Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt [NOOK Book]

Overview

This revelatory new history punctures the still widely held belief that the British Empire was an enlightened and civilizing enterprise of great benefit to its subject peoples. Instead, Britain’s Empire reveals a history of systemic repression and almost continual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a military dictatorship. For colonized peoples, the experience was a horrific one—of slavery, ...
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Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt

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Overview

This revelatory new history punctures the still widely held belief that the British Empire was an enlightened and civilizing enterprise of great benefit to its subject peoples. Instead, Britain’s Empire reveals a history of systemic repression and almost continual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a military dictatorship. For colonized peoples, the experience was a horrific one—of slavery, famine, battle and extermination.

Yet, as Richard Gott illustrates, the empire’s oppressed peoples did not go gently into that good night. Wherever Britain tried to plant its flag, there was resistance. From Ireland to India, from the American colonies to Australia, Gott chronicles the backlash. He shows, too, how Britain provided a blueprint for the genocides of twentieth-century Europe, and argues that its past leaders must rank alongside the dictators of the twentieth century as the perpetrators of crimes against humanity on an infamous scale. In tracing this history of resistance, all but lost to modern memory, Richard Gott recovers these forgotten peoples and puts them where they deserve to be: at the heart of the story of Britain’s empire.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A welcome, even necessary, corrective.”—Stephen Howe, Independent

“A pungent and provocative book ... a rich compendium of revolt.”—Gavin Bowd, Scotland on Sunday

“Richard’s book is a relentless chronicle of resistance to British rule and the brutality with which that resistance was suppressed.”—Socialist Worker

“A salutary counterblast and a goodbye to all that Niall Ferguson and his ilk would like to establish as the official history to be taught in British schools.”—Irish Left Review

“Throughout its history the British Empire was drenched in blood. Gott’s book makes an indispensable contribution towards establishing this truth.”—Socialist Review

“Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British empire.”—Richard Drayton, Guardian

Richard Drayton - Guardian
“Vivid and startling ... Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British Empire.”
Jonathan Steele - Red Pepper
“His message is stark but Gott is never shrill. He writes as a scholar, not an accuser ... His book deserves to be the definitive record that other scholars will build on for years to come.”
Stephen Howe - Independent
“A welcome, even necessary, corrective.”
Dan Glazebrook - Morning Star
“Gott’s meticulous research and quotations from primary sources bring the stories to life in a gripping yet scholarly narrative. Stimulating, inspirational and much needed.”
Gavin Bowd - Scotland on Sunday
“A pungent and provocative book ... a rich compendium of revolt.”
History Today
“A tour de force.”
Red Pepper
His message is stark but Gott is never shrill. He writes as a scholar, not an accuser ... His book deserves to be the definitive record that other scholars will build on for years to come.— Jonathan Steele
Independent
A welcome, even necessary, corrective.— Stephen Howe
Morning Star
Gott’s meticulous research and quotations from primary sources bring the stories to life in a gripping yet scholarly narrative. Stimulating, inspirational and much needed.— Dan Glazebrook
Scotland on Sunday
A pungent and provocative book ... a rich compendium of revolt.— Gavin Bowd
The Independent
A welcome, even necessary, corrective.”— Stephen Howe
Socialist Worker
A relentless chronicle of resistance to British rule and the brutality with which that resistance was suppressed.
Irish Left Review
A salutary counterblast and a goodbye to all that Niall Ferguson and his ilk would like to establish as the official history to be taught in British schools.
Guardian
Vivid and startling ... Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British Empire.— Richard Drayton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844678921
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 1,180,872
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Gott is a former Latin America correspondent and features editor for the Guardian. A specialist in Latin American affairs, his books include Cuba: A New History, Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, The Appeasers (with Martin Gilbert), Land Without Evil, Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution, and Britain’s Empire. He is currently an honorary research fellow at the institute for the study of the Americas at the University of London.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I The Challenge to Imperial Power: Native Americans, Caribbean Slaves, Indian Princes and Irish Peasants, 1755-72 9

1 Native American Resistance during me French and Indian War 14

2 The Last Great Native American Rebellions 23

3 Slave Rebellions in the Caribbean 30

4 Treaties and Proclamation Mark the End of the French and Indian War 36

5 Muslim Resistance in Bengal and Mysore 39

6 Peasant Resistance in Ireland 49

Part II White Settler Revolt in America, and Fresh Resistance in Canada, India and the Caribbean, 1770-89 55

7 Episodes of Resistance during the American War of Independence 61

8 Native American Resistance to Fur Traders in Western Canada 72

9 The Resistance in Southern India 75

Part III The Loss of America Creates a Need for New Prisons Abroad and a Place to Settle Black 'Empire Loyalists', 1786-1802 79

