British Empire

  • Ayahs, Amahs and Empire: The History of Domestic Care Work under Colonialism

    by Julia Laite

    The history of domestic and child care work has become increasingly robust, but museums and public exhibitions have struggled to find ways to represent the work and experiences of women, many from south Asia, who traveled with white colonial families to perform this labor, putting marginalized people in charge of the empire's children. 

  • Where to Look for the Evidence of Colonial Violence

    by Erik Linstrum

    The British government's efforts to conceal potentially embarrasing records as decolonization accelerated in the 1950s and 1960s means that historians need to know where to look for contemporary evidence of the violence of colonization and counterinsurgent tactics. 

  • Review: Lingering Ghosts of British Empire

    by Priya Satia

    Journalist Sathnam Sanghera insists that British education needs to renew a focus on empire to allow students to understand the global significance of empire and colonialism in the present, particularly as contemporary Brits debate the merits of a multicultural society. 

  • 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."