Britain: Losing and Gaining and Empire - 1763-1914

This course has been designed around the the Nikki Christie textbook by Hodder. Please click on the image to purchase through Amazon

 

The examined part of the A Level will study the British Empire and the part played in this by the Royal Navy and merchant marine. Looking at social, economic and political issues, students will study a series of developments that started with an imperial catastrophe which threatened to reduce Britain once more to a European offshore island, but would then transform Britain's standing in the world so that by the end of the period it had the largest empire the world has known.

 

Students will be expected to undertake extensive wider reading outside of the classroom. The Edexcel text is the approved core reading material for this course but additional texts may appeal to the preferred learning style of individual students. I have inspection copies of all the recommended books. Extension reading materials are to be found at the bottom of this page.

 

Additionally this site contains links to video resources which have organised to link to specific booklets. Students wishing to succeed will be expected to use these in their studies.

 

Comprehensive audio Mp3 files are also available for students covering the core lectures of this course as well as resources available from I Tunes University giving students access to materials from some of the worlds leading academic institutions.

 

 

The Exam

 

30% of final mark

 

Written examination, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes

Students will answer 3 questions: one from section A, one from section B and one from section C

 

Sections A comprises one compulsory question for the option studied, assessing source analysis and evaluation skills (AO2)

Section B comprises a choice of essays that assess understanding of the period in depth (AO1)

Section C comprises a choice of essays that assess understanding of the period in breadth (AO1)

 

Edexcel Overview Booklet

 

Glossary of Terms - Britishempire.co.uk

British Empire Top Trumps

Niall Ferguson - How Britain made the Modern World

 

Overview Lessons

 

Overview/Revision Booklet - Free 

 

Lesson - Dirty Money

Video -

Worksheet

 

Students will watch Epsode 4 of 'The British: 2000 Years in the Making' to contextualise the circumstances and position of Britain in the Eighteenth Century

 

Lesson - Theories of Empire 

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Students will read Chapter 3 of 'A Very Short Introduction to the British Empire' considering the 'Engines of Expansion' that drove the Empre to evolve and consider the observation that 'The British Empire was acquired in a fit of absence of mind'

 

               Buy Here

             A Very Short Introduction to

                    The British Empire

                       Ashley Jackson.

 

 

                  Buy Here

                            The British

                2000 Years in the Making

 

 

 

Lesson- Why Britain? - Niall Fergusons' Empire Pt1 

 

Worksheet Video

Worksheet

Documentary Episode

 

Students will watch Epsode 1 of ' Niall Fergusons 'Empire' to contextualise the circumstances and position of Britain in the Eighteenth Centuryand the dynamic facors that contributed to the rise of Britain as an imperial power

 

Lesson - Superpower 

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Students will watch Epsode 4 of 'The British: 2000 Years in the Making' to contextualise the circumstances and position of Britain in the Eighteenth Century

 

Lesson -The Seven Years War 

 

Video

 

Students will be introduced to the Seven Years War that serves as an introuction to the course. They will read Lawrence James 'The Rise and Fall of The British Empire' Chapter 2 'Tis to glory we steer: Gains and Losses - 1743-83'. This will set the scene for both the start of the taught course and a brief outline of Britains declining position in her 13 Colonies.

 

Note Taking Assessment

 

Reading

 

Students will be set two additional reading and research tasks to undertake as an extended homework using the supporting worksheets in their booklets. These articles contextualise further the context relating the the Industrial Revolution and the changing nature of trade and business, one of the engines driving the growth of the British Empire:

 

The Industrial Explosion - students to read the article and complete the supporting worksheet and activities

Worksheet

The Buisness of Empire - students to read the article and complete the supporting worksheet and activities

 

Each of these sheets will need completing and signing off prior to the start of the course proper

 

 

 

Teaching Resources

                 Buy Here

             Niall Ferguson - Empire

 

 

                  Buy Here

                    Lawrence James

 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

 

Aspects in breadth: ruling the waves

 

 

Theme 1: The changing nature and extent of trade 

 

Specification

 

The main focus of the ‘Aspects in breadth’ is on the changing pattern of Britain's domination of the world's oceans. Within this, the key elements focus on the shifting pattern of trade and its regulation and the power and importance of the Royal Navy in protecting and promoting trade. This will involve an awareness of the development of new markets and classes of imports and exports and the reciprocal influence of changes in trade and the growth of major British ports such as Liverpool, Bristol and London. In analysing the changing patterns of trade and the reasons for change, students should be aware of key features of trade in the period, for example: the importance of the slave trade; the coastal coal trade and increasing export of coal; growing textile exports to India and the Far East and luxury imports from there; the growing import of food and cotton from the Americas in the nineteenth century. Students should also be aware of the significance of industrialisation and technological change for bringing about changes in trade, the influence of government policy in the period and the impact of the specified legislation.

