The British Empire


Who is this website for ?

I have produced this website for anyone who is interested in knowing more about the British Empire, especially during those years when it reached its greatest size and degree of influence - the Victorian period. Whether you are coming to the empire for the first time, or you are a casual reader  or you are a first year undergraduate, I hope there will be something here for you.

What does the website offer?

 This website has information about the growth of the British Empire from the time of the Napoleonic wars until the outbreak of World War One. There are  introductory essays on ‘An Outline History of the British Empire’ and ‘Key Features of the c19th British Empire’  and also an essay on ‘Why Study the British Empire?’ then sections on some of the main controversies that engage historians and the public and the main turning points and profiles of some of those who helped make the British Empire. There is a reference section with glossaries of colonial wars, people and the territories of the British Empire and also suggestions for further reading, both fiction and non-fiction. If you are looking for something which is not here or you have suggestions as to what might be included please contact me.

Where should I begin?

If you are new to the study of the British Empire you may want to read my essay on ‘Why Study the Empire?’  and then go on to read  ‘Key Features of the c19th British Empire?   This discusses the idea of empire and how British and English the empire was. If you want to know a little  about the background of the establishment of the British Empire, you may want to read ‘An Outline History of the British Empire’.

Why Study the Empire?

The main reason for this website is to raise awareness of the British Empire. For too long the subject has almost been a taboo subject and not properly debated because of its association with racism and the reluctance of society to engage in debates around race and the violence associated with the empire. We have been embarrassed to confront the realities of Empire partly because questions of why and how the empire was established is not distant enough in our consciousness but also because the subject was often politicised. Discussions about reparations, repentance and morality have dominated the airways and made us shy away from discussing the real issues. Read On

Talks available

I  give talks on a number of  aspects of the British Empire. These can be via Skype if more convenient. There are details of the subjects I have given talks on here and how to book a talk.

The North Laine area of Brighton

As well as talks on the British Empire 1815-1914, I also give talks and guided walks on the North Laine area of Brighton. Click here for information on forthcoming guided walks around North Laine and for historical information on the area

To Contact Me

You can contact me by using the Contact Form

Why Study the British Empire?

‘The Remnant of an Army’ by E. Thompson

Introductory Essays

Key Features of the c19th  British Empire

An Outline History of the British Empire

Some Recent Pages

The Importance of Migration to the British Empire

Should compensation be paid to victims of the Empire?

The Legacy of Empire

The role of violence in the British Empire