The Historiography of the British Empire-Commonwealth: Trends, Interpretations and Resources

By Robin W. Winks | Go to book overview

INDIA

Robert I. Crane

AN ENQUIRY into the state of historical writings on India can serve at least three purposes. It can provide an awareness of the strengths and limitations of work in the field, the difficulties faced, and the important gaps which remain to be filled. It can also suggest the kinds of materials upon which the historian must draw if he is to perfect his knowledge of the subject. This can be helpful both in teaching and in research. Moreover, it can assist the non-specialist to identify and locate the most useful volumes for various aspects of Indian history and thus facilitate his work in a field in which he cannot be expected to know the sources thoroughly.

The latter function of an enquiry into the state of historical writings on India is especially relevant because of the underdeveloped character of the curriculum with regard to India in American higher education. A basic knowledge of the history of India is seldom available in the college curriculum, while many of the significant publications in the field are hard to find in American libraries. As a result, educated Americans tend to lack awareness of the framework of Indian history--a necessary background against which to fit specific items of information.

The absence of an adequate framework reflects not only the paucity of materials, the inadequacy of typical college courses on India, and the exotic character of the Indian tradition as contrasted with our own; it reflects also the state of knowledge which has been achieved by the scholars who have published on India. The gaps which have yet to be filled and the limitations on the kinds of history which have been written make the understanding of the history of India difficult for the non-specialist. By and large, the texts have been written within the confines of a narrow emphasis on political and narrative history, leaving much to the imagination as to the structure and nature of the society

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The Historiography of the British Empire-Commonwealth: Trends, Interpretations and Resources
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contributors ix
  • Introduction 3
  • The American Continental Colonies in the Empire 23
  • The Empire Since 1783 46
  • Canada 69
  • Australia 137
  • New Zealand 174
  • The British Territories in the Pacific 197
  • South Africa 212
  • British Central Africa 237
  • British East Africa 248
  • British West Africa 261
  • Egypt and the Sudan 279
  • Great Britain and Inter­national Trusteeship: the Mandate System 296
  • Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus 312
  • Ireland's Commonwealth Years, 1922-1949 326
  • The British West Indies 344
  • India 357
  • Pakistan 396
  • Ceylon 421
  • Burma 448
  • Malaysia 460
  • Commonwealth Literature: Developments and Prospects 493
  • Appendix: An American Report 523
  • Index 529
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