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

By Andrew Thompson

Written by means of experts from quite a few fields, this edited quantity is the 1st systematic research of the influence of imperialism on twentieth-century Britain. The individuals discover diverse features of Britain's imperial adventure because the empire weathered the storms of the 2 global wars, used to be as a consequence dismantled, after which it sounds as if used to be long past. How extensively used to be the empire's presence felt in British tradition and society? What was once where of imperial questions in British celebration politics? was once Britain's prestige as an international energy better or underpinned through the life of its empire? What used to be the relation of Britain's empire to nationwide identities in the United Kingdom?

The chapters variety generally from social attitudes to empire and where of the colonies within the public mind's eye, to the consequences of imperialism for demography, exchange, celebration politics and political tradition, executive and overseas coverage, the church buildings and civil society, and the militia. the quantity additionally addresses the interesting but advanced query of ways, after the formal finish of empire, the colonial earlier has persevered to impinge upon our post-colonial current, as participants mirror upon the various ways that the legacies of empire are interpreted and debated in Britain today.

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Extra info for Britain's experience of empire in the twentieth century

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IV The twentieth century was an era when much of the world was under various types of imperial control, when Europe itself was convulsed by two world wars, and when the legitimacy of established empires was challenged by India, China, and Japan. Just as the reality of British imperialism waxed, mutated, and eventually waned, according to the shifting balance of wealth and power in East Asia and Europe, so too the imperial ‘idea’ or ‘project’ had continually to be refashioned in the public mind.

72 It was this contribution that enabled the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, to prove the service’s worth in Whitehall. Finally, the way in which notions of ‘space’ and ‘place’ shaped the public imagination of empire—an emerging theme in the ‘new’ imperial history— is explored at several points in this volume. Spatial terminology—‘metropolis’, ‘periphery’, ‘ex-centric’, ‘bridgeheads’, and ‘contact zones’—has of course long proved popular with historians of empire. 74 Several contributors to this volume highlight how experiences of empire could be mediated as much through the locality and region as through the nation, and how space and place were therefore ‘repositories of social 71 D.

6. 24 ANDREW THOMPSON Britain’s interests and involvement in the wider world rather than to stand apart from them. Richard Whiting goes further. He claims that ‘international relations’ loomed larger than ‘empire’ in popular consciousness in Britain. He then goes on to suggest that this explains why the public could evince seeming indifference to imperial withdrawal yet continue to support the defence of Britain’s international role, albeit increasingly as America’s subordinate ally. All of the chapters in this volume also have to grapple with the seemingly bewildering variety of influences that came from the colonies.

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