[[ download Audible ]] The Rise and Fall of British EmpireAuthor Lawrence James – Multi-channel.co

Great Britain S Geopolitical Role Has Undergone Many Changes Over The Last Four Centuries Once A Maritime Superpower And Ruler Of Half The World, Britain Now Occupies An Isolated Position As An Economically Fragile Island Often At Odds With Her European Neighbors Lawrence James Has Written A Comprehensive, Perceptive And Insighful History Of The British Empire Spanning The Years FromTo The Present Day, This Critically Acclaimed Book Combines Detailed Scholarship With Readable Popular History


10 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of British Empire

  1. says:

    once into this book it becomes impossible to sustain the author is hell bent to present british imperialism as a different from the bad imperialism of others and b provided a noble service of preparing hapless fools for self government Britain was no tyrant, but a good parent noblesse oblige oozes from these pages they provide a gloss thick as butter on even the opium trade. it was impossible to finish this spin piece, for it made me gag There are few errors of comision, but the errors of omission are rampant Best read for what it tells about the self complacency of the imperial mindset how easily the average human can gloss over any, even every, pecadillo shame gross misconduct in this respect, very revealing and disturbing


  2. says:

    In this comprehensive book on the start and end of the great British Empire, Lawrence has managed to capture the cultural, moral, economic and political changes in Britain and their Empire The rise is explained well but the fall felt a bit rushed Maybe because of my background is from a former colony while the author hails from the mother ship The Empire was built on sea power and was lost when Americans and the Russians used their superior Air and conventional forces might to elbow their way to the top It would have been extremely interesting to have a chapter to compare the British Empire with the other European Empires like the fate of French and the Portugese Also, he could have analysed the cultural effect of the empire on the psyche of the British public in a bit detail.What I never knew before was the extent of American propoganda against the colonising European powers which makes perfect sense as they wanted to replace these ex powers as well as fight off the Russians for the top slot The British have since their loss against the Egyptians nicely found a niche as American advisors and yes men Not only the British but the French are trying to fight the British for the top poodle position This book has really made me understand the current political situation.


  3. says:

    In writing this critique, I must advise any prospective reader to brace him herself for a long stretch, for this is a weighty and comprehensive book about one of the most extraordinary empires that ever existed In the case of the British Empire, it did not come into being as part of a deliberate plan from one nation to dominate a large corner of the globe The Empire s origins are to be found in Elizabethan England, in which a poor nation barely recovered from a prolonged period of internal dissention and external threats from Imperial Spain, began to reach out to both the Americas and India to establish trade and markets Eventually, over time, as England grew and prospered and gave rise to Great Britain, the trade concessions in India and the growth of its land holdings in the Americas and the West Indies in the 17th 18th centuries would act as springboards notwithstanding the occasional setbacks, such as the loss of the American colonies in 1783 to an extensive network of colonies and protectorates that straddled the globe by the 1930s This book also provides revealing analyses as to why the Empire declined and fell as Britain herself after 1945 could no longer afford to be a major player on the world stage This is a book only for the serious student of history I highly recommend it.


  4. says:

    As a former Brit army officer I picked this up expecting a right royal, late 20th century revisionist empire bashing I was wrong I found this book to offer excellent insight into the condition of empire, and despite a reasonable understanding of Britain s exploits overseas, James book provided me with a context I hadn t found elsewhere Thoroughly enjoyable A time well described.


  5. says:

    This book is truly epic in nature Lengthy, it guides the reader through the entirety of the British empire The focus is primarily around the government business sector, with the social attitudes of British citizens and colonists also getting sufficient treatment worth noting that what is rarely discussed are royal ongoings.James is splendid on many levels The research is both thorough and detailed The social history is beautifully intertwined with the history The book is broken down first on a chronological level, then into geography, making such an expansive amount of information fit neatly into compartmentalized sections As far as I can tell, it is a very objective account of the British empire This perspective was good for me, as my study of WWI WWII had a definitively Ameri centric flavor In many respects, I feel like I have a much better global perspective now that I have digested this history particularly in Africa, the middle east and south Asia And James telling of the tale is than adequate His writing style is very atpical of traditional non fiction The vocabulary is wide and does well to express the granular detail intertwined in Britain s history.One point to make this work is not exactly an easy read it s not difficult, but the language combined with the length make it a chore at times in chapters where I had a great interest, I moved swiftly other chapters, not so much It is definitely not a work of non fiction, such as those by McCullough or Larsen, that read like a novel All this said, it was clearly not the author s intent to turn history into a true novel It is what it is an excellent, thorough and detailed treatment of The Rise and Fall of the British Empire.


