The History of the British Empire

Topics: British Empire, Jordan, Nation Pages: 3 (1039 words) Published: October 9, 2012
The British Empire was the largest the world had known. It was said “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” as it was so large it covered all time zones. Britain had a small population and army so governing was done by inflicting a devastating military defeat on the conquered nation. The defeat was so great that would be no future resistance. It had the desired effect of scaring the locals into doing anything they could to maintain Britain’s favor. This kept the peace. Part of this would be selecting key locals to help the British rule. The British seemed to have a knack for selecting governors and magistrates that everyone hated. Just when tempers reached boiling point, the British would sail in to “save the day,” keeping everyone happy and thinking they were their friend. The area known as British Palestine was a prime example with the local governor going out of his way to stir up hatred among the peoples. Africa’s tribal in-fighting was stirred up there as well. India’s vast racism between tribes and religions (Hindu vs Islam) ensured that the populace (numbering in the millions) would never pose a threat to British rule. The few Indian revolts were brutally stopped with much loss of life. A lot of non-Christian religions do not preach kindness. So it was easy for Christian-raised officials to institute something as simple as clinics, soup kitchens and orphanages which made the people happy to be “British subjects.” National identity was boosted by the creation of regional regiments comprised of “locals.” For example, the “Khyber Rifles” were some of Afghanistan’s bravest and most fit fighters. Their uniforms were British but with colorful patches denoting their special status. To most Afghanis, the men were “their soldiers.” It helped people forget they were conquered. A closer look revealed the truth. The unit’s officers were all English. And the unit fought outside their area. This way, Afghani soldiers would never fight...
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