The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History

By Emma Rothschild | Go to book overview
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1. James Johnstone Letter Book 1770–74, Edinburgh University Library, Gen. 1734 [JJLB-EUL].

2. Elizabeth Carolina Keene, Miscellaneous Poems (London, 1762), pp. 10, 105.

3. “Petition for Bell or Belinda a Black Girl,” September 13, 1771, National Archives of Scotland [NAS], High Court of Judiciary Processes Main Series, 1771, JC26/193/3; John W. Cairns, “Knight, Joseph (b. c.1753)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004–10), online ed., [ODNB], article 93749; and see below, chapter 2.

4. On English, Scottish, and French philosophers’ ideas of empire, see Emma Rothschild, “Global Commerce and the Question of Sovereignty in the Eighteenth-Century Provinces,” Modern Intellectual History 1, no. 1 (April 2004): 3–25; and see below, chapter 6.

5. Adam Ferguson, Principles of Moral and Political Science; Being chief y a Retrospect of Lectures delivered in the College of Edinburgh, 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1792), 1:268, 281.

6. The “age of revolutions” began in the 1740s, in contemporary descriptions, and lasted until the 1790s. “We live in an age of revolutions so sudden and surprising in all parts of Europe, that I question whether the like has ever been known before,” in the Irish philosopher George Berkeley's description of 1742. Letter of March 5, 1742, to Isaac Gervais, in The Works of George Berkeley, 2 vols. (Dublin, 1784), 1:xcii. There was a “stupendous diversity of events and revolutions,” the Persian-Bihari historian Ghulam Husain Khan Tabatabai wrote of the Mughal empire in the 1740s, in which “the materials of a revolution becoming daily more abundant, seemed now to be assembled in heaps.” Seid-Gholam-HosseinKhan, The Seir Mutaqharin; Or, View of Modern Times, Being an History of India, trans. Nota Manus, 3 vols. (Calcutta, 1789), 1:40, 281. On Gholam-Hossein or Ghulam Husain and his translator, Haji Mustafa or “Nota Manus,” see Kumkum Chatterjee, “History as Self-Representation: The Recasting of a Political Tradition in Late Eighteenth-Century Eastern India,” Modern Asian Studies 32, no. 4 (October 1998): 913–48; and Robert Travers, Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth-Century India: The British in Bengal (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 141–42, 225–29. On the new empires of the times, see below, chapter 4, and C. A. Bayly, Imperial


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