Talk:British Empire/Archive 5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Archive 1 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 10


I've also written this in the 'Evolution of the British Empire' page, but as the map is also here I thought it is relevant here too:

I see in the map labelled 'The British Empire in 1897’ there is a part of Greenland shown as part of the Empire. The map contains the note ‘This map shows parts of Greenland as part of the British Empire. This region was never occupied by the British and the claim was contested by Denmark, which continued to claim sovereignty over all of Greenland.’ Aside from this note, however, I can find no reference to any part of Greenland being claimed by the British in articles on the Empire or on Greenland. Looking at the map the area appears to be labelled ‘Prudhoe Land’; again I can find no reference to such a territory. If anyone does have any information about this I would find it very helpful if they could put some details on this page. --Phunting 1020, 29 Dec 2006

Don't know about this example. But there's something similar at Borders of the Roman Empire, where a part of Ireland is "sort of" included in the map. It's against the historical evidence, which fails to show a claim, much less an occupation. Do you notice any similarities in these cases, any community of edits? The usual suspects (above) may be at work, casting back for legitimacy in the hope that no objection is made.--Shtove 01:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that really helpful and relevant contribution. To the original poster: The borders were legally determined in 1933 (36 years after the map was drawn), but there is still a dispute today over Hans Island if you’re looking for relevant background information. Wiki-Ed 11:00, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Dripping with sarcasm. Thanks.--Shtove 13:23, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I was aware of the Hans Island claim, but the map appeared to be claiming a whole chunk of the West Coast of Greenland, not just the island. I suppose I'll just chalk it off to having very unclear borders back then. Phunting 13:20, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

British East India Company

This passage in the second paragraph makes little sense. European powers at the time were simultaneously backwards in terms of their administration, their bureaucracies, and in terms of their military technologies. The resultant of "backwardness made it difficult for any one state to overwhelm the others and create in empire like that in China or India”. It reads like someone with a poor command of English dropped in the quote without necessary context. Johnatx 13:52, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

It was nonsense. It was removed. Wiki-Ed 11:02, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

At the end of the day if European powers were so backwards how comes most of them tended to conquer and make empires larger than china and india who were both arguably living in backwards medieval feudal societies? Just sounds like a jealous Asian put that in there...


Would someone PLEASE remove that absolutely vile map and insert one that is half decent? It's unclear, too busy and you can't really see the territories anyway. None of the other European empire pages have images of century-old maps, and if they do, they should be removed too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The problem is what do you replace it with? Graphics are copyright, and cannot just be uploaded at whim. Are you in a position to create a better map? --Michael Johnson 04:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
The map is fine and we've had this discussion before. There are other maps of the evolution of the empire on various pages. Wiki-Ed 11:33, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. The map up now is disgusting.


The map should look similar to the one for the Roman Empire, showing its furthest extent.

The current (old) map is a nice thing to have, but I also think that a modern map, like the ones on the Arab or Roman empire pages should be the first one on the page. Perhaps the creator of those other maps could be persuaded to make one of the British empire. 18:04, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

User:TharkunColl - this edit

I'm sorry but that was totally inappropriate to remove, with a mere edit comment as an explanation. Ireland is widely considered to be England's first foray into colonialism, for example, the first volume of [ this] devotes many of its pages to Ireland. Gsd2000 01:31, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Yip, that's out of order, from an editor who has weighed in on this topic before.
The Elizabethan subtitle seems bent out of shape - result of Tharkun's kamikaze attack?--Shtove 01:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, that's how it was before. It is "bent out of shape" because of the need to shoehorn Ireland in. Whilst Ireland is certainly over the sea from England, it is not "overseas" in the general meaning of the term as used by the English. The inclusion of Ireland in this list is clearly motivated by political concerns. In reality, the relationship of Ireland to England must be sought in medieval feudal times. If we include Ireland, then why not Wales? Or Cornwall? Or central and northern England after it was conquered by Wessex? The whole point about the British Empire is that it came about as a result of the Age of Discovery. We already knew where Ireland was! I shall remove it again. TharkunColl 09:21, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Tharkun, you were involved in the debates over this months ago. Do we have to rehash the issue in to finer mince? There's nothing political about it - it's just a fact that English colonisation began with Ireland and set a template for the colonial empire. To come charging in and impose your own views on the article is bad form for an experienced WP editor.--Shtove 13:18, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't particularly remember taking a significant part in any major debate on the issue. My point was really quite simple - if we include Ireland, then we must also include Wales which experienced English colonisation (e.g. Pembrokeshire, the "Little England beyond Wales") during the Norman period. And what about the medieval colonies in Ireland, around Dublin? It is ludicrous to make no mention of them, if Ireland is to be included. TharkunColl 13:26, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Apologies - I was recalling your username from Talk:British Isles. Anyway, there was debate about all this here. The sensible thing to do - and this appears to be the line taken in the texts quoted by Gsd2000 below - is to chart the beginning of the empire from its colonial origins in the 16thC. There's no controversy about Roanoke and Jamestown, so why object to the Plantations of Ireland and the Plantation of Ulster?--Shtove 15:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Because Ireland is not "overseas" (despite being over some sea), and was not a newly discovered territory. Colonisation of Ireland had begun in the 12th century, not the 16th. TharkunColl 17:16, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter that Ireland wasn't newly discovered. Neither was North America - the Spanish had already been there for a century and John Cabot turned up for the English in 1497. And maybe 'overseas' is a big deal at the foreign office. But this article deals with the British Empire, which began with the colonisations of the 16thC. During that period, new colonies were established in Ireland - not in Wales or Cornwall or Isle of Man or Calais - and those colonies were the model for what was happening simultaneously in North America. The Stuart plantation of Ulster was England/Britain's, largest colony of all and dwarved what was happening across the Atlantic. It's plain. Why deny it? I guess you're not tracing the empire back to Angevin conquests and inheritances, but are you under the impression that Ireland was really under English control from the 12thC? There's a phrase for what the English were faced with following the near collapse of their government in Ireland: "Beyond the Pale" - it happened mid-14thC, during the Gaelic resurgence. That's why H8 undertook the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland, and why Ireland is sui generis in the list of Norman conquests.--Shtove 22:43, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
But to include Ireland nevertheless obscures the very real distinction between a British overseas empire based on trade as a result of the Age of Discovery, and the various feudal relationships in Ireland that the English state inherited from its previous Norman rulers. In particular, this article treats Henry VIII's assumption of the title "king" of Ireland as some sort of turning point, whereas in reality it was nothing more than a change in nomenclature.
The existance of English (and Scottish, of course) plantations in Ireland does not imply that Ireland was part of the British Empire. After all, one could simply interpret such activities as experimenting in one's own back yard before exporting the results overseas. TharkunColl 00:11, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The early empire was not based on trade, but on colonisation. If you want to talk about a trade based empire, then focus on the Portuguese. The change of title in Irlenad from lordship to realm was not about nomenclature - it marked the end of the feudal order and the beginning of a new order, which was explicitly committed to colonisation of the country. To describe what went on there as experimentation is flippant - the new order took 60 years to establish, in a series of vicious wars. I know Ireland is not an easy example to take because of its constitutional standing - kingdom or colony? as the historians put it - but it is necessary.--Shtove 22:28, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I am reverting again. The following references show that it is right to begin discussion of the British Empire with English colonization of Ireland.

  • Niall Ferguson, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power: "In the early 1600s, a group of intrepid pioneers sailed across the sea to settle and, the hoped, civilize a primitive country inhabited by - as they saw it - a 'barbarous people' - Ireland. It was hte Tudor queens...who authorized the systematic colonization of Ireland...By 1673 an anonymous pamphleteer could confidently described Ireland as 'one of the chiefest members of the British Empire'."
  • Lawrence James, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire: "The first colonisation of North America was contemperaneous with the far larger settlement of Ireland...120,000 colonists arrived to help undertake what Francis Bacon revealingly called the "reduction to civility"...of the Irish. On both sides of the Atlantic the settlers faced sporadic but determined resistance..."
  • Nicholas Canny, Origins of Empire, The Oxford History of the British Empire: "Much has been written about [the] interconnections between British 'domestic' and 'overseas' colonization, which has sometimes been likened to the connection between the reconquista of Moorish Spain and the conquest of New Spain. In both instances, historians find it puzzling that procedures and justifications that they associate with overseas colonization were employed within Europe into the early modern period...[several pages later]...The most obvious oversight is the extent to which the plantation in Ulster which was the costliest British colonial undertaking of the 17th century, both popularized the concept of 'British' as opposed to 'English' colonization, and provided the first example of how a British colony and Empire might function." Gsd2000 12:28, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I removed the term "overseas" from the header above Ireland, as this was discussed before. Consensus there is that "Whilst Ireland is certainly over the sea from England, it is not "overseas" in the general meaning of the term as used by the English." (in fact quoting User:TharkunColl's own words there! :-) Gsd2000 22:44, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I have to say, we seem to have some confusion in the discussions above between "British" (the subject of this article) and "English" empire-building. The first English empire building long pre-dated Ireland and includes the invasions of Wales, Scotland and parts of what is now France. MarkThomas 19:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

There's discussion about England/Britain here. A basic problem is, When does Britain appear as a political reality? The concept was around in the late 16thC in John Dee's writings, and the movers and shakers at Elizabeth's court used the term in the 1590s, as they teed James VI up for the succession. Then you get the union of crowns in 1603, and union of parliaments in 1707. There's no clear starting point for the British Empire, but Irish historians use 1541 as the starting point for the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland, which kicked off the new policy of colonisation, which was extended across the Atlantic to North America, which is the point people traditionally see as the beginning of the empire.--Shtove 22:28, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

The best analogy with Irish `colonisation`-something i dispute as a definition, is to compare Ireland with the American West, the Ameircan `frontier`-both Britain(England, Scotland etc) and the US, viewed their frontiers-the west/Ireland as their land by right-it was arguably an expansionist atitude influenced by religion and the social darwinist attitude of survial of the fittest-oe, that the US and Britain had the right to expand because they were stronger

You don't need an analogy from America. English colonisation began in Ireland in the 1550s, and jumped across the Atlantic to America in the 1580s. It's a pretty tight historical sequence.--Shtove 12:58, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed nonsense in opening para

" was not an empire in the traditional sense, as it used native soldiers in its armies and created violence to take what it wanted from its...neighbours" .... hmmm, I guess that means the Roman Empire wasn't an empire in its traditional sense either - because the Romans used native soldiers in their armies (one route to Roman Citizenship). Nor the French Empire (see French Colonial Forces). And I wonder how many empires didn't use violence. Absolute, total, nonsense. Gsd2000 15:40, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

That you’re OWN POINT OF VIEW, I'm dealing with FACTUAL information.
As I have said before, serious doubts to your credibility along with Wiki-ED. This is a University Text Book at Major North American Universities, research compiled on other research done by professors at Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, etc. This is Widely Accepted as Fact! You should really do your research first. You have no proof to back up your claim with ANY sources (reliable), which leads to the impression of Bias and you not respecting the NPOV of this article.
Additionally, You started by saying one thing was the problem, and took them BOTH out without any established proof to your claims. I will be writing up a = Controversies = section in a few days, provided with reputable sources because this article need a seriously overhaul. You’re acting with Censorship instead of opening your mind to widely established facts, from University TEXT. I don't need some sort of survey to mane a Controversy section; I feel that you are bullying people into getting your Point by Censorship, which violate Wikipedia Rules. It seems you have a bit of history associated with that.
I will Post it, and unless you can accurately disprove my claims, it's allowed in. You and Wiki-ED are not the Owner of this site, and don't be a Sock-Puppet by going around and using your influence to Support your view(s). That's against Wikipedia policy. Govern yourself accordingly Cosmos416 13:13, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Just because you are in a disagreement with me, that is not justification to add a tag to the article about neutrality, so I removed it. People who are watching the British Empire page will also be watching this talk page: just wait for others to contribute to the debate. Gsd2000 18:21, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Wow, you are very forceful for everything edit I have done with proof, and you still not have shown one piece of proof. I will report you activates if you don't stop acting hostile, and censoring me. Cosmos416 13:25, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I have already explained above why I believe this to be wrong, and notably you have addressed neither of my points, your argument is that you have a textbook that says it's so. Well, User:Wiki-Ed already reverted your contribution once stating "Rv remaining Cosmos196 additions. Referenced sources aren't necessarily relevant or sensible". I entirely agree with this. You might also be interested to know that I attended one of the universities you mention. Gsd2000 18:29, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, you are misusing the "neutrality dispute" tag: it is not supposed to mean "there is something in the article that I disagree with so check the talk page" - it's not for personal disputes. By placing this tag there, anyone reading the British Empire article will see it and you will potentially be misleading them. It shouldn't be used lightly. As I say above, the right place for this discussion is on this talk page: please wait for others to contribute. People interested in this article read this talk page. Gsd2000 19:10, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

User Cosmos416 Why would you put this in the opening paragraph? The article is not about India and what is a "conventional" fight?

However, the fight for control of India was not a conventional one.

What does this mean?

European powers at the time were simultaneously backwards

Or this?

The resultant of "backwardness made it difficult for any one state to overwhelm the others and create in empire like that in China or India”.

How about this? What's a traditional empire?

However, it was not an empire in the traditional sense

Of course none of them ever...

created violence to take what it wanted from its global neighbours.

...So we'd better highlight the fact that this one did?! Now I don't happen to have a copy of this book by Mr Underhill, but I strongly suspect you are taking whatever he said out of context because it reads very badly. Also, the reason I can guess at what he says is because it explains the subject further down the page using more balanced language. No one is "censoring" you, but what you are trying to insert is either out of context, included already or presents a misleading picture to the casual reader. Wiki-Ed 21:58, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Stop trying twist the Authors words. This is from a Widely used University Textbook, with sourced research. Wiki-Ed and Gsd2000, you guys are working together and supporting each other (shown in you talk history, which for some reason you deleted…), and gather other support I have seen to bully people and you also broke the 3RR rule, something I should have made the Admins aware of, but I'm new and didn't know anything about that, before.
Unless you guys can show Prove with Sources discrediting my info, it will stay in because this article has a one-sided view, and a systematic bias, especially shown by both of you two getting together and commiserating. Cosmos416 15:42, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
So you're new - welcome aboard, but please understand a few things. (1) a user can do what they want with their own talk page (2) you shouldn't take it personally when/if others revert your edits (3) the burden of proof is on the contributor adding text, to back up why it should remain (4) moving text around on article talk pages like you did here is not polite (5) this is not going to win you any arguments "This is from a Widely used University Textbook, with sourced research.". As for the specifics of your contribution: the fact is that it was clearly explained to you why your addition was deemed inappropriate: if it was a case of Wiki-Ed and me "ganging up" on you and reverting something that is appropriate, then other editors would chime in and either restore your text, or contribute to the debate on the talk page and say so. Noone has done so. Gsd2000 21:21, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Ahh....yeah and I did..from a Widely used University textbook, now it's up to you to disclaim the Sourced Research with your OWN Proof, you you have to leave it in, it's balanced. Plus, your still ganging up with Wiki-Ed, you just message him. Cosmos416 16:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, there is no need to resort to this kind of tactic. Gsd2000 22:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I suggest that Wikipedia:Resolving disputes be read over. Hopefully, this dispute can be resolved civilly. ~ UBeR 22:40, 3 March 2007 (UTC) and dont forget a very important part thats not correct which is "that the british empire was the largest empire" the mongol empire was. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:07, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Control of India and status of European powers

Can you please explain why you reverted this, on the article's talk page? There is already a discussion there, I find your actions inappropriate, given that you have not contributed to this article before. Gsd2000 21:53, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I also find your warning on my talk page rather rude. I am fully aware of the 3RR rule and did not violate it. I'm trying to engage with you here, there's no need for that. Gsd2000 22:01, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
With regards to [1], [2], [3], [4], and [5], you are in violation of the three revert rule. ~ UBeR 22:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not. Because, if you actually bother to read the diffs (which you clearly have not), they are two separate incidents. Furthermore, in both cases, I had support of another editor, and was reverting to the article as it had been for a long while. You should Assume Good Faith. Now you have edited British Empire, you have reverted it to a state that does not represent consensus on the talk page - consensus in this case being two (long-standing) contributors to British Empire agreeing that one (new) contributor trying to add something deemed badly worded, misleading and inappropriate. Two weeks went by and noone else contributed to the debate in favour of the text being added. Did you even read the talk page before you waded in? An apology from you on my talk page wouldn't be out of place, either. Gsd2000 22:07, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
The rules read, "An editor must not perform more than three reverts, in whole or in part, on a single page within a 24-hour period." It matters not which incident you are reverting. Also, WP:AAGF. My regards, ~ UBeR 22:11, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
UBeR is right, it does not matter what you are reverting. A WP:3RR-revert is broadly defined as "undoing, in whole or in part, the actions of another editor or of other editors" (note the plural). Take care! --Stephan Schulz 22:17, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I honestly didn't realise this. However, I don't agree with your blind reversion of the article at hand without contributing to the debate on the talk page, particularly your edit comment "Please stop reverting verfiable information". Gsd2000 22:20, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

There is no Debate, you keep on deleting it without Debate, or with cited sources with proof discrediting the infomation from the University Text. It is well researched from major north american universities, and also used by them. It's upto you to discredit it with Sourced Proof, no just saying you don't agree with research information. Otherwise, you have nothing to back up your claims. Show proof!