The focus of ‘Aspects in breadth’ is on the process of change over a long period of time, rather than a concentration exclusively on one particular person or innovation. Students should, however, be able to explore key turning points and understand the reasons why key changes took place, why they were important and what their main effects were. These turning points include:

 

●      Captain Cook’s exploration of the South Seas in 1768–71

●      The abolition of the slave trade 1807

●      The acquisition of Malta, Ceylon and Cape Town in 1815

●      The repeal of the Navigation Acts 1849

●      The purchase of the Suez Canal shares 1875

 

Reasons for, and nature of, the changing patterns of trade, 1763-1914: the importance of government policy (key developments: the abolition of the slave trade 1807, the adoption of free trade 1842–46, the repeal of the Navigation Acts 1849). 

 

The changing importance of ports, entrepôts and trade routes within the UK and throughout the Empire, 1763-1914: (key developments: the acquisition of Singapore 1819 and Hong Kong 1842, the opening up of Shanghai to trade 1842, the purchase of the Suez Canal shares 1875, the acquisition of Zanzibar 1890, the lease of Wei hai-wei 1898). 

 

Summary

 

Trade is arguably the most important 'engine' in the devlopment of the British Empire. Profit has always been the 'end' and trade, the 'means'. Mecantilsim and the Navigation Acts that supported it were the prefered style of commerce until the lessons learnt from the loss of the American colonies reusulted in the transition away from Mercantilsim towards Free Trade. Underpinned by the theories of Adam Smith, the Americans were intially the first to embrace this new style of unhindered trade yet, to the British authorities it was nothing less than smuggling. Once lost to the British though, the explosion in Atlantic trade between the two countries was testamount to its success and started the move towards Free Trade that the British would finalise with the abolition of the Corn Laws and Navigation Acts towards the middle of the Nineteenth Century. This would be the heyday of Britains imperial and economic power that would oly be checked by the rising power of resurgent European economices from 1875 onwards.

 

Trade Lessons

 

Overview/Revision Booklet

 

Lesson - Mercantilism v. Free Trade

 

Activity - Economic Models - Mercantilism to Free Trade & its role in the 'First British Empire'

 

Students will be introduced to the two economic models relevant to the course and see how new enlightenment scientific thinking was applied to economics by Adam Smith to develop his model of compassionate capitalism based upon the principle of the invisible hand of market forces. This economic theory was embraced by the new middle classes in Britain as well as even earlier by the American settlers in the 13 colonies seeking grater self-governemnt and social mobiiilty and removing the restrictions of the British class system.

 

School of Life - Adam Smith

A Dramatic - Adam Smith

The Invisible Hand

 

Extended Reading - Leviathan - David Scott - The British Atlantic - pages 370 - 376  

Worksheet

 

Lesson - The Industrial Explosion - Reading based activity with students completing the worksheet in their booklets

 

Lesson - Mercantilism Simulation

 

Extended Reading - The Business of Empire - Reading based activity with students completing the worksheet in their booklets

 

Lesson - Amazing Grace - In 1797, William Wilberforce, the great crusader for the British abolition of slavery, is taking a holiday for his health even while he is sicker at heart for his frustrated cause. However, meeting the charming Barbara Spooner, Wilberforce finds a soulmate to share the story of his struggle. With few allies such as his mentor, John Newton, a slave ship captain turned repentant priest who penned the great hymn, "Amazing Grace," Prime William Pitt, and Olaudah Equiano, the erudite former slave turned author, Wilberforce fruitlessly fights both public indifference and moneyed opposition determined to keep their exploitation safe. Nevertheless, Wilberforce finds the inspiration in newfound love to rejuvenate the fight with new ideas that would lead to a great victory for social justice.

 

Worksheet - Students will study three contrasting arguments leading to the abolition of slavery in 1807. The strengths and weaknesses of each argument need to be recorded and identified in order for students to complete a ranking/hierachy activity of their choice, identifying the principle casue for abolition. 

