Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830-1867

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University of Chicago Press, 2002 - History - 556 pages
How did the English get to be English? In Civilising Subjects, Catherine Hall argues that the idea of empire was at the heart of mid-nineteenth-century British self-imagining, with peoples such as the "Aborigines" in Australia and the "negroes" in Jamaica serving as markers of difference separating "civilised" English from "savage" others.

Hall uses the stories of two groups of Englishmen and -women to explore British self-constructions both in the colonies and at home. In Jamaica, a group of Baptist missionaries hoped to make African-Jamaicans into people like themselves, only to be disappointed when the project proved neither simple nor congenial to the black men and women for whom they hoped to fashion new selves. And in Birmingham, abolitionist enthusiasm dominated the city in the 1830s, but by the 1860s, a harsher racial vocabulary reflected a new perception of the nonwhite subjects of empire as different kinds of men from the "manly citizens" of Birmingham.

This absorbing study of the "racing" of Englishness will be invaluable for imperial and cultural historians.
 

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Contents

V
25
VI
29
VII
59
The Preemancipation World in the Metropolitan Mind
69
VIII
71
The Baptist Missionary Society and the missionary project
86
IX
88
X
109
Mapping the Midland Metropolis
267
XIX
269
XX
292
XXI
303
XXII
311
XXIII
327
XXIV
340
XXV
349

The constitution of the new black subject
115
XI
117
XII
142
XIII
152
XIV
176
XV
201
XVI
211
XVII
231
XVIII
245
XXVI
372
XXVII
382
XXVIII
408
XXIX
426
XXX
436
XXXI
444
XXXII
509
XXXIII
538
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Page 14 - The settler makes history; his life is an epoch, an Odyssey. He is the absolute beginning: "This land was created by us"; he is the unceasing cause: "If we leave, all is lost, and the country will go back to the Middle Ages.

About the author (2002)

Catherine Hall is a professor of history at University College, London. She is the editor of Cultures of Empire: A Reader and coauthor of Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850 and Defining the Victorian Nation: Class, Race, Gender and the Reform Act of 1867.

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