The Art of Panicking Quietly: British Expatriate Responses to ‘Terrorist Outrages’ in India, 1912–33

  • Kama MacleanEmail author
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


A growing body of academic literature on political violence in British India has begun to correct the presumption that the anti-colonial struggle was predominantly non-violent. Yet such studies tend to overwhelmingly focus on the struggle of revolutionaries—largely defined as activists who coordinated attacks, predominantly assassinations, against British targets. Surprisingly, the effect of political violence on expatriate Britons in India has scarcely been acknowledged, even in social histories of the British Raj. This chapter accounts for this historiographical omission and argues that attacks against Britons and British interests were confronting—indeed, devastating—critiques of British rule in India. Britons endeavoured to counter these challenges to their legitimacy with a fortitude that was an essential element of the imperial habitus. This chapter focuses on the expatriate response to the rise of political violence in India, which began to shake long-held notions of sovereignty, prestige and the right to rule.


Political Violence Civil Disobedience United Province Political Trouble District Magistrate 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HumanitiesThe University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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