Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Lies my teachers taught me (1)

British Empire at its peak

I was born in 1944 and began my formal schooling in 1949.  My first years concentrated on the three R's, at which I was very good.

I entered what Americans would call "High School" in 1955 and entered into the wider world of history, geography, English language and literature, Latin and French, and the sciences.

The prevailing message in the arts courses was that the British Empire was  the greatest and most beneficent in human history.

The greatest?  In territorial terms the Empire was at its peak at the end of WWI when Tanganyika was ceded by Germany as a colony, and Namibia as a protectorate (under the thumb of the then Union of South Africa).

In 1948 the "Jewel of  the Crown"  of India became an independent nation.

Thus the territorial greatness of Empire endured for about 30 years. 

Set that along the Roman and Ottoman Empires and it is puny indeed.

The greatest in terms of munificence?  Not in my book despite what my teachers said. 

More about that  soon.

No comments:

Post a comment