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British Colonialism

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Mussolini, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru

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    So there are some great books out there...

    The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

    So is there a good book on the 'Rise and Fall' of the British Empire? Something that goes into the History of the British Empire, its wars, politics, economic implications, cultural etc?
     
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  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Member

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  3. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru

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    I have a Niall Ferguson book laying around here somewhere, I thought his name was familiar. But I think I am looking for something more comprehensive and far reaching, looking at both the good and bad. Reviews of his book seem to suggest he is ignoring most of the bad stuff.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Not specifically on the British, but, Paul Kennedy's 'Rise and fall of the great powers' is a fine more general book on how things fitted together for 500 years.
    I don't doubt some of its late 80s analysis might have shifted somewhat against current historiography, but I'd still put it forward for anyone as a core text on empires as a whole.
    The sort of thing that pays off when you move onto more specific participants.
    It's also damned 'readable', which is a bonus in academic history.
     
  5. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Is there an agreed date on the fall part? Or a period where this occurred...hard to judge this stuff.
    Were they the last empire? or was Japan?
     
  7. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru

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    They were certainly not the last Hegemony, but might be questionable over being the last real Empire. USSR with all its satellites could be considered and Empire I suppose, but thats a debate for another thread.

    I did see that 'rise and fall' British Empire book, but it seems to have so me mixed reviews.
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Glad the British beat the French and Dutch and Portuguese, and Spanish to Australia...at one point they tossed a coin as to who would get certain parts (they were worried about the cost of ownership) - Could have been a different planet had those other countries taken Australia, India, New Zealand etc etc...even the US.
    It bothers me that Britain took slaves...and turned her own people (mostly Irish) into colonial slaves...plenty to cringe about with the old English ways, but the other countries were worse IMO.
     
  9. BFBSM

    BFBSM Member

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    It is generally accepted that the Empire ceased to exist following the Second World War, during the period of Labour Government following the 1945 General Election.

    Mark
     
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  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    True , The British Empire started to disintegrate after the Second World War. The proposition that it took place entirely under the Labour government ias not generally accepted - by anyone other than partisan politicians. British prestige in the far east was undermined by the loss of colonies to Japan. The British Empire was also inconsistent with Britain's position as a leading member of the United Nations , fighting for the political ideals of the Atlantic Charter.

    The Labour government had to tackle the problems of India and Palestine and had neither the finance nor will to do other than withdraw from these areas. Churchill, Eden, MacMilllan and Home's Conservatives presided over the dismantlement of British Africa. Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997 and there are still fourteen (?) overseas territories.

    Some argue that the English Empire is still unraveling as the United Kingdom itself is threatening to disintegrate under in the self inflicted pressures of Brexit.
     
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  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I would say the unraveling of the British Empire began well before the Post WWII era. Certainly in the post Great War and possibly before in the granting of Dominion status to many very productive former colonies, some by treaty, others by violence. Canada, Australia I'm sure were not seen this way by most at the outset, but there is no other way to see the Easter Uprising/Irish Free State or the growing independence movement in India and elsewhere. Certainly the uber Imperialist Churchill viewed it as such.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  12. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    I did a thread in the past comparing Lebensraum with manifest destiny, US segregation, and British colonialism. I thought this thread was gonna be along those lines.
     
  13. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru

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    BOOK SUGGESTION thread guys, not debate on British Colonialism :mattc:
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My impression is that it's easier to find books dealing with particular areas and/or time periods as opposed to broad overviews. The Third Reich didn't last very long so covering the whole thing seems more reasonable. Rome lasted quite a while but it was long enough ago that relatively speaking overviews are reasonable the fact that many of the details weren't recorded or were lost may also mean writing detailed books is more difficult.
     
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  15. toki2

    toki2 Active Member

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    I am with lwd on this - too vast a subject and time period for one book.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What would one use as a start date?

    Admins if you think this question should be in a different thread feel free to move it.
     
  17. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Pretty much the 18th Century IMHO. There wasn't really a sense of "Britishness" until the Act of Union between Scotland and England in 1707. It was mostly English attempts at colonies before that.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    So your emphasis would be on "British" rather than "Empire" or is there that much of a difference?
     
  19. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru

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    Every Empire has its start, intentional or not. The British Empire must have come into being over a number of years, and went from being called Britain or England to 'The British Empire'. I would be shocked if there weren't books covering the British Empire from start to finish, whether in a single volume or multiple.
     
  20. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yes, as opposed to English. As Muss says, it branched out from English colonisation but wasn't exclusively theirs later.
     

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