2. Imperial and colonial policy, c1857-90

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  • 1801 - 'Colonial Office' (North America, Australia, West Indies, Africa & Mediterranean)
  • Headed by a Cabinet minister/Colonial Secretary
  • Seen as stepping-stone to greater things/short-term
  • Course of 19C - the work undertaken increased enormously
  • Middle of 19C - white settler colonies became more self-governing: responsible government
  • Demands of territorial acquisitions 
  • 'Orders in council' issued on the advice of law officers in London as a means of administering the Crown colonies without local consultation
  • Did not have responsibility for all British possessions overseas
  • Responsibilites varied
  • Foreign Office had authority over some protectorates and other areas (Egypt & treaty ports in China)
  • 1858: separate India Office (with its own SOS) handled Indian and Far Eastern Affairs; reflected importance of GB involvement in India and impact of Indian Mutiny (1857) which shook GB confidence

India's administration and defence

India's administration - previously overseen by British East India Company

Attempt to control Indian Mutiny hit GB hard; lasted 1 year, 1,000s of deaths; Dispatch of


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