chapter  1
26 Pages

The State and Its Colonial Frontiers

An argument for homologous state formation at home and in the colony may unsettle, perhaps, the given national boundaries of historical reckoning. Yet a reconsideration of the historiographical reach of Great Britain, long

after J. G. A. Pocock’s invitation to a radical expansion of British history to involve the Scottish, the Irish, and the wider Atlantic world, would in itself be nothing new.1 This, however, is part o f an account o f particular forms of knowledge and rule that traveled to later eighteenth-century India, pointing to an intimate connection that would, I hope, question and revise the division o f historiographical labor between histories o f England, the British Empire, and colonial India, and at a stretch, Ireland in the seventeenth and Scotland in the eighteenth century. This chapter concentrates on two related themes, namely, the English provenance2 of the state established in eastern India by the East India Company, and implications o f overseas imperial expansion for the nation-state at home.