Explanations of Japan’s Imperialistic Expansion, 1894-1910 (by Bill Gordon)

Japan emerged in 1853 from two and a half centuries of self-imposed peaceful isolation, but within a few decades the country’s leaders embarked on a policy of aggressive territorial expansion. During the last half of the nineteenth century, the Western … Continue reading

The Imperialist Roots of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew (by Stephen Basdeo)

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew were founded by Princess Augusta (1713-1772) in the 1760s. In 1838 a Royal Commission was set up to inquire into the future of the gardens. The Commission concluded that, after years of official neglect, … Continue reading

An evaluation of Bernard Porter’s observations that ‘… there can be no presumption that Britain – the Britain that stayed at home – was an essentially ‘imperialist’ nation in the 19th and 20th centuries’ (by Tammy Cairns)

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it has been argued by a number of new-imperial historians including Antoinette Burton, Catherine Hall and John MacKenzie, that empire was seen and experienced everywhere within British society. Ranging from the high culture … Continue reading

The Public School Ethos and Late Nineteenth-Century Juvenile Literature (by Stephen Basdeo)

In 1888 a biography entitled The Life of General Gordon was written so that ‘the young can learn the beautiful lessons of obedience and humility, of loyalty to God and devotion to others’ (Hope, 1888, p.361). The writers of biographical … Continue reading

Quantifying Capitalist Development in Imperial Japan (by Mr Charrington)

Too often in historiography is capitalist development referred to as some sort of ‘qualitative miracle’; a process that comes about via the ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’ of the people and/or economy. The idea that the economy, or for that matter the … Continue reading

What impact did the Second World War have upon British imperial authority? (by Valentin Boulan)

The Second World War was a key event in reshaping the geo-political map in the second half of the 20th century. The conflict resulted in a power shift from European imperial dominance towards US and Soviet hegemony , and a … Continue reading

How The Times shaped its coverage of the 1857 Indian Mutiny to support a broader justification of Empire (by Valentin Boulan)

The Indian Mutiny began in May 1857 when the discontent of Sepoys in the Bengali army, sparked by British demands to use rifle cartridges greased with beef and pork fat, which were against both Hindu and Muslim beliefs, escalated into … Continue reading