  6. says:

    The largest empire in history ended less than a century ago, yet the legacy of how it rose and how it fell will impact the world for longer than it existed Lawrence James chronicles the 400 year long history of The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, from its begins on the eastern seaboard of North American spanning a quarter of the world to the collection of tiny outposts scattered across the globe.Neither a simple nor a comprehensive history, James looks at the British Empire in the vain of economic, martial, political, and cultural elements not only in Britain but in the colonies as well Beginning with the various settlements on the eastern seaboard of North America, James describes the various colonies and latter colonial administrators that made their way from Britain to locations around the globe which would have an impact on attitudes of the Empire over the centuries The role of economics in not only the growth the empire but also the Royal Navy that quickly became interdependent and along with the growth of the Empire s size the same with the nation s prestige The lessons of the American War of Independence not only in terms of military fragility, but also politically influenced how Britain developed the white dominions over the coming centuries And the effect of the liberal, moralistic bent of the Empire to paternally watch over lesser peoples and teach them clashing with the bombast of the late 19th Century rush of imperialism in the last century of the Empire s exists and its effects both at home and abroad.Composing an overview of 400 years of history than spans across the globe and noting the effects on not only Britain but the territories it once controlled was no easy task, especially in roughly 630 pages of text James attempted to balance the positive and negative historiography of the Empire while also adding to it The contrast between upper and upper middle class Britons thinking of the Empire with that of the working class Britons and colonial subjects was one of the most interesting narratives that James brought to the book especially in the twilight years of the Empire Although it is hard to fault James given the vast swath of history he tackled there were some mythical history elements in his relating of the American War of Independence that makes the critical reader take pause on if the related histories of India, South Africa, Egypt, and others do not contain similar historical myths The Rise and Fall of the British Empire is neither a multi volume comprehensive history nor a simple history that deals with popular myths of history, it is an overview of how an island nation came to govern over a quarter of the globe through cultural, economic, martial, and political developments Lawrence James s book is readable to both general and critical history readers and highly recommended.


  7. says:

    This is an excellent book about the British Empire i.e its colonies, global struggles, etc that any world history teacher or history buff ought to read As an American, I really appreciated the British perspective.The book covers a lot of ground since it begins in 1600 and ends in the 1990s Some of the parts I liked best included the many wars with rival France from the late 1600s to the early 1800s, how British colonizers saw themselves as the good guys who spread civilization, commerce and law to natives across the world this is of course in contrast to US classroom example of a tyrannical Britain that led the US to Revolution in the 1770s , the bitter debate within GB about what sort of Empire it should be i.e whether the Empire should work alongside the natives or instead be leaders bosses of the natives , how Ireland and then Egypt threw off the British yoke between WWI and WWII, and the jingoism and racism of the early 1900s.All in all this is a wonderful history lesson that shed much light, and I highly recommend it to any history fans out there.


  8. says:

    A definitive single volume history, which through the extent of the British Empire and everyone else s reaction to it, pretty clearly delineates why the global map looks the way it does today Starting with the colonisation of America and finishing with African independent nationhood, James does a fine job of explaining the economic imperatives that forged the empire, the high minded contemporary moral justification for its existence and the global realpolitik that forced its dissolution I felt James to be broadly sympathetic to empire without excusing the rapacious greed of some of its supposed heroes or the violence and inhumanity perpetrated in its name He makes the valid point about how generally civilised the retreat from empire was, contrasting with the French exit from Algeria and the Belgians from the Congo For all the hand wringing guilt about exploitation in the name of the Empire, it ought to be remembered that this was a time of empire building and if the British had not planted their flag on distant territories, some other ambitious nation would, and who can say if they would have behaved in a way acceptable to our 21st century sensibilities Whatever your standpoint, the story of how a tiny island became the most important country in the world is a compelling one.


