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A limited express or stopping all stations? Railways and nineteenth-century New Zealand

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Railways have been a significant part of New Zealand life, yet their treatment in

    historiography often does not reflect this. I argue for a greater appreciation of

    railways, focusing upon their role in shaping the developing colony in the nineteenthcentury.

    I introduce the existing literature to indicate contributions with which greater

    engagement is required and to identify directions requiring further research. The

    provincial ‘prehistory’ of railways preceding the Vogel boom of the 1870s requires

    particular emphasis; railways figured prominently in the settler imagination even

    though physical construction was minimal. I then show that the forces unleashed by

    Vogel were more than economic and offer tentative conclusions regarding the

    railway’s role within a range of fields. The railway was a site for contesting morality,

    it deepened the colonial project and identity, and it defined the contours of daily life.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Brett, A. (2013). A limited express or stopping all stations? Railways and nineteenth-century New Zealand. Journal of New Zealand Studies, (16), 131-146.

Number Of Pages


  • 15

Start Page


  • 131

End Page


  • 146

Issue


  • 16

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand

Abstract


  • Railways have been a significant part of New Zealand life, yet their treatment in

    historiography often does not reflect this. I argue for a greater appreciation of

    railways, focusing upon their role in shaping the developing colony in the nineteenthcentury.

    I introduce the existing literature to indicate contributions with which greater

    engagement is required and to identify directions requiring further research. The

    provincial ‘prehistory’ of railways preceding the Vogel boom of the 1870s requires

    particular emphasis; railways figured prominently in the settler imagination even

    though physical construction was minimal. I then show that the forces unleashed by

    Vogel were more than economic and offer tentative conclusions regarding the

    railway’s role within a range of fields. The railway was a site for contesting morality,

    it deepened the colonial project and identity, and it defined the contours of daily life.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Brett, A. (2013). A limited express or stopping all stations? Railways and nineteenth-century New Zealand. Journal of New Zealand Studies, (16), 131-146.

Number Of Pages


  • 15

Start Page


  • 131

End Page


  • 146

Issue


  • 16

Place Of Publication


  • New Zealand