The Victorian State in its Imperial Context

Zoe Laidlaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers the ‘Victorian State’ across the British Empire. It addresses both how Britain’s imperial status affected the metropolitan state, and also how state formations were manifested in Britain, India, the settler colonies, Ireland and the dependent empire. After surveying interpretations of the Victorian state, three themes are considered in detail: the relationship between the state and religion; state intervention in industrial affairs; and state attempts to regulate prostitution. Such a comparative approach allows long-standing assumptions about the state, sovereignty and liberalism to be reassessed, revealing that the empire provides historians with an exceptionally useful, if under-utilised, comparative framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Victorian World
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780415491877
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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