  9. says:

    Covering the period between the first Queen Elizabeth and the second Lawrence follows the establishment of the British Empire from a few trading outposts and reaction to Catholic Spain, through its glory days as master of the seas, to its eventual demise through the 20th Century and two very costly world wars In the end, the Empire faded away as its people, both at home and in the colonies and dominions found other priorities and the cost financially and politically of maintaining the Empire became too much The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, is a great read, lots of information there which is simply not taught in British schools any through misguided sensitivities IMO I admit I may be biased, but despite the errors and mistakes made much good came out of the Empire I think Lawrence agrees and although he never pulls his punches with regard to the dubious exploits of some of the Empires subjects he is at heart what the Americans would term a patriot.May the Empires legacy long continue.


  10. says:

    Lawrence puts together a well written book covering a comprehensive range of the British Empire and the imperialism, colonialsm, and early phases of international capital during the reign of the Empire Areas of historical interest covered in this book are mercantilism, the economic value of exploiting colonies in order to build the British Navy to the most powerful force on the international sea, the trans Atalntic slave trade, and an in depth focus on the East India Company and India I especially found areas of great interest concerning references to slavery in Jamaica, the North American colonies, the stockholders of the East India Company earliest form of capitalism , and the India Acts as Britain turned to the value of India after losing the North American colonies after the American Revoultion The book also briefly mentioned the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the acquisition of Palestine by Britain which is part of the history leading into the creation of the modern nation state of Israel The British in Egypt and the control over the northern flowing Nile River Fashoda was also discussed within the book Fashoda incident short response paper that I cited Lawerence on At the end of the 19th century the continent of Africa was already under European colonial siege, a race termed in history as the scramble for Africa The major European powers in Africa at the turn of the century were the British and the French, with Germany, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Italy also engaged on the continent The incident of Fashoda modern Sudan was not only a diplomatically resolved land conflict between Britain and France, it served as a very important evolution point in imperialism.In July 1898, the French established a military presence at Fashoda under the command of Jean Baptiste Marchand As a result, British forces based in the Upper Nile region moved military forces under Lord Herbert Kitchener southward into Sudan toward Fashoda What was the importance of Fashoda The Importance of Fashoda is its position on the Nile, which is a Northern flowing river From a British perspective, French forces could put gunboats in the water or even erect a dam to completely cut off the flow of water, which would be disastrous on economic, health, military levels.Kitchener won the battle of Omdurmam against Mahdist forces on the southward movement toward Fashoda Full scale conflict between British and French forces never erupted over Fashoda because France stepped down because her ally, Russia, refused to become entangled in a dispute over a stretch of sand in the middle of Africa 1 The French also understood the naval superiority that the British possessed over them and did not wish to see their own foreign trade decimated again, as it had been in the 18th century, due to conflict with Britain 2.I offer two areas for contemplation and discussion The fact that Britain had the Egyptian flag rather than the British flag hoisted over Fashoda is very interesting Looking at this period of colonial history, we see Britain using Egypt, basically a British property yet proclaimed as an autonomous protectorate, as a puppet state for military and political actions to achieve British economic interests I view this as an evolution in imperialism Just as the modern imperial actions of the United States and their allies remove regimes such as Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, only to replace them with puppet governments which they can utilize or exploit, we can look back at the British return to Egypt in 1882 and see that Britain controlled the finances, government and military of Egypt.A few weeks back while studying Dr Said s orientalism, we reviewed an account of General Gordon s evacuation mission to Khartoum north of Fashoda I have to give consideration to the possibility of under the table French support, in military or economic form, to the Mahdists in their opposition against British Egyptian southern advancement Any thoughts on this possibility 1 James, Lawrence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1996 , 285 2 James, Lawrence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1996 , 285 East India Company short response paper that I cited Lawerence on The East India Company had its origins at the beginning of the 17th century under the royal charter, titled Governor and Company of Merchants of London, by Elizabeth I, in order to compete with Portuguese traders in India and the Far East By 1708, the original joint stock company had merged with a competing firm to create the Honorable East India Company The company amassed wealth in a variety of trade areas that included opium, cotton, tea, indigo, and silk By 1740, the company was purely a commercial enterprise, which imported and exported from its factories in India , and by the middle of the eighteenth