An examination of the attitudes toward non-Europeans in British school history textbooks and childrens periodicals, 1890-1914 : With special reference to the Indian, the African and the Chinese
This s'tudy examinesthe imageof the Indian, the African,
and the Chinese in British school history textbooks and childrens
pericxiicals published between 1890 and 1914. This worlc both
exemines the portrayal of the British in their historical and
.corrtemporary relations with the three groups, and the selective
information provided of the character and behaviour of the alien.
These three groups were selected as representing areas of the
world where the British had-particular interests in the pericxi,
and illustrate the relationship between British attitudes and
the particular historical experiences and contenporary concerns
centred upon each of the three. The choice of textbooks and
popular reading material reflected a desire to examinematerials
read both for instruction and entertairnnent, and consider the
relationship between the operation of the images in both.
The s'tudy has deronstrated that both textbook historians and
popular writers shared a concern that, Britain's youth should
be secured in the prevailing attitudes toward race and nationality.
The images which they presented of Britain's role in India, Africa
and China, and of the nature of these countries' inhabitants, were
mutually reinforcing. Entry for the foreigner into either set of
materials dependeduponhis service in supporting and activating
an appreciation of British national character and the maintenance
of Empire. The sensi ti vity of the imageof the non-Europeanto
Britain 's national concerns in this period was reflected in the
era of the Boer War, whenthe textbooks and periodicals display
a heightened patriotism which was reflected in the textbook's
treatrrent of the Indian Mlltinyand periodical jingoism. Although the characterisation of each group differed in their particular
contribution to the character formation of Britain's i.nperial
sons and daughters, the study showshowclearly the historian
and the popular juvenile press transrnitted images of the three
which was dependent upon the controlling imperatives of Britain's
national and imperial needs.