Cosmos416 22:24, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

FYI - debate is here. Gsd2000 22:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Cosmos416, can please you quote all relevant paragraphs from the source. This will be helpful. Thank you. ~ UBeR 22:34, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree again. I tried finding relevant excerpts, but drew a total blank at, and nothing relevant at Having the actual text would be a gread help! --Stephan Schulz 22:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
On the assume good faith principle that the words are quoted accurately and in context, I'm not sure about the wording of the mention, nor about its placing in the lead paragraph. It seems to be making a point in a way not appropriate to a neutral article, and a point which is a questionable one. The article on Empire starts by saying how difficult it is to define. The assertion that the British "created violence to take what it wanted" is very questionable; the British Empire hardly aimed to create violence within itself once it was established. Sam Blacketer 23:09, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Sam. Gsd2000 was at least right to put the brakes on Cosmos. With edits that should be discussed beforehand, the 3RR rule is one more honoured in the breach than the observance. The original text of the reverted edit suggests that the book in question is not being summarised accurately - the 'backwardness' paragraph contradicts itself.--Shtove 23:16, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
There is another quote from this contributor/source that is remaining in the article: "However, the fight for control of India was not a conventional one. European powers at the time were simultaneously backwards in terms of their administration, their bureaucracies, and in terms of their military technologies. The resultant of "backwardness made it difficult for any one state to overwhelm the others and create in empire like that in China or India”. European powers were advanced in terms of naval military technologies, and had good weapons to protect their ships at sea, which allowed them to project force into the Indian Ocean." Again this is odd: if India wasn't one, what is a "conventional" fight? European powers were "simultaneously backwards" when this was a time of Europeans dominating the world? The rest may be true, but I'm not sure it's really relevant in the first paragraph of a section on the British East India Company. Gsd2000 23:26, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, that is a weird addition. I agree that India was not a conventional "fight" (assuming this means "military conquest") - most of it was taken over by the East India company without a plan or an organized campaign. It was only taken under direct Crown control much later. But the rest of the comment is weird. Europe was certainly not backwards with respect to military technology, whether Naval or on land. Admininstration and bureaucracy may have been more advanced in China, but probably not in most of the rest of the world. --Stephan Schulz 23:41, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Here is the cited text: Political Economy and the Changing Global Order. The seller lets you search inside, and I'm struggling to find anything remotely related to the text in question. Furthermore, the description says "Bringing together 33 specially commissioned chapters by leading scholars in politics, economic, and international relations, this book provides an authoritative introduction to the theory and practice of international economic relations in the post-Cold War world." - so this isn't even a text about the British Empire, let alone the period in question. Gsd2000 00:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Nice! I didn't know that "search" gives you pages not in the normal preview. Anyways, according to that search, the term "British Empire" occurs exactly once (there is another occurance of the "French Empire" following the lead of the "British"). And the one occurrence is in relation to post-cold-war guerrilla war. So really, this book does not seem to be a useful source for the topic in question. --Stephan Schulz 00:43, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that merits removing the second section of text from the article. Not only are five editors agreeing that the text is fishy, but we have now demonstrated the "source" to be nothing of the sort. Would you agree? (I can't revert now I'm 3RR violating...) Gsd2000 00:45, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. Good job.--Shtove 01:22, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Rather nasty little response from Cosmos146 on my talk page about all of this: [6] Gsd2000 13:47, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah….and that's why you ERASED your PAST ARCHIVE of TALK HISTORY on your user page of YEARS worth of the same FIGHTS, MANY ABOUT THE SAME PAGE.. RIGHT?

MOST of the people here forming a so-called "consensus" is leaning more on the basis of page protectionism, and bias. I'm not saying all, but saying MOST of the people don't have any proof to discredit. My version of the BOOK IS A FEW YEARS OLD……..



I took the paper and paraphrased, summarized, and sourced with quotes (If your in University, you’ll do this when you write 15-25 pages in something called a RESEARCH PAPER).....

BTW, you still have to discredit the information PROPERLY and not use SLEZIE TATICS like puting MISLEADING INFO from 1994 version. Cosmos416 07:13, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I think this discussion will benefit more from light into the contentious text than heat between editors. Cosmos, perhaps you could make a more formal proposal for what you want to include in the article? Very often a disputed claim, if worded slightly differently and toned down, becomes acceptable. Given that the British Empire is a significant subject of academic study, we can almost certainly find multiple sources for what you want to say. Sam Blacketer 11:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I asked earlier, and I'll ask again. Could you please copy all the relevant paragraphs (and page numbers). It would be very helpful! ~ 20:35, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

We don’t need multiple sources. This is from a widely used University textbook, which you had a vote on bias, FALSE information [based on 1994 edition], mine is one of the 2005 version I believe. Go buy the book yourself or check it out at the library. Did you read this???....

"I took the paper, I paraphrased, summarized, and sourced with quotes (If your in University, you’ll do this when you write 15-25 pages in something called a Research Paper)..."

If you guys dispute the accuracy of the content, the bearing is on you to discredit it with relevant sources directly supporting your position. I have given a paper derived from a widely used University Textbook, complied from research based on studies (and sourced) from MIT, Cambridge University, Cornell, etc.. It's all in the book.

I’m now thinking instead of creating a Criticism section over the next couple of weeks because there are many issues where scholars have raised as the British army with hiring Indian soldiers (Sepoy’s: 270,000 [1857]) to fight their own people. That’s one topic and there are at least 10 more I will cover.

Also I will be going threw the whole article to put fact needed symbol because this whole page doesn’t have any sources linked to 95% of the content.

Cosmos416 23:03, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Chill out dude. And you're not the only person to be studying at or have studied at University. There is no need to be so aggressive, or develop a persecution complex. I see that I linked to an old version of the book, so I apologise for that. But I have managed to track down a copy of the paper you refer to, HERE. Everyone can now read it for themselves (see page 54). However, to make others' jobs easier, I'll quote directly from it (something you seem unwilling to do despite requests from other editors), and compare to the text you added to the Wikipedia article.
You wrote: "However, it was not an empire in the traditional sense, as it used native soldiers in its armies and created violence to take what it wanted from its global neighbours...However, the fight for control of India was not a conventional one. European powers at the time were simultaneously backwards in terms of their administration, their bureaucracies, and in terms of their military technologies. The resultant of backwardness made it difficult for any one state to overwhelm the others and create in empire like that in China or India. European powers were advanced in terms of naval military technologies, and had good weapons to protect their ships at sea, which allowed them to project force into the Indian Ocean."
Schwartz wrote: "Western European states were simultaneously backward and advanced (my emphasis there) in terms of their administrative and military technologies. Backwardness made it difficult for any one state to overwhelm the others and create an empire like that in China or India. Superior naval military technologies, however, allowed them to project force into the Americas and Indian Ocean. Europeans could't dominate each other but they could use violence to take what they wanted from many of their global neighbours."
You have totally and utterly misrepresented what Schwartz wrote there. (1) he's talking about Europeans, not the British specifically; (2) he refers to "the Americas and the Indian Ocean", not specifically to India; (3) Schwarz's words about Europe being "simultaneously backward and advanced" are a far, far, far cry from your words, where you snipped out "...and advanced". (4) the conclusion that "(the British Empire) was not an empire in the traditional sense, as it used native soldiers in its armies and created violence to take what it wanted from its global neighbours" is your conclusion, not Schwarz's - nowhere does he make such a claim (5) besides, I can't even see a reference to "native soldiers". If this misrepresentation was deliberate, you should be ashamed of yourself, and if it wasn't... well, I shudder to think... Gsd2000 01:32, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Ooh I go away for the weekend and it all gets very excitable. Nice detective work GSD - a shame it had to be done though. I should add that the author of that article has a slightly unusual take on company activities. This POV is not expressed in the other sources cited in the references section of the article and since the article is (supposedly) compiled from those sources Mr Schwartz's view should not be given primacy. Wiki-Ed 12:09, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the question of whether or not Schwartz was correctly quoted is an entirely different one to whether or not he should be quoted. Gsd2000 00:24, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
If you truly are in a university, lets up hope your plagiarisms doesn't spread there. ~ UBeR 05:04, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't have the book anymore, I actually sold it and got the condensed version with multiple sources complied and thought it would have been good enough, because it is out of my university notes, which had sources and references.

First...I wouldn’t call it plagiarism or misreporting, because I stand by my statement because this is a research notes complied from my professor did when she at McGill University and see used her research combined with a few other texts. My professor made her notes for us by paraphrasing, using her own research and other sources supporting her view with different sources. That does not make it a lie, and again, I stand by it.

Second...If you read the whole book it also dealt and direct quote where it says “they organized this theft through the Dutch and British East India Company”, which I believe needs further input in the ‘’’Criticism’’’ section I will be adding in and expanding in the coming weeks (economic exploitation, slavery, using native soldiers in Asia, Africa, and the America’s, etc.).

Third...Finally, this whole article has a bias/ favoring a certain view, and there are no Citations for 95% of the information on this page. The links said to be sources are few lines at most. I’m adding a source tags for citations also because there are none corresponding to many facts.

Fourth...BTW UBeR is being investigated for Trolling on the Wikipedia: Administrators' notice board and for "His repeated and persistent harassment", "Unfounded sockpuppet accusations, trolling, specious 3rr warning, trolling", sounds allot like what's happening here....

Gsd2000, your twisting facts again, lying to support your own view, and has not answered the question of your sources for all the things you have put in this page, looking at your past history on this page, conflict on your user page for Years which you deleted. Why did you erase it then? .

You should starting putting in sources for 95% of the information that needs sourcing, cause I'm starting to add tags where ever it is needed.

Also read my Third, Fourth, and especially FIRST.

Cosmos416 15:03, 7 March 2007 (UTC

Cosmos146, let's take a look at your Third, Fourth, and especially FIRST points.
First: Regarding your source. I think her research combined with a few other texts would be what we call "original research".
Third: Regarding the style of the article, it might be biased in your opinion, but the article is actually pretty neutral and avoids making the kind of value judgements you have been inserting. This is also partly why there are so few in-line citations - there is little need for them. However, I will concede that there are a few assertions which needs to be referenced.
Fourth: Although this is irrelevant to the article, I understand that Uber originally interceded on your behalf. I didn't see you complaining about him then...
You've already discredited yourself and your proposal to insert a section dealing with material already covered by the article, but slanted to reflect your personal opinion, does not inspire confidence. Wikipedia is not a forum for you to express your prejudice behind a facade of unbalanced misquotes from selected critics. Wiki-Ed 21:46, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd also like to mention that UBeR and I are on opposite ends as far as this rather unrelated issue is concerned. In my opinion, it's fine to avoid eurocentrism, or even to be politically correct, but not at the expense of being actually correct. The British Empire is hardly unique in greedily grabbing what it could get. And it is certainly not unique in using native troops and fostering dissent among its opponents - in fact, if I got this information as part of a quiz question, my first guess would be the Byzantine Empire (but it's trivial to find examples of just this behaviour for e.g. the Persian, the Roman and the Austrian Empires). --Stephan Schulz 22:53, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Wiki-Ed read....

"First...I wouldn’t call it plagiarism or misreporting, because I stand by my statement because this is a research notes complied from my professor did when she at McGill University and see used her research combined with a few other texts. My professor made her notes for us by paraphrasing, using her own research and other sources supporting her view with different sources. That does not make it a lie, and again, I stand by it."

Don't try and discredit something before it even is posted, that's showing your bias with flying colours. The Criticism section is going in, and they is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t. There are many articles research about economic exploitation, slavery, using native soldiers in Asia, Africa, also charge of Eurocentrism, and instances of History distortion, including achievements. These are important things for people to know so they don't get a one sided view.

Also, you and others You should starting putting in sources for 95% of the information that needs sourcing, cause I'm starting to add tags for sources where ever it is needed.

Cosmos416 21:21, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Hold on.. let me get this straight. I am in disbelief here.
Firstly, you wrote, at least twice, "My version of the BOOK IS A FEW YEARS OLD" and then you told us that you "took the paper...paraphrased...summarized, and sourced with quotes (If your in University, you’ll do this when you write 15-25 pages in something called a Research Paper)..."
Then, after we actually locate said text, and find you have completely misquoted it, you change your story thus: "this is a research notes complied from my professor did when she at McGill University and see used her research combined with a few other texts. My professor made her notes for us by paraphrasing, using her own research and other sources supporting her view with different sources."
That means, you never even read the text for yourself. I'll say this to you again: you should be ashamed of yourself. You have committed the worst possible sin in academia: lying. Lying about your research and your sources. The icing on the cake is that you were simultaneously insulting your fellow editors [7]. Gsd2000 00:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Gsd2000, if you don't stop with the personal attacks, I'm going to report you, I explained what happened, so leave it alone, be mature, and start being productive. Go through the article, add specific quotations and where all the information came with pages number, author,etc..

I did read the book, but like I said I sold it. I used the researched notes complied on her own research, and several other sources with deals with many aspects of which like I said I will go into the Criticism section. You keep repeating yourself over.

You still have not shown any sources of your personal entries history, and 95% is unsourced entries.

You can also get a detailed copy of user Gsd2000 page talk history, in which shows a disturbing pattern over years of serious trouble with users on wikipedia [8]

Cosmos416 02:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

That is totally out of order, and taken totally out of context (seems to be a recurring theme with you). If you really must trawl through my talk page history, that user, Userofwiki was a sockpuppet violating several WP rules, and ended up being banned, as did the sockpuppeteer, Somethingoranother. When you deal with people determined to disrupt or vandalise Wikipedia, you end up with nasty messages on your talk page - just like you wrote on mine. That's it, I'm not going to converse with you any more. Gsd2000 11:58, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

It’s not totally out of order, because your posting personal messages to on the board, and you did it first, so it’s fair game. Last time I’m going to ask you stop attacking me, then I report you because I explained myself several times, and since I can’t write out my whole research notes, you assume a more baseless view. That’s fine, but please keep it to yourself. You keep harassing people, and then claiming your being harassed.

