Herman Merivale and the British Empire, 1806-1874, with Special Reference to British North America, Southern Africa and India.

McNab, David Thornton (1978) Herman Merivale and the British Empire, 1806-1874, with Special Reference to British North America, Southern Africa and India. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This dissertation is a study of Herman Merivale's relationship to the British Empire from 1837, when he first began to take an interest in the subject, until his death in 1874. The most important aspect of Merivale's career was the great discrepancy between his imperial ideas, formulated when he was a professor of classical political economy at the University of Oxford, and his administrative career as permanent undersecretary at the Colonial and India Offices from 1847 to 1874. When confronted by the enormously complex problems of the Empire Merivale's ideas changed considerably. The idealistic liberal panaceas which he had put forward in his Lectures on Colonization and Colonies in 1841 were inadequate and his administrative career was largely characterized by failure. As Merivale realized by 1860 the Colonial Office was incapable of dealing with, much less ruling the white settlement colonies. At the India Office from 1860 to 1874 he had scant opportunity to influence British policy because of his own inexperience and the manner in which the British government was attempting to govern India after the Mutiny of 1857-58. The introduction and Chapter one analyze Merivale's ideas concerning liberalism and the British Empire from 1806-1874. Chapter two evaluates his role at the Colonial Office. Chapters three through eight compare his ideas and actions upon v/hat Merivale conceived to be the most important problems facing the Office: free trade, colonial self-government, the ''native" question and its administration, the Hudson's Bay Company's monopoly and licence of exclusive trade in the Pacific Northwest and Rupert's Land. Chapter nine briefly describes Merivale's ineffective and miscellaneous role at the India Office. Although Merivale's private papers have not survived there is no dearth of source material. This study is based upon manuscript collections of Merivale's colleagues, his minutes and memoranda at the Colonial Office in the Public Record Office as well as his written work at the India Office in the India Office Library. His published works, especially the two editions of his Lectures and his essays in the leading Victorian periodicals are also essential in understanding the changes in his imperial ideas from 1837-1874.

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Thesis (PhD)
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 1978.
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02 May 2019 16:30
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02 May 2024 01:51