Settlers are anxious folks: Kenton Storey, Settler Anxiety at the Outposts of Empire Colonial Relations, Humanitarian Discourses, and the Imperial Press, UBC Press, 2016
Description: Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, fear of Indigenous uprisings spread across the British Empire and nibbled at the edges of settler societies. Publicly admitting to this anxiety, however, would have gone counter to Victorian notions of racial superiority.
In Settler Anxiety at the Outposts of Empire Kenton Storey opens a window on this time by comparing newspaper coverage in the 1850s and 1860s in the colonies of New Zealand and Vancouver Island. Challenging the idea that there was a decline in the popularity of humanitarianism across the British Empire in the mid-nineteenth century, he demonstrates how government officials and newspaper editors appropriated humanitarian rhetoric as a flexible political language. Whereas humanitarianism had previously been used by Christian evangelists to promote Indigenous rights, during this period it became a popular means to justify the expansion of settlers’ access to land and to promote racial segregation, all while insisting on the “protection” of Indigenous peoples.
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