Download An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British by Martin J. Wiener PDF

By Martin J. Wiener

ISBN-10: 0521513650

ISBN-13: 9780521513654

An Empire on Trial is the 1st e-book to discover the difficulty of interracial murder within the British Empire in the course of its top - studying those incidents and the prosecution of such instances in every one of 7 colonies scattered during the global. It uncovers and analyzes the tensions of empire that underlay British rule and delves into how the matter of retaining a liberal empire manifested itself within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries. The paintings demonstrates the significance of the tactics of legal justice to the heritage of the empire and the benefit of a trans-territorial method of realizing the complexities and nuances of its workings. An Empire on Trial is of curiosity to these eager about race, empire, or felony justice, and to historians of contemporary Britain or of colonial Australia, India, Kenya, or the Caribbean. Political and postcolonial theorists writing on liberalism and empire, or race and empire, also will locate this publication beneficial.

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Additional info for An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British Rule, 1870-1935

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This was not by chance; the Colonial Office, moving from an era of conquest to one of administration, consciously aimed to diminish the military character of the position and at the same time make it more of a professional career. Few of the new generation of high officials, however, were from business families, and very few indeed had not been to a “proper” public school. By the end of the nineteenth century the most common paternal occupation of high officials 36 37 38 Robert V. , 1969), p. 46.

26 Even when the victim was not an Englishman but African, West Indian, or Asian, and one would expect to find a sharp racial double standard, criminal prosecutions for excessive official violence were being taken up. As early as 1845, Captain George Hill, master of the Challenge, trading between Liverpool and the coast of Africa, found himself, to his great surprise, upon return to Liverpool charged with murder. The facts related in court were grim. After having a black ordinary seaman, Benjamin Johnson, who had several times fallen asleep on his watch, flogged, Hill had then exclaimed, “Damn that rope; it is too light,” and personally laid into Johnson on the head and shoulders with a canoe paddle, with fatal results.

Introduction 19 It is the argument of this book that a close look at interracial homicide trials, and their variation over time and place, will display British colonialism as more complex and divided than some have made it out to be. It will be shown to have been not a single “project,” but an enterprise at any given moment fractured into a number of incompatible and competing projects, all of which were subject to change over time. Law in the Empire took on many faces. It was both a tool to further British rule and a resource with which the colonized could tellingly criticize that rule.

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