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2.6 billion people are inhabitants of former British colonies. The empire's influence upon the quarter of the planet it occupied, and its gravitational influence upon the world outside it, has been profound: from the spread of Christianity by missionaries to the shaping international law. Even today, 1 in 3 people drive on the left hand side of the road, an artifact of the British empire. Yet Britain's idea of its imperial history and the world's experience of it are two very different things. Following in the footsteps of his bestselling book Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain, Empireworld explores the ways in which British Empire has come to shape the modern world
Sanghera visits Barbados, where he uncovers how Caribbean nations are still struggling to emerge from the disadvantages sown by transatlantic slavery. He examines how large charities–like Save the Children and the World Bank–still see the world through the imperial eyes of their colonial founders, and how the political instability of nations, such as Nigeria, for instance, can be traced back to tensions seeded in their colonial foundations. And from the British Empire's role in the transportation of 12.5 million Africans during the Atlantic slave trade, to the 35 million Indians who died due to famine caused by British policy, the British Empire, as Sanghera reveals, was responsible for some of the largest demographic changes in human history.
Economic, legal and political systems across the world continue to function along the lines originally drawn by the British Empire, and cultural, sexual, psychological, linguistic, demographic, and educational norms originally established by imperial Britons continue to shape our lives. British Empire may have peaked a century ago, and it may have been mostly dismantled by 1997, but in this major new work, Sathnam Sanghera ultimately shows how the largest empire in world history still exerts influence over planet Earth in all sorts of silent and unsilent ways.
- On Sale
- May 7, 2024
- Page Count
- 464 pages