Colonial Petitions, Colonial Petitioners, and the Imperial Parliament, ca. 1780-1918

Richard Huzzey*, Henry Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Petitioning was a common form of protest, request, or expression across the British Empire, and historians of colonial rule and resistance have often drawn on petitions as sources to investigate particular controversies. This article assesses the significance, variety, and context of petitioning to the Imperial Parliament from both the British Isles and the colonies. To do so, we present new data drawn from more than one million petitions sent to the House of Commons in the period from 1780 to 1918, alongside qualitative research into a wider range of petitions to other metropolitan sources of authority. This range permits us to assess how colonial subjects across the empire demanded attention from Westminster and what the practice of petitioning reveals about the British self-image of parliamentary scrutiny and equality before the law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-289
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of British Studies
Issue number2
Early online date24 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

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