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The 1857 Indian Uprising and the British Empire


  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316501085

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About the Authors
  • Situating the 1857 Indian uprising within an imperial context, Jill C. Bender traces its ramifications across the four different colonial sites of Ireland, New Zealand, Jamaica, and southern Africa. Bender argues that the 1857 uprising shaped colonial Britons' perceptions of their own empire, revealing the possibilities of an integrated empire that could provide the resources to generate and 'justify' British power. In response to the uprising, Britons throughout the Empire debated colonial responsibility, methods of counter-insurrection, military recruiting practices, and colonial governance. Even after the rebellion had been suppressed, the violence of 1857 continued to have a lasting effect. The fears generated by the uprising transformed how the British understood their relationship with the 'colonized' and shaped their own expectations of themselves as 'colonizer'. Placing the 1857 Indian uprising within an imperial context reminds us that British power was neither natural nor inevitable, but had to be constructed.

    • Situates the 1857 Indian uprising in an imperial and global context
    • Integrates the histories of distinct and disparate colonial sites from colonial Ireland and Jamaica to New Zealand and southern Africa
    • Draws on extensive new archival research in more than four countries and across three continents
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This well-researched book breaks new ground by tracing the impact of, and local responses to, the Indian uprising of 1857 throughout the British Empire. Focusing on the interaction between local politics and imperial networks of information, Bender effectively re-examines the 'Mutiny' as a genuinely global event.' Kim A. Wagner, Queen Mary University of London

    'This innovative book recasts the 1857 uprising through the lens of new imperial and global history. Ranging across colonial contexts, it explores the imperial implications of 1857, taking the story of the uprising outwards beyond empire, and connecting together Britain, India and empire in fascinating ways.' Clare Anderson, University of Leicester

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316501085
    • length: 217 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.299kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. A 'great body corporate':
    1857 and the sinews of empire
    3. 'A mutiny is a very catching thing': fears of widespread resistance
    4. Defending an empire:
    1857 and the Empire's 'martial races'
    5. Rebels, race, and violence: mid-Victorian colonial conflicts
    6. A legacy of violence
    7. Conclusion
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Jill C. Bender, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
    Jill C. Bender is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and a historian of modern Britain and the British Empire. She holds an M.A. in Culture and Colonialism from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Ph.D. in History from Boston College. In 2010–11, Bender was a Smith Richardson Pre-Doctoral Fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University, Connecticut and in 2009, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Bender has published a number of articles and book chapters on Ireland, India, and the British Empire.

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