This will not be your playground for your attacks on me, so I repeat, last time I asking you. Stop with theses childish games. Don’t make anymore disparaging comments against user(s). Help expand the Criticism section I’ve already started, so we can make it more transparent, and let’s be productive, and get everything that needs a source, sourced. Cosmos416 15:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


It's a bit rich for someone who thinks a reputable source is some notes they made whilst listening to a professor who read some book someplace sometime, to add a "this article does not cite its sources". If you don't articulate on this talk page what needs to have its sources cited, I'm going to remove this tag. Gsd2000 00:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

In fact, I've removed it. As the editor adding it lost the trust of his fellow editors, he can start to regain that trust by articulating here what facts need sources citing. Simply saying "95% of them do" is not enough. Gsd2000 00:09, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, he is correct. Some of Wikipedia's most fundamental rules include WP:V and WP:OR. Wales stands very strongly to these rules, and even argues unsourced information has no place on Wikipedia. For an article this size, 5 references doesn't quite cut it.
While, indeed, most of the statements in the article might be true, there has to be an source to back it up. Remember, "Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." ~ UBeR 01:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
There are eleven references and five notes (only four of which are actually references themselves), thirteen distinct sources in total. The multiple volume Oxford and Cambridge Histories of the British Empire are particularly extensive. If someone is challenging a fact in the article, then I agree a [citation needed] is the right thing to do, but as far as I'm concerned, this article does cite its sources. I don't think a tag at the top of the article is appropriate, myself. Gsd2000 01:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
But it is an issue, especially with history articles. An article on technology or on recent political controversies really has to have a citation for every other line (although, in my experience, many are out of date and lead nowhere). But in a history article, much depends on synthesis of the sources, so inline (or in-paragraph) citation can get complicated.
At a minimum, quotations and distinct opinions must be cited immediately. Beyond that, I'm not sure. Insistence on citation of sources for every assertion of fact would take WP beyond its role as a tertiary source. There are policy pages devoted to the various difficulties raised here, but I haven't seen any one dealing with the peculiar problems of compiling history for WP.--Shtove 02:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
From WP:A, "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a publisher of original thought. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is whether material is attributable to a reliable published source, not whether it is true. . . .
Although everything in Wikipedia must be attributable, in practice not all material is attributed. Editors should provide attribution for quotations and for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, or it may be removed. The burden of evidence lies with the editor wishing to add or retain the material. If an article topic has no reliable sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it." ~ 02:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Fair points, and all of which I think underline my point that instead of plastering the tag at the top of the article, there should be discussion on this talk page of what portions of the article need to have sources, or targeted [citation needed] within the article, beyond what can be found in the texts already listed in the References section. Most of the article is a bog standard history of the British Empire that all of those eleven sources agree on. Gsd2000 02:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I see one of the problems. While there are 13 sources, only two are actually cited within the article. That is, 11 of the sources are not being attributed. See, for example, WP:CITE. ("It is crucial that complete references be provided for each distinct edition referred to (or cited) in the article, and that each such in-line citation provide enough information to distinguish between editions.") ~ UBeR 02:40, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that exact attribution is useful, but I read the section you quote as relating to the completeness of the reference ("Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, second edition, Ursa Minor Publishing, Stardate 1891282), not the requirement to attribute each individual fact to a distinct source (that would be extremely tedious). --Stephan Schulz 07:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Compare this article with Spanish Empire which too relies on a References section rather than specific inline references. There is no need to go OTT here. You can't inline reference everything, as Shtove says. Gsd2000 02:46, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, they're not my rules; they're Wikipedia's. Wikipedia's reputation as a reliable tertiary source lies on these guidelines. They're of utmost importance. Second, it's a fallacy to assume because one article does a wrong thing, it's appropriate for another to follow suit. Now surely if there are references that actually do come in concord with this article, then they can be attributed to specific things. How can I know which statement is attributed to which source? How can I verify some statement made here? This is the purpose of these Wikipedia guidelines. ~ UBeR 05:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

No, anything remotely that sounds like a fact needs a citation. Go down the page, look at the body of information, and there is no corresponding facts for almost all of the information given. That's suspicious and needs to be fixed. If no accurate or reliable sourced is determined, it will be removed.

You can compare lots of articles, but you need specific citations as other history articles on wikipedia has, there are virtually none corresponding to the vast amounts of information, that's what I mean by 95%. You don't want a one-sided view, right? You r fighting so much for sources, and your right, we do need to source facts. Additionally, we need to add more to the article to make it more transparent, like adding in the Criticism section, and also more into the Economic aspect also including slavery and exploitation.

BTW user Gsd2000...."There are eleven references and five notes (only four of which are actually references themselves), thirteen distinct sources in total. The multiple volume Oxford and Cambridge Histories of the British Empire are particularly extensive. If someone is challenging a fact in the article, then I agree a [citation needed] is the right thing to do, but as far as I'm concerned, this article does cite its sources. I don't think a tag at the top of the article is appropriate, myself. Gsd2000 01:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)"

That's a joke right? Point out exactly where it speaks for 95%?? Source it, put your money where your mouth is. Cause I'm having a hard time for finding almost ALL the information in the article relating on very few sources.

Cosmos416 02:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

It's obviously not a joke. I am debating with on this page with UBeR and others, reading their points and replying with mine. Until you can find it in yourself to politely do the same, I think you should stop chiming in. Given your conduct here, as I say above, you have a lot of trust to reearn, Cosmos416. Gsd2000 11:49, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Again, last time I’m going to ask you stop attacking me, then I report you because I explained myself several times, and since I can’t write out my whole research notes, you assume a more baseless view. That’s fine, but please keep it to yourself. IIf anyone has to "reearn" anything, it's you shown by your lack of providing any sources, continued page protectionism, and making false claims against users, all of which shown in these pages and your own history talk page. I’m new here, and since I have objections about the quality and transparency of the article, you have a more bias, and personal objections about me, and my views, when throughout your history adding to the page, have not sourced anything remotely helpful to your info entries.

I have at the very least research notes complied with several sources, while you continue to avoid any subject to where you added to this article, and never sourced, and how to revert everything on these pages for years, claiming the same thing, over and over. I’m not going to let you push around people anymore, because you don’t give anyone even a chance. You keep harassing people, and then claiming your being harassed.

This will not be your playground for your attacks on me, so I repeat, last time I asking you. Stop with theses childish games. Don’t make anymore disparaging comments against user(s). Help expand the Criticism section I’ve already started, so we can make it more transparent, and let’s be productive, and get everything that needs a source, sourced.

Cosmos416 15:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

UBeR reminded us "Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth", but citing a source is assuming that source is "truth", where in reality it is just the opinion of the author of a published work.
We use the rule that Editors should provide attribution for quotations and for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged but how can you judge when someone who uses original research from biased sources and pushes a particular POV will challenge a given section?
Tiresome though it is, I think we need to stick tags in and find a variety of sources to illustrate that the article summarises the current state of academic opinion. Some editors will never read the references used to construct the article. They'll continue to make changes to suit their own point of view until they are forced to do so by strings of references. Wiki-Ed 13:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
This is the first time I've seen the attribution/citation point raised in a general way for history articles - and I think UBeR is right, but it's a tricky situation. As far as I can tell, WP policy requires inline citation for quotes, academic opinions, and for assertions of fact to which the editor might reasonably anticipate a challenge. The first two categories are not a problem, but the third is. I agree with Wiki-ed on that.
Most of the stuff I've posted is historical biography, with very few inline citations - the articles rely on reference sections, naming the books from which I took notes to compile the various entires. So, when I compare my contributions to one of my most used sources, the Dictionary of National Biography, it's clear that WP is a lesser source. But in providing inline citations the DNB is almost invariably referring to primary sources. WP only claims to be a tertiary source - a report of what the experts say about the particular subject.
UBeR put a non-attribution tag on Spanish Empire, which is a good article. But he is making a sound point. Problem is - how to fix it? There's a lot to talk about.--Shtove 20:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, there's all this information on this page that must have come somewhere. There are also 11 references listed in the "references" section, but not listed in the rest of the article. So unless this entire article was original research, there ought to be some concord with the article is saying and what other sources are saying. ~ UBeR 02:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
It's definitely not original research. I believe much of it is drawn from the books listed (as you can see I've found some bits very quickly from two of those authors) and they could be used to support nearly all of the tags I've inserted. Obviously this would be bad form so ideally we need to include a wider variety of texts. However, in the short term let's address removing the tags? Wiki-Ed 10:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Yuck. I've made a start on this. Sorry it makes the article look a bit scruffy, but if we're going to be pedantic about it then we might as well go all the way. I think we can provide references for a lot of the tags very quickly. I'll see what I can do this afternoon with the sources I have available here. Wiki-Ed 14:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Nice work Wiki-Ed, and Stephan Schulz. I'll try to help out some more at the weekend. Gsd2000 01:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually - I'm starting to think we've gone overboard here. WP:V: "Attribution is required for direct quotes and for material that is challenged or likely to be challenged." The vast majority of this text is uncontentious and easily confirmed in the most cursory of texts about the British Empire. True, there are some weasel words and a some POV leaking in (these should be removed, Wiki-Ed has already done a bit), but neither user - UBeR nor the other chap - who added the tag has actually challenged any specific fact in the article (I might also add, it doesn't look like they're going to help out either finding sources). The fact is that this article does cite its sources - anyone can look in any of those books listed in the References section and confirm the facts. Just to requote the policy: "Attribution is required for direct quotes and for material that is challenged or likely to be challenged." So again, I think we have gone overboard. Gsd2000 14:43, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course I agree with you that the article is relatively non-contentious, but the key words from the policy are "likely to be challenged". We cannot guess what certain people might challenge but we can't go wrong by assuming that they will challenge everything because they won't read the referenced sources. Although I think you're right that my tagging is going "overboard", I see no harm in tightening up the writing and sourcing statements where applicable. It should save time in the long term. Wiki-Ed 20:24, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
OK. I still think though that - now the article is pretty much written already - it's more efficient to cross each bridge as we come to it (ie as and when each fact is challenged) - than to go through and guess what facts might be challenged. (This article has existed in its current state for a long long time, and I haven't seen many facts challenged). Also, if he doesn't have the books to dip into to find references, I encourage UBeR to help out by challenging some specific facts. It's too easy to swoop in and add tags at the tops of articles. Gsd2000 21:50, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, the subject of references was discussed in the peer review. And, it's a "good article". Keep the [citation needed] things in there , but I move to remove the tag at the top. Gsd2000 21:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, I think you are misunderstanding the policies and my purpose here. First of all, there is no need for any contention here; my purpose is to benefit the article. Already, we have seen improvements. Articles are scrutinized not to desecrate them, but rather to aid them into making great articles.
While you're right that quotations and material likely to be challenged absolutely have to be sourced, also note, "Any edit lacking attribution may be removed, and the final burden of evidence lies with the editor wishing to add or retain the material. . . . If you encounter a harmless statement that lacks attribution, you can tag it with the {{fact}} template, or move it to the article's talk page with a comment requesting attribution. If the whole article or an entire section is unsourced, you can use the {{unreferenced}} template. Absurd unsourced claims and original research should be deleted rather than tagged or moved to a talk page." The problem isn't that there aren't sources which confirm the information; the problem is that references are not being attributed or used correctly within the article (however, as I noted, this is being improved upon). ~ UBeR 22:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I go against UBeR for the moment. Quotations must be attributed immediately. Academic opinions too. That's clear. And facts 'likely to be challenged' ought to be attributed - but this issue is only raised when the challenge actually happens: and so the WP-litigation begins.
The policy pages seem unclear on the rules of litigation. First, there's Equivocation in the use of the terms Attribution and Sourced. Second, there's no guidance given for broad historial subjects - this article, for example, where the sources themselves are summaries of fact and don't rely on primary sources. Third, there is an argument from policy (the "appalling vista"): if inline citation is demanded for every summary of fact (read as, fact that is likely to be challenged), then almost every historical article that hasn't been subjected to the finest WP admin scrutiny could be unpicked and reduced to a stub. Perhaps that's in WP's long-term interest (Jimbo Wales reckons Brittannica will be 'crushed' within five years - Great! A competing source of knowledge sent packing. Buh-wah-ha-ha!)
In the end, I wonder what is the proper attribution of a source in a paragraph that broadly syntheses knowledge on a subject spanning decades or centuries? I've tried to be precise in addressing the issue, but it's tricky. Look at Talk:British Isles#Sources, where there's an ongoing debate about the origins of the term, which involves a broad view of history informed by piecemeal sources.--Shtove 01:23, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


The sentence in the first para, "British influence remains strong throughout the world, such as in economic practice, legal and governmental systems, militarily, society, sports (such as cricket and football), educational systems, and the English language itself.", should - I think - be expanded upon in the final Legacy section of this article. I've made a first stab at this... Gsd2000 01:47, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Someone has removed the addition i made to the legacy paragraph-about the increase in popular awareness of the empire due to popular historians such as Niall Ferguson. As well as this, someone removed my referrence to the ongoing Gibraltar question. Why-this was not opinion, but fact, the people of Gibraltar voted to stay British-if some people with an anti imperial agenda are now deleting the truth because it hurts then they dont belong here

There are too many unsourced comments, anecdotes and opinions in this article already. Your opinion that popular awareness of the Empire has increased (due to one book) does not belong here unless you can turn it into a fact by citing an acceptable source to prove that people were previously less aware and are now more aware than they were. This is somewhat unlikely since previous generations were a part of the British Empire, so awareness can hardly have risen since its disestablishment. Your anecdote about the Falklands/Hong Kong is not really relevant and is unsourced. The material you inserted about Gibraltar might well be correct, although it is unsourced, but again, it's not really relevant. Wiki-Ed 11:29, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

I think it was very relevant-i can understand removing the book reference, however, Falkands and Gibraltar ARE relevant points because they ARE remnants of the empire and DO affect British relations with Spain and Argentina int he modern world. Hence i have reworded the reference to Gibraltar and put it in the legacy section-complete with a relavent reference.

GSD appears to have rephrased it, but in general fine, I take your point that they affect modern relationships. However, I think much more information about both cases is available on their respective pages. Wiki-Ed 19:50, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


I would be interested in seeing a map included in the article that demonstrates all colonies or land that has ever been historically part of the British Empire -- i.e. including what is now the United States, India, etc. -- as well as the maps that demonstrate the empire at various times. Is this appropriate for the article? Anyone have a relevant image or document? /Blaxthos 01:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

There's one floating around somewhere. I think some of the links at the bottom cover the topic of evolution, and similar maps can be found at The empire on which the sun never sets.Wiki-Ed 11:35, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
There's an article for this, Evolution of the British Empire. The problem with this kind of article though is that people go overboard and include ridiculous things like the regal possessions in France dating from William the Conqueror and the post-WW2 British occupation zones in Germany and Japan. You also get into difficult areas with "informal empire" - where Britain was not the official sovereign power but through economic and military leverage effectively was so. The concept of a list of "lands that have ever been ruled over by a English or British regal, governmental or military administrative authority" is a list for a list's sake, or "listcruft" (see WP:LC. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 17:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Ireland again

Any views on Gashmak's introductory comments on this topic [9] ? The lack of awareness of the significance of colonisation in Ireland is strange. Plus Ireland didn't have representation in the Westminster parliament until very late in the day.--Shtove 13:19, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Representation is not the point. Before 1801, Ireland's status was similar to the Isle of Man or Channel Islands, in that it was a possession of the crown. All of these arrangements dated from medieval times, and were feudal in origin. The British Empire, on the other hand, was a product of the Age of Discovery, and begins with the English discovery of Newfoundland in the 1490s. Ironically, the only time Ireland (or rather part of it) became part of the "British Empire", as it was still called, was when it became a self-governing dominion in 1922. That arrangement didn't last long, and nor did the term "British Empire", which was soon to be replaced with British Commonwealth. TharkunColl 14:59, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

1800-not that late in the day-i think its valid to make the difference between Ireland and other colonys-Ireland had 120 years of representation at westminster,a nd part still does lets not forget-so Ireland or parts thereof have had near 2 centuries of representation in westmister-i find it valid because it makes the clear difference between the relations between Britain and Ireland, and Britain and its proper, colonys —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gashmak (talkcontribs)

That addition smacks of OR to me. If you don't want it stricken from the article you should come up with some references demonstrating that (a) there is a debate (in academia, outside of this talk page) and (b) the reasons for suggesting Ireland was not a colony proper are not your own observations. The Oxford History of the British Empire Origins of Empire volume devotes a large amount of space to discussing how Ireland was one of the first English forays into colonialism. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 00:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


Firstly, this is a public encyclopedia-you have no right to threaten to strike out someones contribution just because you personally don’t get it. But lets look at this logically. The comparison ive used is Gibraltar. Prior to the early 1920s, they were both territories under the ultimate sovereignty of the UK govt-correct? Howevr, Gibraltar was never represented by MPs in London-Ireland was-that’s not opinion, that’s fact. Consider the following UK govt publication about the desifre amongst many in Gibraltar for unification with Britain to the extent that they are represented in Westminster _________________________________________________________________ The British Government has rejected the option of Gibraltar's integration with the United Kingdom, with representation at Westminster, on the grounds that this would exacerbate tensions with Spain over sovereignty. However, it continues to enjoy popular support in Gibraltar, and would disarm Spain of the argument that British sovereignty was a colonial anachronism. Gibraltar's status vis a" vis the United Kingdom, would be similar to that of Ceuta and Melilla vis a" vis Spain, although Morocco's claim to these territories remain.

now-common sense and pure logic dictates the following-if the integration of Gibraltar with London would remove Spain of the right to call Britain in Gib a “colonial anachronism”, it therefore removes the moral and political right to call it a colony-BECAUSE it is represented in the UK parliament. It would thus have the same status that Ireland did, and Northern Ireland still does.By any definition, that means the UK is not in recent centuries been a colonial ,aster of Irleand-rather the senior partner in an admittedly English/British dominated Union.

If that doesn’t persuade you-consider this. Wikipedia itself declares colonies to be:

In the modern usage, colony is generally distinguished from overseas possession. In the former case, the local population, or at least the part of it not coming from the "metropolitan" (controlling) country, does not enjoy full citizenship rights. The political process is generally restricted, especially excluding questions of independence.

Britain never excluded Irish people from citizenship rights-not in the modern democratic era of the UK from the mid 19th century.

