State Formation, Part 2: States, Empires, and Citizenship, 1860s–1960s
AHA Session 308
Sunday, January 8, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
Mile High Ballroom 1C (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Dina Khoury, George Washington University
This roundtable examines the creation and transformations of states and empires between the 1860s and the 1960s, in different parts of the world. This century marks the era in which “modern” state forms proliferated around the world, before coming under attack during the subsequent period of neo-globalization, retrenchment, and privatization of state functions. A first series of new states emerged from the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction and with the creation of the British Raj after the 1857 Rebellion, the Meiji Restoration in 1868, and the completion of German and Italian unification in 1871. A new set of state-like administrations arose in the colonies that were created during the Scramble of the 1880s and 1890s. Differing systems of governance were created in various parts of the Ottoman and Austrian empires. A different sort of semi-sovereign state emerged between 1912, when France established a Protectorate in Morocco that preserved the Sultan, and 1919, when the League of Nations mandate system was created to administer the former German and Ottoman territories. Other new forms of state and statecraft emerged between 1918 and 1960: the Soviet state, the Irish Free State, the imperial Japanese and Nazi empire-states, and the wave of decolonizing states in Africa and Asia starting with the Indian Independence Act in 1947 through the wave of decolonizations in 1960. As it turns out, most of these new forms of state were linked to imperial and colonial practices. What is interesting about examining this particular century as a unified whole is its correspondence to a particular series of colonial and imperial conjunctures--the “New Imperialism,” the Scramble for Africa, the collapse of the great land empires, the “fascist” empires of the mid-20th century, and the rise of the United States as world hegemon/imperial power. Within this broad frame, authors will explore different sorts of governmental and imperial practices relating to citizenship, social politics, and gender and households, as well as state violence, warfare, and the ongoing administration of colonized and conquered populations.