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Mobile Friendly Page Introduction At its peak, the British Empire was the largest formal empire that the world had ever known. As such, its power and influence stretched all over the globe; shaping it in all manner of ways.
This site is dedicated to analysing the history of the British Empire: The triumphs, the humiliations, the good that it brought and the bad that it inflicted.
For better or worse the British Empire had a massive impact on the history of the world. It is for this reason that this site tries to bring to life the peoples, cultures, adventures and forces that made the Empire such a powerful institution. It is Colonial rivalry and the european wars an apology for, nor a nostalgic reminiscence of the institution that so dominated the world for over two centuries.
Rather, it analyses and describes the vast institution that so influenced the shape of the world that we see today. Whether the British Empire is regarded as a positive force or a negative force in world history is in many ways rather irrelevant, the fact is that it was a transformative force and we should seek to try and understand it in its many and varied forms across the centuries of its existence and throughout its wide expanse.
The British Empire was never a static institution, it constantly mutated, evolved and changed in reaction to events, opportunities and threats.
The British Empire of the s looked very different from that of the s and certainly that of the s and s! It could often operate differently in a colony on one side of the world from a colony on the other side. Furthermore, the British Empire was comprised of an incredibly diverse set of actors through its many years of existence.
Some of these were undoubtedly motivated by greed and selfishness. However, others were motivated by more benign concerns, although often constrained by the social expectations of the era they operated within.
For many more people, their experience with the British Empire was purely transactional. It provided a framework and institutions that offered many people new opportunities, rights and abilities whilst others felt constrained within it or perhaps had traditional rights removed or eroded.
This website hopes to make sense of this diverse institution that reached into so many corners of the world, provided a platform for such a diverse set of characters and which existed for such an extended period of time.
The Purpose of the Site Eastward Ho! First of all, I would like to make it clear that this site is not a rigorous academic site. I am sure there are plenty of mistakes and oversights on my part; for which I apologise in advance. My interest in the subject is purely that of a personal journey of discovery; to give myself a reason to research what I regard as a fascinating subject.
As long as I can remember, I have always been interested in imperial stories, films or histories. If I analyse it, I think that I am interested in the concept of why men and women were prepared to leave the world that they did know for one which was totally alien to them.
Of course, not everyone had the luxury of choice; a decision was often forced upon many. But even so, I am interested in how people coped with starting new lives in exotic or alien lands with different cultures, geography, languages, etc Often they tried to bring their own culture with them, although this did not always work as intended.
Did they shape the destination or did the destination shape them? And what of the different experiences? What about those who went temporarily as part of a job or a contract compared to those who were trying to start a completely new life with no intention of ever returning home?
There were huge population flows around and between the various colonies. This was an era before passports and immigration laws. If you had the means to pay your passage or have it provided for youit was more than possible for you to move around this vast institution.
Many colonies would encourage migration in order to create a workforce or a sustainable population to inhabit and defend it.
Indeed, what were the motivations behind the creation of the Empire itself? And who were the people who made it possible? These are just some of the questions and themes that you will find addressed around this site.
I am currently based in Plymouth, UK. I have also taught in France, the Middle East and Japan. I started the site in to try and combine my then two teaching subjects of ICT and history. I felt that creating a web-based history site would provide me with an excuse to hone both sets of skills.
The rationale to start this site in was also at least partly inspired by the handover of Hong Kong to China in that year which I felt to be a particularly important turning point in imperial and indeed World history.Continental System: Continental System, in the Napoleonic wars, the blockade designed by Napoleon to paralyze Great Britain through the destruction of British commerce.
The decrees of Berlin (November 21, ) and Milan (December 17, ) proclaimed a . The American Revolution was by no means a purely American-British conflict. The fight for American independence piqued the interest of Europe’s most powerful colonial powers.
The result of this conflict would not only determine the fate of the thirteen North American colonies, but also alter the balance of colonial power throughout the world.
Anticolonial movements in Africa were responses to European imperialism on the continent in the late nineteenth century and the greater part of the twentieth century.
African responses to colonial rule varied from place to place and over time. Several forms [ ]. Colonialism, Western: Colonialism, Western, a political-economic phenomenon whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world.
The age of modern colonialism began about , following the European discoveries of a sea route around Africa’s southern coast () and of. Continental System: Continental System, in the Napoleonic wars, the blockade designed by Napoleon to paralyze Great Britain through the destruction of British commerce.
The decrees of Berlin (November 21, ) and Milan (December 17, ) proclaimed a . The American Revolution was by no means a purely American-British conflict. The fight for American independence piqued the interest of Europe’s most powerful colonial powers. The result of this conflict would not only determine the fate of the thirteen North American colonies, but also alter the balance of colonial power throughout the world.