Clearly the section stands without a need for unecesary references. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gashmak (talkcontribs)

"Firstly, this is a public encyclopedia-you have no right to threaten to strike out someones contribution just because you personally don’t get it." - actually you are wrong there. The encyclopaedia may be public, but that does not mean everyone has a right to add anything they like - read WP's policies on this - as you are adding material, the burden is on you: WP:V#Burden_of_evidence. As for the specifics of your contribution, you have again provided original research (extrapolating from Gibraltar on the basis of "common sense and pure logic" - that is to say, your common sense and logic) and Wikipedia articles cannot be used to verify other Wikipedia articles. That would be circular. As per the guidelines, I'm giving you the chance to cite sources. If you don't I shall remove it. And if I don't, it may be someone else that does it, because you are not following WP policies. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 02:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

The point is though that Ireland was never considered part of the empire by the people who lived at the time. Before 1801 it was in personal union with the crown, and after that date it was part of the UK itself. As I said before, the Irish Free State joined the empire/commonwealth in 1922, and not before. TharkunColl 07:45, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm pasting in this contrib from Gsd2000 from further up this page:
The following references show that it is right to begin discussion of the British Empire with English colonization of Ireland.
  • Niall Ferguson, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power: "In the early 1600s, a group of intrepid pioneers sailed across the sea to settle and, the hoped, civilize a primitive country inhabited by - as they saw it - a 'barbarous people' - Ireland. It was hte Tudor queens...who authorized the systematic colonization of Ireland...By 1673 an anonymous pamphleteer could confidently described Ireland as 'one of the chiefest members of the British Empire'."
  • Lawrence James, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire: "The first colonisation of North America was contemperaneous with the far larger settlement of Ireland...120,000 colonists arrived to help undertake what Francis Bacon revealingly called the "reduction to civility"...of the Irish. On both sides of the Atlantic the settlers faced sporadic but determined resistance..."
  • Nicholas Canny, Origins of Empire, The Oxford History of the British Empire: "Much has been written about [the] interconnections between British 'domestic' and 'overseas' colonization, which has sometimes been likened to the connection between the reconquista of Moorish Spain and the conquest of New Spain. In both instances, historians find it puzzling that procedures and justifications that they associate with overseas colonization were employed within Europe into the early modern period...[several pages later]...The most obvious oversight is the extent to which the plantation in Ulster which was the costliest British colonial undertaking of the 17th century, both popularized the concept of 'British' as opposed to 'English' colonization, and provided the first example of how a British colony and Empire might function."
I think those citations cover it.
I've no difficulty with Ireland as part of the union post 1801. Its status prior to that is tricky, and we shouldn't waste time over trying to decide whether Ireland was part of the early empire. I've pointed out several times that Irish historians spend a lot of time puzzling over the Kingdom or Colony conundrum, and rehashing that here would be a distraction. But I think the Ireland section should make the point that the policies followed in Ireland in the 16th-17th centuries formed the basis of the colonial empire.
I would cut Gashmak's preamble, and confine the Ireland section to a brief description of the colonising effort and how it was extended to America, without suggesting that Ireland was part of the empire.--Shtove 09:23, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I did this, essentially reverting to its previous state but removing the opening clause claiming about the first substantial "achievement" of the empire, as per your suggestion. I suspect our friend Gashmak may protest, and possibly even revert, but his preamble analysis was pure original research. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 12:47, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry guys, I thought I had removed all the Gashmak edits to the article last week. I agree that they should come out, but talking of sources could someone (knowledgeable) add the references and remove the other tags? Particularly the ugly primary source box for the 1541 act. I'm afraid my own books don't cover this period/area in detail. Wiki-Ed 12:55, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Okay - it's that 1673 pamphlet that described Ireland as part of the British Empire that convinced me. But, I still feel that we run into a problem, because Norman (not English, be it noted) colonisation of Ireland began way back in the 12th century, and no one would ever say that the British Empire began in medieval times. People seemed to have homed in on 1541, when Henry VIII changed his title from Lord to King of Ireland, but this was just a change in nomenclature and was connected with his break from Rome. As has been pointed out, the modern phase of colonistion only began in Stuart times. The term British Empire, of course, was coined by John Dee in late Elizabethan times, so it cannot have existed before that time anyway. TharkunColl 11:07, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

You are all academic cowards-unable and unwilling to acknowledge entire sides of long established debates-you have no place on a wikipedia-your refusal to leave well alone that which you do not agree with is verging ont he fascistic —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gashmak (talkcontribs)

Gashmak, look up Godwin's law - you're getting close. Surprised you didn't call us all pigs.
The time line for English colonisation is:
The process starts about 15 years after the Act for Kingly Title in 1541 - there are many sources that make the connection, but I don't have one that does it in a short, quotable passage. 1541 is not just a change of name - as I've said before to Tharkun - it's the start of the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland.
Plus: I'm not insisting that Ireland be called part of the empire - it's just the continuity of colonisation that I think is worth describing.--Shtove 21:40, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

that Godwin law is simply a redoubt for academic cowardice, for an inability to accept they are wrong-the definition was fascistic-by which i mean the refusal to tolerate other opinions-there are more fascistic attitudes than those held by the nazis.

Gashmak, please remember to sign your comments with four tildes like this: "~~~~". Ian Goggin 20:40, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

i do but it just doesnt seem to work-hopefully its just a temporary glitch on my computers part

Just noticed all the above, haven't read it all but I was going to come on here to say- should Ireland be included in this article? It was never part of the British empire, it should stick to its own articles. Ireland is a totally different section of British history to the empire.--Josquius 11:58, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

See further up the talk page - search for "The following references show that it is right to begin discussion of the British Empire with English colonization of Ireland." The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 12:29, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Josiquis-dont waste time arguing, the majority of people here have an `isnt Ireland unfortuante, lets just group it with half the rest of the world and call its a poor oppressed colony" agenda —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gashmak (talkcontribs)

The "majority of people"? You mean the academic sources quoted above? Wiki-Ed 09:18, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed introduction

The reason I've attempted change of the introduction is because as a rule the first sentence of an article should describe what the subject of the article is; the first sentence as it currently stands technically does so, but in a rather tautological way (if I were to click here from a list of large empires, and I was curious to know about the largest one, I would be informed that the British Empire was the largest land empire). What are editors' views of this text for an introduction?:

The British Empire was the territory - in the form of colonies, dominions, protectorates, client monarchies, and other states - ruled by the United Kingdom. It was a product of the European age of discovery, which began with the European maritime explorations of the 15th century. At its height, it was the most extensive empire in world history and was the world's foremost global power for a substantial period.

--Comments appreciated, Slac speak up! 05:53, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I didn't agree when you first changed it, as you know (cos I reverted it), but subsequently I've come round to your view. I agree with the above opener. It does need a definition-type first sentence. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 10:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

If I recall correctly, The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick, your original comment was that it was "clumsy", which it is, even though the underlying proposal is sound. It was not a territory, it was a collection of territories etc etc (as illustrated by the sub-clause) and it was not ruled by the United Kingdom (a) literally, because the UK was not an entity at the beginning and (b) because ruled implies a degree of control it did not necessarily have over all of that area. Moreover, it was not just about land. It was bound together by the sealanes and control of those routes was essential to its control of the land. Additionally, some historians would be more interested in the social and economic aspects of the Empire. These did not correspond neatly to the rose pink areas on a map. In summary, I'm not saying the current form of words is necessarily the best, but it is not inaccurate. I think this requires more thought. Wiki-Ed 15:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

How about "ruled by Britain"? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 17:07, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that's still tautological. The word "British" shows which nation it relates to and the word "empire" is an overarching term to describe the nature of the geographical area of control and associated socio-economic elements. The additional text tries to delimit both words unsuccesfully (imho). I think some more editors need to offer opinions now. Wiki-Ed 20:35, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Britannica - "Worldwide system of dependencies—colonies, protectorates, and other territories—that over a span of three centuries came under the British government."; Encarta - "name given to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the former dominions, colonies, and other territories throughout the world that owed allegiance to the British Crown from the late 1500s to the middle of the 20th century.". Why should WP be any different? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 22:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
The UK was never part of the British Empire. TharkunColl 23:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Was Rome not part of the Roman Empire, and Japan not part of the Japanese Empire? When Churchill said Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour." was he not referring to Britain itself? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 01:02, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
As it happens, in strict law Rome was not part of the Roman Empire. The emperor's authority in Rome was based on a different legal principle, and was much more limited, than his authority over the provinces - all of which had governors of one sort or another, unlike Rome which was free to run its own affairs. As for Japan, I don't know, but I suspect the position was similar to the British Empire, inasmuch as the term "British Empire" was never in official use at all. Churchill's speech was just using the term metaphorically - and no doubt somewhat ironically, as he of all people knew that the empire could never survive the war, having liquidated all its worldwide assets and investments in order to pay for it. TharkunColl 07:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
If you wish to argue that line, you'd have to provide some sources backing up that view, and showing how Encarta is wrong and Churchill didn't really mean "British Empire". Seems like your OR to me. It's irrelevant to the BE but I also disagree with your analysis of the Roman Empire. Rome was its capital. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 00:36, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
ps see also the 1911 Britannica [10], clearly including the UK as part of the BE. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 00:47, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Britannica and Encarta disagree with one another and both of them make assertions which are not supported by many of the reference sources used to write the article. It is not so much a case of finding a source to say "Encarta is Wrong!" as finding a consensus between multiple sources. They both generalise on some rather debatable points; our current introduction avoids these pitfalls. Wiki-Ed 09:26, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I think this discussion has become diverted somewhat. What about my original edit of "under the crown of the United Kingdom" or "under the crown of Great Britain" if you prefer? For those who object that it sounds anachronistic, remember not to be presentist: it's impossible to describe the office of the Caliphate without invoking contemporary Islamic theology e.g. Slac speak up! 02:15, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

There is no crown of the United Kingdom - it's still Queen of England, Queen of Scotland, Queen of Ireland. As far as I know.--Shtove 22:30, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
On a side-note, my original edit referred to "the territory (followed by a descriptive clause)", not "a territory". Slac speak up! 02:16, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's right. Presentism means distorting the past by analysing it with contemporary views eg. saying "The British Empire was evil because it had slaves". That's what we are trying to avoid. The "British Empire" was never an official term; it never had legal or specific boundaries such as those you seek to introduce to the intro. By avoiding a modern definition of an entity that had no fixed contemporary description the article avoids anachronistic analysis. Wiki-Ed 09:26, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether the British Empire was an "official" term. It has been part of the English language for hundreds of years. There are millions of maps coloured pink with legends saying "British Empire". It's nonsense to claim that one cannot define in one sentence the term "British Empire", or that one should not because it was not an official term. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick 12:26, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I wasn't being clear. What I mean is, I don't think we can define it in a single sentence because it is a general term for a complicated entity. Wiki-Ed 14:13, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Moving map?

Canada provinces evolution.gif

Anyone able to make a moving map of the Empire, somewhat like the one to the right regarding the evolution of Canada? Lexicon (talk) 16:43, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

British Empire evolution3.gif
There is one here, though it could be more detailed.. --Astrokey44 09:25, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't look entirely accurate to me.

  • The map should probably update on a regular basis (perhaps a bit more slowly) rather than jumping forward arbitrarily.
  • Might be better to date it 1497 (Cabot) to 1997 (Hong Kong).
  • Did the Statute of Westminster really cause Australia, Canada and NZ to secede in 1938?
  • Was Ireland really a part of the empire up until 1974?

Wiki-Ed 11:59, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, (Canada at least) really truly became a fully independent country, and not part of the Empire, after the Statute of Westminster (in 1931). I agree that the map should move slower. Lexicon (talk) 12:52, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
But even the states that were fully independent after 1931 were still described as being part of the Empire, whilst that term remained in use. TharkunColl 13:49, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
By whom? I'm sure not everyone thought so. Did the British Empire last until 1982 for Canada (when we patriated our constitution)? Lexicon (talk) 19:56, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Difficult question which partly ties into the definition discussion above. The "British Empire" was never an official statutory term (afaik) so how can one delimit it? It turned into the Commonwealth in 1949, but that doesn't help much as the UK still held on to quite a lot of territory for at least 45 years after that point (indeed, it still does). In any case, I would find it rather odd to think that Canada, Australia etc "left" at any time before WWII. Wiki-Ed 20:19, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Canada, Australia, etc. never left the Empire. So the question becomes, when did the Empire end? When were people still using the term as something contemporary, rather than something that was no more? Probably sometime in the early 1960s. Or how about 1973 when the Imperial Preference as far as trade was concerned came to an end, with the UK's accession to the EEC? Any date is arbitrary. TharkunColl 21:54, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I hate to be picky, but the moving map of the empire is wrong-at the date 1660, it shows Scotland as a part of the empire-at that point Scotland and England were not in political union-that happened in 1707-prior to that they merely shared the same head of state-their government and foreign policies were very much seperate-to the extent that even witht he same King, Scotland and England still went to war int he period between 1603, when the union of the crowns occured, and 1707, when England anad Scotland signed the act of union-beomcing one political state, so at 1660, Scotland should not be shown as part of the same state as England Gashmak 16:41, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Plus at the stage 1959,the map shows Ghana as part of the empire-infact it achieved indepedence in 1957 Gashmak 16:43, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Maybe there should be some statement to the effect that there was never an official founding OR abolition of the British empire-as confirmed by the fact that much of the oldest, original colonies-ie Bermuda, are still British territory Gashmak 16:45, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Population info

"By 1921, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's population.[1]"

Looking over World Population figures, I have doubts about this, given it hit 2 billion in 1928. Can we get the actual figures from the source? Brokenwit 01:14, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

It says "about" and "approximately", presumably because people don't trust the overall population statistics or the proportion living within the BE at that time. In any case a quarter is the nearest fraction. Wiki-Ed 10:23, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

given that the British empire at that time-including the dominions and the technically independent mid east client states-ruled 1/4 of the global population, its as near as correct as we can get id say Gashmak 21:10, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


I added the infobox using information from the article. If anyone has anything they'd like to add or if any of the info was faulty, feel free to correct it. Also, if any one has a complete list of the Regional Capitals, please add them where stated.

Why? The article uses the existing format for a reason: You cannot summarise certain entities with an "infobox". A summary can come across as original research because it glosses over significant historical complexities, many of which are discussed on this talk page. For example, why 1497 to 1950 – that’s not come from the article - who picked those dates? Why have you used the 1921 map when the consensus has been the existing one for so long? The Union Flag was not the flag of the British Empire for the first few centuries (it didn't exist). Why have you decided that the Prime Minister suddenly became an important figure in 1721? Wiki-Ed 09:30, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
The article uses it's format for no real reason, and it's alone amongst it's contemporaries in not having a quick summary infobox. Considering I based the entire format on the Spanish and Roman Empire's boxes it can't have been that out of place. 1497 and 1950 were in the first draft of my addition, I later changed it to 1585 with a notation of Irish colonization at the bottom to 1952 and the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II. The existing map is fine but it didn't fit in with the infobox as the 1921 map not only matches the others used in infoboxes but also the population statistics given. As for the Union Flag, yes that is true but isn't the standard to use the most recent flag? And again in my final edit, it listed Sir Robert Walpole as the first Prime Minister taking office in 1721 because that is in continuity with all other lists on Wikipedia. I'm going to restore it to my last edit form until there's more of a consensus here. 09:48, 5 June 2007 (EST)
No, that’s not the way it works. You get the consensus then you make the big change. Just because other articles use a certain style or have a certain picture does not mean that this one should. As you will see from this talk page, there are a number of contentious assumptions in your proposed draft. This is a history article. It attempts to cover the development of a hard-to-define entity; the infobox would skip past this history to make its own definitions with a sample of factoids and figures.
As far as I know the flags were different in each dominion and colony and the Union flag was simply the flag of the UK (the coat of arms also changed quite a few times); the dates are highly debatable; Robert Walpole being first Prime Minister is also debated, and the Prime Minister/Monarch were not the only rulers; system of government would have been a constitutional monarchy towards the end, but certainly wasn’t at the beginning or during the mid-1600s. Also the map is really a picture – most articles start with a picture of the subject. This is not always possible so enterprising authors prepare images. We don’t need to resort to that because we have a picture of a contemporary map – changing it to fit with the 1921 population figures is tail leading dog.
In short I don’t think a simple summary does the entity justice – in fact I think it is misleading. Wiki-Ed 15:02, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
The other articles though are dealing with similar subject matter and have equally historical subjects with equally debatable information. The point of summarizing in an infobox is because not everyone has the time or interest to read through the whole article. Someone doing, say, a high school research paper on the Imperialist era would have to read the whole article to get facts that can be easily stated in an infobox.
There's also a consensus on enough information to create a viable summary. Founded in the 16th Century, formally ended in the 1950's, a monarchy (later constitutional but only insomuch as the Dominions are concerned), area and population as of 1921, currency and language. As for the flag, the Union Flag serves as the official Royal flag of all Commonwealth Realms and before that of the Dominions. The alternative to it would be either the Red/Blue Ensign or the Royal Standard. And the contemporary map in current use is both hard to read and in some instances (Greenland) apparently wrong.
I feel an infobox takes nothing away from the subject or the article, it merely highlights the important facts of the British Empire and provides for easier use of this article for quick research. This is after all an encyclopedia, shouldn't getting people useful information quickly and concisely be a goal?

