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dc.contributor.advisorBailey, Victor
dc.contributor.authorLowrance-Floyd, Emily
dc.date.accessioned2012-10-28T17:33:49Z
dc.date.available2012-10-28T17:33:49Z
dc.date.issued2012-05-31
dc.date.submitted2012
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:12117
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/10336
dc.description.abstractMany observers of British national identity assume that decolonization presaged a crisis in the meaning of Britishness. The rise of the new imperial history, which contends Empire was central to Britishness, has only strengthened faith in this assumption, yet few historians have explored the actual connections between end of empire and British national identity. This project examines just this assumption by studying the final moments of decolonization in Africa between 1959 and 1963. Debates in the popular political culture and media demonstrate the extent to which British identity and meanings of Britishness on the world stage intertwined with the process of decolonization. A discursive tradition characterized as the Whiggish vision, in the words of historian Wm. Roger Louis, emerged most pronounced in this era. This vision, developed over the centuries of Britain imagining its Empire, posited that the British Empire was a benign, liberalizing force in the world and forecasted a teleology in which Empire would peacefully transform into a free, associative Commonwealth of Nations. This was the story the British reiterated to themselves in the era of decolonization, the political reality of which was anything but peaceful. Closely examining the debates surrounding British brutality in Kenya and Nyasaland, British responses to South African apartheid, and the rhetorical flourishes of Harold Macmillan's Wind of Change speech and Dean Acheson's assertion that "Britain has lost an Empire and not yet found a role," this project demonstrates how the Whiggish vision served to stabilize and represent Britishness in the world. It provided an outlet through which British observers could claim that end of empire put British principles into practice. Even today, the potency of the Whiggish vision continues to color historical understandings of the British Empire and its dissolution, characterizing end of empire as a benign program while downplaying its inherently violent and contingent nature.
dc.format.extent198 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.subjectHistory
dc.subjectAfrica--history
dc.subjectEurope--history
dc.subjectAfrica
dc.subjectBritain
dc.subjectBritish identity
dc.subjectDecolonization
dc.subjectMacmillan
dc.titleLosing an Empire, Losing a Role?: The Commonwealth Vision, British Identity, and African Decolonization, 1959-1963
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberClark, Katherine
dc.contributor.cmtememberElliott, Dorice
dc.contributor.cmtememberMacGonagle, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.cmtememberTuttle, Leslie
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineHistory
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
kusw.oastatusna
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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