Imperial Citizenship: Empire and the Question of Belonging

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Overview

This is the first book-length study of the ideological foundations of British imperialism in the early twentieth century. By focussing on the heretofore understudied concept of imperial citizenship, the book illustrates how the political, cultural, and intellectual underpinnings of empire were constructed and challenged by forces in both Britain and the 'Britains Overseas,' the settlement colonies of Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
Debates about imperial citizenship reveal how Britons conceived of the empire: was it an extension of the nation-state, a collection of separate and distinct communities, or a type of 'world-state'? These debates were also about the place of empire in British society, its importance to the national identity, and the degree to which imperial subjects were or were not seen as "fellow Britons." This public discourse was at its most fervent from the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) to the early 1920s, when Britain emerged victorious, shocked, and exhausted from the Great War.

Drawing on the thinking of imperial activists, publicists, ideologues, and travellers such as Lionel Curtis, John Buchan, Arnold White, Richard Jebb, and Thomas Sedgwick, the book is a comparative history of how the idea of imperial citizenship took hold in early 20th c. Britain, and how it helped foster the articulation of a broader British World. It also reveals how imperial citizenship as a form of imperial identity was challenged by voices in both Britain and the empire, and how it influenced later imperial developments such as the immigration to Britain of 'imperial citizens' from the colonies after the Second World War. A work of political, intellectual, and cultural history, the book re-incorporate the histories of the settlement colonies into imperial history, and suggests the importance of comparative history in understanding the imperial endeavour. It should be of interest to students of imperialism, British political and intellectual history, and of the various former dominions, as well as readers broadly interested in Britain's imperial past.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an interesting look at a significant period in modern British, and World,  history."—E. B. Contemporary Review
 
"Imperial Citizenship is a dense and thoroughly researched book that merits the attention of scholars interested in the intellectual and cultural impact of empire in Britain." —Thomas Hajkowski, H-Net Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719082146
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Gorman is Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
• List of abbreviations
• General editor’s introduction
• Imperial citizenship
• Part I  Theories of imperial citizenship
• Lionel Curtis: imperial citizenship as a prelude to world government
• John Buchan, romantic imperialism, and the question of who belongs
• The imperial garden: Arnold White and the parochial view of imperial citizenship
• Part II  Experiments in imperial citizenship
• Richard Jebb, intra-imperial immigration, and the practical problems of imperial citizenship
• Practical imperialism: Thomas Sedgwick and imperial emigration
• The failure of imperial citizenship
• Appendices
• Bibliography
• Index

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