By Martin J. Wiener
An Empire on Trial is the 1st publication to discover the problem of interracial murder within the British Empire in the course of its top - studying those incidents and the prosecution of such situations in each one of 7 colonies scattered in the course of the international. It uncovers and analyzes the tensions of empire that underlay British rule and delves into how the matter of conserving a liberal empire manifested itself within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. The paintings demonstrates the significance of the strategies of legal justice to the background of the empire and the benefit of a trans-territorial method of realizing the complexities and nuances of its workings. An Empire on Trial is of curiosity to these inquisitive about race, empire, or felony justice, and to historians of recent 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 publication helpful.
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Extra resources for An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British Rule, 1870-1935
Isaac Land has argued by contrast that arguments by seamen and their sympathizers against brutal discipline built their case on a sharpened distinction between white Britons, who had the full rights of Englishmen against such treatment, and other races and nationalities, who did not, and thus that the eventual abolition of flogging was inseparable from intensified British racism [“Customs of the Sea: Flogging, Empire, and the ‘True British Seaman’ 1770 to 1870,” Interventions 3 (2001), 169–185].
This was followed the next year by a measure that raised the bar for treatment of seamen, the Merchant Shipping Act 1850. ” Although it was primarily motivated by the desire to raise the standard of British seamanship, it also was meant to protect seamen from being exploited by the shipowners or tyrannized by their officers. It obliged all masters to keep official logs, which recorded illness, birth or death on board, misconduct, desertion, and punishment, and a description of conduct. It established local marine boards in all main ports and a shipping master appointed by each to take administrative responsibility for examinations for certificates of competency administered to all masters and mates of foreign-going ships.
Justice Cotton explained [in 1879] that he was reducing a sentence from 15 to 10 years as ‘the prisoner was a man of colour and therefore the use of the knife under provocation he had received was somewhat more excusable than it would have been had he been a white man’ ” [Certain Other Countries: Homicide, Gender, and National Identity in Late Nineteenth-Century England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (Columbus, Ohio, 2007), pp. 58–59]. R v Hill: Liverpool Mercury, 29 Aug. 1845, p. 2; see also NA, HO 18/158 /48.
An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British Rule, 1870-1935 by Martin J. Wiener