 

Extended Reading - A Gruelling Campaign

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Breaking the Bonds

Worksheet

Extended Reading - The Revolt against Slavery

Worksheet

 

Activity - Why did Britain abandon slavery and embrace abolitionism? Group Work - Students are to explore the variety of scenarios explaining Britains dramatic shift in policy. Was it a religious epiphany or, was it something strategic or economic?

 

Test - Students will be assessed on their understanding of the key information in the abolition of slavey

 

Lesson - Imperial Beginnings in India - Lecture from the 'Great Courses' - How did Britain re-orientate her Empire away from her declining fortunes in North America towards India, accepting in due course her failure to establish herself in the prize Spice Islands of the East Indies. How did Britain establish a mercantile empire through non-governmental private enterprise and win an empire on the cheap.

 

Lesson - Clive in India - Lecture from the 'Great Courses' - How did Clive lead Britain to hegemony in the sub-continent through exploiting the decling power of the Mughals and the defating the French and her allies in the Indian theatre of the Seven Years War. How did the EIC evlove from a trading company to a territorial one, exploitng Bengal, enriching the Nabobs and behaving in a way that brought a moral mission to Britains imperial endeavours.

 

'The British were never entirely easy with the idea of territorial empire. The British were taught to be proud of their laws, individual freedoms, and elected government. But, many asked, were rights of the British exclusive, or could they be exported and shared by everyone under Britain s rule? This question dogged the empire throughout its history and, given that at crucial moments the answer was ‘yes’ proved to be its eventual undoing.’

Lawrence James - The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

 

Lesson - The East India Company and the reorientation of the British Empire - Studetns will watch the Dan Snow documentary on the growth and establishment of the EIC in India and its expansion as a 'Private Enterprise Empire'. The dcumentary shows the role of mercantile monopolies at the start of the British Empire and how trade and profit were the principle engines of growth. The significance of India is explored and how it become the centre of Britains Second Empire after the loss of the 13 Colonies. It was at first mesmerising to the British and then Anglicised by the British, reflecting the way in which the power of Empire transformed not just the conquered, but also the conquerors.

 

Worksheet

Video

Extended Reading - Leviathan - David Scott - Eastern Promise - pages 358-70

Worksheet

 

Students will watch the Dan Snow documentary on the rise of the East India Company and its transition from a British Crown monopoly to a Corporate Empire. Students will learn about the dynamic relationship between the two countries as the British evolve from being seduced by India to controlling and changing it with all the consequences that entailled.

 

 

'There was a time when maps of the world were re-drawn in the name of plants, went two empires, Britain and China, went to war over flowers: the poppy and the camellia.'

 

For all the tea in China - Sarah Rose

 

Lesson - The McCartney Mission - How the MacCartney Mission to China illustrates the role of business and profit within the British Empire but also the changing nature of trade from mercantile to free trade. This is best illustrated from the initial homage paid to the Chinesse Emperors to the submission of China after the Oipium Wars and the openeing of the country to the full force of British free trade

 

Video - The First Opium War

Worksheet

Video - The Second Opium War

Video - The Third Opium War

 

Extended Reading - Michael Lynch - The McCartney Mission

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Robert Hughes - The Opium War

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Robert Hughes - Traders in Oblivion

Worksheet

 

Lesson - The significance of the evolution of Britains network of ports, entrepots and trade routes - Independent Project and Presentation Work

 

Britain evolution from Mercantilism to Free Trade was not a sudden one, but a process over time reflecting both her changing circumstances:

  • in losing the American Colonies
  • Experiencing an industrial revolution
  • Reflecting upon the ideas of Adam Smith
  • The growth of a middle class
  • War with France

The ‘ends’ were always profit , but the ‘means’  was  always pragmatic. When mercantilism failed to deliver the ‘ends’ pragmatism directed Britain to exploit her circumstances and embrace free trade. This would remain the case until the rest of the world became effective at competing with us.

 

Students will study the following Trade acquisitions:

 

Singapore

Hong Kong

Shanghai

The Suez Canal 

Zanzibar

Wei-Hai-We

 

Students will produce:

 

  • a completed  Mind Map to demonstrate and share your understanding - Video Exemplar
  • Complete the ‘Theories of Empire’ Ranking
  • Write an essay introduction: How far do you agree that the acquisition of _____ provided the most significant stimulus to British trade in the year 1763 to 1914?’

