New narratives of imperial politics in the 19th century

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Parliament cares about India little more than the Cabinet. The English people, too, are very slow and very careless about everything that does not immediately affect them. They cannot be excited to any effort of India except under the pressure of some great calamity, and when that calamity is removed they fall back into their usual state of apathy.(John Bright, 1860). The sentiment of empire is innate in every Briton. (William Gladstone, 1878) The trouble with the English is that their history happened overseas, so they don't know what it means. (Salman Rushdie, 1989) For historians of the nineteenth century, the question is, arguably, not whether empire had an impact on domestic life and experience, but how. The realm of high politics is a domain where those influences are most evident, though the role of imperialism in shaping it has received comparatively little attention. If historians have been slow to see and to recognise the impact of empire on ‘domestic’ history, Britons who followed high politics from the 1830s until just after Queen Victoria's death in 1901 could not have ignored the ways in which imperial questions impinged upon and helped to shape Victorian democracy across the nineteenth century. Swing rioters and other ‘criminals’ were exiled to Australia; opium debates made their way to the floor of the House; and Irishmen and women together with former Caribbean slaves were involved in Chartist agitations – whose spokesmen drew in turn on metaphors of slavery to inform their political demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAt Home with the Empire
Subtitle of host publicationMetropolitan Culture and the Imperial World
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages212-229
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780511802263
ISBN (Print)0521854067, 9780521854061
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

Fingerprint

India
History
Britons
Historian
Slavery
Parliament
Slaves
Democracy
Opium
Queen Victoria
Domestic Life
1830s
Irishman
Victorian Era
Imperialism
Salman Rushdie
Sentiment
Swing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Burton, A. M. (2006). New narratives of imperial politics in the 19th century. In At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (pp. 212-229). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511802263.010

New narratives of imperial politics in the 19th century. / Burton, Antoinette M.

At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World. Cambridge University Press, 2006. p. 212-229.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Burton, AM 2006, New narratives of imperial politics in the 19th century. in At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World. Cambridge University Press, pp. 212-229. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511802263.010
Burton AM. New narratives of imperial politics in the 19th century. In At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World. Cambridge University Press. 2006. p. 212-229 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511802263.010
Burton, Antoinette M. / New narratives of imperial politics in the 19th century. At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World. Cambridge University Press, 2006. pp. 212-229
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