10 The British Search for Distant Gulags 83

11 The Black Settlers of Sierra Leone 91

Part IV Britain Expands Its Counter-Revolutionary Empire During the War Against Revolutionary France, 1793-1802 95

12 Resistance to Empire in the Caribbean in the Wake of the French Revolution 104

13 Slaves and 'Free Coloureds' in the French Islands of the Caribbean Resist Absorption in the Empire 109

14 Europe's Revolutionary Conflict Spreads to South Africa 121

15 The Dutch Empire in Ceylon 127

16 The Great Irish Rebellion of 1798 130

17 Tipu Sultan and the Final Resistance of Indian Forces in Mysore 138

Part V Resistance to Imperial Expansion During the Wars Against Napoleon, 1803-15 143

18 Rebellions, Revolts and Mutinies in the Caribbean 149

19 The Resistance of the Marathas to the British Invasion of Central India 156

20 Mutiny and Revolt by Muslim Sepoys and European Officers 161

21 Rebellion in Australia and the Slaughter of Aborigines 164

22 Resistance in South Africa, South America and Egypt 169

23 Slave Rebellion, Xhosa Resistance, and White Settler Revolt in Cape Colony 175

24 British Penetration into the Persian Gulf 183

25 The British Seizure of Mauritius, the Seychelles and Indonesia 188

26 Bulbhadar Singh and the Gurkha Resistance in Nepal 197

27 The British Conquest of Kandy 199

Part VI Slave Revolts, White Settlement, Indigenous Extermination, and the Advance into Burma and Assam, 1816-30 203

28 Slave Rebellions in the Caribbean 207

29 The Battle of Seven Oaks, Canada 215

30 Revolts and Resistance in Central India 218

31 Revolt, Fresh Settlement and Extermination in Cape Colony 223

32 The British Base and Prison on the Island of Singapore 230

33 Years of Unrest Culminate in a Fresh Revolt in Ireland 233

34 Aborigine Resistance in Australia and White Retaliation 237

35 The Ashanti Defeat the British at Esamankow 242

36 The Burmese Empire Fights Back 244

37 Tea and Strategy: The Rajahs and Hill Peoples of Assam Rebel 251

Part VII An End to Colonial Slavery and Resistance to Fresh Settlement, 1830-38 257

38 Slave Rebellions in the Caribbean Hasten the End of Slavery 263

39 White Settlers Devise New Ways to Hunt the Australian Aborigines 268

40 The Whitefeet in Ireland Oppose the Payment of Tithes and Rent 274

41 White Settler Rebellions and Buddhist Resistance in the East 281

42 Resistance in the Strait of Malacca 284

43 Resistance on the Gambia River in West Africa 291

44 The End of Slavery in Cape Colony, the Rebellion of Maqoma, and the Flight of the Boer Farmers 294

45 White Settler Rebellions in Canada 307

Part VIII Imperial Humiliation and Further Expansion, 1839-47 319

46 The Capture of Useful Imperial Harbours 326

47 Revolts among the Hill Tribes of Assam 329

48 Resistance to the British Invasion of Afghanistan 333

49 The Resistance of the Amirs of Sind Is Reinforced by Their Baluchi Soldiers 339

50 The Long Struggle of the Sikhs in the Punjab 345

51 Aborigine Resistance in Victoria and Queensland 354

52 Maori Resistance in New Zealand 357

53 Muslim Resistance in Sarawak 369

54 The Penultimate Battles of the Xhosa in Cape Colony 377

Part IX Prelude to the Mutiny, 1848-53 383

55 William Smith O'Brien and the Rising of the Young Irelanders 388

56 Dr Christopher Elliott, Wikrama Sardawa Siddhapa and the Rebellion of the Kandy Pretenders 395

57 The Final Rebellion of the Xhosa in Cape Colony 404

58 West African Resistance 409

59 The Start of an Endless Saga: The North-West Frontier Territories of India 412

60 The Burmese Empire Resists Further Invasion 417

Part X The Gathering Storm, 1854-58 421

61 The Taiping Rebellion Spreads Unrest among Chinese Communities Elsewhere 426

62 White Settler Rebellion in Australia and Further Aborigine Resistance 429

63 The Santals in Bengal and the Moplahs in Malabar 435

64 James Sayers Orr and the 'Angel Gabriel' Riots in Guyana 441

65 Nongqawuse and the Self-Destruction of the Xhosa in Cape Colony 444

66 The Great Rebellion in India 448

Epilogue 471

Acknowledgements 477

Notes 479

Bibliography 531

Illustration Credits 549

Index 551

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