What Is The Account Of John Macdonald Essay

889 Words 4 Pages
“He spoke to me about you; and said you were more like a gentleman than a servant; now, I am plain dressed, and I have got the place.” This excerpt from the account of Scottish valet, John MacDonald, represents the difficulties that faced the lower classes since their place within society was tenuous; based on appearances and their financial circumstances. His dress places him an image of one of above the position of a footman, thus causing him a job. MacDonald’s travel account and others show themselves traveling the empire and learning about their place in society and the empire. For The British in the eighteenth-century, identity and class were one and informed each other. One’s identity was constructed from their family, education, their …show more content…
Concepts of slavery, culture, commerce and captivity impact how the empire is experienced for an individual. For example, John MacDonald travels to India and during his time there he assimilates with aspects of Indian culture, such as making curry and dress. His return to Britain has MacDonald utilizing the skills he gained in India in order to gain employment and this experience allowed for him to get more jobs traveling abroad. The interactions of the empire and society are further seen in the authors’ perspectives with the ideas, cultures, and reflections of the various locations and how the author’s identity evolves as a result of their travels. By analyzing these accounts through a societal and financial lens, I can compare how mobility was utilized and impacted the lower classes. The financial framework is examining how these individuals interacted with the larger economy. Again this did not always benefit the individual such as those who were sailors or worked for the navy and receive little pay; examples are Mark Moore and Tom Tackle. Mark Moore was born in the American colonies then works for the British Navy and uses his military experience to his benefit. Tom Tackle works as sailor in an attempt to improve his life. Analysis of these works builds off the works of Linda Colley, Emma Rothschild, and Maya Jasanoff, who attempt to bridge the historiography of the British Empire and nation to create one field. Rothschild and Jasanoff analyze personal accounts to reveal new and different perspectives of empire. Additionally, my project builds upon historiography that endeavors to link the empire globally while focusing on how the individual interacted with the empire in an attempt to improve their class standing. One example is Nicholas B. Dirks who links the concepts of

Related Documents