Tracing the beginnings of the British colonial enterprise in South Asia and the Middle East, "From the East India Company to the Suez Canal" brings together key texts from the era of the privately owned British East India Company through the crises that led to the company's takeover by the Crown in 1858. It ends with the momentous opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Government proclamations, military reports, and newspaper articles are included here alongside pieces by Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Benjamin Disraeli, and many others. A number of documents chronicle arguments between mercantilists and free trade advocates over the competing interests of the nation and the East India Company. Others provide accounts of imperial crises - including the trial of Warren Hastings, the Indian Rebellion (Sepoy Mutiny) and the Arabi Uprising - that highlight the human, political, and economic costs of imperial domination and control.
Barbara Harlow is Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin.
Mia Carter is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin. They are coeditors of Imperialism and Orientalism: A Documentary Sourcebook.