The Chartist General : Charles James Napier, The Conquest of Sind, and Imperial Liberalism book cover
1st Edition

The Chartist General
Charles James Napier, The Conquest of Sind, and Imperial Liberalism

ISBN 9781138699267
Published December 1, 2016 by Routledge
388 Pages

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Book Description

General Charles James Napier was sent to confront the tens of thousands of Chartist protestors marching through the cities of the North of England in the late 1830s. A well-known leftist who agreed with the Chartist demands for democracy, Napier managed to keep the peace. In South Asia, the same man would later provoke a war and conquer Sind. In this first-ever scholarly biography of Napier, Edward Beasley asks how the conventional depictions of the man as a peacemaker in England and a warmonger in Asia can be reconciled. Employing deep archival research and close readings of Napier's published books (ignored by prior scholars), this well-written volume demonstrates that Napier was a liberal imperialist who believed that if freedom was right for the people of England it was right for the people of Sind -- even if "freedom" had to be imposed by military force. Napier also confronted the messy aftermath of Western conquest, carrying out nation-building with mixed success, trying to end the honour killing of women, and eventually discovering the limits of imperial interference.

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Maps



Introduction: Liberalism and Napier

Part I: Boyhood and War

Chapter 1: Early Days

Chapter 2: A Soldier

Chapter 3: In America and France

Part II: The Radical Abroad and at Home

Chapter 4: Greece and the Greeks

Chapter 5: Cephalonia and the Greek Revolution

Chapter 6: Social Reform for Cephalonia

Chapter 7: Departure and Bereavement

Chapter 8: Australia and Idealism

Chapter 9: Flogging and Politics

Part III: The North of England

Chapter 10: The Coming of Chartism

Chapter 11: Command in the North

Chapter 12: The Long-Term Threat

Chapter 13: Newport and After

Part IV: The Conquest of Sind

Chapter 14: To India and Sind

Chapter 15: Napier's Motivations

Chapter 16: To and from the Battle of Miani

Chapter 17: The Battle of Dubba

Part V: 'In Scinde as in Cephalonia….'

Chapter 18: Victory in the Sun

Chapter 19: 'To Protect the Poor from Barbarian Tyranny!'

Chapter 20: Conflict and Decline

Part VI: Commander-in-Chief

Chapter 21: Home and Back

Chapter 22: Reforming the Army

Chapter 23: The Kohat Expedition

Chapter 24: The Mutinies of Charles James Napier

Conclusion: Napier, Liberalism, and Imperialism


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Edward Beasley is Professor of History at San Diego State University. He is author of The Victorian Reinvention of Race, Empire as the Triumph of Theory and Mid-Victorian Imperialists, all available from Routledge.