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

By J Lee Thompson

Whilst Alfred Milner (1854-1925) was once 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 research of Milner to take his politics, or 'constructive' imperialism as its fundamental subject. His profession is tested as a complete, 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 through the ultimate seven months of the 1st global struggle. Famously, Milner propagated his rules via his 'kindergarten', a gaggle of like-minded younger male acolytes. during this interesting ebook, J Lee Thompson additionally discovers a gaggle of younger woman supporters of his imaginative and prescient. This booklet is predicated on huge fundamental study in records within the united kingdom, North the United States and South Africa.

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Baring had been selected by the Gladstone government because of his experience, which included two years as Britain’s representative on the Caisse, but also because he was considered a safe ‘anti-jingo’ Liberal. However, the Mahdist uprising in the Sudan erased in him any optimism for an early British evacuation. Heavily influenced by his Indian experience, Baring came to believe the Egyptians incapable of ruling themselves and saw it as his, and England’s, mission to save Egyptian society from falling prey to internal and external enemies.

Baring, however, felt that if this was a fault, it was ‘one on the right side. ’ Baring took Milner’s advice to be more aggres- 30 A Wider Patriotism: Alfred Milner and the British Empire sive in courting the public, particularly making him cognizant that his Foreign Office reports, which were published, were potentially useful propaganda tools. Baring told Milner that he had ‘done your part of the work well’ and promised to write more reports. e. 29 Nevertheless, Milner believed the general situation of affairs ‘no doubt enormously improved by the disappearance of Riaz Pasha’, but he saw other sources of trouble ahead.

He commented that ‘if you were to load a Metropolitan Train car inside & out, it would Cromer and Egypt 31 suffice to carry off all the people who stand between Egypt & another smash, & I think you would find that I am one of the passengers, though perhaps the last to be asked to mount’. Rightly or wrongly, he told Goschen, he was ‘investing some of the best years of my life in this Egyptian business. It is not an amusing way of spending one’s time, but there is this solid satisfaction about it, that really with every desire to be modest, one cannot help feeling that one does a great deal of good’.

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