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British Empire: Good or Bad?

This is a short essay that anyone studying the British Empire may find helpful.

The British Empire has done many different distasteful things in its time such as when it quelled the Indian Rebellion which happened. The main reason for the Indian rebellion was because they believed that the British were attempting to convert them by force or by gradual change to Christianity, and because of that they would lose the caste system that they had held up for hundreds of years. When the fear of this coupled by the upheaval caused by the segregation and also the unfair laws forced upon the Indians they began to fight back. Many of the English sources tell us of how the barbaric Indians slaughtered thousands of innocent British women and children. But the British troops did the same thing, they lined up Indian women in the street and shot them, they threw Indian children down wells, and all this because of the rage that had consumed them, but the rage is not an excuse for the things that they did. That is one of the Empires atrocities.

That period in history shows a very negative side of the British Empire but it has also done good things such as: the period during the 2 world wars when in 1942 Australia signed the Statute of Westminster Acceptance Act. This gave the country independence from the British, they were given there own government, constitution, and is responsible for its own laws police, defence and currency. This is a very positive act from the British.

But a huge bad point for the British Empire is that they were the leader of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the empire controlled about 90% of the slave trade and used it as a crucial factor in expanding their countries economy. This is offset slightly as the British Empire was the first to realise that all people deserved freedom and therefore they were the first to make the trade illegal in all provinces that were directly controlled by the British Empire.

Form what has been seen so far it becomes obvious that the decision of whether the British Empire was good or evil is not actually that straight forward as the British Empire used the slave trade to become one of the most powerful Empires in the world but when it had equalised again after the huge upheaval due to the Industrial Revolution it then used it’s power and influence to push or even shove the abolition of slavery into the rest of the western world.

The British Empire has done many things in its long life that are both good and bad, and so it’s seems to me that the British Empire is more of a neutral faction that being good or bad. Because of this, they used the evils of the world to establish a huge empire and dominate the western world but once it had done this it used the power it had gain to stop most of the bad things that were happening at the time such as slavery.

So the real question is whether the good things that they have done offset the evils they have caused or vice versa and I believe that they have offset the bad things with the good things but not enough to make the British Empire a good thing or a bad thing.


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