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Title: The Colonial Office and the plantation colonies, 1801-1834
Author: Murray, D. J.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1963
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This thesis is a study of the changing way in which part of the British Empire was being governed during a period of far reaching developments both in Britain and in the plantation colonies. The colonies referred to are the old British West Indian islands -- Jamaica, the Leewards group, Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada and Tobago -- and those colonies conquered by Britain during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in which sugar planting was carried on by means of slave labour. The dates chosen do not denote precise limits to the period. The Colonial Office had its unintended beginnings in 1801, in 1834 slaves were emancipated in the plantation colonies, and the central years for this study lie between these dates, certain themes are followed beyond them. In this area and period an account is given of the changing of government. This concerns the institutions within the colonies and those in Britain which had a direct part in the conduct of colonial affairs; it involves the purpose of the institutions, their form and their interrelationships. At the end or the 18th century the traditional way of governing the old plantation colonies was to leave internal government to those resident In the colony and to maintain virtually only sufficient authority in Britain to ensure the preservation of the system of trade and navigation. Under the old representative system the governor, in theory, possessed wide powers, in practice his authority was narrowly confined and the regular conduct of administration was beyond his control. Colonists had developed and adapted their institutions and powers so that they largely governed themselves. In Britain there was no desire to intervene in the internal affairs of the plantation colonies, nor was there the machinery to enable the executive to do so. The institutions which existed matched the contemporary concern to maintain the system of trade and navigation. Such colonial business that there was was executed by the department with the responsibility for the relevant service: there was no department with a general responsibility for the area of the colonies, nor was there any adequate method of coordinating the activities of the different ministers and boards involved with administration in the colonies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Constitutional history ; Politics and government ; West Indies ; British