History of the British Empire – Articles from Magazines & Newspapers – Podcasts


History of the British Empire. Selected online articles from newspapers and popular magazines, and selected podcasts.

 

Go to Century Past History Resources for a directory of all pages.

Britain should stop trying to pretend that its empire was benevolent

There seems to be a continuing assumption within the British establishment that it sets an example for others to follow and that the British are owed deference by others.

Alan Lester, The Conversation

Britain’s legacy to the tortured Ottoman Empire

Selfish imperial agreements between Britain and France, combined with the publication of the contradictory Balfour Declaration of 1917, fuelled hostilities in the Middle East.

Patrick Bishop, Telegraph 2014

Britain’s colonial crimes deserve a lasting memorial. Here’s why

Our nation must confront the inconvenient facts of its history rather than glorious versions of an imperial past. That’s why we need a museum of empire.

Afua Hirsch, Guardian 2017

Book review – Buildings of Empire

Denis Judd assesses an exploration of the spread of the British empire through the physical structures it left behind. The book is by Ashley Jackson.

Denis Judd, History Extra 2014

Empire of ethics: Studying UK’s colonial past through an ethical lens legitimises a slippery slope

Oxford’s new Ethics and Empire project has led to a storm of protest and revived an old debate.

Arjun Appadurai, Scroll-in 2018

Studying the empire: can history students avoid pitfalls of the past?

Understanding Britain’s colonial history is essential, but dealing with racist sources can be a huge challenge.

Pooja Kawa, Guardian 2016

J. A. Hobson and Imperialism – Podcast

In 1902, journalist John A. Hobson published Imperialism: A Study. The book was among the first to connect the rise of finance capital with the growth of imperial expansion after 1870. Hobson’s theory would fast number among the most influential critiques of imperialism.

CIGH Exeter, Imperial & Global Forum 2016

Uncovering the brutal truth about the British empire

The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins stirred controversy with her work on the crushing of the Mau Mau uprising. But it laid the ground for a legal case that has transformed our view of Britain’s past

Marc Parry, Guardian 2016

Empire shaped the world. There is an abyss at the heart of dishonest history textbooks

Nearly 90,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives for Britain in the second world war, yet the scale of that sacrifice – and the troubled history of the imperial project – is barely recognized.

Moni Mohsin, Guardian 2016

Debating the British Empire’s ‘legacy’ is pointless – this is still an imperial world

The British Empire never really died; it just morphed into a new form.

Ibtisam Ahmed, The Conversation 2017

Viewpoint: How British let one million Indians die in famine

About the Orissa famine of 1866, that killed over a million people in central India.

Dinyar Patel, BBC News 2016

The History Thieves by Ian Cobain review – how Britain covered up its imperial crimes

This engrossing study identifies secrecy as a ‘very British disease’, exploring how, as the empire came to an end, government officials burned the records of imperial rule

Ian Jack, The Guardian 2016

How Kipling helped quell an Indian mutiny in first world war trenches

British intelligence enlisted Jungle Book author to counter German propaganda by rewriting soldiers’ letters home

Jamie Doward, The Guardian 2017

Imperial Designs: Cromwell’s Conquest of Jamaica

The Lord Protector’s move on Jamaica transformed Britain’s early empire.

Carla Gardina-Pestana, History Today 2017

Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire

An extensively researched, hard-hitting reassessment of British rule in India pulls no punches, but does not tell the whole story.

Zareer Masani, History Today 2017

India has still not moved on from the British Raj

A new book by Shashi Tharoor lays out the iniquities of British colonialism. But, writes Faisal Al Yafai, colonialism is alive and well in India today

Faisal Al Yafai, The National 2017

The British Couldn’t Take India’s Heat, So They Imported Ice From New England

Sailing frozen lake water across the world was big business

Meher Mirza, Atlas Obscura 2018

The British in India by David Gilmour review – three centuries of ambition and experience

A sumptuous spread of Raj nostalgia fatally ignores the argument that British imperialism was bad for India

William Dalrymple, The Guardian 2018

The East India Company: How a trading corporation became an imperial ruler

The East India Company was founded during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I and grew into a dominating global player with its own ‘army’. Dr Andrea Major gives an insight into one of history’s most powerful companies, and its rise to political power on the Indian subcontinent…

Andrea Major, History Extra 2017

The Great British Empire Debate

A brief synopsis of the recent academic debate about the morality of the Empire, and a more extensive discussion of a number of works published over many years that reflect different viewpoints on the question.

Kenan Malik, NY Review of Books 2018

Uncovering the brutal truth about the British empire

The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins stirred controversy with her work on the crushing of the Mau Mau uprising. But it laid the ground for a legal case that has transformed our view of Britain’s past

Marc Parry, The Guardian 2016

Inglorious Empire: what the British did to India

Book review: Shashi Tharoor’s angry history of British rule in India is a timely response to empire nostalgia

Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times 2017

Who Is to Blame for Partition? Above All, Imperial Britain

In August 1947 India and Pakistan became independent from the British Empire. The partition on religious lines ripped the subcontinent apart. Partition changed millions of lives, and the shape of the world, forever. No one knows exactly how many were beaten, mutilated, tortured or raped in communal violence between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. The death toll has been estimated at 200,000 to two million. Between 10 million and 20 million people were displaced.

Alex Von Tunzelmann, NY Times 2017

Directory at Century Past History Resources

 

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