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Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927
     

Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927

by Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs
 

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They built some of the first communal structures on the empire's frontiers. The empire's most powerful proconsuls sought entrance into their lodges. Their public rituals drew dense crowds from Montreal to Madras. The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons were quintessential builders of empire, argues Jessica Harland-Jacobs. In this first study of the relationship between

Overview

They built some of the first communal structures on the empire's frontiers. The empire's most powerful proconsuls sought entrance into their lodges. Their public rituals drew dense crowds from Montreal to Madras. The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons were quintessential builders of empire, argues Jessica Harland-Jacobs. In this first study of the relationship between Freemasonry and British imperialism, Harland-Jacobs takes readers on a journey across two centuries and five continents, demonstrating that from the moment it left Britain's shores, Freemasonry proved central to the building and cohesion of the British Empire.

The organization formally emerged in 1717 as a fraternity identified with the ideals of Enlightenment cosmopolitanism, such as universal brotherhood, sociability, tolerance, and benevolence. As Freemasonry spread to Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australasia, and Africa, the group's claims of cosmopolitan brotherhood were put to the test. Harland-Jacobs examines the brotherhood's role in diverse colonial settings and the impact of the empire on the brotherhood; in the process, she addresses issues of globalization, supranational identities, imperial power, fraternalism, and masculinity. By tracking an important, identifiable institution across the wide chronological and geographical expanse of the British Empire, Builders of Empire makes a significant contribution to transnational history as well as the history of the Freemasons and imperial Britain.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Ambitious and absorbing . . . a careful, measured accounting of the broad Imperial scope of British and Irish Masonry, based on impressively wide-ranging archival research and serious engagement with recent historiographical debates.--Journal of Modern History

Brings long overdue recognition to the importance of Freemasonry to the culture of the British Empire and provides a firm foundation upon which other scholars can build.--Journal of World History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469613482
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Edition description:
1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,389,669
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Thoroughly researched, richly illustrated, and clearly argued, this work makes a solid contribution to British and British Empire history. . . . Essential.--CHOICE

Meet the Author

Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs is associate professor of history at the University of Florida.

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