The Presence that Changed the World

Fiji 1874 Cartoon

This less than flattering 1874 cartoon shows Disraeli presenting eager Fijian emissaries to Britannia in the hope of being annexed to the British Empire - 'useful if not beautiful' is her undiplomatic response. Surprisingly perhaps, such uncharitable visions came from the Liberal opposition who were generally more opposed to imperial expansion. If you look carefully on the floor you can see a contemporary racist comment which says 'No More Baked Man' which insinuates that non-European colonies were an expensive liability. Having said that, the people tasked with administering Fiji would prove to be much more enlightened than many of their contemporaries in championing the rights of the local population.

The Presence that Changed the World Article | Fiji

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by Stephen