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Title: Imperial defence and the commitment to Empire, c. 1870-1886
Author: O'Connor, Damian Paul
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2006
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Before 1870, Britain had been able to rely on naval and financial strength to protect her empire where necessary until such time as the expected separation of the settlement colonies into independent polities occurred. However, a series of changes in geopolitics, and in naval technology had undermined this security and had resulted in an increased awareness in military, naval, colonial and imperial circles - among those characterised as "Jingoes" - of the dangers to which the empire was exposed. Spurred on by the Balkan crisis of 1876-78, a far more active approach was taken to war planning, which resulted in a more integrated approach to imperial defence under Lord Carnarvon. It is also posited that Gladstone's Bulgarian agitation and the struggle between Disraeli, Derby and Salisbury over the correct response to the Balkan crisis destroyed the confidence of many colonial, imperial, naval and military figures in elected politicians and thus encouraged the disobedience of Lytton and Frere. Disasters at Isandlwana and Kabul however discredited the defence establishment and allowed a programme of anti-imperialist reaction to emerge, under the leadership of Gladstone. The subsequent working out of this policy caused such disquiet that Gladstone's cabinet was to break up over imperial defence issues and resulted in the commitment of Britain to a more positive espousal of imperial virtue and a determination to see the empire as an asset and defend it accordingly. Thus, within the period 1870- 1885, Britain underwent a revolution in Imperial policy, from a rejection of empire, to a virtuous acceptance of it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available