Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Absent-Minded ImperialistsEmpire, Society, and Culture in Britain$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bernard Porter

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299591.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 February 2021

The Prefects

The Prefects

(p.39) 3 The Prefects
The Absent-Minded Imperialists

Bernard Porter

Oxford University Press

The most obvious imperialists in 19th-century Britain came from the upper and upper middle classes. These were the ones who seemed to have felt the greatest pride in the empire, certainly early in the century; and in the strictly imperial aspects of it — the ruling, rather than, say, the trading or settling — most of all. This was for two main reasons. The first was that they were the people who actually did the imperial ruling: they comprised the great majority of those who were sent out to govern and officer places like India and the African colonies. That gave them practical experience of imperialism of this kind. They were already used to ‘ruling’ at home. By and large it was these classes, descended from Britain's old aristocracy, either literally or spiritually, that had dominated the country's social and political life for centuries, and continued to do so even during the age of capitalism and liberalism.

Keywords:   Britain, empire, India, colonies, imperialism, aristocracy, capitalism, liberalism, middle classes

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .