We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

The fourth earl grey and imperial federation British politics and the empire, 1880-1917

Lyon, Neil B. (1992) The fourth earl grey and imperial federation British politics and the empire, 1880-1917. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The 4th Earl Grey (1851-1917) was one of the most ardent imperialists of his generation. As a close friend of Cecil Rhodes, as Governor-General of Canada, and as President of the Royal Colonial Institute, Grey devoted his life to preaching the gospel of closer co-operation between Britain and each of its Dominions. This thesis examines Grey's ideas for stronger political, economic and military ties within the Empire. These ideas are analysed by reference to the wider contemporary debate about Imperial Federation in the years 1880-1917. What distinguishes Grey is that he believed formal ties were inadequate by themselves unless an enthusiasm for the Empire was evoked in the hearts of all Dominion subjects. Grey's personal endeavours to promote this necessary imperial sentiment were remarkable, and as Governor-General he did more than any other senior imperialist to promote Imperial Federation. Attention is given to the question of why Grey became an imperialist, and the extent to which personal financial gain may have been an incentive. Grey believed that Imperial Federation might bring numerous benefits both to the United Kingdom itself, and to the world as a whole. Grey came to share Rhodes's conviction that the British Empire was potentially the greatest means of promoting civilisation that the world had ever known. For Grey, as for Rhodes, Imperial Federation was but a forerunner to the even greater goal of a federation of English-speaking peoples throughout the world, including the United States. An understanding of Grey's ideas will provide the reader with a useful case-study for assessing both the established and the current interpretations of imperialism in the period 1880 to 1917.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:58

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter