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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century$
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Judith Brown and Wm Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205647.001.0001

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The Second World War

The Second World War

Chapter:
(p.306) 13 The Second World War
Source:
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century
Author(s):

KEITH JEFFERY

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205647.003.0013

The Second World War marked the greatest and the ultimate period of ‘revival’ of the British Empire. In the short term, at least, the impact of war did much to strengthen the Imperial system. The general nature of British imperialism, with its peacetime free press, civil rights, habeas corpus, the cultivation of élites, and promises, paid enormous dividends during the war. The way the constituent parts of the Empire went to war in 1939 is quite revealing about the relationships that existed between the ‘Mother Country’ and its Imperial possessions. The effect of the Second World War on the Empire is shown. The Second World War saw the apotheosis of the British Empire, yet it contained elements of both the best and the worst in the Imperial relationship.

Keywords:   Second World War, British Empire, Imperial system, British imperialism, Mother Country

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