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2 - Change Making

Incrementalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2023

Tracy C. Davis
Affiliation:
Northwestern University, Illinois
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Summary

George Thompson rose to pre-eminence as a lecturer through his work to bring about the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act, and in its aftermath forged the first international anti-slavery movement with colleagues in the United States. As a Garrisonian abolitionist, he was committed to complete and immediate manumission. As a free trader, a member of the Manchester School, he became increasingly interested in how encouraging the development of suitable cotton from the Indian agricultural sector could undermine the power of American cotton planters and thereby nullify the Souths power in the market. His commitments to India included advocating for the deposed Raja of Satara, and attempts to bring down the British East India Company. On his first visit to India, he helped foster institutions that gave young men experience in debate and other forms of advocacy; on his second visit, under the cloud of financial distress following the failure of the Empire newspaper, he served as agent for a British textile firm. In the meantime, he served a term as MP for Tower Hamlets. Witnessing survivors of the Siege of Lucknow embarking in Calcutta, decades of Thompsons political experience came to the fore in a testament of performative empathy, insight, and anti-imperial advocacy.

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Chapter
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Liberal Lives and Activist Repertoires
Political Performance and Victorian Social Reform
, pp. 72 - 160
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Change Making
  • Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Book: Liberal Lives and Activist Repertoires
  • Online publication: 19 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009297554.003
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  • Change Making
  • Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Book: Liberal Lives and Activist Repertoires
  • Online publication: 19 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009297554.003
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Change Making
  • Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Book: Liberal Lives and Activist Repertoires
  • Online publication: 19 May 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009297554.003
Available formats
×