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

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University of Chicago Press, May 1, 2002 - History - 556 pages
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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

The Making of an Imperial Man
23
The Preemancipation World
69
The Missionary Dream 18201842
84
Faultlines in the Family of Man 18421845
140
A Jamaica of the Mind 18201854
174
Missionary Men and Morant Bay 18591866
209
Metropolis Colony and Empire
265
Baptists and Abolitionists
290
Abolitionism in Decline
338
Carlyles occasion
347
George Dawson and the politics of race and nationalism
363
Troubles for the missionary public
370
Town Nation and Empire 18591867
380
Epilogue
434
Notes
442
Bibliography
507

Knowing the heathen
301
Birminghams Friends of the Negro
309
The utopian years
325

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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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