7. Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain

Editor’s Note: In the weeks leading up to the new year, please help us celebrate 2015 at the Imperial & Global Forum by checking out the past year’s 10 most popular posts.

7. Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain

Oswald Mosley at a BUF parade, 1936.

Oswald Mosley at a BUF parade, 1936.

Evan Smith
Flinders University
Follow on Twitter @Hatfulofhistory

‘Our world mission is the maintenance and development of the heritage of Empire,’ the leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), Sir Oswald Mosley, declared in the BUF’s journal, Fascist Quarterly, in 1936. Although often overlooked by scholars of British fascism, this pro-imperial sentiment was central to the ideology of the BUF. For the BUF, the maintenance of the British Empire was imperative – key to keeping Britain’s place within the world and ensuring living standards in the domestic sphere.

Britain formed the metropole of the Empire, but the settler colonies (achieving Dominion status just prior to the inception of the BUF) were also seen as integral to the preservation of the Empire. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa were viewed by the BUF as bastions of the imperial spirit that would help revive Britain at the core of the Empire and create what Mosley described as a ‘Greater Britain’, resurrecting a term that had first appeared in the late Victorian period. [continue reading]

Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain

Oswald Mosley at a BUF parade, 1936.
Oswald Mosley at a BUF parade, 1936.

Evan Smith
Flinders University
Follow on Twitter @Hatfulofhistory

‘Our world mission is the maintenance and development of the heritage of Empire,’ the leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), Sir Oswald Mosley, declared in the BUF’s journal, Fascist Quarterly, in 1936.[1] Although often overlooked by scholars of British fascism, this pro-imperial sentiment was central to the ideology of the BUF. For the BUF, the maintenance of the British Empire was imperative – key to keeping Britain’s place within the world and ensuring living standards in the domestic sphere. Continue reading “Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

“De negro é española sale mulato” (A Black Man and a Spanish Woman Produce a Mulatto). Pintura de castas, ca. 1780.
“De negro é española sale mulato” (A Black Man and a Spanish Woman Produce a Mulatto). Pintura de castas, ca. 1780.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From the ‘imperialist’ Second World War to purchasing whiteness in colonial Latin America, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

3. Virginity Testing: Racism, Sexism, and British Immigration Control

Editor’s Note: It is hard to believe that the Imperial & Global Forum went live just a year ago. In the weeks leading up to the new year, please help us celebrate by checking out the year’s 10 most popular posts.

3. Virginity Testing: Racism, Sexism, and British Immigration Control

A Victorian-era vaginal speculum.
A Victorian-era vaginal speculum.

Evan Smith and Marinella Marmo
Flinders University

How racist and sexist attitudes formed in the Victorian era resulted in the harsh and discriminatory treatment of women by the immigration control system in the 1960s and 1970s.

In February 1979, The Guardian reported that a number of women had been given gynaecological examinations by immigration control staff in the UK and at British High Commissions in South Asia, in a practice colloquially known as ‘virginity testing’. These tests were predominantly performed on South Asian women seeking to enter the UK on fiancée visas, which were not subject to waiting lists under the Immigration Act 1971. But while these rules allowed fiancées to enter without much paperwork, British immigration officials were also highly suspicious that these visas were being abused, feeding off a wider belief that many South Asian migrants were coming to Britain under false pretences. [continue reading]

Virginity Testing: Racism, Sexism, and British Immigration Control

A Victorian-era vaginal speculum.
A Victorian-era vaginal speculum.

Evan Smith and Marinella Marmo
Flinders University

How racist and sexist attitudes formed in the Victorian era resulted in the harsh and discriminatory treatment of women by the immigration control system in the 1960s and 1970s.

In February 1979, The Guardian reported that a number of women had been given gynaecological examinations by immigration control staff in the UK and at British High Commissions in South Asia, in a practice colloquially known as ‘virginity testing’. These tests were predominantly performed on South Asian women seeking to enter the UK on fiancée visas, which were not subject to waiting lists under the Immigration Act 1971. But while these rules allowed fiancées to enter without much paperwork, British immigration officials were also highly suspicious that these visas were being abused, feeding off a wider belief that many South Asian migrants were coming to Britain under false pretences. Continue reading “Virginity Testing: Racism, Sexism, and British Immigration Control”