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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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Churchill and the British Empire

Churchill and the British Empire

Chapter:
(p.167) 10 Churchill and the British Empire
Source:
Churchill
Author(s):

Ronald Hyam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.003.0011

How can one best approach the subject of Winston Churchill and the British Empire generally, and more specifically in the aftermath of the First World War during his period as Secretary of State for the Colonies, February 1921 to October 1922? Although the Middle East should be included, as a central part of Britain's ‘informal empire’, the Irish Treaty (to which Churchill contributed so much) must be ruled out, since Ireland was not really a colonial problem. The Imperial Conference of 1921 (which he masterminded) yields nothing distinctively Churchillian. Churchill never set foot again in India after leaving it in 1897, or in South Africa after 1900. Although he made many trips across the Atlantic and several to North Africa and the Middle East, he never visited Nigeria and the Gold Coast, let alone Australia and New Zealand or Malaya and Hong Kong. His last sight of a British African colony was in 1907–1908. During his time as Secretary of State, important decisions were taken for the future of Palestine and Iraq, Kenya, and Southern Rhodesia.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, British Empire, Ireland, Nigeria, Middle East, Kenya, South Africa, Iraq, Palestine, Southern Rhodesia

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