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 peak - reading those incidents and the prosecution of such situations in every one of 7 colonies scattered through the international. It uncovers and analyzes the tensions of empire that underlay British rule and delves into how the matter of keeping a liberal empire manifested itself within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. The paintings demonstrates the significance of the tactics of legal justice to the historical past of the empire and the benefit of a trans-territorial method of knowing the complexities and nuances of its workings. An Empire on Trial is of curiosity to these fascinated 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 booklet worthwhile.
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Additional resources for An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British Rule, 1870-1935
In 1864, eight sailors were tried for mutiny and murder of their master, and seven convicted and sentenced to death. Five – an Englishman and four Spaniards – were hanged, while two lascars, their “Asiatic temperament, prone to sudden fits of resentment, quick to feel outrage or insult, and prompt to revenge it,” cited in mitigation, were reprieved [The Times, 5 Feb. 1864, p. 11; Charles Hindley, Curiosities of Street Literature (London, 1871), p. 217 (broadside); Roger Chadwick, Bureaucratic Mercy: The Home Office and the Treatment of Capital Cases in Victorian Britain (New York, 1992), p.
39 These changes may have done something to narrow the intellectual and social distance between them and Whitehall; they also tended to widen the gap between them and the non-official white community in their colony. Like Judges, Governors were moved around a good deal. The average length of a governorship in our period was less than five years, and one rarely lasted more than seven years. Governors thus had a commitment to the Empire as a whole much more than to the particular colony they were administering.
R. L. , p. 46. Describing the prevailing decentralism of later Victorian and Edwardian colonial Government, M. K. Banton has noted that “only from the 1920s and 1930s did the office seek to play a role in standardizing legislation” throughout the empire [“The Colonial Office, 1820–1955: Constantly the Subject of Small Struggles,” in Masters, Servants, and Magistrates in Britain and the Empire, 1562–1955, ed. , 2004)]. Hall, op. , p. 150. 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.