Falmouth and the British Martime Empire.

Oldcorn, Megan (2014) Falmouth and the British Martime Empire. Doctoral thesis, University of the Arts London, Falmouth University.

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Abstract / Summary

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Cornish port of Falmouth was an important base within an ever-expanding British empire. From here, people, letters, goods and information travelled back and forth from Cornwall to the rest of the world.

This thesis investigates the extent to which Falmouth was a significant part of Britain’s maritime empire during the period 1800-1850, looking specifically at four areas of interest. First, it argues that Falmouth’s Packet Service played a significant role in intelligence gathering during the Napoleonic Wars, victory in which led to major expansion of the British empire. Second, that the town developed Cornwall’s mining expertise to the extent that it could be exported to new colonies, or become instrumental in spreading the influence of informal empire. Third, that the import of plant specimens from the colonies had a direct effect on class-based hierarchies of power in and around the town. And finally, that contact between the British and foreigners in and from the port led to renegotiations of identity based on race that were inextricably tied into colonialism.

The role of Cornwall in the dialogue between Britain and its colonies, and the importance of Falmouth as a port within the British empire, have previously been neglected in academic study, with attention given to larger metropolitan locations such as Liverpool and Southampton. This thesis continues work exploring imperialism within one specific locality, shifting in focus from the urban to the rural. In doing this, a diversity of written and archival sources are used to discuss how several elements of empire came together in one place. The work demonstrates that Falmouth was a site clearly affected by colonialism, and was to a certain extent influential within it due to its maritime significance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Falmouth British Empire Naval history
Subjects: History > Cornwall > Cornish Studies
Depositing User: Lucy Seale
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 15:46
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:27
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3229


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