Banished potentates

Dethroning and exiling indigenous monarchs under British and French colonial rule, 1815–1955

By Robert Aldrich

Banished potentates


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9973-1
  • Pages: 328
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £66.67
  • Published Date: December 2017
  • BIC Category: History, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Royalty, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, Social & cultural history, Politics & government, General & world history, Colonialism & imperialism, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, HISTORY / Civilization, Humanities / General & world history
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


Though the overthrow and exile of Napoleon in 1815 is a familiar episode in modern history, it is not well known that just a few months later, British colonisers toppled and banished the last king in Ceylon. Beginning with that case, this volume examines the deposition and exile of indigenous monarchs by the British and French - with examples in India, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Tunisia and Morocco - from the early nineteenth century down to the eve of decolonisation. It argues that removal of native sovereigns, and sometimes abolition of dynasties, provided a powerful strategy used by colonisers, though European overlords were seldom capable of quelling resistance in the conquered countries, or of effacing the memory of local monarchies and the legacies they left behind.


'The book is particularly inspiring . in that it takes the institution of monarchy with all its ceremonies, backgrounds, political-religious ideas, and contexts seriously, even in a time of (supposedly) anti-monarchical nationalism, colonialism, and modernity. This study shows once again how influential monarchical ideas and conventions remained after the French Revolution.'
Cathleen Sarti, Royal Studies Journal


Robert Aldrich is Professor of European History at the University of Sydney


1 Thrones and dominion: European colonisers and indigenous monarchs
2 The last king in Ceylon: the British and Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, 1815
3 Kings of Orient were: royal exile in British Asia
4 'Dragons of Annam': the French and three emperors in Vietnam
5 Out of Africa: the British, French and African monarchs
6 The French and the queen of Madagascar: Ranavalona III, 1897
7 From conquest to decolonisation: exile from French North Africa

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