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Duty, Imperialism and Militarism in the British Public School, 1850 - 1918

ADAMS, CLAIRE,LOUISE,FRANCES (2018) Duty, Imperialism and Militarism in the British Public School, 1850 - 1918. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Within this thesis, I investigate the ways in which British public schools, from 1850 to 1918, interacted with wider society on the themes of duty, imperial and militarism. Hierarchical systems of authority within the schools, and an emphasis on developing manly character through sport, were used to prepare boys for a leadership role within military or civic life. At the same time, a Socratic movement formed in opposition to the cult of athleticism, emphasising friendship and the arts. The entry of alumni into perceived duty-bound careers, such as the military and the civil service, were found to be driven by social advantage, as well as a sense of duty. Juvenile literature and textbooks from the period were found to encourage imperialist ideology amongst their readership, and promote moral justifications of imperialism, labelling it ‘the white man’s burden’. Investigation of middle-class girls’ schools during the same period revealed that duty was central to middle-class female identity and rigorous education and employment were believed by some to hinder a woman’s ability to perform her primary duties as wife and mother.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Public school, nineteenth-century education, imperialism, militarism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:11 Sep 2018 14:28

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