The Chartist General: Charles James Napier, The Conquest of Sind, and Imperial Liberalism

1st Edition

Edward Beasley

Routledge
Published June 28, 2018
Reference
ISBN 9781138330061 - CAT# K392870
Series: Routledge Studies in Modern British History

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Summary

General Charles James Napier was sent to confront the tens of thousands of Chartist protestors marching through the cities of the North of England in the late 1830s. A well-known leftist who agreed with the Chartist demands for democracy, Napier managed to keep the peace. In South Asia, the same man would later provoke a war and conquer Sind. In this first-ever scholarly biography of Napier, Edward Beasley asks how the conventional depictions of the man as a peacemaker in England and a warmonger in Asia can be reconciled. Employing deep archival research and close readings of Napier's published books (ignored by prior scholars), this well-written volume demonstrates that Napier was a liberal imperialist who believed that if freedom was right for the people of England it was right for the people of Sind -- even if "freedom" had to be imposed by military force. Napier also confronted the messy aftermath of Western conquest, carrying out nation-building with mixed success, trying to end the honour killing of women, and eventually discovering the limits of imperial interference.

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