The goal is to provide accurate information. Wikipedia is not here to encourage students to be lazy. Information must be qualified - which is a pretty important thing for a history student to realise. For example, the Empire was not "founded", it evolved. You've decided this happened in the mid-sixteenth century, but two of the authors cited in the references section quite like 1497. It was never "formally ended" because it was never a formal institution, moreover those same authors quite like 1997 (Hong Kong) as a finishing date, which would add a century to what you had in the infobox. On your other points: the constitutional monarchy part is also fairly important as far as the UK is concerned; the Royal Standard is the Royal flag and the red/blue/white ensigns were/are maritime flags (the Union Flag would be the closest, sure, I'm just saying it only existed for the latter 2/5 of the period). The contemporary map illustrates what people at the time believed to be the extent of the empire, and serves as quite a good reminder that what is "known" is simply a perspective and nothing more, which is what I am getting at. I understand and appreciate what you are trying to do, but some things can't be classified with neat little labels. This is one of them. Wiki-Ed 18:19, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I understand and appreciate where you're coming from, as well Wiki-Ed. I just feel putting those details in an infobox would make the article complete. The top of the page even says An appropriate infobox needs to be added to this article, or the current infobox needs to be updated. Please refer to the list of infoboxes for further information. Once the requested infobox is added, remove the |infoboxneeded=yes parameter from this template If the talk section can to come to some consensus I think it's something within the realm of possibility.

For references sake, I'm the anon user who added the infobox. I do look forward to adding more to this page with my new account, and I do hope one day there will be a consensus for an infobox. -- MichiganCharms

Balancing criticism reverted

Why was the addition of more negative consequences reverted ? If the header stays rosy as it is, with no mention whatsover of what befell some native peoples, some people won't even bother reading the article. Barrowinfurness 18:21, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

restored. Barrowinfurness 18:32, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Undone again. There may be a point about the negative consequences, but this addition is in the wrong place, the resulting sentence is ungrammatical (and to long), and there is no reasonable source provided.--Stephan Schulz 19:21, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

this makes no sense ; the source is the article itself (indigenous australians). Also, why is this the wrong place ? A broad summing up of the empire's legacy should not be as rose-tinted as this has been ; it's just not NPOV. Barrowinfurness 19:44, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

No, it doesn't belong there. I'm removing it, it belongs in the Legacy section. - MichiganCharms 20:42, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

The legacy section seems to be a more detailed version of what's already at the top, with a few extra additions, in which case negative consequences should be represented at the top too. I agree that it's of a different character ( not institutional/cultural but historical), but I think that means the top is missing those parts of the historical legacy, so perhaps it needs change instead. As far fewer people read the very bottom of the article than read the very top, moving it below will simply have the effect of airbrushing out any criticism. Barrowinfurness 21:04, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree the top lacks criticism, but the way you wrote it was not grammatically right and it also limited the perception of the atrocities... perhaps just a notation something along the lines of: As a result, its legacy is widespread, in legal and governmental systems, the growth of free trade, sports (such as cricket, rugby and football), educational systems, in society and a strand of liberal concepts influenced by Britain, and in the internationalisation of the English language. However, the often deplorable treatment of native peoples in the colonies has made the Empire a source of much contention. At the peak of its power, it was often said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire" because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous colonies. - MichiganCharms 21:12, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

OK , that sounds an improvement. I wouldn't have "often deplorable" in there though, as it nudges towards a weight of POV in the opposite direction , that might merge together the atrocities of the 18th and early 19th century century with much better treatment in parts of the empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, for instance. I think the extent of suffering and controversy around the more negative aspects of the empire is already alluded to by your mention of 'much contention'. Barrowinfurness 21:23, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, then. I'll add it sans the deplorable bit. - MichiganCharms 21:31, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick, a source can easily be found for the statement* as it is very true. As for it being unsuitable for the intro... in what way? It's certainly true, and for a great number of people it is the most talked about effect of the empire. We are an encyclopedia, and the fact that the British Empire is largely remembered in a negative light not being present is simply sad. Neutrality promises that no particular POV is pushed, yet this article treats the Empire as if it were some incredible thing, which to a large group of people it was anything but.
That reference does not back up the claim. You stated that the BE's treatment of native peoples is a source of "much contention". You then provided a reference espousing the views of one person. The views of one person (which on the whole I agree with, by the way - it's not that I am disagreeing) do not equate to "much" contention. Finally, I do not think that analysis such as this belongs in the opening paragraph. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 12:39, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

The end of British rule in Ireland

British rule has not ended in Ireland, the north part of the island is still under British control and Ireland 9 out of 10 times refers to the whole island.

British rule? I assume you refer to the democratically and not coincidentally, demographically supported retention of the Union between Northern Ireland and Britain-once more i must caution against what is quite common onthis article-statements that are always seeking to personalise the issue to Irelands benefit and Britains detriment-whatever the history of Ulster, just look at the results of elections to the Northern Irleand assembly-the most useful poll in political opinion in Ulster

It states

2007 Election Results Summary The 108 Assembly seats

DUP-36 seats, 30.1% UUP-18, 14.9% Alliance-7,5.2% Others-3,8.0% SDLP-16,15.2% Sinn Fein-28,26.2%

taking the Alliance party and combining it with the UUP and DUP-for reasons that the Alliance party does have strong, though non delcared unionist leanings-unionism is confirmed by the election results-so to say Britain `rules` is wrong-they rule themselves in union with the democratic british state Gashmak 09:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Six of Ireland's 32 counties remain under British colonial occupation in 2007. Like the Milesian, Viking and Norman invasions, the continuing decline of British rule confirms that it too is just a phase in Ireland's history. At the end of the day foreign armies go home, and the natives stay. You all degenerate, in the end. As my t-shirt has it: 26 plus 6 = 1. So there you have it. (talk) 08:46, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Header does need some kind of balance

As discussed above, the header just does need at least some kind of allusion to the more negative consequences of empire, rather than just which institutions it created ; and if it doesn't it's true a lot of readers will simply suspect the entire article of POV bias to a sufficient extent not to read the rest. Wikipedia just has to reflect the range of mainstream views of any topic , and while it may be simpler to remove criticism than labour to find what does have to be an accurately-cited and tidy way of incorporating it, at the moment it's just not satisfactory or NPOV. DawnoverputneyDR2 07:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

That's not entirely true. Criticism, by its nature is not NPOV and is often highly debatable. For example, some editors keep inserting a line saying "the Empire had a negative effect on people". Although this is certainly true for certain people at certain times, the converse is equally true. The Guardian article used (wrongly) to support the above claim was contentious and the subsequent debate between readers listed flaws in the argument and showed numerous contrasting perspectives.
I think this illustrates rather clearly why it is not a good idea to place contentious POV statements in the introduction. At the moment the intro simply lists and links things which are not value-judged (who said that common law was the best legal system in the world? Or that cricket is a good thing?). Wiki-Ed 10:16, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I second everything that Wiki-Ed says. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 10:41, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Anglo Hate?

Why is there a special section for the "Scottish Role" and NOT one for the "Welsh role" or "English role"? It makes absolutely no sense.

Anglo hate? That's a bizarre one. By the time of European colonialism, Wales was joined at the hip to England: there was no separate "Wales as a political unit" colonialism. Scotland was still independent though, but the bulk of it was England - indeed, this is what most of the pre-1707 text of the article is about. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 14:43, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

What? I have read your response a dozen times now and have been unable to make the slightest sense of it. First of all what does 'the bulk of it was England' mean? The bulk of what? Yes, England is geographically larger then either Scotland or Wales is that what you mean? If so, your response to my question appears to be that the reason Scotland gets a special mention is because it is geographically the second largest constituent of Great Britain, which I am sure you realise is no explanation whatsoever.

Secondly the article entitled 'Scottish Role' mainly talks about post-union Scottish activity within the empire. Why not an article describing post-union English activity within the empire entitled 'English Role'?

I am sure all non biased observers would think that reasonable

The one sentence that talks about pre-union Scottish activity should be mirrored by an article describing pre-union English activity. Unless of course someone is pushing an agenda. NPOV enforcer 11 July 2007

Sorry for straining your intellect there. "It" refers to "British" colonialism, not land area. The bulk of "British" colonialism, pre the act of union, was English, was what I meant to suggest. After the act of union, it was British. The role of Scotland, as an independent political unit, in establishing colonies abroad that went on to become the British Empire, was far overshadowed by that of England. The English role is already covered, and the Welsh role - well, there was no "Welsh" role. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 17:24, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your response, however excuse me one moment while I snort with derision at your reference to my intellect. I suppose I should have known better than to expect a measured academic reply in Wikipedia.

Let me make myself abundantly clear, the article entitled 'Scottish Role' mainly talks about Scottish activity within the 'post-union' British Empire, this is bias, unless it is mirrored by articles entitled 'English role' 'Welsh role' etc. The one sentence that refers to a pre-union Scottish empire makes the obvious point that there wasn't one.

If the author wants to talk about Scottish non-empires then perhaps it would be better placed in the Wikipedia article entitled 'Scotland'. Alternatively the author could create a whole new Wikipedia article entitled 'Things that never existed'. The potential seems limitless.

As for your assertion that 'there was no Welsh role' in the British Empire, I suggest you don't try telling that to the Welsh politicians who made decisions on it, the Welsh Prime Minister who directed the empire at its height, or the Welsh regiments of the army who helped enforce it. NPOV enforcer 12 July 2007

Funny. I had no trouble understanding that the first time I read it :). However, I feel that "Scottish role" is probably the wrong heading and might be the source of the confusion. Perhaps something along the lines of "Pre-union Scottish colonial activity" (but something snappier) would be more to the point. Wiki-Ed 23:22, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
The Scots did indeed attempt to set up a colony in Central America prior to the union. It was a disastrous failure and bankrupted the country - and was thus one of the factors that compelled them to submit to union in 1707. TharkunColl 10:23, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

This is getting silly... NPOV enforcer, there can be no Welsh role because from 1543 through 20th Century, some laws lasting into the 1990's, Wales was just a part of England. See Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 for more information on the annexation of Wales, which also serves to explain why there is no Welsh symbol on the Union Jack. Scotland was an independent kingdom with it's own territories... Nova Scotia went on to be an important cog in the Imperial machine. As such, there's only a single constituent of the UK besides England with any role in forming the pre Union Empire. And as such, only that one warrants a mention. As for your logic about politicians and soldiers, should we have a section for Irish role? What about American role? After all the American colonists drove the French out of North America. -MichiganCharms 21:08, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree, this is getting silly, and appears to be getting more Dali-esque with each successive 'explanation'. You say that 'Wales was just part of England'. Well, Wales may have been 'just part of' many things, including 'Great Britain' the ' United Kingdom' 'England and Wales ' or even the 'European Union', the one thing Wales is not part of is 'England'. The fact that Wales and England had (and have) their own national football teams and compete against each other in the 'World Cup' for example would require some neat footwork to explain if they were the same country wouldn't it? You are not confusing State with Country are you?

The Legal status of Wales (and England) has changed and continues to change with history. You pick out the 'Laws in Wales Acts' as evidence that Wales is not a separate country, certainly this act altered the way that Wales was governed but these acts created a new State (now called England and Wales ) not a new Country These Acts were introduced by Henry VIII who was from the Welsh Tudor dynasty which ruled over England, not the other way round.. The point is that England was the first victim of British Colonialism and England has not been a separate and self governing state since 1535. The presence of MPs from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in Parliament making laws for the people of England is evidence of this.

All of the above however is slightly tangential to the fundamental point that discussion of the ' POST-UNION 'Scottish Role' in an article about the British Empire is unwarranted unless the roles of other countries (and yes, why not Ireland and America) roles are itemised.

Scotland is not special.

I have no objection to discussion about Scotland's colonial history within the body of the article but a special section entitled 'Scottish Role' which talks about POST-UNION Scottish activity seems as misplaced as a wart on a Prom Queen's nose and I think WIKI-ED's comment was an astute one. NPOV enforcer 15 July 2007

You DO realise that you can edit the encyclopaedia yourself, don't you? I've renamed the section and excised the post-Union stuff, which I am pasting here until we can figure out where it should go. After the Acts of Union 1707 many Scots, especially in Canada, Jamaica, India, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, took up posts as administrators, doctors, lawyers, armed servicemen and teachers in what had become the new, or Second British Empire.[citation needed] Progressions in Scotland itself during the Scottish enlightenment led to advancements throughout the empire. Scots settled across the Empire as it developed and built up their own communities such as Dunedin in New Zealand. Large numbers of Scots settled in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Rhodesia. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 12:43, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Npov enforcer, Wales was part of England. England and Wales was a name retroactively applied to it in the 1970's, when all of this was happening Wales was as much a part of England as Yorkshire. At this point I can no longer assume good faith, you're not listening to anything anyone's saying. You've gotten the edit you supposedly want though. - MichiganCharms 16:20, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Wrong again, but I admire consistency. Wales was not part of England but part of a State called the Kingdom of England for a (short) period in Welsh history. This was a State that incorporated the constituent countries of England and Wales . All of which, as I said earlier has nothing to do with POST-UNION Scottish activity within the British Empire.

As for your assertion that ‘Wales was as much a part of England as Yorkshire’ I pray that no-one ever deletes that, as it will provide a source of hysterical mirth for generations of Wikipedia readers to come. NPOV enforcer 15 July 2007

Your talk page contributions strike me as particularly nasty. Perhaps you should go away and come back when you a ready to collaborate with others instead of attack them. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:14, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


is there the off chance that the monarchy reinstated and the british empire returned to its previous status?

Er...what?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Hope so —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Is there any chance that you could re-arrange those words so that they form a coherent sentence?

Thank you in advance.

signed 'English Speaker' 6th December 2007. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

When did the Empire ceased to exist

Perhaps I'm missing something - when did the Empire ceased to exist (or at least, when did the 'name' get changed during the evolution into the Commonwealth of Nations)? Perhaps we could add a exact date. GoodDay 17:51, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Since it was never an official term, that is impossible to answer. It was still used in the 1960s. In fact, in the OBE, it is still used. TharkunColl 17:57, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's true (concerning official term) - the British Kings & Queen regnants, were never titled 'British Emperor/Empress regnant' (like the Prussian Kings, William I, Frederick III & William II, were German emperors). GoodDay 18:12, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
They were Emperors/Empresses of India, from 1876 to 1947. Hence the royal monogram R.I. (Rex Imperator). India was officially styled the British Indian Empire, since in size it was big enough to be an empire in its own right anyway. A lot of the "imperial" terminology of the British Empire relates specifically to India. TharkunColl 18:20, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I see, very interesting. Oh, one more thing; there's been places where (not on Wikipedia) I've seen Vicotria's having become Empress of India on 'January 1, 1877'. When exactly did the 'Indian imperal title' come into existance? GoodDay 18:34, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
28 April 1876 [11]. TharkunColl 18:54, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. GoodDay 19:02, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Multi-national corporations

I must admit that I don't believe that the British East India Company was ever a multi-national. I was taught that in order to be a multi-national, a company must have multi-national ownership. That generally means that its shares should have legal registration and be publicly traded on share exchanges in more than one state. It is not enough that it may operate multi-nationally. Hence because the HEIC shares were solely traded in Britain which also contained its head office, it failed to be a multi-national despite its global operation. This point became extremely important after the 1857 mutiny. Because of the Company's uni-national status, it was simple for HMG to dissolve it and to take over its operations. Had the HEIC been a true multi-national, it could not have been shut down in that fashion.

This stands in contrast to Unilever generally agreed to be the first multi-national after its formation by the merger of British Lever Brothers and Dutch Margarine Unie in 1930. Both companies had properties and operations around the world before the merger but neither were considered to be multi-nationals since each one's ownership was nationally based. In contrast Unilever, the product of the merger, met all the criteria for a multi-national.

So I think that the claim of multi-nationality for the HEIC should be removed -- or at least that it should be made plain that it was a British company with multi-national operations rather than a multi-national company per se. -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:35, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't know enough economic history (bleh) to be able to comment on definitions. I suspect, however, that the original author meant it literally, although might make it even less accurate? Wiki-Ed 10:08, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Australia WWII

This seems a bit muddled. "All but Ireland and Australia declared war".

