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Whitewashing Britain : race and citizenship in the postwar era

Author: Kathleen Paul
Publisher: Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Kathleen Paul challenges the usual explanation for the racism of post-war British policy. According to standard historiography, British public opinion forced the Conservative government to introduce legislation stemming the flow of dark-skinned immigrants and thereby altering an expansive nationality policy that had previously allowed all British subjects free entry into the United Kingdom. Paul's extensive
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Kathleen Paul
ISBN: 0801433487 9780801433481 0801484405 9780801484407
OCLC Number: 36327510
Awards: Winner of Winner of the 1999 Morris D. Forkosch Prize (Ameri.
Description: xvii, 253 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction: The Road from 1945 --
Ch. 1. Subjects and Citizens --
Ch. 2. Emigrating British Stock --
Ch. 3. Recruiting Potential Britons --
Ch. 4. Neither Subjects nor Aliens but Irish --
Ch. 5. Keeping Britain White --
Ch. 6. Tinkering at the Edges of Nationality --
Ch. 7. Still the Same Old Story.
Responsibility: Kathleen Paul.

Abstract:

"Kathleen Paul challenges the usual explanation for the racism of post-war British policy. According to standard historiography, British public opinion forced the Conservative government to introduce legislation stemming the flow of dark-skinned immigrants and thereby altering an expansive nationality policy that had previously allowed all British subjects free entry into the United Kingdom. Paul's extensive archival research shows, however, that the racism of ministers and senior functionaries led rather than followed public opinion.

In the late 1940s, the Labour government faced a birthrate perceived to be in decline, massive economic dislocations caused by the war, a huge national debt, severe labor shortages, and the prospective loss of international preeminence. Simultaneously, it subsidized the emigration of Britons to Australia, Canada, and other parts of the Empire, recruited Irish citizens and European refugees to work in Britain, and used regulatory changes to dissuade British subjects of color from coming to the United Kingdom. Paul contends post-war concepts of citizenship were based on a contradiction between the formal definition of who had the right to enter Britain and the informal notion of who was, or could become, really British.

Whitewashing Britain extends this analysis to contemporary issues, such as the fierce engagement in the Falklands War and the curtailment of citizenship options for residents of Hong Kong. Paul finds the politics of citizenship in contemporary Britain still haunted by a mixture of imperial, economic, and demographic imperatives."--Pub. desc.

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