Course Code
HIST 0487
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

Possibly one of the most contentious concepts in British and Global History, the British Empire is a topic for our politically divided times. From its origins in the Elizabethan era, the empire has been a source of Britain’s wealth, culture and it has had an important impact on national identity. However, the monumental enterprise which spans centuries and continents, was created and maintained through bloodshed, violence, conquest and war.

This course will take students through a chronological overview of the empire, from foundation, dismantlement and beyond. It will question what exactly the empire was, and how it manifested itself at home and abroad. It will explore the legacies of empire, from capitalism and global inequality, to the shaping of culture and language. It will consider just how far the web of empire spread over the globe while at the same time imperial subjects resisted and rebelled against British colonisers. The course may involve a visit to Osterley Park (a Georgian Estate just outside of London, and the site of the East India Company at Home project) to better understand how the metropole and the periphery of empire were tightly intertwined.