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dc.contributor.advisorBallantyne, Tony
dc.contributor.advisorWanhalla, Angela
dc.contributor.authorStorey, Kenton Scott
dc.identifier.citationStorey, K. S. (2011). ‘What will they say in England?’: violence, anxiety, and the persistence of humanitarianism in Vancouver Island and New Zealand, 1853-1862. (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is a comparative analysis of New Zealand’s and Vancouver Island’s print culture between 1853 and 1862. It utilises the colonial press as a key archive to track the resonance of ideas and arguments across the British Empire at a time when violence in the colonies called imperial authority into question. It demonstrates that in this moment of imperial crisis, humanitarian language remained politically efficacious and widely deployed in both New Zealand and Vancouver Island. This usage occurred in spite of and sometimes because of colonists’ anxiety related to the threat of indigenous violence. The popularity of humanitarianism was also influenced by the press’ symbolic role as an embodiment of public opinion and the British Empire’s status as an agent of Providence. Influenced by Harold Innis and James Carey, this dissertation pays close attention to the mechanics of news transmission, especially how the practice of ‘cut and paste’ journalism reproduced colonial news across the British Empire. Forms of argument mattered just as much as facts in this context. Through a comparative approach, this dissertation is able to assess the features both common and unique to New Zealand and Vancouver Island, including the effects of their divergent locations within imperial networks. While New Zealand had established press connections with Great Britain and other settler colonies, newspaper editors in Vancouver Island considered themselves on the edge of empire. Indeed, New Zealand colonists’ perceptions of metropolitan surveillance shaped interpretations of the Taranaki war. In contrast, Vancouver Island’s isolation facilitated an interpretive dichotomy. While the colonial press offered pervasive reportage of local Aboriginal violence, Vancouver Island’s boosters provided metropolitan readers with disarming accounts of local Aboriginal peoples and no details of colonists’ anxiety. Coverage of anxiety and violence and the use of humanitarian themes often coalesced, informed by colonial editors’ imagined audiences, colonial executives’ ties to missionary humanitarians, and perceptions of metropolitan control.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectHistory of New Zealand
dc.subjectHistory of British Columbia
dc.subjectColonial Violence
dc.subjectSettler Anxiety
dc.subjectSettler Colonialism
dc.subjectBritish Imperialism
dc.subjectSettler Print Culture
dc.title'What will they say in England?': violence, anxiety, and the persistence of humanitarianism in Vancouver Island and New Zealand, 1853-1862.
dc.typeThesis & Art History of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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