Where should we situate the British Empire in the larger picture of world history? This fifth and final volume of The Oxford History of the British Empire shows how opinions have changed dramatically from one generation to the next on the nature and role of imperialism generally, and the British Empire more specifically.
In these pages, a distinguished team of scholarly contributors discuss the many and diverse elements that have influenced writings on the Empire. Topics in this vein include the pressure of current events, access to primary sources, the creation of relevant university chairs, the rise of nationalism in former colonies, decolonization, and the Cold War. The chapters aim to demonstrate how the study of empire has evolved from a narrow focus on constitutional issues to a wide-ranging, multi-faceted analysis of international relations, the uses of power, and the influences and counter-influences between settler groups and indigenous peoples. The result is a thought-provoking cultural and intellectual inquiry into our understanding of the past.