  • - Menzies broadcast - "Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war." - okay so he felt he didn't need to declare war. The war was with the British Empire. The Australian government did however make a proclamation that they were in a state of war. Surely this situation applies to New Zealand and Pitcairn Island and the Isle of Man etc - why single Australia out here? Jooler 00:35, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

In 1939 the Commonwealth of Australia did not have a diplomatic service in its own right. Representations to other nations were made through the United Kingdom. So Menzies could not have formally declared war on Germany. Still, it does seem strange to single out Australia like this. It gives the impression that Australia did not have hostile intentions toward Germany. True, the passage does go on to explain that Australia began hostilities under the British declaration. The explanation is clear enough, but perhaps only Ireland should be singled out in the sentence in question. --Gazzster 03:54, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


That old map seems to show the UK having part of Greenland once, is that right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Well,bugger me, you're right! If memory serves all of Greenland was, and is, Danish. Maybe the Brits laid claim to bits of it, as they laid claim to bits of everything else. Anyone Know?--Gazzster (talk) 03:36, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The map is wrong, please see an alternative, much better map i may add from the following link,+Mercator's+projection.
Rockybiggs (talk) 08:47, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Growth of Empire & Colonisation Sections

I've just been rereading these sections and think they can be massively improved. Currently it's all rather disjointed: a random section on a single person (John Dee) then jumping to Ireland, all the way from Norman times to the 20th Century, to a section on the Stuart Era, discussion of Scotland, then suddenly, without any explanation, we're in Newfoundland. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:55, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, I did it. Hopefully nothing too controversial. My source for all the text was the Origins of Empire volume of the Oxford History of the British Empire. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 18:23, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I also think the British East India Company bit should be edited down - it's quite lengthy and goes into a lot more detail than other parts of the article. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 17:16, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Yikes... where has my Sunday gone? The article is now chronological up to the US declaration of independence, and it now includes some important stuff that I'm amazed wasn't there before (stuff about the changing balance of power caused by major wars). Hope people are happy with the rather major edits, it's a big one alright [12]. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 22:34, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I did some more pruning of this article today. There was far too much stuff on Company Rule in India and on general economic analysis of the empire, for an overview of a topic that covers most of the world and four centuries. It was extremely arduous to attempt to read the article from top to bottom. Some things that are still missing:

  • discussion of the British Raj
  • more info on the period between 1815 and the Scramble for Africa
  • more discussion of the Pacific and some of New Zealand (no mention until home rule section)
  • how Singapore, Malaysia, Burma came to be acquired (no mention until decolonisation!)

The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 20:09, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Woah. Major editing here. I think it looks good, particularly the pruning of the section on India which is far more accessible now. Aside from the balance and re-organisation the insertion of in-line citations and removal of reference-needed tags improves the article too. Nice work. Wiki-Ed 23:47, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

1857 Revolt -Raja Rammohan Roy

Hi Section "Company Rule in India" mentions that 1857 revolt was supported by westernized Indians like Raja Rammohan Roy. He was not alive when the revolt has happened.He died good 25 years before. So there is point in mentioning his name. Even if Raja Rammohan Roy's name is used like an example of westernized Indian, that comparision is questionable.Better to get rid of this. Cheers, Preetham —Preceding unsigned comment added by Krishnadevaraya (talkcontribs) 03:49, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

GA Delisting

Symbol unsupport vote.svg In order to uphold the quality of Wikipedia:Good articles, all articles listed as Good articles are being reviewed against the GA criteria as part of the GA project quality task force. While all the hard work that has gone into this article is appreciated, unfortunately, as of December 4,

2007, this article fails to satisfy the criteria, as detailed below. For that reason, the article has been delisted from WP:GA. However, if improvements are made bringing the article up to standards, the article may be nominated at WP:GAN. If you feel this decision has been made in error, you may seek remediation at WP:GAR.
Far too many citation needed templates and, in addition, many many sections are entirely without references. In addition, it fails many manual of style guidelines, including a lot of stub sections under Level 2 and 3 headings (which probably is an indicator of failing broadness of coverage) and a lead that does not adequately summarize the entirety of the article. Anyhow, the citation issues are the most important part, and the article cannot remain a Good Article until all sections are adequately referenced and all citation needed tags are addressed.Cheers, CP 02:33, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

British Atrocities

Why not have a section on British Atrocities here? In India and Africa...just not mass murder but also economic exploitation? DemolitionMan (talk) 08:30, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean, as the term mass murder would need to be backed up with clear evidence of deliberate murder on a mass scale. But if you mean that the article should acknowledge some of the appalling crimes committed under British rule, then yes they should be listed.[[Slatersteven (talk) 23:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)]]

Yes, it's a topic definitely worthy of treatment. But wouldn't it be more appropriate as an article standing alone? I say this because it could be a huge article. If a section is started here it runs the risk of getting bigger and bigger and outweighing other sections.--Gazzster (talk) 23:54, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

There should be a mention of the more extreme examples (as examples), and a link to a larger page giving details of the rest.[[ (talk) 00:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)]]

Good idea--Gazzster (talk) 00:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a terrible idea, and extremely unencyclopaedic. "Atrocity" is a point of view and besides, even if a standard could be agreed upon for the definition of an atrocity, it would be a judgement of historical events by today's morals. If British soldiers killed X thousand during uprising Y, write that, in the context of Y. Leave it for the reader to decide whether it was an atrocity or not. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 02:07, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I can see your point to an extent. Another word or phrase might be better than 'Atrocities' for a title. But on the other hand, an 'atrocity' or maybe 'act of terrorism'(?) is an atrocity in 3050 BC, in 10 AD, and in 2007. Acts perpetrated by a colonial power perceived as injustices toward subject peoples is a valid, not to mention very interesting, subject for an article. There are ways it can be treated objectively. And there are enough of them: India, Ireland, South Africa, Australia (Irish and Aboriginal peoples), New Zealand (the Maori), etc, etc. And I'd suggest that no-one would consider the atrocities of say, the Nazis, the Soviet Union, Iraq, the United States, etc, unworthy topics for an encyclopedia because we might make ' a judgement of historical events by today's morals'.And in any case, if anyone says that history does not judge events, they don't understand history.--Gazzster (talk) 02:57, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

You misunderstand. I'm not saying the events are unworthy of inclusion. I am saying that explicitly labelling them with a subjective term or implicitly doing so by bunching them into a section is highly inappropriate. Look at Nazi Germany where the evils it perpetrated are very matter of factly referred to as "the displacement, internment and later, the systematic extermination of an estimated eleven to twelve million people". Historians are free to judge history with whatever moral compass they choose. Encyclopaedias are not. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 03:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

OK. So you're only objecting to the suggested name, 'British Atrocities'.But I'd still suggest that just as 'systematic extermination' can be dealt with fairly objectively, so can 'atrocity'. The word means a heinous deed. There are plenty of British acts (officially sanctioned or otherwise) that match that description.--Gazzster (talk) 03:20, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

No, I'm not just objecting to the suggested name: I am objecting to any section of its own devoted to this. Anything along the lines of a list of "bad things that the British Empire did". If there are significant events (ie significant enough to appear in a condensed history of 400 years) that are presently ommitted, then feel free to add them, in the right place in the article, along with sources. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 11:22, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, you've got your opinion. I still can't really see your objection though. I was more looking at an article about British atrocities rather than a fullm blown section here.--Gazzster (talk) 12:46, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

It's not just my opinion, it's WP policy. WP:NPOV#Let_the_facts_speak_for_themselves. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 16:15, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

But 'atrocity' is a perfectly good, neutral word. It's meaning is, as I've said before, a 'heinous act'. We're considering the quality of the deed itself, not the intentions behind it. You can, for example, call the systematic desettlement and in many cases, extermination, of the Australian indigenous peoples an 'atrocity'. You're considering the deed itself.--Gazzster (talk) 16:30, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

It's a far from neutral term. Take the dropping of the atomic bombs on civilians in Japan, or the firebombing of civilians in German cities. Were those atrocities? Thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians died. Sounds like an atrocity to me. But what if those acts prevented even more people dying, due to the prolonging of the war and murderous regimes. Would that be an atrocity? Maybe yes, maybe no. You can certainly find people arguing either way. These are things that should not be judged by an encylopaedia. I don't see how you can still say that after I mentioned that link to you. Did you read it? WP:NPOV#Let_the_facts_speak_for_themselves The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 19:43, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Describing an event as an 'atrocity' or as 'heinous' isn't neutral, and WP:NPOV#Let_the_facts_speak_for_themselves is pretty clear. I can only imagine the conflicts as to what constitutes an 'atrocity' and what doesn't. Besides, I looked through about six or seven 'Empire' articles, and the nearest thing I found to an atrocity section was the section about WWII war crimes of the Empire of Japan, and even this example was in its proper place in the historical timeline, not all by itself at the end. AlexiusHoratius (talk) 19:56, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Everyone's entitled to their opinion of course. The bombing of Japan? I do think it was an atrocity, though it brought the war to an end. You might want to suggest the deletion of atrocity. Would be a shame, 'cause it's a damn good article.--Gazzster (talk) 23:43, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

But if the facts should speak for themselves then the facts must also be presented. How about what happeed to the Aboriginals in Tasmania (intertsetingly note in India or Africa)?[[Slatersteven (talk) 23:59, 31 December 2007 (UTC)]]

Indeed. This is a very strange discussion. I still don't understand the objections. The article atrocity is precisely what I'm suggesting: a presentation of historical events with horrible consequences. I do hope no-one's trying to protect the Empire's protection. That would be pretty retro.--Gazzster (talk) 00:13, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

If you want to go off and create such an article, good luck to you. But did you read Talk:Atrocity? Several people have rubbished the article and I agree with them. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:20, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Happy GMT New Year, by the way, everyone. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:22, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I am proud of most of what the Empire did (and belive it did far more good then harm). But I do not feel that to ignore it's darker side is desirble. Yes much of the alledged attrocities will be POV, but then so is much of the article (in the sense that it reprsents some ones point of view)[[Slatersteven (talk) 20:03, 1 January 2008 (UTC)]]

I don't think that any of us are suggesting a whitewash of this article. If you believe a notable event has not been mentioned, then by all means put it in its relevant section in the existing timeline. What some of us do object to is grouping a bunch of events together into a seperate atrocities section. AlexiusHoratius (talk) 20:14, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm with what Pat says. Let the facts speak for themselves. Mention the bad points by all means but don't get dragged into the whole post-colonial blackwashing of history and start applying todays standards to historical events and judging them.

Also...yeah what Alex says too applies. A seperate section just for attrocities would only be appropriate if attrocities were one of the defining characteristics of the empire. Bad things happened yes but their mention isn't integral to talking about the empire in general. --Josquius (talk) 20:36, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

At least the Legacy section needs work. It doesn't use subjective language, but it's still unbalanced toward the positive (and banal - driving on the left hand side?) angle. An article should of course use as neutral a language as possible (though no language is strictly neutral). Nevertheless it needs to consider varying viewpoints. The viewpoint of this article is pretty anglocentric. To many subject peoples and states the British Empire was caused untold misery. That is an objective fact.--Gazzster (talk) 20:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Where are any of the legacies described as beneficial to the recipients of the legacy? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 20:49, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I did say that the language in the section is fairly neutral. Even so, it says a lot by what it doesn't say. As I've said, an article can be unbalanced by not considering sufficiently other viewpoints.--Gazzster (talk) 20:53, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

"The viewpoint of this article is pretty anglocentric. To many subject peoples and states the British Empire was caused untold misery. That is an objective fact." Viewpoints are never objective facts. Perspective is always subjective. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:36, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Precisely. Wikipedia articles are never neutral or objective. In fact, no piece of writing or other form of media is. Which makes the whole POV policy a bit of a joke to some extent. I'm trying to point out that the article needs to be rounded out. Most of the editors here are obviously anglophones. While that certainly isn't wrong, it is going to inevitably point the emphasis in a particular direction. Other cultures will have different viewpoints. The Chinese, for example, will have a different take on the Empire. As will the Maori, Australian Aboriginals, Inuits, Arabs, Indians, etc. My point about the objective fact was not about a viewpoint: it was about historical facts. And it is a historical fact that the BE was an instrument of oppression to many peoples. But I won't belabour that. I'm more interested in the POV issue.--Gazzster (talk) 21:06, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

This is an article about the British Empire, it's not an essay or critique. Where does it say that the British Empire was a Good Thing or that the British were angels? Also, have you read Encarta's article on the BE [13]? You will find it has a similar tone to the WP article and does not go into criticisms. Ditto Britannica's. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Branching off a separate article solely dedicated to "British atrocities" seems like POV forking. The systems of exploitation ("oppression" is a POV word) certainly do deserve mention. They can be integrated into the history section if they are notable enough. More minor things can still be mentioned, but they could probably be localized a bit more. For example, the Indian Revolt in the 1850s is noteworthy enough to be mentioned here, but more minor things would be better suited in a page on the British Raj. British Raj and similar articles should all be included in the "see also" section (if they aren't already). Terms like "atrocity" can and should be avoided. Better words, depending on the situation, would be things like

  • "mass murder"
  • "treatment of...(e.g. conquered peoples)"
  • "exploitation of..(e.g. Indian resources)"
  • "Policies direct at...(e.g. conquered peoples)"

There are ways to mention things without pushing for a certain POV in the title. As someone mentioned, the article on Nazi Germany discusses treatment of Jews by using factual words (e.g. discrimination, treatment, genocide, mass murder) rather than emotional ones (atrocities by Germany, evils by Germany, etc). What is an atrocity? What is evil? These are personal opinions that violate wikipedia's policies (how can you verify something is atrocious or evil?) -Rosywounds (talk) 08:28, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

"Mass murder" is also POV, one should refer to numbers "killed" or numbers of "deaths". I'd also say "exploitation" is a POV term. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 13:52, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Informal Empire

I think the article needs to make more of a point of the true source of British power- trade. It should really mention areas that though were not part of the empire were very heavily dependant on the UK economy (e.g. Argentina, the US). Not including them as actually part of the empire of course but giving them their own mention somewhere and explaining the situation. --Him and a dog 12:12, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Good point. I think it probably deserves its own main heading, but I'm not sure where it ought to fit. I'd be wary abuot slotting it in between the Second Empire section and the Imperial Century section since it would disrupt the flow, but I think that would be about the right time period. Wiki-Ed (talk) 13:17, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

French and German possesions?

In the anachronous map of British, and formally English possesions, should French areas conquered and ruled under Henry V's reign and the German areas administered after WW2 be included? (especially if other mandated areas are on the map) I'm not trying to be controversial, just complete. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

A long time ago they were included. And they were removed [14]. Why? Because you will not find historians referring to either English realms in France or the military occupied zones in Germany, Japan or Austria as the precursor to or part of the British Empire. They were not colonies. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 12:47, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
They were administered for a period, like other conquered or reclaimed (eg French Indo-China) areas, by British military administrations and given the brief period of time involved it would not be worth including them on a map, but they do mark one idea of a British Empire "high tide" and I have read at least one account that does describe it as the point at which the BE had the greatest spread. (talk) 12:25, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Provide references then showing that these territories were considered British Empire. "I have read at least one account" is not a reference. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:07, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:The empire strikes back newsweek.jpg

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:The empire strikes back newsweek.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you. BetacommandBot (talk) 02:51, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

First and Second British Empires?

