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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'. via this he intended the broader patriotism of the British Empire, the furthering of which he made his life's paintings. this is often 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 in the course of the Boer battle, to his days as Minister of struggle in the course of the ultimate seven months of the 1st global battle. Famously, Milner propagated his principles via his 'kindergarten', a bunch of like-minded younger male acolytes. during this attention-grabbing e-book, J Lee Thompson additionally discovers a bunch of younger lady supporters of his imaginative and prescient. This e-book is predicated on vast fundamental learn in information within the united kingdom, North the USA and South Africa.

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He called him the indispensable man and appraised his ‘unostentatious supremacy’ as a ‘real masterpiece of political management’. 8 Of Baring, Milner told Goschen two months after his arrival, he had ‘seen little yet, though he is always extremely friendly. ’ Con- 26 A Wider Patriotism: Alfred Milner and the British Empire sidering the enormous difficulties, both native and foreign, Milner sometimes wondered ‘how we could possibly get on without him. ’9 As for the Prime Minister, Riaz, Milner told Goschen that he had ‘in my heart of hearts, a rather heterodox opinion about that imperious little Turk’.

An interesting postscript to England in Egypt’s impact came early the following year when Milner received news of a brewing crisis, brought on by the nineteen-year-old Khedive Abbas. With Gladstone and the Liberals back in power, Abbas decided to test the limits of his power by bypassing Cromer and appointing a new Prime Minister, Tigrane Pasha, to replace Mustapha Fahmi. 60 Milner seconded Cromer and Rosebery pledged his support. At the same time, Joseph Chamberlain sent Milner a note from Highbury thanking him for a copy of his book and commenting that the crisis ‘seems to be very serious’.

48 He did not fear that the ‘savages of the Sudan’ would have the engineering skill to ‘play tricks’ with the Nile, but that some day a ‘civilized power’ might be in a position to do so. 49 To accomplish this, Milner proposed a patient step-by-step approach, beginning with an expedition to Dongola. To those ‘Superior Persons’ who called for the Egyptians to be given democratic government, Milner responded that he attached more importance in the immediate future to the ‘improvement of the character and intelligence of the official class’, which would take time.

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