Empire, Nation, and National Identities
This chapter examines the relation of Britain's empire to national identities—English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish—within the United Kingdom. Against a strand of opinion that contends that the empire had little impact on British society, the chapter argues that on the contrary the impact was profound, at all levels. Empire structured the development of national identities in the first half of the twentieth century; after the end of formal empire in the 1960s, empire continued, by its legacies, to influence the search for post‐imperial identities in every part of the United Kingdom. The chapter concludes with an examination of the specific predicament of the English, as the creators of the British empire and the dominant power within the United Kingdom
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