The British Empire
This mid-level survey course examines the history of the British Empire from its origin in the 16th century to its dissolution in the 20th century. By the close of the 19th century, the British Empire, whose beginnings were modest, encompassed approximately 13 million square miles and nearly 400 million people. Well before the end of the twentieth, this empire, the largest the world had ever seen, had virtually ceased to exist. Its story, from inception to extinction, is a remarkable one. The forces shaping the British Empire were both endogenous and exogenous. Internal imperatives, global imperial competition, and developments on the periphery impelled the empire forward and ultimately brought about its demise. This course seeks to understand the changing character of the British Empire and to explain the dynamics influencing its rise and fall. No prerequisite. Offered every fall semester.