Decline and Fall of the British Empire

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,351
Florania
#1
This is a real book title:

https://www.amazon.com/Decline-Fall-British-Empire-1781-1997/dp/0307388417

This topic is one of the most intriguing and controversial topic of contemporary history.
Due to the British Empire and the USA, English remains one of the most widespread languages of the world.
The British Empire also left many notable legacies.
Then, glory isn't forever; the British Empire started suffering since the end of the Boer's War.
After World War I, the British Empire might have achieved its greatest extent; it was quite hollow and brittle.
An interpretation for appeasement is that the British Empire could collapse if it faced another war.

Why did the British Empire crumble and fall?
What legacies did the British Empire leave?
Could the British Empire develop its colonies better?
 
Nov 2017
866
Győr
#2
Where the British and French colonial Empires the sick men of Europe during the 1870-1914 period? (In the growth in the share of global GDP and importance)

Article: How Austerity Destroyed the British Empire




Decline of importance of many European powers was rapid due to the rapid growth of USA. The true winners of this economic period were clearly and definite the USA and German Empire.
Even Austria-Hungary could preserve better its position than France and British Empire. And if this long economic trend would continue (Without WW1) , the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been more important than France in the early 1920s.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,351
Florania
#3
Where the British and French colonial Empires the sick men of Europe during the 1870-1914 period? (In the growth in the share of global GDP and importance)

Article: How Austerity Destroyed the British Empire




Decline of importance of many European powers was rapid due to the rapid growth of USA. The true winners of this economic period were clearly and definite the USA and German Empire.
Even Austria-Hungary could preserve better its position than France and British Empire. And if this long economic trend would continue (Without WW1) , the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been more important than France in the early 1920s.
From this chart, does this mean the decline of the British Empire already started in the 1860s?
 
Jan 2017
693
UK
#4
Once countries with larger populations and resources got in on the industrialisation act, Britain's competitive advantage slowly decreased. Increasing globalisation in the 19th century impacted on Britain's share of global trade too, later in the 20th century Britain was no longer the first choice trading partner for Commonwealth nations.
Politically it became harder to justify Imperial rule (particularly in India) in the 20th century, once a country decides it wants self-determination others follow suit.
 
Nov 2017
866
Győr
#5
From this chart, does this mean the decline of the British Empire already started in the 1860s?
Yes, decline always start from the very peak/height of power. Do not forget, The graph data is about global share of economic power. Remember Roman Empire was started its decline in the third century, however it was very far from collapse at the time. British Empire's collapse was unavoidable , since its decline in Global share of economic power. The world wars just accelerated the existing trends.
 
Mar 2016
1,091
Australia
#6
Why did the British Empire crumble and fall?
To dramatically simplify things: because they were almost bankrupt after the Second World War and were heavily in debt to and economically reliant upon the United States, which put a lot of pressure on Britain to decolonise, both to weaken them as a geopolitical power and also because of concepts like "self-determination" and "anti-colonialism" (although some might say the US was hypocritical in campaigning for these causes against others).

What legacies did the British Empire leave?
In almost all of the countries they colonised the infrastructure and manufacturing was dramatically improved and modernised (granted, usually as means to extract wealth and for the convenience of the army and bureaucracy); the concepts of parliamentarianism and representative government were shown to the local elites who would after decolonisation use their knowledge of the British system to develop governments for their newly freed countries; and the transition from 'Empire' to 'Commonwealth' fostered in many diverse countries all over the world a sense of mutual cooperation, friendship and community which never would have existed without the British.

Could the British Empire develop its colonies better?
The lands where Britain invested a large amount of time and resources into settling with white/European people generally developed into prosperous and advanced nations (e.g. Canada, Australia, New Zealand), although South Africa is a notable exception that is much more complicated. It goes without saying that countries where the majority of settlers were European in origin and shared similar religious and cultural beliefs would in the grand scheme of things be more harmonious and peaceful. But in the lands where Britain did not have settling and colonisation as the primary goal (i.e. most everywhere else), these places have a much more mixed success rate. When wealth extraction was the primary goal, Britain didn't invest much time or effort into making these places legitimately good places to live, with the exception of city-states like Singapore and Hong Kong.
 
Nov 2017
866
Győr
#7
Once countries with larger populations and resources got in on the industrialisation act, Britain's competitive advantage slowly decreased. Increasing globalisation in the 19th century impacted on Britain's share of global trade too, later in the 20th century Britain was no longer the first choice trading partner for Commonwealth nations.
Politically it became harder to justify Imperial rule (particularly in India) in the 20th century, once a country decides it wants self-determination others follow suit.
You forget the effects post ww2 Soviet propaganda and weapon exports for the 3rd world.
 
Feb 2016
4,313
Japan
#8
WW1 weakened it.
WW2 hastened it’s demise.

Britain actually weathered WW2 (in manpower loss) better than WW1, but was financially bankrupt.. empires are expensive. But the break up of the empire was going to happen eventually... if WW2 hadn’t happened it’s break up would have been slower but more painful.
 
Nov 2016
82
Serbia
#9
The most far-reaching legacy of British pseudoempire was huge genocide in North America and Australia. This also had some indirect consequences -- author of Mein Kampf openly admired this giant achievements.

No, British couldnt develop their colonies better because they were pirates essentially. [Even today their main industry, City of London, is money laundering, usury and similar money manipulations.]

They crumbled and fell because they didnt want to share plunder with growing Germany. That push them into Entente with archenemy over the Channel and -- even worse -- with Russia. That is how desperate they were.
Few decades later, they were cunningly pushing Germany against Soviet Union, but when Hitler offered them partnership, they again decined Germany. Rudolf Hess last minute offer didnt impress them either. Another Pyrric victory was too much and Yanks took over the business.
 
Mar 2016
1,091
Australia
#10
The most far-reaching legacy of British pseudoempire was huge genocide in North America and Australia. This also had some indirect consequences -- author of Mein Kampf openly admired this giant achievements.

No, British couldnt develop their colonies better because they were pirates essentially. [Even today their main industry, City of London, is money laundering, usury and similar money manipulations.]

They crumbled and fell because they didnt want to share plunder with growing Germany. That push them into Entente with archenemy over the Channel and -- even worse -- with Russia. That is how desperate they were.
Few decades later, they were cunningly pushing Germany against Soviet Union, but when Hitler offered them partnership, they again decined Germany. Rudolf Hess last minute offer didnt impress them either. Another Pyrric victory was too much and Yanks took over the business.
It's hard to take your post seriously when you seem to unironically criticise Britain for not allying with Nazi Germany.
 

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