A Level History Essay Help? (the British Empire)

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dreamerkitten
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Hi,
So I've just started my A Levels, I've only had a few lessons so we haven't covered that much but my teacher has set us a homework to write a 'mini essay' (intro, 2 paragraphs and a conclusion) on whether or not we agree that the British were successful in creating an empire.

I didn't take GCSE History so this is my first time writing a History essay ever really, was just hoping someone could give me some feedback? Is this alright as a first homework?

How far do you agree that the British were successful in creating an empire?

The British Empire began with the first empire, in the early 17th century, when Great Britain began to establish colonies around the world. From this point onward, continuing into the late 1800s, the British Empire grew significantly in size over three empires; at one point owning one fifth of the world’s population. Britain undoubtedly accomplished a great deal in their time as the biggest international superpower, but were they truly successful in creating an empire? Many historians would agree to a notable extent that this statement is true - the empire, whilst many argue it was unplanned, was a successful one. In the following essay I will discuss the successes and drawbacks of the British empire, and why I feel that, despite other opinions that view the empire as negative, it was highly successful.
The most significant success of the British empire, in my opinion, is that they spread the English language worldwide. This has remained over the course of many years, a way for people around the world to communicate and share a common language. Without this common language, I believe that countries would struggle to obtain the strong ties we have today. As well as the English language, the British spread the British judicial system to many areas worldwide. Another notable success of the empire is that they set up lines of communication between Britain and several other areas in the world (that have remained strong to this day) and kept cultural, political and social links with many of its colonies, mainly through the Commonwealth. Many countries are also now multicultural because of the achievements of the Empire. Alongside this, Britain fought hard during the 1800s to abolish slavery, a particularly paramount success. It is often said that the British Empire was about “discovering new lands and building them up”. Britain gained a large amount of power, which to me speaks for itself of the country’s success and while many would see this as a negative, that British rule was barbaric and that Great Britain forced its ideals onto others, to me it shows that Britain excelled in what it set out to do, building up colonies, creating a larger army, alongside spreading their name and influence. Britain’s rule was much less harsh than that of Russia, Germany and Spain - as modern historian Niall Ferguson stated. British rule was highly successful as there is evidence to suggest that they put more money into developing economies in several African countries. Britain provided support to help build economies around the world, with countries such as India having a strong economy today as a result of this. Australia, New Zealand and Canada are all also products of the British Empire.
On the contrary, there are clearly many negative elements of the empire. The British profited much off the transatlantic slave trade during the first empire, although fought with strong efforts to abolish slavery, and were successful in this during the second British Empire in the 1800s. Many argue that countries were taken advantage of and exploited for their exports by Britain, following colonisation. Further, many indigenous people were killed, such as Maoris and Aborigines, in order to make more land for settlers. Some argue that the empire was established by aggression, and there are many arguments to suggest that Britain got ‘too greedy’ and that was ultimately their downfall. Britain’s empire expanded to the point where they had little control over many of its colonies; and the empire ended up splitting into two different empires, dependent and settlement empires. My the 1960s, all areas of the British empire had gained their independence. A significant contraction in the empire, and a big crisis for Britain was the loss of the 13 American colonies in 1783. Americans fought for independence, due to the restrictive and unfair nature of the British rule. Several historians argue that the Empire resulted in loss of land, discrimination and prejudice, and historian Bryan Edwards, 1973, critiqued the tyranny of British Parliament and the ill treatment of Englishmen in Jamaica. He argued that this treatment was the reasoning behind the demand for independence among American colonists in the late 1700s.
In conclusion, ‘the sun never set on the British Empire’ - and there is extensive evidence to prove that Britain did create an empire, owning such a large percentage of the world, thus being a highly successful one despite the negatives. Despite some arguments that Britain forced their ideas onto others in a brash manner, countries around the world have advanced vastly as a result of the British empire. Although in the 1700s, Britain profited off slave trade, they fought and abolished it in the 1800s. The spread of the English language, a strong network of links between countries and economical advances around the world have all come as a result of the empire, which I feel are key points as to why the British truly were successful in creating an Empire. G.F. Lechie, a Napoleonic era writer, believed that expansion was a result of the 'enlightenment' of British people, and should therefore be welcomed - and with this statement I strongly agree.
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999tigger
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(Original post by dreamerkitten)
Hi,
So I've just started my A Levels, I've only had a few lessons so we haven't covered that much but my teacher has set us a homework to write a 'mini essay' (intro, 2 paragraphs and a conclusion) on whether or not we agree that the British were successful in creating an empire.