While many Americans may consider their winning of the American War of Independence as being the end of 'the first British Empire', I would like to point out that the Empire was thriving elsewhere in the globe by 1776. Why would therefore strongly advice the replacement of these terms since no self-respecting historian would use these terms unless they believe that the only Empire that did exist, existed in the form of the thirteen colonies. There was no 'first' and 'second' British Empires. Just the one- it did not stop and start just because of one revolt in one of many colonies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Agreed, it's a very US centric angle to assume everybody went home with their tail between their legs, packed up and started from scratch. There was simply one Empire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you both broaden your reading then. You could begin by searching for the terms at, where you will find plenty of British "self-respecting" historians using the term, including the author that is referenced in the text, Anthony Pagden [15]. The gist of your arguments could also be used against the division of history into periods of time such as "the Middle Ages" or "the Reformation" or the "Age of Discovery": it is obviously a matter of convention, there is no law of physics that says these are objective periods of time - it's just about academic consensus. Even the division of time into centuries or decades is arbitrary, it's all based on a particular calendar and unit of time. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 22:45, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Second World War

For some reason there was a rather alarming gap between 1939 and 1945, so I put a section in. Now it needs work to build it up. (talk) 12:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Economics of Imperialism

I think perhaps this page could do with a section dealing with the various economic matters and imperialism (effects of imperialism on the periphery, the metropole, 'the imperialism of free trade' etc). I would be willing to add something if people thought it were appropriate. There are some good chapters on this topic in the Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire with which we could draw on as sources. Any comments?Led125 (talk) 21:04, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

That's a fairly large subject area. I think that along with the political and social history of the Empire, economics has to be incorporated into the narrative of the article. If it's not covered sufficiently well covered then feel free to build it in at the appopriate places. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:13, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Well this article is already quite big, so if you want to add this information, I would suggest that you just include a couple of summary paragraphs in this article as part of a new section and write up the rest as a new article, Economics of the British Empire or whatever. -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:23, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Post-Suez unilateral actions

I think the point that needs to be made here is that the UK could no longer act as freely as it had as a global power. That does not mean that it could not and did not act unilaterally from time to time – a clear example being that the campaign to liberate the Falklands was started without US support and – admittedly hypothetically – it would have continued regardless. That the US helped out in the end and probably saved lives is rather beside the point. I am sure there are other examples, but a blanket statement suggesting that the UK was entirely dependent on the US is wrong. Wiki-Ed (talk) 13:23, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. I have readded the original text, along with a reference to the Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol IV page 342: "...the Suez venture demonstrated the dependence of Britain on the United States. Suez made plain for all to see that Britain was doomed both as a colonial power and as a world power unless she acted in concert with the United States". As for the Falklands, Britain was not acting unilaterally - the EEC issued trade sanctions against Argentina and Reagan declared his support for Britain. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I rather think the original poster had the balance correct. Britain could no longer act as freely as it had as a global power but it does continue to act unilaterally from time to time. Your reasoning regarding the Falklands is rather fatuous, yes the EEC and the US provided materiel and diplomatic aid but they did not involve themselves in the actual fighting did they? Name any major conflict where non-combatants did not have sympathies for one side or the other? Also Britain acted completely unilaterally in Sierra Leone quite independent of any US support, not to mention numerous minor conflicts in the last days of Empire and beyond such as Aden, Radfan, Oman, Borneo and confronting Guatemala in Belize. And your source does not support the assertion that Britain could no longer act unilaterally, rather it indicates that Britain couldm't continue to act as a global power unless it acted in concert with the US. I would suggest that both the article and the project would benefit from the compromise edit proposed by the original editor. Justin talk 09:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

- ::Agree: EEC trade sanctions meant nothing. Please note America only threw her full support behind Britian after seeing how serious the U.K was taking the situation, and also once a task force was being prepared, and only then was public support and assitance offered. The fact can`t be ignored that Argentina and the United States were allies too, be it a junior level to the U.K.Rockybiggs (talk) 09:10, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

To all three of you, I appreciate your views, but you have provided absolutely no sources. I have to say, you are naive if you think that just because an army goes it alone, there have not been private behind-the-scenes discussions between leaders prior to military action. You are plain wrong about lack of United States support for post-Suez Arab operations, as you will see if you read onto the next page in the source I provided. Anyway, regarding Britain's dependence on the United States, I have now provided a reference for that. Regarding inability to act unilaterally, I have remove the term from the text and reworded so it reflects the reference "unless she acted in concert with the United States". The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 11:36, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
There are hunreds of sources, not too mention cabinet ministers at the time, who have since talked about how the U.S didn`t relize how serious the U.K were until the task force was assembled/dispatch.
Here is one anyway quoting ``By the last day of April, President Reagan had come to accept there was little chance of a settlement and declared American support for Britain. ``
Rockybiggs (talk) 11:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I was suggesting you think about a compromise because a) your edit did not reflect your source and b) your edit was clearly contradicted by examples readily to hand. Demanding "sources" is simply wikilawyering and describing fellow editors as naive is incredibly patronising. By your overly restrictive definition of unilateral even the US is incapable of unilateral action as it generally consults its allies (even if it does then ignore their advice). The amended text is a perfectly acceptable compromise in my opinion, the justification for it on the talk page does you no credit. Justin talk 12:32, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Sources are one thing; reality is another. At the end of the day the UK can undertake globally significant unilateral action without US support, eg. it could drop a nuclear bomb on Washington. Clearly the Americans might not like this, but it could be done. Obviously extreme hypothetical examples are not helpful, but equally a blanket statement, however well sourced should not be used when it is demonstrably untrue. Moreover by including it there is a suggestion that previous ventures had been unilateral, whereas in reality there were almost always alliances with other global powers, eg. Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the Second World War. Do these need sourcing? Wiki-Ed (talk) 14:18, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm rather startled at the pair of you: asking for sources is wikilawyering? "Sources are one thing, reality is another"? Have you guys actually read and understood WP:V? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Startled??? And still wikilawyering. Have I read WP:V? Have you read WP:RS? "although some material may be outdated by more recent research, or controversial in the sense that there are alternative theories." WP:V is a guideline and a little common sense also goes a long way. Your source did not match the edit you made, therefore actually it failed WP:V. Did you attempt to achieve a Consensus? Or did you insist on the edit you wished to make? Because that is rather POINTY. Justin talk 08:46, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
No, lets be clear here. WP:V is a policy, not a guideline. Indeed it is "one of Wikipedia's core content policies". WP:RS is a guideline. Mucky Duck (talk) 10:28, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
You are of course correct, I'd switched them around. Sorry for that. The point remains that an edit that does not match the source fails WP:V. Quoting policy and demanding sources that say exactly what an editor wishes to write, whilst at the same time defending an edit that fails WP:V, is wikilawyering. Justin talk 11:01, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure RHoPF is not acting in bad faith having made a considerable number of positive changes to this article. However, putting a couple of specific references next to a black and white statement does not mean it is right. The problem with the verifiability policy means a counter-argument needs to be validated by specific sources stating the opposite to be true. Since it’s a convoluted claim in the first place it is rather difficult to conjure up such references. However, we do have some rather clear historical examples which disprove it:

a) During the First World War, a few decades before Suez, the UK acted in alliance with other nations. b) During the Falklands War, a few decades after Suez, the UK acted unilaterally.

There are lots of other examples working in both directions. How does this square with a statement which says that "The Suez Crisis marked a turning point in the history of Britain and its empire, demonstrating Britain's decline as a world power, able to act alone, for it was now dependent on the support of the United States" ? Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Militarily Britain can act without USA support as it is still one of a few counties who have a capability of projecting its power to the other side of the world. This is the difference between a regional power and a world power.
What the real point and what the The Suez watershed shows, was that Britian could no longer ignore world opionion, and do what it liked on the world stage. Rockybiggs (talk) 11:23, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes Rockybiggs, I would agree with that. That is the point of the sentence: it is not supposed to mean Britain was unable to go into war without other armies, clearly that is false. Rather, it could no longer stick two fingers up at the rest of the world and say "like it or lump it, mate, we're doing this anyway", like it had done in Suez. And most crucially it could not do that to the USA. It is difficult to imagine Britain winning the Falklands War if Reagan had done to Thatcher what Eisenhower did to Eden. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 11:36, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The flaw you have there is, you can`t compare the falklands to Suez.
One is Sovereign land which the U.K had the right to win back, and the other was not.
Anyway moving on, i think the comments should reflect some of the wording/context i have mentioned above. Rockybiggs (talk) 11:55, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Suez is also a bad example because the UK was not acting unilaterally - it was working in concert with France and Israel. I suspect Thatcher would have continued the Falklands campaign even if the Americans had exerted pressure. In the 1950s Britain was still somewhat dependent on economic aid following WW2. This was not true in 1982. Wiki-Ed (talk) 13:40, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I totally agree Wiki-Ed, there is no doubt in my mind that Thatcher would have pressed on, regardless of what the U.S.A said in the Falklands Campaign, because it was legally and morally right.
The U.S.A is what the U.K was and more, for instance during the Boer war Britain was powerful enough to ignore all the world opposition, i.e. France, Germany etc.
A further modern day example is, even if no one had offered the U.S.A poltical support or assistance for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, they would have totally ignored world opinion and gone it alone.
This is what Britain use too be able to do. My point is, the phrase should be along the lines of from `The Suez Crisis marked a turning point in the history of Britain and its empire, demonstrating Britain's decline as a world power, Britain could no longer ignore `world opinion`, and act without consultation`. There should be no reference to USA support (as i have mentioned before.) Rockybiggs (talk) 14:48, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

"There should be no reference to USA support"? I have provided three references in the text to back up mention of dependence on the United States.

  • Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol IV page 342: "...the Suez venture demonstrated the dependence of Britain on the United States. Suez made plain for all to see that Britain was doomed both as a colonial power and as a world power unless she acted in concert with the United States".
  • British Imperialism, Simon Smith: "The Suez Crisis underscored the real limits to Britain's freedom on the international stage. Britain, as Eden's private secretary, Guy Millard, pointed out, "could never again resort to military action, outside British territories, without at least American acquiescence".
  • The Rise and Fall of the BE, Lawrence James: "[Britain] was being hustled out, humbled, and forced to comply with the wishes of the United States, which seemed poised to usurp its old position...According to Angus Maude MP, the outcome of the Suez War left Britain with no choice but "to admit to the world that we are now an American satellite...In 1957 RAF bombers strafed...the Yemeni border...soon after, British aircraft were in action again in Oman...shortly after the 1958 revolution [in Iraq], troops were rushed to Jordan. By Suez standards, these were all small scale operations, justified by treaty obligations and undertaken with America's blessing"

There is absolutely no way I will agree to removal of mention of the United States. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:46, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

NO, it should read world opionion. If you insist on putting U.S.A support. Then i insist on all members of the Security Council being mentioned as support from, i.e France, China, Russia and also non Security Council members also being mentioned, i.e Japan, Germany etc. Rockybiggs (talk) 09:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Looking at your contributions, it seems you have only been at Wikipedia for a couple of months, so you need to read and understand the polcy on verifiability: The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that readers should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or it may be removed. I have provided three reputable sources for material that was challenged (one from probably what is the definitive history of the BE, the Oxford series), in this discussion you have not provided any to support what you say on the matter at hand. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 10:57, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

We understand that you have found some sources which make these claims. Unfortunately the point is that their opinions are wrong and do not correspond with verified history. Each of the following multi-sourced articles show the UK taking independent military action: the Brunei Revolt, the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, the Aden Emergency, the Falklands War, stationing garrisons in Gibraltar, Belize and Cyprus, intervention in Sierra Leone, and the development of independent nuclear weapons programmes. I’m sure that similar cases could be made for economic and social power projection as well. How does this correspond with the opinions of your sources? Do they address this? Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:47, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted your amendment back to `able to act alone`
as per my souce already mentioned above. as per Falklands Britain can act alone.
To say Britain can`t act alone is very mis-leading and it implies it can`t fight wars alone
repeated again``By the last day of April, President Reagan had come to accept there was little chance of a settlement and declared American support for Britain. ``
As per the source I provided, "But it also meant that no longer could Britain - or France - act alone on the world stage." I have reverted your change, because it is synthesis, another policy you should familiarize yourself with (and in fact, Wiki-Ed too, who I am a little surprised at needing to point this out to, because he has been around for a while and should know better. Namely: Synthesizing material occurs when an editor tries to demonstrate the validity of his or her own conclusions by citing sources that when put together serve to advance the editor's position. If the sources cited do not explicitly reach the same conclusion, or if the sources cited are not directly related to the subject of the article, then the editor is engaged in original research I am open to discuss this, but you both need to provide sources that discuss Suez in relation to the outcome of the Suez crisis. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:43, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I have reworded the text as a (very generous, I have to say, given everything thus far has been attributable) compromise which Justin Kuntz unhelpfully reverted without leaving any comment anywhere explaining why it was not acceptable to him. Therefore I have reverted back to my compromise rewording, and left a polite note on his talk page. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 12:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I have removed your "polite" note as I do not consider a lecture from you in any way "polite". And for information "very generous" comes across as incredibly arrogant as does "There is absolutely no way I will agree to removal of mention of the United States" Your compromise wording is in fact no compromise whatsoever, you merely insist on having it your way and you'll edit war if you don't get it. As per WP:RS there is more than one opinion here and you don't want any opinion that conflicts with yours. Seeing as you're fond of policy advice, try WP:3RR and WP:RS. While you're at it, how about WP:OWN because you certainly seem to think this is your article. I have amended the text with a balanced view, that mentions both viewpoints - that is a true compromise. Justin talk 13:36, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
You didn't provide a single source for the "other" side of the view. Furthermore, your wording suggested that Britain went into those other conflicts in spite of the United States, contrary to its wishes, which is a very strong claim to make, too strong without sources from historians explicitly saying so. Since Suez, Britain has not engaged in a conflict where it was explicitly told not to by the United States. That is the most important point here. If you believe I am wrong, provide a source that says otherwise. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 14:12, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
My edit did not intend to imply that Britain did not act in that way, I agree that it could be interpreted that way but that wasn't the intention. I would have had no objection to your changing it to reflect the fact that they were examples of where Britain had acted unilaterally. Instead you made a wholesale reversion. You know wiping out wholesale contributions simple because you don't like just raises the temperature unnecessarily. Justin talk 17:35, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Just to add to that, you wrote "Britain went on to act unilaterally in Brunei Revolt, the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, the Aden Emergency, the Falklands War and the intervention in Sierra Leone." I would like to point out the following to you:

  • Britain, Aden and South Arabia: Abandoning Empire, Karl Pieragostini "the United States government repeatedly pressed Britain to stay in Aden" [16]
  • Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States, Indonesia and the Creation of Malaysia, Matthew Jones "The overriding British priority at this nebulous stage of the dispute was, and would remain, securing the support of the United States in adopting a firm response to the Indonesian demands and threats" [17]
  • "Taken for Granted: The Future of U.S.-British Relations", Philip M. Seib [18] "Beneath the political surface, however, the United States was supporting the British military effort [in preparation for the Falklands War]. Haig and White House national security advisor William Clark privately told Nicholas Henderson, Great Britain's amabassador to Washington, that they and the President were firmly on Britain's side...from Britain's standpoint, US support proved essential in achieving the favourable military outcome"
  • "Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order", Jeffrey Kopstein "Victory [in the Falklands] was only possible thanks to help from the United States (who provided satellite imagery and the newest air-to-air missiles" [19]
  • "The Downing Street Years", Margaret Thatcher (the horse's mouth) "I knew that we could not afford to alienate the United States" [20]
  • "The Thatcher Revolution", Earl A. Reitan "American assistance had made possible Thatcher's victory in the Falklands" [21] —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick (talkcontribs) 16:42, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
  • "The Falklands War: Britain Versus the Past in the South Atlantic", Daniel K. Gibran [22] "The war demonstrated Britain's need for alliance support, particularly that of the United States. According to Zakheim, "Britain clearly required the goodwill of the United States - apart from any material it received - if it was to prosecute its South Atlantic operations successfully.""

The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 14:42, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

(I would encourage all of you to read the section in that last reference re the Falklands War entitled "The Importance of Allies" - click on the link - it'll take you straight there, and it is only one page. The fact that Reagan publicly announced support on 30 April 1982 - which anyone can see happened after the task force was already en route - doesn't mean that Britain and the US were not talking behind the scenes, or that the US did not approve Britain's actions until then.) The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 15:01, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
The comment that the US provided satellite imagery is bollocks, the UK requested such imagery but the US refused to retask satellites that were busy on collection tasks covering the Warsaw Pact nation for NATO. The fact that Britain had alliance support does not change the fact that Britain acted unilaterally. You don't own this article, you don't have a veto over what goes into it. Justin talk 16:42, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Now you are just being childish. Noone owns the article, but everyone is obligated to provide sources. I have provided a barrage of them, and all you can reply is "bollocks" and revert to your own totally unsourced wording (not to mention proven false by the references I have provided). I am opening up a request for comment, as I don't want to get blocked for reverting. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 16:48, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
You are behaving like you OWN this article, three editors disagree with you but you insist its your way or the highway. Sources and other references have been provided showing conflicting opinion, then you claim they haven't been provided. And you don't have the right to say that you won't allowed unsourced material to be added. If its unsourced you can challenge it with a {fact} tag to allow people time to provide a source. You only seem to want to follow guidelines and policy when it suits you. Calling people "childish" is also sailing close to a personal attack.
I appreciate you may have put a lot of effort into this article but the whole idea is that its a collaboration. Justin talk 17:28, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Up until yesterday, you weren't even aware that WP:V is a policy. You still don't seem to be aware of it. The fact tag is a niceity, not a requirement. My problem with your edits is not only that you are adding unsourced material, but that it is contradicted by numerous sources I have provided. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 17:45, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me but are you deliberately setting out to be antagonistic? I made a simple error that I've already had the good grace to acknowledge. Do you think that making that remark was a good way to bring people onside or would it just inflame the dispute? I know what WP:V is, stop being so patronising. Don't you think it "extremely unhelpful and unconstructive of you to revert a compromise rewording"? Or does your advice only apply to others but not yourself? Sources have been provided, you've just ignored them. Justin talk 18:02, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I have found your behaviour throughout this episode to be nothing but antagonistic, frankly, verging on a personal vendetta (along the lines of: I'm not going to accept his compromise because it's him that is suggesting the compromise). The one source that you have provided does not in the slightest back up your argument - it does not explicitly say "Britain acted unilaterally in the Falklands". The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 18:10, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest you really do need to assume a little good faith here. While you were writing this polemic I was working on a suggestion for a compromise wording. I would also suggest you refrain from further personal attacks and take a moment to cool off before making edits that will only further inflame the dispute. For the record I have no personal vendetta but I do think you need to get things into a little perspective here. I'm off for a cup of tea, I suggest you think about doing the same. Justin talk 18:25, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Let's stick to the business at hand, please. The wording of the article. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 19:11, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

RfC: Appropriate wording of the implications of the Suez Crisis for the British Empire

My preferred wording is as follows: "The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline on the world stage, and demonstrated that henceforth its future role as a global power, would depend on the acquiescence of the United States." This is backed up primarily by the following source: [23]

User:Justin A Kuntz has changes this to "Many authors suggest that Britain could not act alone without the acquiescence of the United States, although Britain went on to act unilaterally in Brunei Revolt, the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, the Aden Emergency, the Falklands War and the intervention in Sierra Leone."

