Imperial Culture In Antipodean Cities, 1880-1939
Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, this book explores how far imperial culture penetrated Antipodean city institutions. It argues that far from imperial saturation, the city ‘Down Under’ was remarkably untouched by the Empire. Only at certain times, such as during imperial crises, were citizens alerted to their place as imperial citizens, but in times of peace, operationalising a sense of this identity was far more difficult. Through an exploration of imperial loyalty leagues, school culture, ideas of imperial federation, youth organisations, the daily and weekly press and popular culture of the city, the book notes that there was an instrumental approach to Empire on the part of the Antipodean working class. Imperial ceremonies and traditions failed to embed themselves and by the inter-war years internationalism more generally challenged imperial values. The roots of imperial decline are found in the inter war years as various aspects of British imperial culture lost their grip. Indeed, many had struggled to implant themselves in the first place.