century controlled the opium producing regions of Bengal and Bihar 1 As the company expanded its territorial control over Mysire, Hyderabad, Punjab and the Mahratha states through a display of superior technological arms, other Indian princes chose to preserve their independence by seeking an accommodation with the Company through unequal treaties, in which they agreed to surrender revenues 2 By 1815, the East India Company owned the most powerful army in India and governed, directly and indirectly, Bengal, much of the upper Ganges basin and extensive areas of eastern and southern India , and by the turn of the 19th century, became principally dependent on land taxes collected from the provinces it ruled 3 The private company found the most colonial success in the decentralization of Indian rule where the central authority of Mughal emperors was dissolving 4.War, conquest and expansion also was a lucrative business which generated profits, most of which found their way into the hands of soldiers instead of making it on to the Company s reckoning sheets 5 The obvious difference between enlisting in the Royal military and the private Company military in India was that a man could acquire a handsome nest egg for retirement or to provide an annuity for the families at home easily under the enlistment of the private sector The export profits in Opium were also immense until, in 1799, China, under emperor Kia King, banned the importation and cultivation of opium Prior to the Chinese ban on opium, it appears that the East India Company attempted to keep their ships out of the direct Opium trade into China by inserting middle men opium agents, who would buy it from company owned producers and processors 6 After the turn of the century, medical studies showing the benefits of opium became popular and opium exports were shifted toward Europe and the United States.The accumulating wealth and military power of the East India Company was a growing concern within the British government and it appears that some of the Company s overall profits were utilized in the form of bribes to Parliament and the Bank of England, The power the East India Company had obtained by bribing the Government, as did also the Bank of England, it was forced to maintain by bribing again, as did the Bank of England At every epoch when its monopoly was expiring, it could only effect a renewal of its Charter by offering fresh loans and by fresh presents made to the Government 7 With the loss of the American colonies after the Revolutionary War, bribes were no longer enough as the British Empire looked to rebound from their lost North American revenues After all, the British had accumulated a great level of debt from the American Revolution and the Seven Years War before that The India Bill was introduced in 1783 by Charles Fox and was defeated, but the following year a modified version was passed and from that point forward the British Empire began to slowly take control of the East India Company The Company finally ended trade in 1873 1 James, Lawerence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1994 , 123 2 James, Lawerence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1994 , 128 29 3 James, Lawerence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1994 , 123 4 James, Lawerence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1994 , 124 5 James, Lawerence The Rise and Fall of the British Empire New York St Martin s Griffin, 1994 , 130 6 Opium Throughout History Frontline Public Broadcasting System, WGBH, 1998 Accessed on Monday, February 18, 2013 from 7 Marx, Karl The East India Company Its History and Results New York Herald Tribune, June 24, 1853 Accessed on February 18, 2013 from The events of the Seven Years War transformed the East India Company from a commercial into a military and territorial power 122 It was then that the foundation was laid of the present British Empire in the East Then East India stock rose to 263, and dividends were then paid at the rate of 12 1 2 per cent But then there appeared a new enemy to the Company, no longer in the shape of rival societies, but in the shape of rival ministers and of a rival people It was alleged that the Company s territory had been conquered by the aid of British fleets and , British armies, and that no British subjects could hold territorial sovereignties independent of the Crown The ministers of the day and the people of the day claimed their share in the wonderful treasures imagined to have been won by the last conquests The Company only saved its existence by an agreement made in 1767 that it should annually pay 400,000 into the National Exchequer But the East India Company, instead of fulfilling its agreement, got into financial difficulties, and, instead of paying a tribute to the English people, appealed to Parliament for pecuniary aid Serious alterations in the Charter were the consequence of this step The Company s affairs failing to improve, notwithstanding their new condition, and the English nation having simultaneously lost their colonies in North America, the necessity of elsewhere regaining some great Colonial Empire became and universally felt The illustrious Fox thought the opportune moment had arrived, in 1783, for bringing forward his famous India bill, which proposed to abolish the Courts of Directors and Proprietors, and to vest the whole Indian government in the hands of seven Commissioners appointed by Parliament By the personal influence of the imbecile King George III over the House of Lords, the bill of Mr Fox was defeated, and made the instrument of breaking down the then Coalition Government of Fox and Lord North, and of placing the famous Pitt at the head of the Government Pitt carried in 1784 a bill through both Houses, which directed the establishment of the Board of Control, consisting of six members of the Privy Council Karl Marx, New York Herald Tribune June 24, 1854