Open Access (free)

South Africa

Better ‘the Hottentot at the hustings’ than ‘the Hottentot in the wilds with his gun on his shoulder’

Series:

Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Philips and Shurlee Swain

This chapter focuses on the expansion of the British Empire and early political developments in the British settler colonies in South Africa from the late 1830s to around 1870. The British took over the Cape Colony from the Dutch by a combination of military conquest and formal cession by treaty; the colonial annexations of Xhosa land were similarly based on both military conquest and cession by treaties following the various frontier wars. By the 1830s, the British authorities who had taken over the Cape from the Dutch found themselves trying to govern a society that was a complex mixture of ethnic populations, including White settlers, Khoisan, the Xhosa and other African groups. The British Government granted representative government to both the British colonies in South Africa, Cape and Natal, in the 1850s. A comparison of the minority rule of British settlers in the settler colonies of Natal and Cape, and a discussion of the inclusion of colonists and Indigenous people on the basis of property franchise in representative governments, are also presented.

Open Access (free)

South Africa

Saving the White voters from being ‘utterly swamped’

Series:

Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, David Philips and Shurlee Swain

This chapter focuses on the voting rights and political outcomes of the intensified appropriation of Indigenous lands by British settler colonists in South Africa from the 1870s to 1910. By the 1870s, important economic and political developments in South Africa prompted Britain to act in consolidating its interests throughout the Southern African region. These developments, which included the ‘mineral revolution’ through the discovery of diamond fields and gold fields, and Lord Carnarvon's federation scheme of 1870, together reshaped the political geography of South Africa within three decades. By the end of the nineteenth century, the separate African polities had almost entirely disappeared under some form of European colonial jurisdiction, and Britain was also directly threatening the independence of the two Boer republics. The chapter summarizes the political developments related to the voting rights of people, including settlers and Indigenous in the British settler colonies of Natal and Cape Colony.

Open Access (free)

Series:

John Marriott

The accumulation of empirical material illustrates a determined attempt to know the Indian landscape and village life in order better to exercise economic and political authority. This chapter highlights the more systematic, centralized, totalizing and abstract bodies of knowledge based on fundamental discourses of race, caste and criminality. Until the late eighteenth century orientalist interests in ancient language and culture had prevailed. With the expansion of British control and the attendant demands for an efficient and informed administrative system, however, new types of knowledge were necessary. Equally, and to an extent autonomously of imperial exigencies, the survey represented a new mode of observation akin to that taking place in the metropolitan context. There were continuities with previous knowledge producing processes, but in surveys the accumulation and commodification of observable materials as a scientific enterprise to know India was quite novel.

Open Access (free)

John J. Hurt

This chapter sketches the state of affairs during which the regent Philippe d'Orléans suppressed the last traces of dissidence in the Parlement of Rennes, kept his thumb on the Parlement of Paris and settled augmentations de gages on terms of his choosing. During this time, he resolved the political and financial questions left over from the preceding reign. At every key point involving these intertwined issues, d'Orléans got his way by resorting to coercion and by overriding the wishes of the majority of the judges, damaging their constitutional and socio-economic interests along the way. On the most important issues involving the parlements, the past reign flowed into its successor, after the brief interlude in which Orléans had vainly practised conciliation. Thus the regency not only benefited from the gains Louis XIV made at the expense of the parlements; it ratified and perpetuated those gains, passing them down the century.

Open Access (free)

Sense and sensibility

Fateful splitting in the Victorian insanity trial

Joel Peter Eigen

William Newton Allnutt's trial would be no ordinary Victorian insanity case; jurors would not hear testimony about delusion or delirium leading the young boy to his murderous deed. Instead, medical men would use the occasion to introduce into the English courtroom a 'species' of derangement that had nothing to do with confusion, incoherence, or insensibility. In their testimony, they would proceed to place Allnutt among an emerging population of mid-Victorian defendants whose mental process was split between the functions of understanding and feeling: between the resources of sense and sensibility. The emergence of medical testimony as opinion can be timed to the dissolution of total madness as the grounds for an insanity acquittal. Moral insanity had made its conspicuous courtroom debut in medical testimony during the trial of Edward Oxford, prosecuted in 1840 for an unmotivated, unprovoked, indeed seemingly indifferent attack on Queen Victoria.

