This video covers: A summary of the Empire debate; it recaps on some of the positive and negative impacts and leaves the audience to decide.
So, was the Empire a good or bad thing? Well one way to look at it is if the British had not built its empire then those countries would almost certainly have been taken into other empires such as the French or German. The British Empire has been acknowledged to be one of the fairer of the empires with its Victorian values of law and order and reform. The import of raw materials did benefit the British by creating jobs, but only those at the top profited from the sale of the manufactured goods. Conditions for many in Industrial Britain were very harsh indeed, some say close to slavery itself, but as time went on things did improve. But what of the native populations of the Empire? Many countries felt exploited by the big British companies and resented their presence. For some things did improve slowly, the roads and rail for example helped in India, as well as law and order. But none of this helped the Aboriginal people of Australia or the Maori of New Zealand who lost much of their tribal lands and whose populations declined dramatically.
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