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Title: British colonial violence in Perak, Sierra Leone and the Sudan
Author: Gordon, Michelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 7855
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores three cases of British colonial violence which occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century: the Perak War (1875-1876); the Hut Tax Revolt in Sierra Leone (1898-9) and the Anglo-Egyptian War of Reconquest in the Sudan (1896-99). The decision-making processes that led to atrocities being committed are explored, including the importance of communication between London and the periphery and the significance of individual colonial administrators in outbreaks of violence. The ways in which racial prejudices, the advocacy of a British 'civilising mission' and British racial 'superiority' informed colonial administrators' decisions on the ground are considered. The thesis examines methods of extreme violence that were routinely utilised throughout the British Empire and include: the use of 'divide and rule' tactics; looting; a disregard for international standards of warfare; the use of collective reprisals on civilians and scorched earth policies; starvation tactics on the enemy as well as the wider population. Furthermore, the relevance of British colonial violence within a wider context of European warfare and the genocidal violence of the first half of the twentieth century is examined. There has been a neglect of British colonial atrocities within the historiography of colonial violence and this study demonstrates the ways in which a consideration of instances of British colonial violence can tell us much about the dynamics of extreme violence. The thesis is divided into five sections; first it considers the place of colonial violence within the historiography of the British Empire and genocide studies; the three case studies follow and the final chapter provides an analysis of the thesis' findings and discusses its relevance for our understanding of both European and colonial violence, thereby placing colonial violence within a wider framework of extreme European violence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available