All resources will be submitted prior to presenting your work and copies will be made and distributed

 

Lesson - Assessment

 

Viewing

 

Empire - BBC - Jeremy Paxman

Empire - How Britain Made the Modern World - Niall Ferguson

Suez - Dramatised reconstruction of Disraelis purchase of the canal with the assistance of the Rothschilds

 

Teaching Resources

                           Buy Here

                            Jeremy Paxman - Empire

 

                           Buy Here

                               DVD - Amazing Grace

 

 

Theme 2: The changing nature of the Royal Navy

 

Specification

 

The changing Royal Navy, 1763-1914: the significance of changing ship types; the growing role of commerce protection, including protecting, and later suppressing, the slave trade; suppressing piracy and defending British commerce (key development: the attack on Algiers 1816); the work of exploration and mapping (key development: Captain Cook's exploration of the South Seas, 1768-71). 

 

The importance of the acquisition and retention of key strategic bases around the globe, 1763-1914 (key developments: Gibraltar retained 1783, and the acquisition of Malta, Ceylon and Cape Town in 1815, the Falklands in 1833, Aden in 1839 and Cyprus in 1878). 

 

Summary

 

Funded by the taxes and revenue secured through Trade, The Royal Navy evloved to fulfill two consistent roles: the Defence of the Realm and the protection of trade and the sealanes that allowed Britain to trade so effectivly. In wartime this was its foci. In peacetime however, the Navy could expand its role to include anti-piracy operations, the suppression of slavery and exploration.

 

As a machine for fighting wars it can be argued that the Royal Navy was one of the principle casues for the evloution of the centralised state and its institutions that gave Britain such an advantage in its wars with bigger rivals like France and Spain. It certainly contributed in a large part to the fostering of the Industrial Revolution as war neccesitated the innovation of technologies that helped the Royal Navy assert itself and move from a position of superiroty, achieved after 1763, through to supremacy achieved after 1805. Its rise howvever, was not linear and due to its associated ruinous costs the Royal Navy often found itself reduced in strength during times of peace as well as deeply conservative in times of calm after 1805 and during its unchallenged role as the worlds policeman during the Pax Britannica.

 

Despite former rivals reasserting themselves latterly in the second half of the Nineteenth Century, the Royal Navy managed to remain innovative enough and reform mined when required to ensure it started the First World War retaining its position as the gratest naval force in the world.

 

Navy Lessons 

 

Overview/Revision Booklet

 

Lesson - Hearts of Oak 

 

Video 

Worksheet

 

The first of Dan Snow's documentraries on the rise of the Royal Navy and the institutions of the State and economic and technical innovations that facilliatated this.

 

Lesson - An Introduction Empire of The Deep

 

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 42 - Persuasion - 1805 - 1842

Worksheet

 

Students will be introduced to how much the Royal Navy has affected language and culture?

 

Lesson - The Development of the Royal Navy - As war became globally more expansive, financially more expensive and participants sought innovative advatage, how did ship design and tactics evolve? As bigger became better, how would naval architects ensure stability at sea, whilst attempting to outbuild and out gun their enemies.

 

With naval battles being difficult enough to fight with the challenege of finding the enemey fleet, yet alone organise once battle began, the challenge was on to evolve naval tactics to achieve a decisive adavantage over the enemy. 

 

In this lesson, students will student how ship design evolved to accomodate the innovations of the industrial Revolution to mporve both size, speed and firepower and how the tactics that won Trafalgar were derived from the application of science to wafare

 

Lesson - Wooden Walls

 

Video

 

Lesson - The Battle of Trafalgar - A re-enactment - Through role-play can we illustrate our understanding of the technological and and tactic innovations of the period

 

 

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 43 - Making the Weather - 1842-60 

Worksheet

 

Lesson - The Royal Navy and Britain's commercial interests

 

Lesson - The Golden Ocean

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Extended Reading - Britannia Rules the Waves

Worksheet

Extended Reading  - Empire of The Deep -  Ben Wilson - Chapter 44 - Arms Race - 1860- 1899

Worksheet

 

Lesson - Commercial Interests

 

 

Lesson - The importance of Key Strategic Acquisitions

 

Video

Worksheet

 

Activity - Case Studies

Video

 

Gibraltar

Aden

The Cape of Good Hope

Cyprus

Malta

Ceylon

The Falklands

 

Lesson - High Tide

 

Video

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 45 - The Brink -1899-1914

Worksheet

 

