32 Resources to Help You Learn About British Imperialism


In the past few weeks it has been brought to many people's attention that British Imperialism isn't something we are taught at school. Looking at my own experience, I didn't learn about the British Empire in any depth until university. This seems very strange to me since the topics that schools do teach are often deeply intertwined with the Empire but this aspect is often missed out.

If, like me, you're on a journey of self-education and are looking to learn more about the history of the British Empire, here's 32 resources to get you started. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a list of some ideas to help you get started. 

In the past few weeks it has been brought to many people's attention that British Imperialism isn't something we are taught at school. Looking at my own experience, I didn't learn about the British Empire in any depth until university. This seems very strange to me since the topics that schools do teach are often deeply intertwined with the Empire but this aspect is often missed out.

If, like me, you're on a journey of self-education and are looking to learn more about the history of the British Empire, here's 32 resources to get you started. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a list of some ideas to help you get started. 

Books

Kenneth Morgan, Slavery & the British Empire (preview available on Google Books)

Akala, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

Hopkins & Cain, British Imperialism: 1688-2015

David Fieldhouse, Western imperialism in the Middle East 1914-1958

George Orwell, Burmese Days 

Harold Raugh, The Victorians at War, 1815-1914: An Encyclopedia of British Military History

P.J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins, British Imperialism: Innovation and Expansion, 1688-1914.

Andrew Thompson, The Empire Strikes Back?: The Impact of Imperialism on Britain from the Mid-Nineteenth Century 

Martin Thomas, Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire. 

Gajendra Singh, The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and Two World Wars: Between Self and Sepoy. 

Journal Articles 

John Darwin,  ‘An Undeclared Empire: the British in the Middle East, 1918-39’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 27 (1999)

Richard Toye, Trade and conflict in the rhetoric of Winston Churchill via Academia

The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History - There is currently open access to this journal which has a broad range of articles on global imperialism in general. 
Websites/Articles

The National Archives, British Empire 

British Library, Global Trade and Empire 

International Encyclopaedia of the First World War, Imperialism


The Great Courses Plus, A History of British India
Group of men Kashmir Imperial Service Rifles as they were in east Africa.  © IWM HU 58635

Podcasts/Audio

History Extra Podcast, Indians in the Trenches

History Extra Podcast, Britain and the Slave Trade

If you think that the history of the British Empire should be taught in school then consider signing this petition to include the topic in the school curriculum and support The Black Curriculum who deliver arts focused Black history programmes in the UK which also look at the role British imperialism.

If you have any more useful resources to help learn about the British Empire then leave them in the comments below!

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