"And I shall make thee a great nation..." Anglo-Israelism and the quest for a racial theology of Empire
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Anglo-Israelism created a national history for the British people that justified and explained the Empire they had created. This movement stated that the British people were the literal descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. The movement began in the early 19th century with the publication of John Wilson's Our Israelitish Origin. There were some early traditions of Anglo-Israelite beliefs in Ireland and Puritan England. The movement was transformed into its final form when Edward Hine began writing. Hine adapted Wilson's theory to exclude the German people from Israel. The British Israelite believers used Scriptural proofs to justify Imperial expansion and rule. Most proofs are accompanied by secular evidence as well. Members of the movement came from all walks of life and even Queen Victoria was interested in the movement. In 1919, the separate British Israel groups were united in the British Israel World Federation. Just after World War II the movement went into decline. This decline coincides with the breakup of the Empire. The movement played an important role in the lives of many people by offering them a clear sense of destiny during an often uncertain time.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 44-46).
Teeter, Tara Leigh (2000). "And I shall make thee a great nation..." Anglo-Israelism and the quest for a racial theology of Empire. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from