Lineages of Empire: The Historical Roots of British Imperial

Lately there was an explosion of educational and renowned curiosity within the historical past of the way Britons have thought of their Empire. This quantity specializes in the ways that the highbrow historical past and political considered glossy Britain were saturated with imperial concerns.

Chapters handle thematic questions on dimension and scale, race, colonial emigration, and the ideological makes use of of the classical culture, questions which are an important for knowing the old roots of British imperial notion. There also are reports of figures relevant to knowing the nature of highbrow debates concerning the British Empire from the 18th to the twentieth centuries: Edmund Burke, James Steuart, Adam Smith, and Harold Laski.

This quantity additionally indicates how an expertise of those histories of the imperial earlier delivers a number of classes for knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a lot modern political considering empire and imperialism. actually, whereas there are numerous experiences of the British Empire, in addition to innumerable volumes at the imperial solid of a lot smooth heritage, the thematic and chronological coherence of this quantity makes it a special assertion of the most recent considering those questions from across the world acclaimed political theorists and highbrow historians.

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Extra info for Lineages of Empire: The Historical Roots of British Imperial Thought (Proceedings of the British Academy, No. 155)

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What did it mean for newly independent countries to conceive of their collective identities in primarily political terms? What were the pressures that informed the claims to political identity and unity? How did these pressures encourage what might be thought of as a revolutionary mindset in conceptualising constitutional provisions and the ambit of political power? How does the emphasis on claiming a political identity relate to the alleged history of the nation as it had been vouched for during the struggle for independence?

A conspicuous feature of constitutionalism in the twentieth century was the emphasis it placed on national unity and identity, on social uplift and equality, and on international standing. qxd 19/3/09 10:42 Page 36 36 Uday Mehta Temporising on Freedom Notwithstanding these informing urgencies, there is a revealing irony in the emphasis that these issues assume. Much of democratic constitutionalism, and more generally anti-colonial nationalism, conceived of their provenance as a response to tyranny, and to the umbrage to collective freedom provoked by imperial subjection.

For the overthrow of insubordinate regimes, see Kinzer, Overthrow. ), Turner Thesis, pp. 4–5, 12, 22–3, 31. See Weinberg, Manifest Destiny, Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence, and Drinnon, Facing West for analysis of the Turner thesis in this context. qxd 19/3/09 10:41 Page 25 LINEAGES OF CONTEMPORARY IMPERIALISM 25 Turner’s influential analysis of US imperialism as a ‘perennial rebirth’ through the ‘return to primitive ways’ on the expanding frontier was reinforced by Rudyard Kipling in the famous poem he wrote in support of the colonisation of the Philippines, White Man’s Burden: The United States and Philippine Islands.

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