Open Access (free)

Seduction, poison and magical theft

Gender and contemporary fantasies of witchcraft

Series:

Alison Rowlands

As was the case in many other places in early modern Europe, most of those who were accused of or who confessed to witchcraft or who were formally questioned as suspected witches in Rothenburg were female. This chapter provides new explanation for the gender-relatedness of witchcraft accusations through the prism of several seventeenth-century cases. The cases are analyzed in the light of ideas about how witches were conceptualized. These ideas suggest that women were more likely to be accused of and confess to being witches because witches were predominantly imagined by contemporaries as the evil inverse of the good housewife and mother; as women who poisoned and harmed others rather than nurturing and caring for them. The gender-bias which encouraged the citizens of Rothenburg and the peasants of its rural hinterland to imagine women as witches more readily than men was more marked at the elite level, where the influence of the city councilors, their legal advisors, and medical and theological experts combined to ensure that women accused of witchcraft were more likely to be formally prosecuted than their male counterparts and also to suffer more severely as a result of the rigors of the legal process.

Open Access (free)

Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

The prevailing view in witchcraft studies is that male witches were rare exceptions to the rule and are less important and interesting, as historical subjects, than female witches. This chapter examines cases in which men were accused of witchcraft. The examples are drawn from several different regions, in order to test conventional generalisations about male witches. G. R. Quaife exemplifies scholars' difficulty in coming to grips with the fact of male witches. He actually suggests that the male witches were merely 'secondary targets as husbands or associates of a female witch'. Discounting all secondary targets would alter the statistical picture significantly. Quaife, however, avoids this result by constructing a double standard, which presupposes, by implication, that early modern Europeans did not 'mean it' when they accused men of being witches but were serious when they accused women.

Open Access (free)

Series:

Susan M. Johns

The secular women's seals present the historian with unique opportunities to study the portrayal of female identity in twelfth-century England. Seals were visual representations of power, and they conveyed notions of authority and legitimacy. Women's seals have been particularly poorly served. They also identified women's power in the context of land tenure, lordship, social status and the female life cycle. Additionally, they signified both gender and status in different ways. The representational forms of noblewomen's seals symbolised noblewomen's cultural identities and served to endorse gendered norms of women's role in lordship. The use of seals by twelfth-century noblewomen reinforces the argument that noblewomen had important roles to play within the construct of lordship in the specific context of land transfers.

Open Access (free)

Sapere aude

‘Commonwealth’ politics under George I, 1714–22

Series:

Justin Champion

This chapter discusses the activities of John Toland under George I. After the disastrous electoral defeats of 1710, Toland focused his energies on defending the succession and remaining vigilant against popish tyranny. In 1714 he published The reasons for naturalising the Jews, which advanced one of the most radical defences of social toleration in the eighteenth century. The chapter explains that Toland's defence of toleration was premised not upon the theological credibility of the Jewish religion but upon the nature of civil society. This ambition of establishing a tolerant and rational civic culture was taken even further in Toland's most successful political pamphlet, The State anatomy of Great Britain, and its supplement, The second part of the State anatomy.

Open Access (free)

Royal inquests and the power of noblewomen

The Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus of 1185

Series:

Susan M. Johns

This chapter investigates the 1185 Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus in order to consider the way that royal authority and the law shaped the experience of noblewomen, but also to provide a cautionary account of the degree to which such sources present an external view of the societies in which noblewomen exercised power. Rotuli de Dominabus is a rich resource for the history of noblewomen in the twelfth century and for the study of social history. It also presents an unusually large sample of information on the value of noblewomen's lands. It confirms that dower was the principal form of the female land tenure of widows in late twelfth-century England. It then affirms that noblewomen had significant and important roles to play in the two dominant power structures of the twelfth-century, kinship and lordship, and the document shows that royal government recognised this.