Lesson - Captain Cook and The Age of Exploration

 

Documentary - BBC Timewatch - The Man behind the Legend

Video

Worksheet

 

Extended Reading - The World Revealed

Worksheet

 

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obsession & Discovery: A Likely Lad

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obssesion & Discovery: Taking Command

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obsession & Dicovery: Beyond Speculation

Extended Viewing - Captain Cook - Obsession & Discovery: The Northwest Passage

 

Lesson - Sea Change

Worksheet

 

Extended Reading - Scuppering Britains Fossil Navy

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Meeting the German Menace

Worksheet

Extended Reading - Empire of The Deep - Ben Wilson - Chapter 45 - The Brink - 1899-1914

 

Teaching Resources

 

                        Buy Here

                 Ben Wilson - Empire of The Deep

                               Buy Here

                               DVD - Empire of The Seas

 

 

                          Buy Here

   Paul Kennedy -The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery

 

 

                               Buy Here

                           Brian Lavery - Empire of the Seas

 

 

 

Aspects in depth: losing, gaining and governing territory

 

The ‘Aspects in depth’ are five key episodes in the unfolding story of the British empire in these years. These are geographically diverse, illustrating the spread of British power.

Although the topics are clarified separately below, students should appreciate the linkages between them since questions, including document questions, may be set which target the content of more than one topic, for example the contrast in the behaviour of the British government of the 1770s towards North America compared with the government of 1837–39.

Students will be required to interpret and evaluate a documentary extract in its historical context, but the knowledge they will need to have will be central to that specified in the topics. Questions will not require them to demonstrate knowledge of references in documents to events or individuals other than those explicitly specified.

 

The loss of the American colonies, 1770–83

 

Specification

 

The focus of the topic is on the loss of what has been called the ‘first British empire’, namely the thirteen North American colonies. The study begins in 1770 and students should appreciate the continuing objection in North America to tea duties. They should understand why the issue of taxation was so sensitive and the reasons for the often-difficult relations between the crown's agents and the populace and their local assemblies. Students should understand how the events of 1774 to 1776 led a substantial number of colonists to embrace independence, but they should also appreciate the existence of a considerable number of loyalists. Students do not need to have a detailed knowledge of the war: they need to be aware of the military failings of Burgoyne and Cornwallis and the significance of the French and Spanish intevention. They should understand the reasons for Britain’s defeat, including how the military resources available were unequal to dealing with a war dispersed across such wide area. They also need to understand why defeat was accepted in Britain. 

Tensions between colonists and the British, 1770–75: the issue of custom collection and tea duties, including the Boston Tea Party; the Coercive Acts 1774 and their impact. 

 

Clashes between British forces and rebels, 1775–76; the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation. 

 

Britain's defeat, 1778–83: French and Spanish involvement; Britain’s limited military resources; the defeats of Burgoyne 1778, and Cornwallis 1781; the decision to seek peace and accept the Treaty of Paris. Impact of defeat on Britain 1783. 

 

Summary

 

Trade and a private enterprise approach to empire building left Britain with an enviable but, unintended Atlantic Empire by the end of the Eighteenth Century. Attracting the dispossessed, the rugged and the religious, America evolved and matured as an ignored extension of British society on another continent. More self- reliant and suspicious of governmental interference, the colonies resented London's attempts to redefine the metropolitan-colonial relationship after the Seven Years War and increasingly expressed their own views of what it meant to be British and the inalienable rights that conferred upon them. 

This argument would simmer and burn for years: how can you square an Englishmen's fundamental liberties with loyalty to a distant imperial government? Are they in fact mutually incompatible?

 Amplified by distance and slow communication it would also illustrate not just Americas increasing confidence and maturity but also Britain's imperial immaturity in addressing the issues of an until now, unsought Empire and the responsibilities it had towards its brothers (or, increasingly, cousins?) on the other side of the Atlantic.
 

America Lessons

 

Overview / Revision Booklet

 

Lesson -Being a British colonist -

Worksheet

Video Lecture

Extended Lecture:The Great Courses - The History of the United States, 2nd Edition - 9 The Great War for Empire

 

Lesson - Being a British American 

Worksheet

Video Lecture

 

Lesson - Outraged Colonials - The Stamp Act

Video Lecture

Extended Lecture:The Great Courses - The History of the United States, 2nd Edition - 10 The Rejection of Empire

 

Lesson - Resisitance or Rebellion: What is going on in Boston?

