Download Britain's experience of empire in the twentieth century by Andrew Thompson PDF

By Andrew Thompson

Written by way of experts from a number of fields, this edited quantity is the 1st systematic research of the impression of imperialism on twentieth-century Britain. The members discover diversified facets of Britain's imperial adventure because the empire weathered the storms of the 2 international wars, used to be as a result dismantled, after which it appears used to be long past. How largely used to be the empire's presence felt in British tradition and society? What was once where of imperial questions in British social gathering politics? was once Britain's prestige as a world strength more suitable or underpinned by way of the lifestyles of its empire? What was once the relation of Britain's empire to nationwide identities in the United Kingdom?

The chapters diversity largely from social attitudes to empire and where of the colonies within the public mind's eye, to the consequences of imperialism for demography, exchange, get together politics and political tradition, executive and international coverage, the church buildings and civil society, and the military. the quantity additionally addresses the attention-grabbing but complicated query of ways, after the formal finish of empire, the colonial earlier has persisted to impinge upon our post-colonial current, as members mirror upon the various ways that the legacies of empire are interpreted and debated in Britain today.

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200. 46 T. M. Devine, ‘The Break-Up of Britain? Scotland and the End of Empire’, TRHS 16 (2006), 174–80. , 460. 20 ANDREW THOMPSON To summarize: the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—pivotal decades in Britain’s post-war history—saw the concept of empire increasingly shorn of many of its more positive meanings. Empire, as a collection of colonies or overseas ‘possessions’, gradually shaded back into that much more diffuse thing from whence it had first emerged, namely ‘great powerdom’. 48 The chapters in this volume suggest not.

As First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill was reluctant to have ships stationed as far 16 See B. Kah Choon, Absent History: The Untold Story of Special Branch Operations in Singapore 1915–1942 (Singapore, 2001), 3–60. 17 18 O’Brien, ‘Titan Refreshed’, 149. Ibid. 150–2. 19 Indeed, what was perhaps most striking about imperial defence on the eve of the First World War was the willingness of the Australian and New Zealand governments and the Malay States to finance the construction of vessels in British shipyards destined for deployment in European waters.

58 If Britain was transformed by the business of empire, therefore, it was rarely to the exclusion of other influences. These influences were several. First, there was the global power of the Royal Navy. Second, there were Britain’s large-scale foreign investments. Third, there were the important markets of Europe, the USA, and Latin America. Fourth, there was the role of sterling as a reserve currency. Fifth, there was the marked external focus of protestant religion. 59 Indeed, taken together, Murphy’s and Tomlinson’s chapters suggest that the empire was indeed a key facet of Britain’s international relations, yet by no means the only one.

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