The Branch Life of Empire: Imperial Loyalty Leagues in Antipodean Cities c. 1900–39

  • John Griffiths
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


The period under scrutiny in this book witnessed the formation of a cluster of imperial loyalty leagues in Britain that subsequently established branches in the wider Empire.1 The reasons for their appearance were multifarious, but underpinning their appearance was a desire for what John MacKenzie describes as a ‘middle-class elitist membership’ to network with each other and to ‘influence politicians and academics, journalists and other opinion-formers’.2 ‘Some’, he notes, ‘had highly specific aims, others a more general desire to spread imperial propaganda … all were concerned with imperial unity.’3 Whilst a limited number of studies have been undertaken into the development of the leagues within British domestic culture, their characteristics and effectiveness in the wider Empire have been given less consideration.4 The leagues are significant because they were intended as important mechanisms by which the Empire was brought alive to colonial/ Dominion peoples. This they attempted by offering public lectures on imperial issues, facilitating inter-imperial travel and communication, and attempting to develop closer economic and political links.


Round Table Imperial Culture Annual Dinner Imperial Traveller League Formation 
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Copyright information

© John Griffiths 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Griffiths
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HumanitiesMassey UniversityNew Zealand

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