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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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Epilogue

Epilogue

Chapter:
(p.703) 31 Epilogue
Source:
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century
Author(s):

JUDITH M. BROWN

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205647.003.0031

This chapter reflects the meaning of the history of the British Empire at the close of the 20th century. In particular, it examines some of the more significant ways in which the existence of the former British Empire influences the world at the juncture of two millennia, although that Empire has long ceased to be a political and economic force. The 20th century saw the British Empire reach its greatest geographical extent, and for a brief time exercise its greatest power. It is notable that in the closing decade of the century, countries which had never been part of the British Empire were seeking Commonwealth membership in their own national interest. The development of modes of worldwide communication in the course of the 20th century made the Imperial experience subject to public scrutiny, as never before, by people outside of Britain and its dependencies. Examination of the historical records of the experience of the British Empire and its aftermath does suggest that all areas involved in the worldwide networks of British power were profoundly influenced by the experience.

Keywords:   British Empire, 20th century, Commonwealth, Imperial experience, British power, Britain

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