Racial Crossings: Race, Intermarriage, and the Victorian British Empire
The Victorians were fascinated with intersections between different races. Whether in sexual or domestic partnerships, in interracial children, racially diverse communities or societies, these 'racial crossings' were a lasting Victorian concern. But in an era of imperial expansion, when slavery was abolished, colonial wars were fought, and Britain itself was reformed, these concerns were more than academic. In both the British empire and imperial Britain, racial crossings shaped what people thought about race, the future, the past, and the conduct and possibilities of empire. Victorian fears of miscegenation and degeneration are well known; this study turns to apparently opposite ideas where racial crossing was seen as a means of improvement, a way of creating new societies, or a mode for furthering the rule of law and the kingdom of Heaven. Salesa explores how and why the preoccupation with racial crossings came to be so important, so varied, and so widely shared through the writings and experiences of a raft of participants: from Victorian politicians and writers, to philanthropists and scientists, to those at the razor's edge of empire - from soldiers, missionaries, and settlers, to 'natives', 'half-castes' and other colonized people. Anchored in the striking history of colonial New Zealand, where the colonial policy of 'racial amalgamation' sought to incorporate and intermarry settlers and New Zealand Māori, Racial Crossings examines colonial encounters, working closely with indigenous ideas and experiences, to put Victorian racial practice and thought into sharp, critical, relief.
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aborigines amongst archive argued Auckland Belich Binney Britain British claims colonial government Colonial Office colonial rule colonists Company’s critical Daily Southern Cross Darwin Dieffenbach domestic Earl Grey Empire encounters English Ethnological European February gender Gorst governor Grey’s half-caste children half-castes half-castes and mixed hapū hāwhe kāehe Hawtrey historians History Hokioi hybrid Ibid imperial indigenous indigenous communities indigenous discourses intermarriage intimate Islands James John Judith Binney Keith Sinclair Kīngitanga Kooti Letters and Journals living London Maori marriage married Marsden Merivale missionaries mixed families Morgan Nelson Examiner networks official Pakeha Pākehā Māori particularly political polygenists population practices Prichard problem of racial race crossing racial amalgamation racial crossing reform relations relationships Report Selwyn settlement settlers Sinclair social Society specific strategy systematic colonization Tangata Whenua Taranaki Taranaki Herald tion Titokowaru Tony Ballantyne Waikato Wakefield Wars Wellington whaling whānau Wohlers women Zealand Company