This week is the last week of the course on the British Empire that I ‘attended’ via the FutureLearn platform. The course was delivered by the Department of Modern History at the University of Exeter.
On the final week we were asked to submit an essay -see more details on it below.
The legacy of the British Empire
Now that we’re nearly at the end of the course, we thought it would be helpful to give you the opportunity to reflect on your perceptions of the British Empire, and to enable you to work with fellow course participants.
We’d like you to write a minimum of 300 words about what you think the legacy of the British Empire has been.
You should consider what you think were the most significant and long-lasting impacts of the British Empire, and explain why you believe this to be the case.
Submit what you’ve written in the ‘assignment’ box below for feedback from other learners. You will then be asked to provide feedback on the work of others.
The reviewers will be asked to give you feedback on the following aspects of your assignment, so you should consider these when writing:
- To what extent does the author describe what they believe to be the legacy of the British Empire?
- How well has the author conveyed their perceptions of the impact of the British Empire?
- How clearly has the author explained (and justified with evidence) their reasons for believing this to be
I believe that the British Empire has left a long-lasting impression at different levels. It has impacted the economy, culture, and every other area of society. And I think that all of them converge in one point, the Commonwealth of Nations. This organisation, whose aim is to keep ties among the United Kingdom and some of its former colonies, is to me an improved version of the Empire.
Very much like the Empire, the Commonwealth facilitates trade among those countries in the group. Research by the Royal Commonwealth Society shows that the current percentage of trade among members is on average up to a fifty percent (50%) more than trade with non-members. This is more likely to happen to smaller nations, which are keener to engage in economic activities with fellow members.
People migration is another area that has benefited from this organisation, making it easier for citizens of the different states to look for a better and brighter future elsewhere. However, the system is not perfect and there is still some room for improvement, for example, in the concession of visas, but that is a topic that could be tackled in a different essay.
Besides the above mentioned impact in the economy, I think that people migration has also served as a vehicle for cultural exchange. This has in turn enriched the cultural legacy of all countries within the Empire.
Looking at the topics above, I would say that the model of the Commonwealth of Nations has been copied for other modern organisations. Actually, I strongly believe that the concept of the European Union is arguably based on the British Empire.
We have got a clear example in the European Union’s internal market, or EU single market, which seeks to guarantee the free movement of goods and people within EU member states. This means that citizens of the different countries can work, study, buy and sell real properties, and set up businesses within the EU with no restrictions.