The purpose of this study is to present a detailed history of the imperial federation movement in Britain between 1869 and 1893. The bulk of the thesis is concerned with the Imperial Federation League 1884-1893, but particular attention has also been paid to the antecedents of the movement in Britain. As with all political movements, a particular point is reached at which it moves from a hazy inarticulate stage to an articulate institutionalized level, and an effort has been made to explain exactly why the crystallization of the imperial federation movement occurred in 1869-1870.\ud An attempt has also been made to explain the content of the theoretical debate about the nature of federal union which accompanied the general concern for closer imperial union, and more attention has been devoted to the relationship between the question of Irish Home Rule and imperial federation than is usually the case with most studies of this period. In addition to these considerations, an effort has been made to elucidate the views and attitudes of Lord Rosebery and Lord Salisbury in relation both to the theory of imperial federation and to the movement, an area of research which has been almost totally neglected.\ud Great emphasis has been placed upon research into private papers in this study, not merely to supplement information culled from official publications and contemporary books and periodicals, but in order to obtain a deeper insight into the motives and attitudes of the various protagonists and to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the history of the imperial federation movement in Great Britain
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