Have you ever learnt about the British Empire? Watch

Poll: Have you been taught about the British Empire?
Yes, before GCSE options (pre-13) (15)
25.86%
Yes, at GCSE (age 13-16) (6)
10.34%
Yes, at A Level (age 16-18) (8)
13.79%
Yes, at University (1)
1.72%
No (24)
41.38%
In another educational setting (4)
6.9%
username1985465
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#1
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#1
Hi all! I am aware that this period of British history is a very controversial one, but it is a period of history nevertheless.

I was rereading some children's classics (A Little Princess etc) and realised how ingrained the Empire is in such books, and this made me realise how little I actually know about the Empire.

And, for that reason, I have no idea what was wrong/right/good/bad about it, other than the general sense that 'Imperialism is bad and racism and slavery that came from it is also bad.'

What with increasing extreme right thoughts being politicised, and issues about Brexit being endless, I can't help but to wonder whether completely ignoring this extensive period of history is a foolish mistake, no matter how controversial. If it's not something that is reckoned with and taught, then there is very little that can be learnt from it.

However, maybe it's just my experience in education and others are taught it.

So, tl;dr: have you ever been taught about the British Empire in your time in education?
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Mehru1214
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#2
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#2
(Original post by BuzzyB73)
Hi all! I am aware that this period of British history is a very controversial one, but it is a period of history nevertheless.

I was rereading some children's classics (A Little Princess etc) and realised how ingrained the Empire is in such books, and this made me realise how little I actually know about the Empire.

And, for that reason, I have no idea what was wrong/right/good/bad about it, other than the general sense that 'Imperialism is bad and racism and slavery that came from it is also bad.'

What with increasing extreme right thoughts being politicised, and issues about Brexit being endless, I can't help but to wonder whether completely ignoring this extensive period of history is a foolish mistake, no matter how controversial. If it's not something that is reckoned with and taught, then there is very little that can be learnt from it.

However, maybe it's just my experience in education and others are taught it.

So, tl;dr: have you ever been taught about the British Empire in your time in education?
I don't need to learn about it, I'm living in it!
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username1985465
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Mehru1214)
I don't need to learn about it, I'm living in it!
Please elaborate, considering your profile says you live in Whitfield? 🤔

I am genuinely interested in a response to this...
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Retired_Messiah
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#4
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#4
I think I was very vaguely taught a very basic overview of it before GCSE as context for a slightly different topic, but I can't quite recall.
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Kallisto
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#5
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#5
(Original post by BuzzyB73)
x
I have never been taught in school about the British Empire but that stands to reason, as I went to school in a different country. Nonetheless I have learnt about British Empire by reading historical magazines to it - and books which refer to this period.
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AxSirlotl
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#6
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#6
I learnt about the Liberal government, the suffragette movement and WW1 (home front). We briefly covered the 2nd Boer War (so that would count as the British Empire), but other than that it's very limited.
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Andrew97
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#7
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#7
No I certainly can’t remember.
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username1985465
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#8
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#8
These responses all seem to be in line with what I figured.

For me, we even did the slave trade in year 7 without somehow covering the empire. I don't know how...
(Original post by Andrew97)
X
(Original post by AxSirlotl)
X.
(Original post by Kallisto)
X.
(Original post by Retired_Messiah)
X.
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Estermont
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#9
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#9
I remember doing slave trade... My memories of learning history in the UK are very vague. It's all covered up by what I learned in France.
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AxSirlotl
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#10
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#10
(Original post by BuzzyB73)
These responses all seem to be in line with what I figured.

For me, we even did the slave trade in year 7 without somehow covering the empire. I don't know how...
To be fair I can't really remember how I was taught history before year 9. I suppose they did certain aspects of the slave trade (where they were taken, how they were treated, what they had to do etc) because covering the British Empire might have been to much for the small minds of little children idk?
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username1985465
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#11
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#11
Yeah I get the age thing, but this is exactly why I considered it. I had no concept when I was younger of the imperial mindset which many of these classics were written with. And I just wonder what could be done better to bring further awareness of it?

I could tell you so much about the world wars since we do that endlessly, but nothing about empire.
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Shashyboi
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#12
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#12
It’s funny how india was the largest economy in the world and had a share of 23% of the total worlds wealth and after British rule it was grained down to 4%.
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Andrew97
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#13
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#13
The film pocahontas probably taught me more than the school.. even though it is widely inaccurate.
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RickHendricks
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Shashyboi)
It’s funny how india was the largest economy in the world and had a share of 23% of the total worlds wealth and after British rule it was grained down to 4%.
I mean it's been about 70 years since their independence and I don't think India has improved much. Just more corruption.
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Kallisto
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#15
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#15
(Original post by BuzzyB73)
These responses all seem to be in line with what I figured.

For me, we even did the slave trade in year 7 without somehow covering the empire. I don't know how...
Can remember me to be taught about imperialism with reference to Cecil Rhodes. That was the only part in English which can be considered as British Empire.
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Shashyboi
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#16
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#16
(Original post by RickHendricks)
I mean it's been about 70 years since their independence and I don't think India has improved much. Just more corruption.
Hmmmmmmm it’s not like they’re the fastest growing economy in the world and it is increasing by an average rate of , i think, 8% a year. Ofc, corruption is a problem, but in what other ways has it not improved?
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Retired_Messiah
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#17
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#17
(Original post by BuzzyB73)
These responses all seem to be in line with what I figured.

For me, we even did the slave trade in year 7 without somehow covering the empire. I don't know how...
Yeah I definitely did the slave trade early on, maybe that was where my tiny amount of empire teaching came in.
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Andrew97
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Shashyboi)
Hmmmmmmm it’s not like they’re the fastest growing economy in the world and it is increasing by an average rate of , i think, 8% a year. Ofc, corruption is a problem, but in what other ways has it not improved?
It has a huge potential workforce, the economy should be rising
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maya254
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#19
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#19
Not in school no, as with most things that paint the U.K in a bad light, I had to learn it all outside of class.
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Royal Knight
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#20
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#20
Now I come to think of it, not at all.

At GCSE and A-Level I mainly did the bog-standard curriculum of the Nazis and 20th century USA, Mao's China too (thoroughly interesting) but never Britain. I study the Ancient and Medieval periods at uni so obviously the British Empire was never going to be a module choice, but even my friends in modern history haven't studied it.

Disappointing really as it's an interesting period, especially the Crimean War and 'the Great Game'.
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