An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British by Martin J. Wiener

By Martin J. Wiener

An Empire on Trial is the 1st booklet to discover the problem of interracial murder within the British Empire in the course of its top - reading those incidents and the prosecution of such circumstances in every one of 7 colonies scattered in the course of the global. It uncovers and analyzes the tensions of empire that underlay British rule and delves into how the matter of preserving a liberal empire manifested itself within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. The paintings demonstrates the significance of the methods of legal justice to the background of the empire and the benefit of a trans-territorial method of figuring out the complexities and nuances of its workings. An Empire on Trial is of curiosity to these interested by race, empire, or felony justice, and to historians of recent Britain or of colonial Australia, India, Kenya, or the Caribbean. Political and postcolonial theorists writing on liberalism and empire, or race and empire, also will locate this publication important.

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To step, in the nineteenth century, from explosively growing Liverpool or London onto a merchant ship was almost to step back in time. 5 1 2 3 4 5 The National Archives [henceforth NA], ASSI 35/281/2, ASSI 36/4, Lent and Summer, Kent 1841 (Renum ASSI 94/2327–2328). Bruce Kercher, “Sovereigns at Sea,” unpublished paper, 2005. R v Leggett and Nesbitt (1838): 8 Carrington & Payne 191, 173 ER 456. In Murray v Moutrie (1834): 6 Carrington and Payne 471, 172 ER 1324, for instance, Chief Justice Tindal said that a master had the same power of “moderate chastisement” as a parent or schoolmaster.

Most of the witnesses were officers, who described the gruesome scene, and confirmed Arthur’s confession upon seizure. ” However, not only had Captains traditionally been allowed wide scope to maintain authority at sea, but also blacks were almost always at the bottom of the maritime social hierarchy. ”40 It is fair to say that in previous generations Arthur’s path to the gallows would have been smooth. ” The jury made a strong recommendation to mercy on account of provocation. And after the trial concluded additional seamen, a sailors’ missionary, and even the Captain’s former employers came forward with accounts of the Captain’s history of abusing men under his command, particularly those of color, turning even Stephen – a man not easily swayed by others’ views – to 39 40 Quotations on this case are from HO 144/216/A59165.

Spiers, The Late Victorian Army 1868–1902 (Manchester, 1992), p. 74]. Peter Kemp, The British Sailor: A Social History of the Lower Deck (London, 1970), p. 190. Eugene Rasor, Reform in the Royal Navy: A Social History of the Lower Deck 1850 to 1880 (London, 1976). On the High Seas 27 acceptable violence at sea. The Recorder of London stated the principle while charging a grand jury in 1853: In order that the necessary discipline should be observed on board ship, it was permitted to persons in authority to make use of a description of violence that would not, under any circumstances, be tolerated on shore; but if that violence were carried to an improper excess the parties were still answerable for the consequences if death ensued.

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