Liverpool’s inconvenient imperial past

Liverpool occupies a prominent position in the contemporary popular imagination. In spite of decades of economic decline, urban decay and a name associated by some with poverty and crime, the city's reputation is by no means a negative one. The book is a collection of essays that focuses on the strength of Liverpool's merchant marine, representing both informal and formal empire over centuries. It discusses the interracial relationships in 1950s and 1960s Liverpool to demonstrate that many African and Afro-Caribbean sailors (and others) married or had relationships with white women. Given existing deficiencies in the historiographies of both Liverpool and the British Empire, the book aims to reassess both Liverpool's role within the British imperial system and the impact on the port city of its colonial connections. Liverpool's success has often been attributed to, and marred by, its being the leader in the slave trade after 1750. Napoleonic Wars were a period of great turbulence and difficulty for the Liverpool commercial community. Liverpool is perceived as a diasporic city, however, its ambiguous nineteenth-century identity reflected the tensions of its complex migrant connections. An analysis of Liverpool's business connections with South America reveals its relative commercial decline and the notion of 'gentlemanly capitalism'. The African ethnology collection of National Museums Liverpool's (NML) ethnology collections are displayed in the 'World Cultures' gallery of the World Museum Liverpool, which opened in 2005. Liverpool is perhaps not exceptional, though its networks are notable and striking.

Paul Warde

lower constraints than historic organic ones. Nevertheless, can we learn lessons from the areal, and more particularly the organic, economies of the past? The Dutch ‘Golden Age’ and natural resources During the seventeenth century, the Dutch merchant marine economy amounted to some two-fifths of that of the entire continent of Europe. The Dutch population amounted to around 2 percent (van Zanden 2000). The United Provinces were a commercial superpower that dominated the carrying trade, but the bulk of that shipping was still employed quite locally in the near European

in History, historians and development policy
Mary A. Conley

chapter focuses upon the passage of the Continuous Service Act, which effectively introduced a standing navy, the challenges of raising and meeting manning levels by recruiting from the merchant marine, and the training of boys for service. In addition, this chapter examines the rationale and development of lower-deck reforms in pay, pensions and promotions over the course of the lateVictorian and

in From Jack Tar to Union Jack
Abstract only
The empire in one city?
Sheryllynne Haggerty, Anthony Webster and Nicholas J. White

early twentieth centuries. Ocean did remain remarkably profitable in the 1950s and 1960s, but political turbulence and economic nationalism ‘east of Suez’ encouraged the group’s executives to increasingly disengage both from the sea and from Liverpool. The strength of Liverpool’s merchant marine, representing both informal and formal empire over three centuries, forces us to

in The empire in one city?
Daniel Szechi

There were two forms of Jacobite exile: a physical one overseas and a spiritual one at home. In the aftermath of defeat in the British Isles waves of Jacobites fled into exile in Europe and the wider world and had there to make new lives for themselves. Some did so by becoming pirates who made a living by attacking the British merchant marine, but mainly the exiles became soldiers, entrepreneurs and merchants in the service of other European great powers. Tens of thousands of young men also chose voluntarily to leave Ireland (and to a lesser extent Scotland) to enlist in the Irish brigades in France and Spain. These multi-layered ethnic and geographic constituencies created an overseas Jacobite community that was loyal to the exiled Stuarts and sought to sustain and further the Jacobite cause through their networks and influence on the Continent and elsewhere. Back in the British Isles, the waning of the Jacobite community and the final collapse of the cause after 1759 dispersed the movement politically, but the hostility to the prevailing order the cause had engendered among them was transmitted by old Jacobites into new causes and further opposition to the Whig regime.

in The Jacobites (second edition)
Abstract only
Andrekos Varnava

Andrekos Varnava can be heard reciting the full poem on the Manchester University Press webpage ( ). 2 Several Cypriots served in the regular British army; see SA1/558/1919. Also about 100 served in the merchant marine; see Board of Trade (BT), NAUK, BT 351/1 files for individual

in Serving the empire in the Great War
Substance, symbols, and hope
Author: Andra Gillespie

The election of Barack Obama was a milestone in US history with tremendous symbolic importance for the black community. But was this symbolism backed up by substance? Did ordinary black people really benefit under the first black president?

This is the question that Andra Gillespie sets out to answer in Race and the Obama Administration. Using a variety of methodological techniques—from content analysis of executive orders to comparisons of key indicators, such as homeownership and employment rates under Clinton, Bush, and Obama— the book charts the progress of black causes and provides valuable perspective on the limitations of presidential power in addressing issues of racial inequality. Gillespie uses public opinion data to investigate the purported disconnect between Obama’s performance and his consistently high ratings among black voters, asking how far the symbolic power of the first black family in the White House was able to compensate for the compromises of political office.

Scholarly but accessible, Race and the Obama Administration will be of interest to students and lecturers in US politics and race studies, as well as to general readers who want to better understand the situation of the black community in the US today and the prospects for its improvement.

Naval scares, imperial anxieties and naval manhood
Mary A. Conley

The interests of lower-deck advocates intersected with the concerns of navalists who were active in extra-parliamentary organisations like the British Navy League and the Imperial Maritime League. During the Navy League’s campaigns to increase naval expenditures, it argued that the future health of Britain and its empire rested on the strength and fitness of the navy, the merchant marine, and its men

in From Jack Tar to Union Jack
Author: Lucy Bland

This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

Jonathan Rayner

describes their National Maritime Union badge as ‘the only uniform we got’, and removes Pulaski’s from his coat. Chastened, Pulaski rejoins his shipmates aboard a new Liberty ship bound for Russia. This sequence is followed by scenes at the US Merchant Marine Academy. Cadet Officer Parker (Dick Hogan) is told that, in comparison with the traditions of West Point and Annapolis, their newly-established institution actually has the longest history, stemming from the example of the merchant ships which brought supplies to Washington’s troops in the War of Independence. As a

in The naval war film