The Role Of British Imperialism In World History

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Throughout history civilizations have grown and fallen through a policy called imperialism. Imperialism is a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy and military force. There are many examples of this policy such as the Roman empire, the conquering of the Americans, and how the Dutch took over the Congo. However, there is no civilization in world history that has practiced this policy more than the British. British Imperialism has affected many Empires and civilizations around the world, and because of this they have influenced the birth of so many new ideas. At one point in time the British Empire was called “the empire in which the sun never sleeps”. This is because they are the most extensive empire in world history.

A one point in time The British Empire was a global power. However, the British started their territorial expansion under the rule of King Henry VII. He reigned from 1485 to 1509. King Henery started this policy by building on commercial links in the wool trade which was promoted during the reign of King Richard III of England. By doing this, he greatly extended English shipbuilding and seafaring. During his rule, he also supplied the basis for the mercantile institutions. This played an important role that would help in his goal to grow his empire. After that he sponsored two voyages of John Cabot in 1496 and 1497 which established England’s first overseas colony in Newfoundland. This new colony became a well-established fishing settlement. King Henry founded his modern-day English navy. Henry built bigger and stronger ships for his fleet. He tripled the size of their original navy when his father was ruling. He initiated the Navy’s formal, centralized administrative apparatus, built new docks, and constructed a network of beacons and lighthouses that made navigation easier for the English. Then in 1588 his Navy was so strong that it even stopped the Spanish Armada and it held them off from taking over. This brings us to Ireland which was the first time that England experienced the policy of Imperialism. Ireland was a country controlled by Catholicism, and England’s new ruler Queen Elizabeth did her best to change people into the religion of Protestantism. This caused a very big relationship problem between these two countries. Elizabeth Tudor claimed that Ireland was a threat to their new-found religion which sparked the Nine-Year War between these competing countries. The Elizabethan Era also brought new innovations to imperialism by exploring the new world. Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe in the years 1577 to 1580. Walter Raleigh sailed to America and he sponsored the first English Colony in America on Roanoke Island. (BBC) John Bee who coined the phrases “British Empire” was also visited by many early English interests. She also invaded Scotland after many years of conflict. Which brings this country to the Stuart Era.

The Stuarts were the first kings of The United Kingdom. King James VI of Scotland also became King James I of England. This happened after the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and the death of Queen Elizebeth. This reign brought war, death and blood though the Empire. This age also brought a lot of religious issues which sparked a civil war between the Royal family and the Parliament. This war eventually ended in the execution of the King and end of the Stuart. Now even though The British Empire stretched far around the world however, the British affected Asia and Africa in many ways that changed people’s way of living and thinking.

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The British empire affected Asia and Africa through many ways, and one of these ways is the political Impact of India. In India imperialism proved to be a blessing in disguise. (Preserve Articles) Until the British arrived India it was divided by its peoples. The country was run down and diminished. But, the arrival of western powers provided unity to India in which they never had achieved in its past. This was made possible by building railways and modern ways of transportation. Also, this was made possible by introducing the English Language to the county. The British Empire brought colonialism into India. They brought modern science and technology which created forms of industrialism in this new society. This brought Textile Mills and the manufacturing of jute. The British also provided India with more beneficial education. British rule also brought an end to many inhuman aspects of the Indian tradition such as the practice of Sati, and widows were legally permitted to remarry. Finally, the British implemented their model of health and sanitation ways which eventually improved the cities of India. Another reason how the British affected Asia and Africa was they introduced western ideas such as nationalism, democracy, and constitutionalism. They introduced these ideas and eventually they let loose liberal forces in these countries. These new ideas also gave efficient systems of administration in the country. Now this new way of government promoted interested in the whole country however it only really affected the British. It did not really involve the well-being or welfare of the natives. Also the natives were not even allowed or given representation in the civil services from the British royal family. Now all these new ideas changed the way of thinking however, the biggest change that affected these countries was the introduction of slavery.

Slavery was the biggest change that affected Africa. Before the British arrived slaver was not very common in Africa. The only slaves that in after were war criminals or indentured servants. This practiced started when the Portuguese in the 15th Century raided African Villages and enslaved the people. These people were transported to America during the Slave Trade. This is a great example of how the policy of British Imperialism changed the people and the places they invaded. The British Empire also used imperialism to influence countries across the Atlantic Ocean. They expanded their empire into Canada and the Colonies of North America. When the pilgrims came across the Atlantic Ocean top get away from the British rule they expanded their empire. This expansion was considered imperialism because it introduced Great Britain to the New World. The colonists came to America because they wanted to escape British rule however, doing this brought the empire to the Americans. This sparked war and revolution across the world. Then when America won the war and declared their Independence, the British Empire began to look at new places for their empire. These places were Canada and Australia. During the reign of Queen Victoria American colonies in Canada consisted of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Novia Scotia. This separation of Canada from Great Britain worried The Queen. She thought they would get inspired to fight for their own independence just like the America Colonies. These parts of the empire became very populated because of the loyalists from what had become the United States. Another part of the world that Great Britain extended their borders to was Australia. A man named Captain Cook lead the voyages in a ship called Endeavour. He arrived at Australia in 1770 and he claimed it part of the British Empire. This expansion saw a very risky idea. They were afraid of the unknown. They had no idea who was living there and what the land looked like. However, in the end they voyage paid off and they set up brand new bases for ships in the Pacific Ocean. Australia also provided a new opportunity for Britain to get rid of their criminals and convicts, so in the next 60 years about 160,00 were transported to Australia.

As you can see the British Empire affected the whole world. It is said that this empire at one point was the strongest empire throughout history. This is because they invaded and expanded their empire in every part of the world. Their influences and culture changed many people and the places they live in. British Imperialism is a topic that can be studied and learned from by many people today. This is because the British Empire played a big part in how we live, and it was a big part of World History.

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