Modern history

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

After the American Revolution, the British Empire appeared to be doomed. Yet it grew to become the greatest, most diverse empire the world had seen. Then, within a generation, the mighty structure collapsed, a rapid demise that left an array of dependencies and a contested legacy: at best a sporting spirit, a legal code and a near-universal language; at worst, failed states and internecine strife.


Chapter 1. The World Turned Upside Down - The American Revolution and the Slave Trade

Chapter 2. An English Barrack in the Oriental Seas - Britannia’s Indian Empire

Chapter 3. Exempt from the Disaster of Caste - Australia, Canada and New Zealand

Chapter 4. To Stop Is Dangerous, to Recede, Ruin - The Far East and Afghanistan

Chapter 5. Sacred Wrath - Irish Famine and Indian Mutiny

Chapter 6. Spread the Peaceful Gospel—with the Maxim Gun - Towards Conquest in Africa

Chapter 7. A Magnificent Empire Under the British Flag - Cape to Cairo

Chapter 8. Barbarians Thundering at the Frontiers - The Boer War and the Indian Raj

Chapter 9. The Empire, Right or Wrong - Flanders, Iraq, Gallipoli and Vimy Ridge

Chapter 10. Aflame with the Hope of Liberation - Ireland and the Middle East

Chapter 11. Englishmen Like Posing as Gods - West and East

Chapter 12. White Mates Black in a Very Few Moves - Kenya and the Sudan

Chapter 13. Spinning the Destiny of India - The Route to Independence

Chapter 14. That Is the End of the British Empire - Singapore and Burma

Chapter 15. The Aim of Labour Is to Save the Empire - Ceylon and Malaya

Chapter 16. A Golden Bowl Full of Scorpions - The Holy Land

Chapter 17. The Destruction of National Will - Suez Invasion and Aden Evacuation

Chapter 18. Renascent Africa - The Gold Coast and Nigeria

Chapter 19. Uhuru—Freedom - Kenya and the Mau Mau

Chapter 20. Kith and Kin - Rhodesia and the Central African Federation

Chapter 21. Rocks and Islands - The West Indies and Cyprus

Chapter 22. All Our Pomp of Yesterday - The Falklands and Hong Kong


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