Liberalism, Imperialism, and the Historical Imagination: Nineteenth-Century Visions of a Greater Britain

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 10, 2011 - History
This book examines the ways in which imperial agendas informed the writing of history in nineteenth-century Britain and how historical writing transformed imperial agendas. Using the published writings and personal papers of Walter Scott, J. A. Froude, James Mill, Rammohun Roy, T. B. Macaulay, E. A. Freeman, W. E. Gladstone, and J. R. Seeley among others, Theodore Koditschek sheds light on the role of the historical imagination in the establishment and legitimation of liberal imperialism. He shows how both imperialists and the imperialized were drawn to reflect back on the Empire's past as a result of the need to construct a modern, multi-national British imperial identity for a more economically expansive and enlightened present. By tracing the imperial lives and historical works of these pivotal figures, Theodore Koditschek illuminates the ways in which discourse altered practice, and vice versa, as well as how the history of Empire was continuously written and re-written.

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About the author (2011)

Theodore Koditschek is Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

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