restricted access Comparing Comparisons: The role of religion in British-produced histories of Ireland and India, c. 1650–1800


This article traces the evolution of history-writing practices in two distinct settings of the British Empire, late seventeenth-century Ireland and late eighteenth-century India, in order to analyse the progression of imperial thought over the course of a century and a half. In doing so, it argues that these British-produced histories demonstrate global patterns towards colonial subjects throughout this period. Moreover, the specific points addressed by these histories with regards to religion and forms of government, as well as the position of the British within colonial societies, suggest that Britons looked for universal elements in all of their colonies.