Not Only Settlers But Rulers

The Welsh and the British Empire

From Planet 244

by Rhys Owens

Rhys Owens draws on his research into the Welsh presence in the British Raj – the eisteddfodau, missions and high-profile Welsh patriots – to argue that India is an example of how imperial rule was in part distinctively Welsh. What does this mean as Wales confronts the legacy of racism created by empire?

Wales’s relationship with the British Empire has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years. Postcolonialism, a branch of study which looks at the cultural legacy of colonial exploitation and places modern racial, gender, and class power dynamics as essential consequences of empire, has, with a few exceptions, largely avoided a critical evaluation of Wales’ role within the system until the Black Lives Matter movement turbocharged and expanded such evaluation. Now, a forensic focus is beginning to be developed on Wales’ relationship with colonialism, a structure previously assessed in the main through the medieval conquest of Wales, with the recognition that for much of their history the Welsh were not victims of colonial oppression but active participants in the imperial project.

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here