Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, Vol 5, No 1 (2014)

Freemasonry across Empires

Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs
Issued Date: 29 Dec 2015


Examining British imperial freemasonry in light of the French, Dutch, and Danish colonial empires, this article argues that freemasonry and European imperialism developed a complex symbiosis during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It traces brotherhood’s spread through these empires, the mechanisms of its expansion abroad, and its role in colonial societies. Though there were some differences across these empires, freemasonry and colonial regimes developed a mutually beneficial relationship. Arguing that empires must be a central unit of analysis in the historical examination of freemasonry, the article concludes with a discussion of questions and topics requiring further research.

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DOI: 10.1558/jrff.v5i1.23977


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