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By Martin J. Wiener

An Empire on Trial is the 1st ebook to discover the difficulty of interracial murder within the British Empire in the course of its top - analyzing those incidents and the prosecution of such instances in every one of 7 colonies scattered through the global. It uncovers and analyzes the tensions of empire that underlay British rule and delves into how the matter of preserving a liberal empire manifested itself within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. The paintings demonstrates the significance of the procedures of legal justice to the background of the empire and the good thing about a trans-territorial method of figuring out the complexities and nuances of its workings. An Empire on Trial is of curiosity to these fascinated with race, empire, or legal justice, and to historians of recent 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 booklet precious.

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C. Snelling and T. J. Barron, “The Colonial Office and Its Permanent Officials 1801– 1914,” in Studies in the Growth of Nineteenth Century Government 1801–1914, ed. Gillian Sutherland (Cambridge, 1972), p. 153. Introduction 17 Herbert in 1871, they lost that ear. From this point through the rest of the century, the Colonial Office’s dominating concern (which was generally shared or accepted by the politicians nominally in charge of it) was to maintain orderly and effective government throughout the vast holdings of the Crown, without having to go to the Treasury, and without having to face embarrassing questions in Parliament.

The better-paid and less onerous positions of “able-bodied [skilled] seamen” were usually reserved for whites, although a few Asians or blacks of long experience could attain those jobs. ” Some masters preferred lascar crews. ”16 However, occasionally their submissiveness would be tested too far. In 1883, two crews of 120 Indian seamen were reported to be in revolt at the news of British suppression of a rebellion in Egypt. A London newspaper announced that “fanatical Moslems have been on a mission to the docks, proclaiming as unholy the English crusade against 13 14 15 16 Balachandran, op.

As late as 1841, a Kent grand jury no-billed a murder charge brought by a coroner’s inquest against two merchant marine officers who had a sick young sailor towed astern of a ship for forty days. ” He was forced to, in the words of the inquest, “inhabit a certain boat attached to the said vessel . . ” Sago was not given any medical attention, but was periodically beaten with ropes and doused with freezing water. Not surprisingly, he died before the end of the voyage. 1 It took a great deal of mistreatment to bring ships’ officers before the bar of criminal judgment.

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