Britain After Empire: Constructing a Post-War by P. Preston

By P. Preston

Via compelling research of pop culture, excessive tradition and elite designs within the years following the top of the second one international battle, this booklet explores how Britain and its humans have come to phrases with the lack of status stemming from the decline of the British Empire. the result's a quantity that provides new rules on what it truly is to be 'British'.

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Additional resources for Britain After Empire: Constructing a Post-War Political-Cultural Project

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The British (plus France and Israel) invaded Egypt in 1956 in order to control the Suez Canal. And, the mandate territories covered areas formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire. After its dissolution following the Great War the French gained territory in the northern Arab lands (now Lebanon and Syria) whilst the British gained territory in the southern Arab lands (now Jordan, Iraq and Israel). Debates in respect of the former involved: questions of oil supplies, Cold War competition with the Soviet Union and the defence of routes to the Far East.

10 The elite, concerned to sustain their stateempire,11 had prepared for war in the late 1930s:12 an already powerful military was upgraded with new weaponry; a worldwide empire supported the metropolitan core; and the key ally, France, also had a powerful military. In the event the British were forced from the mainland but the state-empire endured for two years, until the Japanese attacks in 1941/2 forced the British out of East Asia13 and brought the USA into the war. It was this circumstance, along with Soviet allies, which ensured that the British would be part of a general military victory in Europe and in the East.

The emergence of the military alliance with the USA became a key part of the self-understanding of the British elite – the claim to the status of number-one ally in Europe. Second, welfare – the war years had facilitated the embrace by sections of the elite of a programme of social reform. In the event the postwar period saw extensive domestic reform. It was elite sponsored. It was supplemented by extensive political mobilization (Army Education Corps, the Left Book Club and so on). The programme was widely supported.

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