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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54884
Doc. No:TL24838
Call number:‭3245028‬
Main Entry:Joseph Sramek
Title & Author:A moral empire? Anxieties about masculinity and colonial governance in Company India, ca. 1780–1857Joseph Sramek
College:City University of New York
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:449
Abstract:This dissertation explores the interplay between British concerns about colonial governance and masculinity in India between 1780 and 1857. During this period, many Britons believed that their Indian empire was one of "opinion," founded upon their supposed racial and cultural superiority over the Indians they ruled. At the same time, many wanted to believe that this empire was a "moral" one, particularly when compared with prior centuries of Muslim and Hindu rule. Paradoxically, Britons in India found that they had to rule mostly with the help of Indian subordinates, even as they doubted whether Indian clerks and sepoys (soldiers) could be trusted with many of the day-to-day responsibilities of colonial governance. This dissertation argues that such doubts about the trustworthiness of Indian subordinates, along with broader ones about the fitness of the East India Company and its agents to govern India, help to explain in large part why there was considerable attention paid to the personal conduct of British covenanted servants, military officers, and soldiers throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. Many Britons in India believed that only by acting as "moral" and "manly" men themselves would they best ensure that Britain's "empire of opinion" in India was maintained and that Indians stayed loyal. Particularly close attention is paid to the Company's colonial bureaucracy and its sepoy armies. In learning how to govern what was arguably Britain's most important colony, Britons in India also had to define what it meant to be "manly," particularly vis-à-vis Indian bureaucratic and military elites whom they co-opted in order to rule. Thus, colonial administration---both civil and military---offers a prime site for further understanding British and Indian gender formation between 1780 and 1857. At the same time, this dissertation seeks to reinvigorate the study of colonial governance by emphasizing the personal dimensions of colonial rule. It concludes that the establishment by the Company of a system of mainly indirect colonial rule over India during the first half of the nineteenth century was as much an ideological and cultural process, fraught with tension, as one simply about political and administrative necessity.
Subject:Social sciences; British Empire; Colonial; East India Company; Governance; India; Masculinity; History; European history; 0582:History; 0335:European history; 0332:History
Added Entry:T. Alborn
Added Entry:City University of New York