Video Lecture

 

Lesson - The logic of resistance -

Video Lecture

Extended Lecture:The Great Courses - The History of the United States, 2nd Edition -11 the American Revolution

Independence - Video Lecture 

 

Lesson - The Course of The War

 

Viewing

 

The War that made America - Part 1 - PBS 

The War that made America - Part 2 - PBS

 

Avaliable from my TES Shop

 

Prof J. Freeman, Yale University, Lecture 2 - Being a British Colonist - Worksheet to support Lecture

Lecture              

Prof J. Freeman, Yale University, Lecture 3 - Being a British American - Worksheet to support Lecture

Lecture  

Teacher Guidance Film              

Prof J.Freeman, Yale University, Lecture 5 - Outraged Colonials - Worksheet to support Lecture

Lecture  

Teacher Guidance Film             

Prof J.Freeman, Yale University, Lecture 6 - Resistance or Rebellion - Worksheet to support Lecture

Lecture

Teacher Guidance Film          

Prof J.Freeman, Yale University, Lecture 8  - The Logic of Resistance - Worksheet to support Lecture   

Lecture  

Teacher Guidance Film        

 

                         Buy Here

                   David Reynolds - Empire of Liberty

                           Buy Here

                      Nick Bunker - Empire on the Edge

 

 

The birth of British Australia 1788-1829

 

Specification

 

The focus of the topic is on the birth of a whole new area of empire shortly after the loss of the American colonies. Students should understand the crucial importance of two periods in the development of New South Wales: the arrival of the first  convicts in 1788 and the important governorship of Lachlan Macquarie from 1809–21, which, it has been said, transformed New South Wales from a prison to a real colony. The specification requires the study of the relations with the Aborigines only within the dates 1788–1829 and only in New South Wales and Tasmania – this includes the consequences of British rule on the Aborigines in terms of the suffering, particularly in Tasmania. Students should be aware of the extent that colonial control was extended outside New South Wales and Tasmania, but detailed knowledge of the development of the new settlements is not required.     

 

Australia’s role as a penal colony from 1788; the importance of Lachlan Macquarie: the development of Sydney; land grants to ex-convicts and development up the Hawkesbury River; the growth of Macquarie towns. impact of British settlement on Aborigines in Tasmania and

New South Wales, 1788-1829.

 

The spreading impact: penal settlement in Van Diemen's land 1803; development of whaling; first crossing of the Blue Mountains 1813; first settlements in Western Australia 1826; extent of colonial control by 1829. 

 

Summary

 

With the superiority achieved by the Royal Navy in the Seven Years War the British could capitalise on their advantage to use the brief period of peace for exploration and scientific endeavour. Nonetheless, the motivation behind both was the acquisition if new markets and knowledge to the advancement of Britain's wealth. 

Commensurate though to the projects of Captain Cook and the Royal Society was the deteriorating position in the American Colonies and the social upheavals at home of the industrial Revolution. France too, chastised in war, was seeking advantages elsewhere outside of Europe and in a mercantile, zero sum world, the race was on to win for the Crown and deny the spoils to others. The Great Southern Continent was the prize as either an overseas market, potential colony or penal colony for the criminal underclass of Britain's industrial slums. 

 

Australia Lessons

 

Activity - Why Australia? Who were the first British Settlers?

Activity - 

Activity - The Great Lectures

Activity - The importance of Lachlan Macquarie to the development of New South Wales

Activity - The impact of British settlement on the Aboriginal population in Tasmania and New South Wales

Activity - What was the extent and nature of Colonial Control in Austrlai in the years 1803-1829?

 

Essays

 

Essay Checker - Class Tools

 

Viewing

 

Bound for Botany Bay

Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery - A Likely Lad

Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery -Taking Command

 

Captain Cook - Fictionalised

 

Avaliable from my TES Shop

 

Tony Robinson Down Under - Ep1 - Race to the End of the World - Worksheet to support the Channel Four Documentary

Tony Robinson Down Under - Ep2 - Against the Odds - Worksheet to support the Channel Four Documentary

Tony Robinson Down Under - Ep3 - The People are Revolting - Worksheet to support the Channel Four Documentary

Tony Robinson Down Under - Ep4 - Eureka - Worksheet to support the Channel Four Documentary

                             Buy Here

                        Robert Hughes - The Fatal Shore

                             Buy Here

             Tom Keneally - Commonwealth of Theives

 

 

