History of the British Empire articles. Selected online articles from newspapers and popular magazines, and selected podcasts.
Tristram Hunt, Gresham College 2016
There seems to be a continuing assumption within the British establishment that it sets an example for others to follow and that the British are owed deference by others.
Alan Lester, The Conversation
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Our nation must confront the inconvenient facts of its history rather than glorious versions of an imperial past. That’s why we need a museum of empire.
Afua Hirsch, Guardian 2017
Oxford’s new Ethics and Empire project has led to a storm of protest and revived an old debate.
Arjun Appadurai, Scroll-in 2018
Understanding Britain’s colonial history is essential, but dealing with racist sources can be a huge challenge.
Pooja Kawa, Guardian 2016
In 1902, journalist John A. Hobson published Imperialism: A Study. The book was among the first to connect the rise of finance capital with the growth of imperial expansion after 1870. Hobson’s theory would fast number among the most influential critiques of imperialism.
CIGH Exeter, Imperial & Global Forum 2016
The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins stirred controversy with her work on the crushing of the Mau Mau uprising. But it laid the ground for a legal case that has transformed our view of Britain’s past
Marc Parry, Guardian 2016
Nearly 90,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives for Britain in the second world war, yet the scale of that sacrifice – and the troubled history of the imperial project – is barely recognized.
Moni Mohsin, Guardian 2016
The British Empire never really died; it just morphed into a new form.
Ibtisam Ahmed, The Conversation 2017
Jack Meserve, The Cut 2016
About the Orissa famine of 1866, that killed over a million people in central India.
Dinyar Patel, BBC News 2016
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This engrossing study identifies secrecy as a ‘very British disease’, exploring how, as the empire came to an end, government officials burned the records of imperial rule
Ian Jack, The Guardian 2016
British intelligence enlisted Jungle Book author to counter German propaganda by rewriting soldiers’ letters home
Jamie Doward, The Guardian 2017
The Lord Protector’s move on Jamaica transformed Britain’s early empire.
Carla Gardina-Pestana, History Today 2017
An extensively researched, hard-hitting reassessment of British rule in India pulls no punches, but does not tell the whole story.
Zareer Masani, History Today 2017
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A new book by Shashi Tharoor lays out the iniquities of British colonialism. But, writes Faisal Al Yafai, colonialism is alive and well in India today
Faisal Al Yafai, The National 2017
John Van der Kiste, History Extra 2019
Sailing frozen lake water across the world was big business
Meher Mirza, Atlas Obscura 2018
A sumptuous spread of Raj nostalgia fatally ignores the argument that British imperialism was bad for India
William Dalrymple, The Guardian 2018
The East India Company was founded during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I and grew into a dominating global player with its own ‘army’. Dr Andrea Major gives an insight into one of history’s most powerful companies, and its rise to political power on the Indian subcontinent…
Andrea Major, History Extra 2017
Book review: Shashi Tharoor’s angry history of British rule in India is a timely response to empire nostalgia
Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times 2017
In August 1947 India and Pakistan became independent from the British Empire. The partition on religious lines ripped the subcontinent apart. Partition changed millions of lives, and the shape of the world, forever. No one knows exactly how many were beaten, mutilated, tortured or raped in communal violence between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. The death toll has been estimated at 200,000 to two million. Between 10 million and 20 million people were displaced.