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Learning about empire and the imperial education conferences in the early twentieth century: creating cohesion or demonstrating difference?

Learning about empire and the imperial education conferences in the early twentieth century:... Despite the exponential spread of the British Empire by the late nineteenth century, there remained in England a continued indifference to “the Empire”. In 1883, J.R. Seeley, Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge, had expressed concern because ‘we think of Great Britain too much and of Greater Britain too little’. People had to rethink their understandings of nation and empire, he suggested, and steps had to be taken to modify what he saw as a ‘defective constitution’. Seeley’s lecture series had prompted debate about ‘the imperial question’, but the ‘anomalous political arrangements’ and the reluctance of the people to think imperially persisted. Insularity was not exclusive to the people in Britain, however. Because of their preoccupation with their own local affairs, it was suggested, there had been little opportunity for people from other parts of the empire to devote much time to the larger questions of imperial and common citizenship. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

Learning about empire and the imperial education conferences in the early twentieth century: creating cohesion or demonstrating difference?

History of Education Review , Volume 39 (2): 12 – Oct 14, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/08198691201000007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite the exponential spread of the British Empire by the late nineteenth century, there remained in England a continued indifference to “the Empire”. In 1883, J.R. Seeley, Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge, had expressed concern because ‘we think of Great Britain too much and of Greater Britain too little’. People had to rethink their understandings of nation and empire, he suggested, and steps had to be taken to modify what he saw as a ‘defective constitution’. Seeley’s lecture series had prompted debate about ‘the imperial question’, but the ‘anomalous political arrangements’ and the reluctance of the people to think imperially persisted. Insularity was not exclusive to the people in Britain, however. Because of their preoccupation with their own local affairs, it was suggested, there had been little opportunity for people from other parts of the empire to devote much time to the larger questions of imperial and common citizenship.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 14, 2010

Keywords: British Empire; Imperialism; Education

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