The Legacy of Geographical Morality and Colonialism

Padideh Ala'i


This Article examines the legacy of the rule of geographical morality-that is, the norm by which a citizen of a country in the North may engage in acts of corruption in any country in the South, including bribery and extortion, without the attachment of any moral condemnation to those acts. Part I of the Article begins by reviewing the impeachment trial of Warren Hastings, who served as the Governor of Bengal from 1772 until 1785, on charges of bribery and corruption. It was during that impeachment proceeding when the words "principle of geographical morality" were used to described Hastings' defense.