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THE ‘TROPICAL DOMINIONS’: THE APPEAL OF DOMINION STATUS IN THE DECOLONISATION OF INDIA, PAKISTAN AND CEYLON

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2013

Abstract

The paper examines the reasons that India, Pakistan and Ceylon chose to become Dominions within the Commonwealth instead of becoming republics on independence as many expected. Each of these South Asian states had different motives that compelled them to take on a form of government more associated in areas where the British had settled in significant numbers. The ‘Tropical Dominions’ differed from the settler cases and tested this vague British concept. The British and South Asians had to compromise their wishes in order to satisfy their wants. India is characterised here as the ‘Expedient Dominion’, Pakistan the ‘Siege Dominion’ and Ceylon the ‘Imitation Dominion’. This paper focuses on the years immediately prior to independence to understand the various objectives of the South Asian elites that negotiated with the British for their sovereignty and how they varied from each other and from the Dominion ideal.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Royal Historical Society 2013 

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