Search results

This book re-examines the campaign experience of British soldiers in Africa during the period 1874–1902—the zenith of the Victorian imperial expansion—and does so from the perspective of the regimental soldier. The book utilises a number of letters and diaries, written by regimental officers and other ranks, to allow soldiers to speak for themselves about their experience of colonial warfare. The sources demonstrate the adaptability of the British army in fighting in different climates, over demanding terrain and against a diverse array of enemies. They also uncover soldiers' responses to army reforms of the era as well as the response to the introduction of new technologies of war.

The changing scale of warfare and the making of early colonial South Asia
Manu Sehgal

through the prism of state-authored violence as represented by a series of military campaigns that came to characterize colonial rule towards the final quarter of the long eighteenth century (c.1775–1807). It is argued that colonialism marked a violent and sharp break in the historical trajectory of South Asia and that careful analysis of colonial warfare is the most sensitive register from which these profound changes can be observed. Across the wider early modern world, inflicting large-scale violence was hardly the exclusive domain of the state. The emergence of a

in A global history of early modern violence

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Edward M. Spiers

units, praise or criticism of specific commanders, and adaptation to the varying demands of colonial warfare. As all these wars were wars against nature as much as, if not, at times, more than, against their adversaries, soldiers commended both their naval support, with generally excellent relations between the two services at operational and tactical levels, 47 and the endeavours of their

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Open Access (free)
Edward M. Spiers

’. 15 As ever in colonial warfare, the first priorities were base security and logistical supply. Once the engineers had erected a wire entanglement, soldiers were able to bivouac in and around the earthwork, whereupon they laboured to bring stores, artillery and, above all, supplies of fresh water across the marsh. ‘Everyone had been crying out for everything simultaneously’, wrote Green, but

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

context, violation is made ‘feelable’ (made disgusting and outrageous) through the signifier of the ‘foreigner’ and the terroristic penetration of the white (national) body. Violation 150 Bordering intimacy is translated into the experience of men who must protect the family as the nation. Feeding into the wider logics of colonial warfare in the War on Terror, the response to such threats is martial. The EDL, for instance, are in the habit of calling themselves ‘footsoldiers’ (EDL 2019). Writing the (white) family Feminised whiteness drives these explicit white

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Edward M. Spiers

shock and horror) at surviving major battles, and ultimately to moments of reflection as the hostilities drew to a close. They provide breadth of coverage from all arms and services, 63 comment on all the major events and battles, and address the principal issues of each campaign. They proffer important insights from the regimental level, from officers and other ranks, on the course and conduct of colonial warfare

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Open Access (free)
Violence and the early modern world
Erica Charters, Marie Houllemare, and Peter H. Wilson

political organization as ‘non-state’ presupposes state-centric historical explanations.41 Historians have thus revised traditional accounts of non-Western warfare and violence to highlight how representations, definitions, and categories of violence have been shaped by European assumptions and imperial frameworks. One of the more fruitful areas of analysis has been Anglophone scholarship on warfare in North America during the early modern period. Various studies have outlined the fluid nature of American colonial warfare, in which opponents responded to previously

in A global history of early modern violence