By Karuna Mantena
Alibis of Empire offers a singular account of the origins, substance, and afterlife of overdue imperial ideology. Karuna Mantena demanding situations the concept that Victorian empire used to be essentially legitimated by means of liberal notions of growth and civilization. in reality, because the British Empire received its farthest achieve, its ideology used to be being dramatically remodeled by way of a self-conscious rejection of the liberal version. The cave in of liberal imperialism enabled a brand new culturalism that under pressure the risks and problems of attempting to "civilize" local peoples. And, hand in hand with this shift in pondering was once a shift in perform towards types of oblique rule. As Mantena exhibits, the paintings of Victorian criminal student Henry Maine used to be on the middle of those momentous alterations. Alibis of Empire examines how Maine's sociotheoretic version of "traditional" society laid the basis for the culturalist good judgment of past due empire. In charting the move from liberal idealism, via culturalist clarification, to retroactive alibi inside nineteenth-century British imperial ideology, Alibis of Empire finds a amazing and pervasive dynamic of recent empire.
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Additional resources for Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism
The long campaign to publicize Eyre’s abuses galvanized an even stronger opposition to the civilizing ideals of liberal imperialism. 76 Prominent members of the Jamaica committee included John Bright, Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, T. H. Huxley, Charles Lyell, and T. H. Green. On the other side, vocal supporters of Eyre included Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, A. L. Tennyson, Charles Dickens, and Matthew Arnold. The sharp polarization between the supporters and critics of Eyre intersected with and intimated the growing rift between the proponents and critics of democracy.
Both these notions concerning universality and perfectibility would be challenged, even among liberalism’s greatest champions, as the claims of culturalism and historicism came to modify its fundamental tenets. And, when the modernizing transformation of native peoples became suspect, as was increasingly the case in the late nineteenth century, empire quickly lost its most salient ethical justiﬁcation. JOHN STUART MILL AND THE CRISIS OF LIBERAL IMPERIALISM A key inheritor of the ethical justiﬁcation of empire and its liberal idiom of improvement was John Stuart Mill, who, like his father, was a career employee of the East India Company.
Those who are still in a state to require being taken care of by others, must be protected against their own actions as well as against external injury. 66 Conceptually, Mill’s recurrent analogy between the immaturity of children and the immaturity of barbarous societies reveals a characteristic vulnerability of liberal universalism. 67 For Mehta, universalism in liberalism is derived from a minimalist philosophical anthropology, that is, from the articulation of a minimum set of characteristics and capacities taken to be common to all humans.