                            Buy Here

                       Tony Robinson - Down Under

                            Buy Here

                          Ben Wilson - Empire of the Deep

 

Learning from past mistakes: Canada and the Durham Report,1837–40

 

Specification

 

The focus of this topic on the small-scale events in British North America in 1837–38 and the very significant consequences for the future of the whole empire that grew from the Durham Report of 1839. Students should understand the very particular problems of Canada with its large French-speaking population in Quebec and the English population of Ontario, many of whom in origin were loyalists from the USA. They should understand that the growing USA posed a problem with the threat of it seizing the under-populated lands of the British crown in Canada. Students should appreciate this context to the risings of 1837 and the very 'liberal' response of Radical Jack, otherwise known as the Earl of Durham. Students should understand the main thrust of his report and the input of his two talented advisers mentioned in the specification. In terms of the importance of the report, students should understand, not only why it was important for Canada but also its wider impact on the governance of the wider empire: Durham and his two advisers are often credited with saving the imperial link with the new white settlers colonies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, and avoiding a repetition of 1776.

The political nature and governmental system of Upper and Lower Canada and the perceived threat from the USA. 

 

The revolts of 1837–38: causes, course and impact. 

 

The importance of the Earl of Durham's appointment as High Commissioner; the roles of Charles Buller and Edward Gibbon Wakefield; the main recommendations and importance of the Durham Report. 

 

Summary

 

The loss of the American colonies proved that the rights of Englishmen were indeed not exclusive to the metropole and transferable. This left the Empire in a dichotomy: could a white British Empire ever exist or, was it at best, only ever a Commonwealth of free association? If so Canada was inevitably going to follow the same path to independence once her political maturity had reached a level that enabled her to do so. Interestingly, the British government seemed resigned to this outcome.

Nonetheless,Britain acknowledged some of the contributing errors that led to the loss if America and gave Canada greater representation and a revised constitution. She then effectively, ignored Canada and waited for the inevitable to happen. Canada however, matured far faster than British reforms anticipated, spurred on by a significant influx of Empire Loyalists from America, who resenting the backwardness of Canada pushed it forward, challenging the established elites and pushing for reform. Add into the mix the resentments and fears of the French majority in Upper Canada and the Provinces of Canada are heading towards their own rebellions towards the end if the 1830's forcing Britain once again to try a square the circle of Liberty versus Loyalty in an age when by embracing free trade Britain is less and less concerned by the encumbrance of an expensive formal overseas Empire.

 

Extended Reading - A painful loosening of old bonds

Worksheet

Extended Reading - The growing pains of a young country

 

Worksheet

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Essays

 

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History of Canada Episode 3 Claiming the Wilderness Documentary

History of Canada Episode 4 Battle for a Continent Documentary

History of Canada Episode 5 - A Question of Loyalties

 

 

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           Bob Bothwell - The Penhuin History of Canada

 

 

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                              Niall Ferguson - Empire

 

 

Nearly loosing an Empire - The British in India, 1829-1858

 

Specification

 

The focus of this topic is on the fascinating clash of two very different civilisations and value systems. As with Topic 2, it has a long chronological spread but the content that specification requires is strictly limited. Students should understand the extent of British power in India by the end of the 1820s and the system of the government of India involving the East India Company and the British government. STUDENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE IMPACT OF INDIVIDUALS NAMED IN THE SPECIFICATION.Students should understand the context and background to the Indian Rebellion. The only prior military expansion to be covered is the seizure of Awadh, and this only in so far as it had a bearing on the outbreak of the Indian Rebellion. Students should understand the decision to eradicate Thagi (Thuggee) and the assault on the practice of Sati or Suttee and female infanticide, and why these drives at 'social improvement' caused offence. Here students should understand the relevance of the increasing influence and numbers of Christian missionaries. Students should be aware of the dramatic climax of this topic provided by the outbreak of the Indian Rebellion in May of 1857. Students should have knowledge of the events specified and the reasons for British survival and ultimate triumph.

 

The role of the East India Company and the Governor General; the importance of Bengal and the Company Army. 

 

William Sleeman’s campaign against Thagi: the drive against Sati and female infanticide; the impact of missionaries. 

 

The Indian Rebellion: the reforms of Dalhousie; the annexation of Awadh; outbreak and events in Meerut, Cawnpore and Delhi; the siege and relief of Lucknow; reasons why the British retained control. 

