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“If It Were My Way, All This Ought to Be Red”: George Thomas and the Frontier of the British Empire 1781-1802

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Title:“If It Were My Way, All This Ought to Be Red”: George Thomas and the Frontier of the British Empire 1781-1802
Authors:Miller, Devon
Contributors:Daniel, Marcus (advisor)
History (department)
Keywords:Imperialism
India
Maratha Empire
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:In 1805, a printer in England published a tale of imperialism, conquest and tragic loss from a memoir from Calcutta, India. Sponsored by key figures of the British Indian Administration, the Military Memoirs of Mr. George Thomas tells the story of a poor Irish Catholic boy who, in the midst of the war torn Maratha Empire, India in the 19th Century, carved out his own kingdom on the edge of the Punjabi. Succeeding in the chaotic maelstrom of violence, constantly shifting loyalties and political intrigue, his tale would be considered to be of ‘great interest’ to the British public by contemporaries. This project explores George Thomas’ story, analyzing who this man was, where he fits within his world, and why his story was told through the use of narratives, letters, and governmental debates. While it is clear the author of the memoir wished to portray Thomas as a quintessential British patriot and soldier, it is equally clear that this portrayal of the man was not the reality. Adopting the pretensions of Nationalistic loyalty out of sheer pragmatism, Thomas was a proud, competent and ambitious man who, over the course of his life propagated three imperiums: Mahratta, British, and his own. This project helps us to understand the political reality of the Maratha Empire during 1780-1802 and a 19th Century Catholic Irishman’s understanding of loyalty, honor, self-identity, and his place within his world, allowing us in turn to reflect upon ours.
Pages/Duration:59 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/56549
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for History


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