Gautam Bhadra -- From an Imperial Product to a National by Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata

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Additional info for Gautam Bhadra -- From an Imperial Product to a National Drink, The Culture of Tea Consumption in Modern India

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The Highlanders (1822), a work initially conceived as a history of the 42nd regiment, the famous Black Watch. Another product of Scottish militarism was the planned National Monument on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, which, though never completed, was to be built by public subscription and, at one time at least, was intended to be ‘a hallowed place of record’ detailing the service of all Scots in the war down to the volunteer rank and file. The continuation of the Scottish regiments after the war, maintained from 1825 by permanent depots in the country, played a vital role in the development of Scottish national consciousness.

The nineteenth century’s ‘Great War’, then, like the next Great War, does not appear to have significantly militarized British society. After 1815 the army at home retired to its barracks (now abundantly provided thanks to the war), where its separateness from civilian life was reinforced. Meanwhile the auxiliary forces were disbanded at the first opportunity by a government anxious to economize and even more anxious to be rid of an armed population. The remnants of the ‘armed nation’ that were saved were the yeomanry, the cavalry arm of the volunteers, who were reliable under the gentry and who made a valuable addition to very limited *police resources.

Similarly, the Union flag and the national anthem and some other songs became affirmations of British identity appropriated by all and sundry. It is possible to examine popular attitudes more closely to test the depth of patriotic commitment during the war when, for obvious reasons, it can be expected to have been maximized. In spite of the nation’s military effort, the popular image of the soldier as one who relinquished the freedoms of civilian existence for slavery, exile, and (very likely) horrible death remained firmly fixed.

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