From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Australian settler colonists mobilised their unique settler experiences to develop their own vision of what 'empire' was and could be. Reinterpreting their histories and attempting to divine their futures with a much heavier concentration on racialized visions of humanity, white Australian settlers came to believe that their whiteness as well as their Britishness qualified them for an equal voice in the running of Britain's imperial project. Through asserting their case, many soon claimed that, as newly minted citizens of a progressive and exemplary Australian Commonwealth, white settlers such as themselves were actually better suited to the modern task of empire. Such a settler political cosmology with empire at its center ultimately led Australians to claim an empire of their own in the Pacific Islands, complete with its own, unique imperial governmentality.
About the Author
Wm. Matthew Kennedy was recently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and is now a Research Associate at the University of Sussex