Imperial expansion and its critics

Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Philips and Shurlee Swain

in Equal Subjects, Unequal Rights

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780719060038
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700334 | DOI:
Imperial expansion and its critics

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This chapter traces the story of the expansion of the British Empire up to the mid-1830s in North America, southern Africa and Australasia, and offers a subsequent reappraisal of colonial administration in these regions. An overview of Britain's gradual acquisition of settler colonies as men and women of European origin appropriated Indigenous peoples' lands in these regions is presented. In the later 1830s, British imperial policies towards the rights of the Indigenous peoples of the Empire, and towards the political rights of settlers, made as they were from the British Empire's center in London, showed a degree of uniformity. The settler colonies later diverged from the central control to form their own governments. The key tensions from which these differing paths emerged can be illustrated by examining the content, recommendations and subsequent implementation of two influential reports, both emanating from the British Parliament of the 1830s: the Report of the Select Committee on Aborigines of 1837 and the Report on the Affairs of British North America, or the Durham Report, of 1839.

Keywords: British Empire; Aborigines; Durham Report; Great Britain; settler colonies

Chapter.  10578 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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