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Week 3

An Imperial People?

I. How did British patriotism change between the eighteenth century and the end of the First World War?
II. How popular was Empire in the first decades of the century?
III. Did Empire mean that Britishness extended far beyond the United Kingdom?


IV. What insight on the place of Empire in British life in the early twentieth century emerges from analysis of The Times?

• Spend some time exploring the extent to which The Times can provide insight, using the search facilities of the online version (available via the Library’s electronic resources).
• On patriotism: H. Cunningham, ‘The Language of Patriotism, 1750-1914’, History Workshop Journal, 12 (1981), 8-33; M. Taylor, ‘John Bull and the Iconography of Public Opinion in England, c. 1712-1929’, Past & Present, 110 (1992), 93-128; M. Taylor, ‘Patriotism, History and the Left in Twentieth Century Britain’, Historical Journal, 33 (1990); R. Colls & P. Dodd (eds.), Englishness (1986).
• There are plenty of good surveys of imperial history. For instance: B. Porter, The Lion’s Share: A Short History of British Imperialism 1850-1983 (1984); P. Cain & A. Hopkins, British Imperialism: Innovation and Expansion 1688-1914 and British Imperialism: Crisis and Deconstruction 1914-90 (1993), W.R. Louis (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire (1999).
• In recent years, there have been calls for a ‘New British History’ that recognises the imperial experience as integral to the life of the nation: P.J. Marshall, ‘Imperial Britain’, in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 23 (1995); Raphael Samuel, 'Empire Stories: The Imperial and the Domestic', in Island Stories (1998), pp. 74-100; Denis Judd, 'Britain: Land Beyond Hope and Glory?, History Today (April, 1999), 18-24. For an argument about the parallelism of a hierarchical British class system and the hierarchialism of Empire: David Cannadine, Ornamentalism (2001).
• On feelings of Britishness in other parts of the Empire: Saul Dubow, ‘How British was the British World? The Case of South Africa’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37 (2009), 1-27; Lynn Hollen Lees, ‘Being British in Malaya, 1890-1940’, Journal of British Studies, 48 (2009), 76-101; Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India (2004).
• John Mackenzie has led the way in attempting to demonstrate the influence of imperialism within popular culture: John Mackenzie (ed.), Imperialism and Popular Culture (1981); John Mackenzie, Propaganda and Empire: The Manipulation of British Public Opinion (1984). See also: John Springhall, Youth, Empire and Society: British Youth Movements, 1883-1940 (1976); J.A. Mangan, The Cultural Bond: Sport, Empire and Society (1992).
• For the marketing of Empire in interwar Britain: S. Constantine, Buy and Build: The Advertising Posters of the Empire Marketing Board (1986).
• On the relationship to free trade economics and the pressure to introduce trade tariffs that would support the bonds of Empire: Frank Trentmann, Free Trade Nation: Commerce, Consumption and Civil Society in Modern Britain (2008).
• For the turn-of-the-century vision of a nation which could embrace Empire - a ‘Greater Britain’: J.R. Seeley, The Expansion of England (1883). And see work on Joseph Chamberlain, the debate over tariff reform and the ‘crisis of conservatism’ of this era: E.H.H. Green, The Crisis of Conservatism, 1880-1914 (1994); E.H.H. Green, ‘Radical Conservatism: the Electoral Genesis of Tariff Reform’, Historical Journal, 26 (1985); G. Searle, 'Critics of Edwardian Society: The Case of the Radical Right', in A. O'Day (ed.), The Edwardian Age: Conflict and Stability, 1900-1914 (1979). And for an attempt to assess the impact of imperialism on the British working-class electorate at the start of the century: R. Price, An Imperial War and the British Working Class (1972).