British Views on the Indian and Ottoman Famines: Politics, Culture, and Morality


British perceptions of the 1874 famines in India and the Ottoman Empire were shaped by discourses that defined these regions as spaces of absence, scarcity, wilderness, or empty land in desperate need of colonial investment and opportunity. The aid efforts organized by prosperous individuals and organizations allowed the British to position themselves as superior, benevolent, and a source of expertise sorely needed in the “backwards” India and Anatolia.