Direct Rule In The Post-Victorian Era

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Brendon Burke proclaimed once that "The British Empire must be governed on a plan of freedom, for it will be governed by no other." This is what many British thought at the time of the empire, but to which extent was this really complied? At the beginning of the nineteenth century the British Empire became world´s naval and economic power, which they used in order to expand their empire to be larger than ever (Samson, 2001). The nature of this colonial rule was not homogeneous within the colonies. Political control ranged from indirect rule to completely direct rule, though sometimes a formally indirect rule was practically of absolute British control. There was not only one combination of political, cultural and economic control for all the …show more content…
It was a common opinion that this trend was due to an indifference towards the idea of empire and the popularity of the ideas of free trade expressed by the recently deceased Adam Smith (Darwin, 1997). According to Gallagher&Robinson(1953) this view is naïve because there are several examples of colonies put under direct rule during this time, so the mode of ruling would have been completely circumstantial. During this time it was common to maintain a direct British rule over strategic coasts. In the late-Victorian era there were numerous examples of direct rule annexations …show more content…
Some historians find it difficult to believe that the British Empire was preserved solely by the means of military coercion and a working bureaucracy. In this subject Stoddard(1988) states that British long lasting dominance had its cause in cultural power which he defines as “the set of ideas, beliefs, rules, and conventions concerning social behaviour that was carried throughout the empire by such British servants as administrators, military officers, industrialists, agriculturalists, traders, financiers, settlers, educators, and advisors of various kinds.” But the questions here are to which extent was this cultural power forced, only by answering that it is possible to understand the control that colonized people had over their cultural life. Stoddard’s point of view is that cultural power was carried out with informal means like the language and sports like cricket and polo. Seeing themselves as a civilizing power, they wanted the colonized people to learn their values, which they though would be learnt by the language and sports. Local sport rules were changed in order to reflect what were thought at the time as British values, but it can hardly be said that those values were forced upon the colonized people. English usually though of their language as superior to the ones used in India and tried to encourage the use of it (buscar texto

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