Skip to content

The British Empire & the Commonwealth of Nations

Compare and contrast the view of the British Empire in the past from the different perspectives of Britain and the colonies

  • some critical voices in British society
  • most people it as a great triumph
  • duty to teach indigenous populations British values
  • Britain’s high status was part of God’s plan for the world
  • racist view, using Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution as an argument, that white people were more developed and so had the right to rule over everyone else
  • no respect for the indigenous people and their traditions

Why would such empire not be accepted today?

  • racist view is mostly not accepted anymore
  • UNO for international security

Who or what helped Britain to build an empire? What problems were there?

  • British sea power was the strongest in the world
    • taking land and colonies were founded


  • trouble with other European countries that wanted more territory and trade, especially France
  • losing the American colonies when they fought for their independence in 1776