Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2011 Isaac W. Hock. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Timothy Burke


Hock examines the relationship between classical liberalism and empire in 19th century English thought and action, focusing on the ideas and careers of William Cavendish Bentinck in India, Garnet Wolseley in Cyprus, Frederick Weld in Australia, and George Grey in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. It draws on sources from the National Archives: Public Records Office in Kew and the British Library, as well as the collections of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania. This includes microfilms of records located in India, Cyprus, and Australia; Hansard's; the Parliamentary Paper series; the “blue books” published by the Irish University Press; contemporary scholarly works; and selected British newspapers. In the 19th century, liberalism was not a cohesive set of principles, but a series of discourses and practices, including aristocratic paternalism and “Britishness,” as well as limited government, personal rights, human equality, and the power of education. Because liberalism was not a fully formed approach, there was no sense of an inherent conflict with imperialism. However, the British elite did show contradictions in the expression of liberalism in their lives and work governing the empire. In order to explore the intersections and conflicts between liberalism and empire, Hock looks at men who worked towards imperialist and liberal ends throughout the British Empire. Through these examples, Hock describes various meanings of “liberal imperialism,” based on the specific individual and the locations in which they work.


Recipient of the Paul H. Beik Prize in History, awarded in 2011.