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Barbed-Wire ImperialismBritain's Empire of Camps, 1876-1903$
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Aidan Forth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293960

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293960.001.0001

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Concentrated Humanity

Concentrated Humanity

The Management and Anatomy of Colonial Camps, c. 1900

(p.100) Chapter 4 Concentrated Humanity
Barbed-Wire Imperialism

Aidan Forth

University of California Press

Plague and famine camps emerged from different contingencies, but they presented similar problems in disciplining large concentrations of unruly and unhygienic colonial subjects. This chapter examines the diverse layouts and blueprints that camps exhibited while tracing a process of standardization by which a favored camp anatomy gradually emerged and was codified in government reports and published blue books. There also developed a set of standard operating procedures for camp management as medical experts synthesized lessons in the control of epidemic diseases like cholera and smallpox. Ultimately, British officials exhibited a condescending attitude and coercive ethic towards camp inmates, whom they compelled by force to obey camp rules and regulations. By the turn of the nineteenth century, camps emerged as a recognized and ubiquitous instrument of colonial rule.

Keywords:   Standardization, Blueprint, Experts, Epidemic diseases, Lessons, Coercive ethic, Camp management

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