We have failed to take the British Empire seriously as a historical topic
For too long as a nation we have failed to take the British Empire seriously as a historical topic. Serious debate has been confined to academia and those schools that teach one of the few courses on the British Empire. The mainstream media seems happy just to discuss whether statues should stand or fall and to debate the Empire in terms of how evil it was. We have failed to look at the real themes of empire eg why, how and by whom it developed, the nature of empires, and their legacy. Real debate about the British Empire has been stifled by self-righteous activists who believe that it should be judged on moral terms and contemporary values as if we hold the moral high ground. To base history on attempts to try and come to some moral truth, would mean the subject loses all objectivity. We must accept the past was different and that our job as historians is to explain why and how it was different. This website attempts to look at some of the key questions about the British Empire and consider answers to these and other questions that we need as a nation to be considering rather than for reasons of our own sensibilities, not confront the realities of empires, then and now.