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Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands - Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Hardback)
  • Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands - Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Hardback)
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Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands - Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Hardback)

(author)
£92.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 06/03/2014
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Winding Up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands is the first detailed account, based on recently-opened archives, of when, how, and why the British Government changed its mind about giving independence to the Pacific Islands. As Britain began to dissolve the Empire in Asia in the aftermath of the Second World War, it announced that there were some countries that were so small, remote, and lacking in resources that they could never become independent states. However, between 1970 and 1980 there was a rapid about-turn. Accelerated decolonization suddenly became the order of the day. Here was the death warrant of the Empire, and hastily-arranged independence ceremonies were performed for six new states - Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Vanuatu. The rise of anti-imperialist pressures in the United Nations had a major role in this change in policy, as did the pioneering examples marked by the release of Western Samoa by New Zealand in 1962 and Nauru by Australia in 1968. The tenacity of Pacific Islanders in maintaining their cultures was in contrast to more strident Afro-Asia nationalisms. The closing of the Colonial Office, by merger with the Commonwealth Relations Office in 1966, followed by the joining of the Commonwealth and Foreign Offices in 1968, became a major turning point in Britain's relations with the Islands. In place of long-nurtured traditions of trusteeship for indigenous populations that had evolved in the Colonial Office, the new Foreign & Commonwealth Office concentrated on fostering British interests, which came to mean reducing distant commitments and focussing on the Atlantic world and Europe.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198702436
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 241 x 183 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
McIntyres work draws larger historiographical implications that locate the origins of the decolonization process in the nineteenth century. When one adds McIntyres meticulous research to these observations, one can only conclude that his work deserves the full attention of scholars and interested readers concerned with the last stages of the British Empire. * Rainer F. Buschmann, Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies Vol4.2 *
Professor McIntyre's book ... has drawn on new sources, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office files, to fill a gap in our understanding of the recent history of the Pacific. * Gerald Hensley, New Zealand International Review *
McIntyre provides eminently lucid accounts of each country's distinct road to independence ... In sum, the book excels in providing a broader context for the factors that served to propel the unforeseen decolonization of Britain's Pacific island dependencies. It is an exemplary contribution to the Oxford series and to the overall literature on decolonization * Philip Chrimes, International Affairs *
a singular contribution to our understanding of the last days of the British Empire ... David McIntyre has added an important, much-needed sentence to a larger conversation about one significant aspect of modern Pacific Islands' history. He has done so with authority and elegant precision * Brij Lal, Australian Historical Studies *
With a remarkable level of detail driven by in-depth archival research, McIntyre creates what is surely the definitive story of the end of the British Empire in the Pacific, arguing that above all else it was United Nations anticolonialism and the British government's drive to be an Atlantic and European power ... rather than a colonial power that provided the nails for the coffin * Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon, H-Diplo *
David McIntyre in Winding up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands takes up the challenge of examining this concluding phase of British decolonisation. This is a first rate book. McIntyre skilfully tells the story and provides fascinating explanations for the timing and methods of the British withdrawal from the region * Christopher Watters, Journal of Pacific History *
This book is a fine work of scholarship. It fills a gap in the history of how the British Empire was wound up in the Pacific outposts ... this is a clear, interesting and authoritative study but, from whatever starting point the reader is coming, they will find the book a pleasure to read * David Murray, The Overseas Pensioner *
The account persuasively presented is that while British governments of all colours may have resented external demands for decolonisation, they were not at all seeking to hang on to 'assets' as long as possible, for few could be discerned. For policymakers in London (and indeed in Australia and New Zealand, whose governments also had Pacific island responsibilities, which this book also addresses) the problem became how to decolonise in the region not whether to decolonise * Stephen Constantine, The Round Table *

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