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Equal Subjects, Unequal RightsIndigenous People in British Settler Colonies, 1830-1910$
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Julie Evans, Patricia Grimshaw, and David Phillips

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719060038

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719060038.001.0001

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(p.182) Conclusion
Equal Subjects, Unequal Rights

Julie Evans

Patricia Grimshaw

David Philips

Shurlee Swain

Manchester University Press

This chapter concludes a study on the circumstances under which British settler colonists accorded or denied political rights to Indigenous peoples in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from the 1830s to 1910. The developments discussed in the chapter show that while White settlers in all four countries gained powers of self-government and the vote, in none of these countries did the Indigenous peoples get fully equal powers. The processes by which these issues were fought out and negotiated in the four countries were very different, as were the outcomes. By the early twentieth century, the Maori of New Zealand had achieved the most in terms of access to conventional White parliamentary power – with both men and women enfranchised and Maori men able to sit in parliament and government – and Aborigines in Australia probably the least. Indigenous Canadians and South Africans (depending on the province in which they lived) had very limited voting rights, but were a very long way from anything approaching true equality. During the 1830s, in the British colonies of settlement, there was at least a theoretical assumption that British colonies did not enshrine any form of color bar excluding people on the grounds of race; yet, by 1910, all four countries had limited access to the franchise, to varying degrees, on racial criteria.

Keywords:   political rights, Indigenous people, settler colonists, British colonists, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, voting rights, parliamentary power

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