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British Empire


  • Not All Roads Lead to Kashmir

    by Andrew Howard

    A recent tragedy on a historically contentious railway route shows that decisions about infrastructure development are made with symbolic and emotional considerations as well as pragmatic ones.



  • The British Empire Was Worse Than You Probably Think

    Historian Elizabeth Elkins's new book on the British Empire "contends that Britain’s use of systematic violence was no better than that of its rivals. The British were simply more skilled at hiding it."



  • You Can't Teach "Pros and Cons" When it Comes to Empire

    by Priya Satia

    Far from encouraging critical thinking, the "balance sheet" approach to teaching historical atrocities like slavery or imperialism flatters the mythologies created by the powerful to excuse violence against others, says a historian of empire and parent of a high school student. 



  • We, The Abuser State

    by Jules Gill-Peterson

    Texas's announcement of a policy defining some support for transgender youth as "child abuse" echoes the abuses of colonial authorities on gendered minority groups. 



  • The US Repeated Mistakes of the Past in Afghanistan

    by Ali A. Olomi

    "By flooding Afghanistan with payoffs, bribes and aid, the British created a system of endemic corruption in which local chieftains and favorable bureaucrats would enrich themselves while the rest of the country remained relatively poor."



  • Except for the Miracles

    by Olúfémi Táíwò

    "The deciding aspect of politics over these next crucial years will turn on battles against overwhelmingly powerful foes who will try to prevent radical redistribution of resources," writes Olúfémi Táíwò. The legacy of two radicals, in Ireland and Kenya, show the value of partial victory and learning from defeat. 



  • The Sun Never Set on the British Empire’s Oppression

    While nationalist leaders in postcolonial states win political support by invoking heroic struggle to defeat British imperialism, they are very happy to use the repressive laws of colonialism against dissidents today. 



  • Why Can't Britain Handle the Truth about Winston Churchill?

    by Priyamvada Gopal

    "Churchill was an admired wartime leader who recognised the threat of Hitler in time and played a pivotal role in the allied victory. It should be possible to recognise this without glossing over his less benign side."



  • Fascism and Analogies — British and American, Past and Present

    by Priya Satia

    "Historical and local specificities mean all analogies are ultimately inaccurate in ways that historians must always make clear. The point of such comparisons, however, is to uncover darker historical truths obscured by prevailing, more flattering comparisons."