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What were the most important factors in the demise of the British empire? Watch

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    In the twentieth century.

    Strangely it was Labour that, apart from India and Palestine, wanted to keep the empire going after the second world war for economic purposes. Could you argue that while the First World War massively dented the Empire in terms of growing nationalism, the second world war temporarily halted the supposed inevitability that that empire would collapse because a) America ironically and for the first time wanted empire to remain to protect certain areas from Communist threat and b) as an important means to keep a foothold in the dollar trade and as a way to trade with the empire?

    What do you think were the most important factors in the end of empire?
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    The fight against Germany and the rise of the US superpower.
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    A lack of will perhaps. Maybe they realised they could have all the benefits of an empire, without actually having the expense of one. Hello Commonwealth.
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    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    A lack of will perhaps. Maybe they realised they could have all the benefits of an empire, without actually having the expense of one. Hello Commonwealth.
    Please deluded people for the last time the Commonwealth is not the British Empire. It's dead and gone. Deal with it. It wasn't the decision of anyone in Britain. The empire was going to collapse regardless due to spreading nationalism and a general lack of money. This country actually showed that they were a cut above the rest of Europe in intelligence when they decided to ditch the empire because it wasn't making a profit rather than fight for it just to prove their might like other European countries.
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    (Original post by S.R)
    Please deluded people for the last time the Commonwealth is not the British Empire. It's dead and gone. Deal with it. It wasn't the decision of anyone in Britain. The empire was going to collapse regardless due to spreading nationalism and a general lack of money. This country actually showed that they were a cut above the rest of Europe in intelligence when they decided to ditch the empire because it wasn't making a profit rather than fight for it just to prove their might like other European countries.
    I know the Commonwealth isn't the Empire, but the Commonwealth sort of does what the Empire did - promote trade between the member countries and allow freer movement between countries.
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    The knowledge that it would be easier for everyone if the Empire reaped the same colonial benefits it had in the past without a military presence. Hello globalisation.
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    Growing nationalism in the colonies- it couldn't be put down by force, because Britain was weak after a struggle in WW2, and it also wanted to act as a humane power, especially towards the end of the Empire.
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    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    I know the Commonwealth isn't the Empire, but the Commonwealth sort of does what the Empire did - promote trade between the member countries and allow freer movement between countries.
    I think you're over-thinking the signifcance that the 'Commonwealth' has to relations between member countries.
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    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    I know the Commonwealth isn't the Empire, but the Commonwealth sort of does what the Empire did - promote trade between the member countries and allow freer movement between countries.
    Pretty sure you need a passport and a visa to go to Canada. The empire wasn't about promoting trade it was about forcing trade.
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    (Original post by Mockery)
    I think you're over-thinking the signifcance that the 'Commonwealth' has to relations between member countries.
    Well I agree it's not very important now, but in the 1950's-60's it was probably a lot more important.
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    (Original post by tinman1)
    In the twentieth century.

    Strangely it was Labour that, apart from India and Palestine, wanted to keep the empire going after the second world war for economic purposes.
    No they didn't, it was the Tory government that was elected in 1951 that temporarily halted all further decolonisation.
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    A couple of things I'd say, though this is just off the top of my head really:-

    1) WW1 - though territorially Britain after this point was bigger than ever before, psychologically I think it dented confidence in the Empire and showed it 's strength to be in actual fact considerably weaker than it had been perceived before.

    2) WW2 - same as above, but with the enormous economic cost incurred in the fight as well, and the resulting dependence on American loans and cash which made us unable to pay for the Empire and its defence.

    3) Rise of the US and the USSR - new super-powers, new economic strength essentially, and again, dependence of Britain on the Former

    and lastly 4) Independence movements in the colonies themselves.

    Think that's everything... been a little while since I covered the empire, and even then I covered it in a more thematic way (looking at how the Historiography of it has changed, rather than the history of the empire itself...)
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    (Original post by S.R)
    Pretty sure you need a passport and a visa to go to Canada. The empire wasn't about promoting trade it was about forcing trade.
    Alas it hasn't worked out a fair exchange system - It's easier to get into Britain than to leave it. But still there are 600,000 British expats in Canada.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...sh-expats.html

    The top 12 expat countries are listed as well:
    1. Canada
    2. New Zealand
    3. Australia

    4. France
    5. South Africa
    6. Portugal
    7. Spain
    8. U.S.
    9. United Arab Emirates
    10. Singapore
    11. Hong Kong

    12. China


    That's from 2011, I wonder what the top 10 would've been 20-30 years ago.
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    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    Alas it hasn't worked out a fair exchange system - It's easier to get into Britain than to leave it. But still there are 600,000 British expats in Canada.
    Very true. Australia virtually has a ring of steel around it while our border control is a joke.



    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    The top 12 expat countries are listed as well:
    1. Canada
    2. New Zealand
    3. Australia

    4. France
    5. South Africa
    6. Portugal
    7. Spain
    8. U.S.
    9. United Arab Emirates
    10. Singapore
    11. Hong Kong

    12. China


    That's from 2011, I wonder what the top 10 would've been 20-30 years ago.
    Why didn't you italicize America and the United Arab Emirates? They were part of the British Empire too.

    Er I think America has always been high up, Probably not SA or China though because SA was a bit of a pariah back in the day and China was just some unknown communist backwater at the time. And probably not Spain or Portugal either because they were fascist-dictator-land 40 years ago.
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    (Original post by S.R)




    Why didn't you italicize America and the United Arab Emirates? They were part of the British Empire too.
    I believe America has never been in the Commonwealth (is it eligible?) and I wasn't too sure with UAE.
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    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    I believe America has never been in the Commonwealth (is it eligible?) and I wasn't too sure with UAE.
    Of course it is eligible. Mozambique joined and they were never even part of the British Empire to begin with.
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    No they didn't, it was the Tory government that was elected in 1951 that temporarily halted all further decolonisation.
    The sterling area was really tightly controlled immediately after the war. It was clear Labour intended to use the Empire for economic purposes and needed to have political control over them to ensure the dollar earning colonies could prop up the balance sheets and domestic economy. Independent colonies were not compelled to join in so Labour simply couldn't afford to decolonise Africa which was economically exploited.
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    (Original post by TheHistoryStudent)
    A couple of things I'd say, though this is just off the top of my head really:-

    1) WW1 - though territorially Britain after this point was bigger than ever before, psychologically I think it dented confidence in the Empire and showed it 's strength to be in actual fact considerably weaker than it had been perceived before.

    2) WW2 - same as above, but with the enormous economic cost incurred in the fight as well, and the resulting dependence on American loans and cash which made us unable to pay for the Empire and its defence.

    3) Rise of the US and the USSR - new super-powers, new economic strength essentially, and again, dependence of Britain on the Former

    and lastly 4) Independence movements in the colonies themselves.

    Think that's everything... been a little while since I covered the empire, and even then I covered it in a more thematic way (looking at how the Historiography of it has changed, rather than the history of the empire itself...)
    Which historians did you look at?
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    mainly WW1 and WW2
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    (Original post by S.R)
    Of course it is eligible. Mozambique joined and they were never even part of the British Empire to begin with.
    There's certain countries which have joined the Commonwealth so recently that when we have the Remembrance Day Service, there's now ambassadors present for countries which didn't even have any men fighting for the Empire!
 
 
 
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