HISTORY 227 - The Rise and Fall of the British Empire
Section: 001
Term: FA 2009
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course takes a critical, panoramic view of the origins, development, and eventual "fall" of the British Empire. Exploring the social, cultural, economic, and political dimensions of this history, this course analyzes the diverse and complicated experiences of empire by those that ruled the empire (or at least claimed to), and those who were ruled. Beginning with the extension of British rule in Britain and Ireland in the sixteenth century, the course turns to the creation of what has been called the "First British Empire" — in the British Isles, North America and the Atlantic. It then traces the remaking of this Empire, epitomized by the Revolutionary War, or what is often called the "Second British Empire", which was consolidating in the wake of this earlier effort, and eventually expanded British rule in astonishingly large parts of South Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Pacific. By the time the British Empire was at its peak size, in 1920, it was the largest political entity — both in territory and proportion of the world's population — that the world had ever known. Yet, as this course explores, within just a few decades it appeared to have "fallen" from this apparent position of apparent might and grandeur; first into the new political status of "Commonwealth", and then into virtual bankruptcy and fragmentation. The "fall" was no less important — perhaps even more so — than the "rise" of empire. The transformation of what was the British empire changed culture, politics and economies at both local and global scales, creating dozens of new states, and fashioning many of the defining features of our own world. As many of the world's hotspots continue to map on to hotspots shared with, even "invented" by the British Empire — Iraq, the Sudan, Afghanistan — the history of this Empire continues to seem unusually relevant to us, and our own times.

HISTORY 227 - The Rise and Fall of the British Empire
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (DIS)
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0141018445
The Penguin historical atlas of the British Empire, Author: Nigel Dalziel., Publisher: Penguin Books 2006
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9780582472815
The British Empire : sunrise to sunset, Author: Philippa Levine., Publisher: Longman 1st ed. 2007
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