 

Summary

 

Britain's relationship with India illustrates both the motivations behind the origins if empire and the effect imperial power had upon the British. Trade brought Britain to India and the possibility of markets in the Orient. Excluded from China and kicked out of the East Indies, the British established themselves by 1763 as the European hegemon in the sub-continent.

As her wealth increased so did her power as well as the moral arguments if how this should be wielded in a min-White colony. The resurgence of Christianity and Britain's sense of mission, would lead India to become a battlefield for the conflicting forces of God and profit.

As the British grew in power though, they lost their inferiority complex towards India and its culture, replacing their Orientalism with racism. High handed but, well meaning interference in Indian culture led to increasing resentment magnified by the technological revolutions Britain brought to India, challenging the conservative elites with whom the British ruled India through and leading to the Mutiny of 1857.

 

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The Great Course - A History of British India

 

The Great Course - A History of British India

 

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 3 Indian and British Economic Interests

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 4 British a Expansion in India (1757-1820)

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 5 Knowing the Country: British Orientalism 

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 6 Race, Gender and Culture (1750-1850)

Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 7 The Age of Reform (1830-1850)
Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India - 8 The Great Uprising
Extended Lecture - The Great Course - A History of British India -9 Economics and Society under the Raj

Essays

 

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                         Lawrence James - British India

 

 

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                      John Darwin - Unfinished Empire

 

 

The Nile Valley, 1882-1898

 

Specification

 

The focus of this topic is on the acquisition of a vast new area of territory in north-east Africa at the end of the nineteenth century and the role played by the then new forces of Arab nationalism in Egypt and of militant Islam in the Sudan.   Students should understand why the anti-imperialist government of W E Gladstone felt impelled to send an expedition to occupy Egypt in 1882 and then, despite his protestations to the contrary, stay there. They should understand the value of the   reforms pushed through by Sir Evelyn Baring, affecting Egyptian finances and the economy, and his influence in pushing for withdrawal from the Sudan. They should understand how and why Britain was pulled unwillingly further up the Nile valley by a mixture of circumstances, idealism and fear of European rivals. 

            

Reasons for intervention in Egypt 1882: Arabi Pasha and Arab nationalism; protecting European loans and people. French withdrawal; the British military campaign. 

 

Egypt as a 'veiled protectorate'; the promises to withdraw and the failure to do so; the work of Sir Evelyn Baring. 

 

The problem of the Sudan: the Mahdi; Gladstone's concerns and policy; Gordon's mission, 1884–85. The conquest of the Sudan 1898: the fear of French occupation; the role of Kitchener; the significance of Omdurman. 

 

Summary

 

Standing astride the shortest route to India and the East, Egypt had always held strategic value to the Brutish. Yet, obsessed with trade and profit, formal empire held very little attraction yo the British. Provided Egypt remains open to British trade the status quo would prevail. Even the construction if the Suez Canal did not change British opinion, providing the government in Egypt allowed the unhindered passage of traffic.

Financial difficulties and the collapsing power of the Ottoman Empire though changed British attitudes towards Egypt. Bankrupted by the costs of building the canal led the Egyptians to sell their shares in the canal to Britain in 1875 marking a transformation in British foreign policy under Disraeli. Never before had Britain acquired formal real estate through a financial transaction and in doing so, 1875, marks a turning point in Britain's fortunes. Although supreme, her relative power was now seen to be in decline and the Tory governments manoeuvred to entrench Britain's global position marking the end of unhindered free trade. Nationalist uprisings in response to increased interference by Britain and France in its internal affairs left the British resolved to intervene unilaterally in 1882, obstensibly to protect its nationals from harm but in reality to secure to the country, the canal  and other significant financial interests. Once I power, British power was to be exercised through a 'veiled protectorate' of shadowing the existing government with British officials under the leadership of Sir Evelyn Baring.

Egypt's historical claims to the Nile Valley and the Sudan would gradually draw the British further south. Securing the source of the Nile, essential for Egypts recovering economy, preventing the spread of the Mahdi's jihad, suppressing slavery, revenge for General Gordon and preventing French expansionism as part of the scramble or Africa all played a part in motivating the British to occupy Sudan in 1889.

 

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Essays

 

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The Exam

 

 

Required Reading

 

The British Empire Magazine  - Orbis/TimeLife/ BBC

18th Century Empire Timeline - BritishEmpire.co.uk

19th Century Empire Timeline - BritishEmpire.co.uk

 

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