begin? Some maintain that it was in 1839; others believe that it began in 1840. What was the immediate

in Creating the Opium War
The Cypriot Mule corps, imperial loyalty and silenced memory

Most Cypriots and British today do not know that Cypriots even served in the Great War. This book contributes to the growing literature on the role of the British non-settler empire in the Great War by exploring the service of the Cypriot Mule Corps on the Salonica Front, and after the war in Constantinople. This book speaks to a number of interlocking historiographies, contributing to various debates especially around enlistment/volunteerism, imperial loyalty and veterans' issues. At the most basic level, it reconstructs the story of Cypriot Mule Corps' contribution, of transporting wounded men and supplies to the front, across steep mountains, with dangerous ravines and in extreme climates. The book argues that Cypriot mules and mule drivers played a pivotal role in British logistics in Salonica and Constantinople, especially the former. It explores the impact of the war on Cypriot socio-economic conditions, particularly of so many men serving abroad on the local economy and society. The issues that arose for the British in relation to the contracts they offered the Cypriots, contracts offered to the muleteers, and problems of implementing the promise of an allotment scheme are also discussed. Behavioural problems one finds with military corps, such as desertion and crime, were not prevalent in the Cypriot Mule Corps. The book also explores the impact of death and incapacity on veterans and dependants, looking at issues that veterans faced after returning and resettling into Cypriot life.

Between 1940 and 1945 the French empire divided against itself. This book presents the events in the French empire in the 1940s, and traces the period of wartime French imperial division, setting it within the wider international politics of the Second World War. It discusses the collapse of France's metropolitan forces during the second week of June 1940, which became a calamity for the French empire. The final breakdown of the Anglo-French alliance during the latter half of 1940 was played out on the African continent, in heavily defended French imperial territory of vital strategic importance to Allied communications. The Vichy empire lost ground to that of the Charles de Gaulle's Free French, something which has often been attributed to the attraction of the Gaullist mystique and the spirit of resistance in the colonies. Indo-China was bound to be considered a special case by the Vichy regime and the Free French movement. Between late 1940 and 1945, the French administration in Indo-China was forced by circumstances to plough a distinctive furrow in order to survive intact. The book discusses the St Pierre and Miquelon affair, and the invasion of Madagascar, and deals with the issue of nationalism in North Africa, before and after the Operation Torch. The contradiction between the French commitment to constitutional reform and the few colonial subjects actually affected by it was echoed in the wartime treatment of France's colonial forces.

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The empire and international crisis in the 1930s

As international tension increased during the 1930s, the idea that the empire could compensate for French demographic, economic and military weakness next to the fascist powers gained favour in Paris. It was widely assumed in government and parliament that the colonial contribution to any future war in Europe would exceed that of 1914–18. And

in The French empire between the wars

all sides in the struggle to take over shares of the market and create new ones. Nevertheless, it retained a position and a prestige unrivalled by any other broadsheet. It was still the largest paper on Fleet Street, rarely falling below eighteen pages a day and often, particularly during the war, reaching over twenty. Only the Daily Telegraph came close to this. More

in The South African War reappraised
The Syrian campaign and Free French administration in the Levant, 1941–45

In war, there are problems that one can evade only so long as the enemy does not raise them. The Levant problem was one such. [Georges Catroux 1 ] France and the Levant Premier

in The French empire at war 1940–45
Opportunity or exile?

Emigration from Scotland has always been very high. However, emigration from Scotland between the wars surpassed all records; more people emigrated than were born, leading to an overall population decline. This book examines emigration in the years between the two world wars of the twentieth century. Although personal persuasion remained the key factor in stimulating emigration, professional and semi-professional agents also played a vital part in generating and directing the exodus between the wars. Throughout and beyond the nineteenth century Scottish emigration was, in the public mind and public print, largely synonymous with an unwilling exodus from the highlands and islands. The book investigates the extent to which attitudes towards state-aided colonization from the highlands in the 1920s were shaped by the earlier experiences of highlanders and governments alike. It lays particular emphasis on changing and continuing perceptions of overseas settlement, the influence of agents and disparities between expectations and experiences. The book presents a survey of the exodus from lowland Scotland's fishing, farming and urbanindustrial communities that evaluates the validity of negative claims about the emigrants' motives vis-a-vis the well-publicized inducements offered through both official and informal channels. It scrutinizes the emigrants' expectations and experiences of continuity and change against the backdrop of over a century of large-scale emigration and, more specifically, of new initiatives spawned by the Empire Settlement Act. Barnardo's Homes was the first organization to resume migration work after the war, and the Canadian government supervision was extended from poor-law children to all unaccompanied juvenile migrants.