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The Dream of Greater Britain

Dane Kennedy

British Empire. These territories included the settler colonies of New Zealand, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania, as well as the strikingly different domain of India. Several historians have stressed the importance of Dilke's book

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On Vertical Alliances, ‘Perfidious Albion’ and the Security Paradigm

Reflections on the Balfour Declaration Centennial and the Winding Road to Israeli Independence

Arie M. Dubnov

lost. Once we read the Declaration as a first step in the project of building the institutions of a nation-state that is divorced from the British Empire – that august, world-spanning institution, which fragmented fast after 1945 until it finally

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Ruin of Empire

The Uganda Railway and Memory Work in Kenya

Norman Aselmeyer


This article is concerned with the memory of the Uganda Railway in Kenya. Built during the heyday of British imperialism at the end of the nineteenth century, the colonial railway has been a highly contested infrastructure. Drawing on museum exhibitions, public speeches, and publications, the article argues that the main narrative of the railway line as a tool of oppression began to change when the railway infrastructure gradually deteriorated in the mid-twentieth century. I show how three distinct groups (white expatriates, Kenyan-Asians, and Kenya's political elite) were involved in creating a new public memory that popularized the Uganda Railway as a cornerstone of the postcolonial nation. Their uncoordinated but simultaneous efforts toward a new reading of the past all aimed, albeit for different reasons, at reimagining the nation. The article thus shows mechanisms of coming to terms with the colonial past in a postcolonial nation.

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The “Moral Effect” of Legalized Lawlessness

Violence in Britain’s Twentieth-Century Empire

Caroline Elkins

decades of liberal imperialist ideas and practices that had matured across the British Empire would descend and consolidate in the most dramatic and consequential of ways. The reach and impact of these ideas and practices, as well as the individuals

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“Be Prepared!” (But Not Too Prepared)

Scouting, Soldiering, and Boys’ Roles in World War I

Lucy Andrew

Riddle of the Sands (1903). Anxieties about the future security of the British Empire were exacerbated by the notion of physical deterioration, highlighted by the 1904 Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration . This study

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William Le Queux and Russia

Michael Hughes

, concern grew in Britain about the threat it posed to the British Empire, with the result that, by the start of the twentieth century, popular attitudes towards Russia were becoming more positive and views of Germany more negative. The establishment of the

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On the Trails of Free-Roaming Elephants

Human-Elephant Mobility and History across the Indo-Myanmar Highlands

Paul G. Keil

History of Mizoram In the mid-nineteenth century, the mountainous region of northeast India was stereotyped by the British Empire as an uncivilized frontier. Some parts were identified on colonial maps simply as “Wild Tribes” and described as being

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Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationalism

The Rabban Yochanan Ben-Zakai Synagogue and the Sephardi Community of Jerusalem, 1900–1948

Reuven Gafni

synagogues throughout the country—including the great Ashkenazi synagogue in Tel Aviv—the Rabban Yochanan Ben-Zakai synagogue now held prayers almost regularly for the well-being of the British Empire. These included sermons by its religious, political and

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“A Land of Limitless Possibilities”

British Commerce and Trade in Siberia in the Early Twentieth Century

Janet Hartley

This article looks at the prospects and the reality of British commercial activity in Siberia in the early twentieth century, before the outbreak of World War I, and is based on contemporary comments by travelers, businessmen, and commercial agents. Contemporaries agreed that the dynamic Siberian economy opened up opportunities for British exports and trade. British firms, however, lagged behind commercial rivals, in particular in Germany, and the United States. The article explores the reasons for this and also looks at the subjects of the British Empire who went to Siberia and the conditions under which they worked. The article demonstrates the vibrancy of Siberian economic development in this period and the active participation of Western powers in this process.

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"The Right Sort of Woman"

British Women Travel Writers and Sports

Precious McKenzie Stearns

The big game hunt contributed to the morale of the British Empire, as this sport was seen as the battle between men and nature. If Englishmen (and women) could triumph over animals, this demonstrated English superiority over inferior creatures. Florence Dixie and Isabel Savory proved that the overseas Empire allowed women to have greater access to hunting - and to grander displays of hunting prowess - than was allowed in England. Savory and Dixie, women who proved competent in the hunt, encouraged Victorian society to reevaluate their assumptions of womanhood. Their travel writing provided evidence to the Victorian reading public that women could effectively participate in the hunt, without sacrificing their femininity and denigrating the sport.