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The Question of Miscegenation in the Politics of English-Speaking Countries in the Early Twentieth Century

posted on 2023-05-24, 04:46 authored by Henry ReynoldsHenry Reynolds
I n 1902 James Bryce delivered the prestigious Romanes lecture in Oxford. He was a man of many talents-historian, jurist, and politician; world traveler and author of the magisterial study The American Commonwealth. Bryce's lecture "The Relations of the Advanced and the Backward Races of Mankind" was inimitably global in its sweep and sober in its song. Bryce had, for many years, been considering the social consequences of the revolution in communications brought by the trains, steam ships, and the telegraph, and by the contemporaneous expansion of the great European empires. The situation was unprecedented. All parts of the world had been explored and all the races of mankind were in contact. The early twentieth century stood "eminent and peculiar in this" because it marked the completion of a process by which all the races had been effected, and all the backward ones placed in a more or less complete dependence on the more advanced. The new and radical closeness of contact-"so much closer and more widespread than ever in the past"-had created a unique situation. The, by now, inescapable contact between the races had created a "crisis in the history of the world," which would "profoundly effect the destiny of mankind."


Publication title

Re-Orienting Whiteness


L Boucher, J Carey, and K Ellinghaus






School of Humanities


Palgrave Macmillan

Place of publication

United States



Rights statement

Copyright 2009 Leigh Boucher, Jane Carey, and Katherine Ellinghaus

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified

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