A Wider Patriotism: Alfred Milner and the British Empire by J Lee Thompson

By J Lee Thompson

Whilst Alfred Milner (1854-1925) used to be knighted, he took as his motto Communis Patria, 'patriotism for our universal country'. by means of this he intended the broader patriotism of the British Empire, the furthering of which he made his life's paintings. this can be the 1st learn of Milner to take his politics, or 'constructive' imperialism as its fundamental topic. His occupation is tested as an entire, from the genesis of his imperial ideology at Oxford, via his time as excessive Commissioner in South Africa through the Boer battle, to his days as Minister of warfare in the course of the ultimate seven months of the 1st international warfare. Famously, Milner propagated his rules via his 'kindergarten', a bunch of like-minded younger male acolytes. during this interesting publication, J Lee Thompson additionally discovers a bunch of younger girl supporters of his imaginative and prescient. This ebook relies on broad fundamental examine in documents within the united kingdom, North the USA and South Africa.

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The two had first met in Egypt and both had been trained by Stead at the Pall Mall Gazette. 5 Before he departed Milner was subjected to what he called a ‘hailstorm’ of congratulatory dinners and luncheons. The most impressive of these was a 27 March affair at the Café Monico in London, chaired by Henry Asquith and organized by Milner’s friends George Curzon, Alfred Lyttelton and St John Brodrick, who would rise in the following years to be Viceroy of India, Colonial Secretary and War Secretary respectively.

This was also true of his participation in the whirl of the winter social season which opened soon after he arrived. Milner commented in December 1889 on the ‘rush’ in Cairo brought on by what he considered a ludicrous attempt to recreate the London season. It was, he said, a ‘remarkable fact that even the English colony can’t reproduce it here – though they may do their best, the idiots, with their endless social functions and tremendous demands of etiquette’. Following Baring’s lead, the British in Cairo stayed aloof, both from the other Europeans and the Turkish ruling classes.

52 The remaining problems the British faced, Milner asserted, were made more difficult by the interference of one power in particular – France. A separate chapter chronicled the campaign of obstruction carried out over almost every reform, including the abolition of the corvée. Despite the French, however, reforms were progressing. As long as Britain chose to stick to the task, he believed, France could not ‘upset the Egyptian coach’. The question was ‘whether Great Britain will think it worthwhile … at the cost, or supposed cost, of the continued irritation of France’.

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