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The British Empire; A Force for Good

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John McLean
June 2024
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The British Empire, the largest and most benign in history, had colonies on every continent and in every ocean. It was the greatest force in creating the modern world and has given the world its first international language since the days of Rome. It gave birth to the modern nations of the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and created the two greatest free ports in Asia: Singapore and Hong Kong.

During its four hundred years of existence the Empire brought order and relief to many unenlightened societies by ridding them of superstition, tribal warfare, cannibalism, female infanticide, head-hunting, human sacrifice, piracy, personal insecurity, and, in India, suttee and thuggee. Its greatest achievement was its abolition of the slave trade and of slavery within its territories from 1807 onwards. Britain led the world in this crusade - something that no other nation had the power or the will to do - thus redeeming the earlier mistake of being involved in the Atlantic slave trade.

In telling this fascinating story the author covers 101 colonies by looking at their condition before the British arrived, how they fared under British rule, and how they have conducted themselves since acquiring their independence. The book gives the modern reader an insight into what the Empire was really like for those who lived in it, fought in its wars and travelled around it in their various capacities.