Opinion: The British Empire: A legacy of violence?
A short history of the UK’s global role
While the United Kingdom may be a powerful nation within the modern world, it isn’t without its flaws.
From its imperial exploits in the Middle East to its role as a European colonial power, it has been a country in which the British Empire has been both an icon and a symbol of its own self-assured pasts.
But if you were to look at the country today, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the British Empire was one of its greatest assets.
With its colonial possessions stretching from India to Antarctica, it has been both a world power and a global superpower since its inception in the mid-1700s.
And from the time of its Empire’s expansion, the British Empire has dominated the world’s economies, politics, economies, cultures, and even the arts.
While the British Empire’s expansion into the rest of the globe has been a largely peaceful process — Britain used its global power and influence to promote British values and ideals — it has not been without violence.
In the last century, some 1,500,000 people, a million if you include the population of India at its peak in the early 20th century, have died at the hands of British and empire.
But for those who lived through it, the bloodshed has been hard to forget.
The imperial legacy
The British Empire’s influence and power stretched from the Americas to the Pacific, the African continent and the Middle East.
Its colonies comprised one-third of the world’s population at its height.
When the British Empire passed into history in 1784, its global influence and wealth was estimated to be worth around £2 trillion (£1.6 trillion was in today’s sterling).
While empire was an opportunity for Britain to build “good government,” it