I didn't take GCSE History so this is my first time writing a History essay ever really, was just hoping someone could give me some feedback? Is this alright as a first homework?

How far do you agree that the British were successful in creating an empire?

The British Empire began with the first empire, in the early 17th century, when Great Britain began to establish colonies around the world. From this point onward, continuing into the late 1800s, the British Empire grew significantly in size over three empires; at one point owning one fifth of the world’s population. Britain undoubtedly accomplished a great deal in their time as the biggest international superpower, but were they truly successful in creating an empire? Many historians would agree to a notable extent that this statement is true - the empire, whilst many argue it was unplanned, was a successful one. In the following essay I will discuss the successes and drawbacks of the British empire, and why I feel that, despite other opinions that view the empire as negative, it was highly successful.
The most significant success of the British empire, in my opinion, is that they spread the English language worldwide. This has remained over the course of many years, a way for people around the world to communicate and share a common language. Without this common language, I believe that countries would struggle to obtain the strong ties we have today. As well as the English language, the British spread the British judicial system to many areas worldwide. Another notable success of the empire is that they set up lines of communication between Britain and several other areas in the world (that have remained strong to this day) and kept cultural, political and social links with many of its colonies, mainly through the Commonwealth. Many countries are also now multicultural because of the achievements of the Empire. Alongside this, Britain fought hard during the 1800s to abolish slavery, a particularly paramount success. It is often said that the British Empire was about “discovering new lands and building them up”. Britain gained a large amount of power, which to me speaks for itself of the country’s success and while many would see this as a negative, that British rule was barbaric and that Great Britain forced its ideals onto others, to me it shows that Britain excelled in what it set out to do, building up colonies, creating a larger army, alongside spreading their name and influence. Britain’s rule was much less harsh than that of Russia, Germany and Spain - as modern historian Niall Ferguson stated. British rule was highly successful as there is evidence to suggest that they put more money into developing economies in several African countries. Britain provided support to help build economies around the world, with countries such as India having a strong economy today as a result of this. Australia, New Zealand and Canada are all also products of the British Empire.
On the contrary, there are clearly many negative elements of the empire. The British profited much off the transatlantic slave trade during the first empire, although fought with strong efforts to abolish slavery, and were successful in this during the second British Empire in the 1800s. Many argue that countries were taken advantage of and exploited for their exports by Britain, following colonisation. Further, many indigenous people were killed, such as Maoris and Aborigines, in order to make more land for settlers. Some argue that the empire was established by aggression, and there are many arguments to suggest that Britain got ‘too greedy’ and that was ultimately their downfall. Britain’s empire expanded to the point where they had little control over many of its colonies; and the empire ended up splitting into two different empires, dependent and settlement empires. My the 1960s, all areas of the British empire had gained their independence. A significant contraction in the empire, and a big crisis for Britain was the loss of the 13 American colonies in 1783. Americans fought for independence, due to the restrictive and unfair nature of the British rule. Several historians argue that the Empire resulted in loss of land, discrimination and prejudice, and historian Bryan Edwards, 1973, critiqued the tyranny of British Parliament and the ill treatment of Englishmen in Jamaica. He argued that this treatment was the reasoning behind the demand for independence among American colonists in the late 1700s.
In conclusion, ‘the sun never set on the British Empire’ - and there is extensive evidence to prove that Britain did create an empire, owning such a large percentage of the world, thus being a highly successful one despite the negatives. Despite some arguments that Britain forced their ideas onto others in a brash manner, countries around the world have advanced vastly as a result of the British empire. Although in the 1700s, Britain profited off slave trade, they fought and abolished it in the 1800s. The spread of the English language, a strong network of links between countries and economical advances around the world have all come as a result of the empire, which I feel are key points as to why the British truly were successful in creating an Empire. G.F. Lechie, a Napoleonic era writer, believed that expansion was a result of the 'enlightenment' of British people, and should therefore be welcomed - and with this statement I strongly agree.
Is that the exact essay title? Verbatim?


You seem to be answering the question how successful was the BE or was the BE successful or was the BE successful?

Assuming its verbatim, then the question to me seems to want you to assess the British success at creating an empire. Imo the emphasis is slightly different.

I would be looking at what is an empire and then examining how the British met those measures and how successful it was.

How much land did it cover? How many people were its subjects? How long did it last? How many competitors did it have? What did the BE succeed where others failed? Why did it last so long? What benefits did the UK get? What other measures of success did it achieve? What were the measures of failure?

I think your essay is ok, but not sure you are answering the question.

https://www.quora.com/Why-was-the-Br...-so-successful
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