Making an Empire


In  “Chapter 8: Making empire?” (Making Peoples: A history of the New Zealanders, from Polynesian settlement to the end of the nineteenth century. Hawai’i Press, 2001. 179-203. Print.) it talks about how New Zealand became part of the British Empire and all of the acts that took place for this to happen.

The British had an unrealistic view of how New Zealand would be with both European and Maori living in the same place, “Maori chiefs would become brown gentlemen, sipping port and reading the Bible and the Wealth of Nations on estates reserved for them by the company…” (Belich 183). This may have been what the British envisioned for New Zealand but this is defiantly not what happened; this vision was utopian. Building an empire is no easy task but you have to be realistic about it and I don’t think the British were, as no one would really willingly give away their sovereignty and their land. The British knew this so when the treaty was being made and signed they mislead the Maori as to what it meant and has been described, “…’a praiseworthy device to amuse savages’…” (Belich 193).

I think that these events had impact on visual and material culture in New Zealand because there was a lot of dispute, distrust and anger between both the Maori’s and the British. Therefore this would have been reflected in visual and material culture, such as art works and the way that the two people interacted with/spoke about each other.


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