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Britannia's Embrace – Modern Humanitarianism and the Imperial Origins of Refugee Relief - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Britannia's Embrace: Modern Humanitarianism and the Imperial Origins of Refugee Relief

Caroline Shaw


This book offers the first historical examination of the origins of refuge for persecuted foreigners. It argues that this modern humanitarian norm—the responsibility to protect foreign refugees of any race, class, politics, or creed—developed in nineteenth-century Britain through a popular movement that equated the provision of refuge with a national liberal identity and compelled even the most powerful politicians to heed its demands. The public’s moral enthusiasm for foreign refugees ironically drew strength from the political and physical resources of the British Empire. When the Empire’s r ... More

Keywords: abolitionism / antislavery, asylum, British Empire, human rights, humanitarianism, liberalism, refugee relief, refugees

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780190200985
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190200985.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Caroline Shaw, author
Assistant Professor of History, Bates College