Whilst I cannot disagree with the addition of "many authors suggest", the presentation of the opposing view and the suggestion that this is in fact a point not agreed upon by historians, is totally unsourced, and indeed it is contradicted by sources that I list above (e.g. that Britain acted alone in the Falklands War). The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 17:09, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

You could give people a chance to finish!

Your own examples undermine your argument

  • 1. Aden. US pressed Britain to stay, Britain chose to withdraw - unilateral action the opposite of what the US wished.
  • 2. The Falklands. America did not immediately come out and support Britain. Jeanne Kirkpatrick wished to side with South America, Caspar Weinberger with Britain. Some in America, like Weinberger, overtly support Britain from the outset, then later when America used her veto Kirkpatrick turned round afterwards and stated that was not American policy and had they a chance they would have changed thir action. Yes American support was to some extent vital but Britain had made already made the decision to act - unilaterally. Every thing else was seeking to gain support for British policy.
  • 3. Plenty of sources show that Britain has acted unilaterally, [24] for example when the Falklands Fishery was enacted. [25] indicates that the current arms control regimes are specifically formulated so that Britain can act unilaterally.

Britain can and does act unilaterally, the fact that it seeks support from its allies doesn't undermine that. Some authors think the UK can't act without American support, others think differently. As per WP:RS where sources differ both views should be reported. You seem to think only your version is appropriate, i.e. that you OWN this article. Sorry but you don't. You also seem to forget that wiki policy is also to achieve a [WP:CON|consensus]] where there is a content dispute.

  • 4. Official history of the Falklands War confirms US satellite reconnaissance was not provided [26] Justin talk 17:20, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
1. That is synthesis in its full glory. You are putting two facts together and coming up with your own conclusion. Provide a source for that conclusion!
2. What you say about Kirkpatrick and Weinberger is true, but you are then putting two facts together and again coming up with your own conclusion! Provide a source for that conclusion!
3. "Plenty of sources show that Britain has acted unilaterally" : your reference does not actually make that claim! Provide a source that does make that claim!
4. This is tangential, there were also American air-to-air missiles, but it will distract from the point at hand.

The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 17:31, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

4. Tangential. Most likely. Also tangential but the AIM-9L only offered an advantage in a head-on engagement, all engagements in the Falklands were rear aspect kills. The AIM-9L did not provide the overwhelming advantage many writers claim.
1. Don't disagree its synthesis but I'm not using it to justify an edit. We're supposedly discussing a compromise, its an EXAMPLE, however you only seem to want to quibble over policy.
2. There is a source already provided further up the page, the US did not commit to supporting Britain till the 30th April. Another example of where a source is provided but you later deny it was.
3. That simple source was one I quickly found to show unilateral action, it does show Britain making a unilateral action over an international boundary. Now when sources support what I am proposing you deny that they do.
You know assuming good faith in other editors goes a long way.


My preferred wording would be something along the lines of:

"The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline on the world stage, and demonstrated that henceforth it could no longer ignore world opinion as it had in the past."

I don't believe there is any need to single out the United States, some source may do but for instance it is more appropriate to assume that Britain would seek the endorsement of the UN as it tried to do before the 2003 Iraq War. Justin talk 17:53, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I completely disagree with that. The reason that all these historians and politicians single out the United States is precisely because Suez demonstrated that it was the opinion of the United States that it could no longer ignore. Even Thatcher, writing a decade after the Falklands conflict, said "I knew that we could not afford to alienate the United States". Do you honestly think that, given all these sources that mention the United States, the article should not, just because you feel that it shouldn't? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 18:05, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
"There is a source already provided further up the page, the US did not commit to supporting Britain till the 30th April. Another example of where a source is provided but you later deny it was." - This is not a source that backs up your claim that the UK acted unilaterally! It is a statement of fact that the US declared open support for Britain on that day. Can you honestly not see the difference, or why this is not an acceptable source for your claim? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 18:15, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
So other than completely disagreeing with that, what would be your suggested compromise? WP:IDONTLIKE is not s suitable reason. How about this?
"The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline on the world stage, and demonstrated that henceforth it could no longer ignore world opinion as it had in the past. In the future, Britain would act with the support of its allies (principally the United States), though it was still prepared to act unilaterally as it did in the Falklands War.[27]" Justin talk 18:19, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I also disagree that Britain acted unilaterally in the Falklands. Yes, it went in alone, but it did not do so in spite of the USA, yet your wording implies that it did. This is in direct contradiction to Maggie Thatch herself, not to mention the other sources I provided. I propose: "The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline on the world stage, and demonstrated that henceforth it could no longer act without at least the acquiescence, if not the full support, of the United States(refs). Whilst the events at Suez wounded British national pride, leading one MP to suggest that Britain had become an "American satellite" (ref), Britain would again soon deploy its armed forces to the Middle East, intervening in Oman (1957), Jordan (1958) and Kuwait (1961). However, such was the impact of Suez that, writing about the recapture of the Falkland Islands three decades later, the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, wrote of having finally dispelled 'Suez syndrome' how Britain's political establishment had succumbed to 'Suez syndrome'(ref - quote from Maggie Thatch)." The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 18:51, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
When did I ever say "in spite of"? Thats your spin on what I said. And "it went in alone" is "not acting unilaterally", a specious argument at best. No-one has denied that it acted with US support but it launched the task force long before the US committed to supporting Britain - that is acting unilaterally and without the full support of the United States. And I would probably agree with your suggestion if you reversed the strike. For info I've self-reverted after taking time to reflect. Immediately reverting was being guilty of the same knee jerk reaction you displayed. I'll take some time to consider before formulating a response. Justin talk 19:31, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
The problem with the struck-out words was that I realised I was actually misrepresenting the quote. She didn't actually say that "Suez syndrome" was dispelled, she wrote "We developed what might be called the 'Suez syndrome', having previously exaggerated our power, we now exaggerated our impotence." The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 20:23, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
In which case, what is wrong with putting in the full quote? Justin talk 22:46, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Addendum. And what would be wrong with saying that Britain committed her forces in the Falklands War before the US declared her full support? Justin talk 22:48, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Because you are using the fact (and it is a fact, not in dispute) that the USA publicly declared its support after the task force had sailed as evidence that (1) the US did not support the UK until this exact moment and (2) the UK would have gone in anyway, regardless of whether US support was forthcoming. But (1) and (2) do not follow from the fact, neither logically, nor in reality (1 - [28]; 2 [29]). If you do not provide a source that, to quote WP:SYN, "explicitly reaches the same conclusion", you are engaging in synthesis. I'm trying to be as polite as possible here, but can't you see that? All you have to do is provide a source that explicitly reaches the same conclusion as you. (Also, our debate aside, we should bear in mind that this is a section on Suez and the general aftermath, specifics about the Falklands conflict should be in that section). The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:12, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Ah now there you're synthesising and that's the problem. The statement is too stark. If we use wording which suggests that from Suez onwards Britain could not act unilaterally without specifying that it only applied to militaristic invasive ventures then it is wrong. The UK did gain US support for the Falklands so we don't know know what would have happened if Reagan had done what Eisenhower did in 56. What Thatcher said does not mean that she would not have carried on; more rather that it would have made things more difficult. Either way, it's agrey area which undermines the black and white statement. Moreover, the statement does not apply to economic activity, which can be far more influential than a body of troops. Does the US government control UK investment banks? Does it veto their actions? How about social activity? Did the conservative (small 'c') US stop the Beatles from - as some might have said - spreading depravity in the 60's? These are both areas where Britain had and has influence which is exerted independently. Imagining the UK is a satellite of the US is too simplistic - we can't have a statement suggesting it is because it entirely misses the nature of the relationship. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:14, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Wiki-Ed - there's been a lot of banter and I'm not exactly who you mean by "you" or indeed "the statement" - can you please clarify? BTW - "satellite" was the reaction of an MP at the time (quoted in James' Rise and Fall), the wording makes it very clear that this was a contemporary opinion. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 22:03, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Usage of United Kingdom vs. British Empire during World War II

Would I be correct in assuming that only significant difference between "United Kingdom" and "British Empire" is that the latter includes Crown Colonies? Oberiko (talk) 03:10, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

During WWII no. India was still in the Empire as were most of the African colonies (S. Africa had dominion status). Generally people would have used the term Empire forces or British and Commonwealth forces' to refer to British troops, Empire troops (such as the 1st African Division and the forces of the Indian Army) and forces from the dominions of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. Jooler (talk) 23:02, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


Is there a timeline for British empire on all continents? That would be a snapshot of sphere of influence in any year in history. At present, it is cumbersome to grasp the big picture.Anwar (talk) 16:04, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

See Jooler (talk) 23:04, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


How has this Rockall made it onto the list of 8 Decolonisation and decline (1945–1997), and mentioned in the same breath as India, Canada etc. Surely this should either be removed from the British Empire, or BRIEFLY mentioned in the Legacy section. Rockybiggs (talk) 11:26, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree. There was a big argument about it a year or so ago where I made the same point, but ended up giving in. I don't think it should be mentioned at all. It has nothing to do with the Empire. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 11:30, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Says who? The section had a source which says it is relevant. Please don't remove things because you don't happen to agree with them, even if it does undermine the unprovable Suez theory. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:38, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I detect a little bitterness. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 10:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Wiki-Ed how about moving this section to the Legacy section,
we are talking about a baron rock here after all. Rockybiggs (talk) 10:58, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
If it has to stay, it's in the right place. It is definitely not a "legacy" of the British Empire. It is a legacy of the Cold War. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 11:24, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Mighty Rockall! Last outpost of the Empire! Rule Brittania!--Gazzster (talk) 08:52, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Pax Britannica

I don't believe that the term 'Pax Britannica' has much currency. There are a few obscure references to its use and one from the 'The Oxford History of the British Empire', but one swallow does not a summer make. The only place I've seen it used much is on Wikipedia. Jooler (talk) 22:45, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

[30]--Gazzster (talk) 23:38, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
[31] The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 01:23, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there still an empire?

I thought an empire was where people living in other places are ruled by a single country and people live in the Falklands and Pitcairn Island and they are ruled by the UK Mike i cool (talk) 21:14, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Mike i cool

Technically that's true, although I'm not sure "ruled by the UK" is entirely correct, but the term (and this article) relate to a historical entity which has ceased to exist, or at least has changed form to such an extent that the definition is no longer applicable. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:36, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually its incorrect. British Overseas Territories are self-governing in that they have their own democratically elected representatives that govern the territory, the British Government pays no role in administering their affairs, except for defence and diplomatic representation. Justin talk 15:37, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Technically the British Empire ceased to exist with India and Pakistan becoming independant republics. That's the only place where Britain actually was a empire ;)--Him and a dog 15:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

During the days of the Empire there were in fact self-governing colonies, eg., Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand. They claimed to be part of the Empire. When we talk about the 'British Empire', we're talking about a political milieu, a mindset, a culture, that bound the British people and their descendants scattered across the world. As with many things British, it did not end with a single event; it ended with the decline of the cultural domination of the vast parts of the world by Britain. Britain no longer thinks in terms of 'the British dominions beyond the seas' or 'rule Britannia'. So even though it still governs territories the Empire mentality is over.--Gazzster (talk) 01:41, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comment - Dutch Empire map

Various alterations to the Dutch Empire map have been made, with no sources provided for these alterations. Would appreciate comment on the Talk:Dutch Empire page. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:23, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

As the one above me has said, we are having a dispute. He claims this site is an unreliable reference despite the fact that they list where they got every single piece of information from. (Red4tribe (talk) 23:28, 25 April 2008 (UTC))

Reference needed

A fact tag has been added to the assertion that the British empire was the largest in history. Jakezing reverted this, saying "we don't need a citation, the article states it several times and its sat there long enough". I feel that this is totally contrary to WP:V - the fact that the unsourced claim has been there a long time and is restated several times doesn't give it the right to ignore WP policy. I actually think it's probably true, but it does need to be sourced. (talk) 15:44, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually you don't need to cite every single fact on a page and sticking fact tags on an article to apparently disrupt it has the appearance of being pointy. If there is something you disagree with, its generally a good idea to discuss it with other editors first. Simply ploughing ahead and insisting on your version of the truth will violate WP:3RR and likely earn yourself a block. The aim is to build a consensus. I would suggest you familiarise yourself a little more how wikipedia works. Justin talk 16:01, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

There has been a number of disruptive edits coming from this same IP Location this is just another from the same Campus, who keep on Vandalizing.

  • IP Address
  • City CORK
  • Country IRELAND
  • ISP CAMPUS NETWORK. --Rockybiggs (talk) 16:35, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Quite probably correct, doesn't hurt to assume good faith. Besides I have a pretty good idea who that is anyway. Justin talk 20:05, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I'll make a couple of comments here if I may. To the IP (I'll assume here it's the same person or group of people); if you think something should be changed and any dispute arises, it's usually best to take it to the talk page and try to get Wikipedia:Consensus. Please make sure you understand WP:NPOV as well, and Wikipedia:Edit war.

To Rockybiggs; I'll back up what Justin said to you; you are quite possibly correct, but it doesn't hurt to keep up WP:AGF. Personally, I don't think we can assume vandalism. There is a little bit of edit warring, and possibly a slight POV being pushed, but that in itself is not enough to assume intent to vandalise.

To all; let's not be too quick to assume every edit being made is disruptive. One at least is factually correct. The IP was right in pointing out that not all six counties of Northern Ireland had Protestant/Unionist majorities when Ireland was partitioned. Fermanagh and Tyrone actually had a fairly even split, with a slight Catholic majority in each (and still do have Catholic majorities, as Derry/Londonderry and Armagh now also do). That change, along with accompanying citations, and some more debatable editing, was reverted - it should be put back. Tameamseo (talk) 21:25, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes quite, WP:AGF until they are banned.--Rockybiggs (talk) 21:35, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

That's the spirit Rocky! :) I've gone ahead and restored the correction about the counties, which is after all a matter of simple fact backed up by sources and shouldn't really have been reverted in the first place. Tameamseo (talk) 22:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

To get back to the original point: I think it is fair to require a citation for the claim that the British Empire was the largest territorial dominion ever. It's easy to fall into the trap of a Euro-centric view of the world; ironically, the viewpoint that brought the BE down.The vast lands under Mongol role, from Bejiing to the Danube, may have been larger. --Gazzster (talk) 23:32, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

It would be proper to reference the book itself not the google books link, the google books link makes the page look messy. Thanks. Justin talk 08:31, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I just copied the references which had been there before but were reverted and they do look messy. I'll change it when I get time. Tameamseo (talk) 10:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

As regards the 'largest empire', I found the following citations in favour of the British empire [32] [33].

On the other hand, there are also plenty of sources to support the Mongol claim [34] [35] [36] [37] [38]

In addition to those two, there are sources for others being larger. This is an example of support for the Russians[39]. The 2006 book From the Dark Ages to the Renaissance: 700-1599 AD by Peter P. Liddel, Josephine Crawley Quinn, Peter Heather, Mitchell Beazley, Andrew Bell, John Stevenson, Andrew Pettegree, is one source which says Alexander the Great's empire was the largest in history.

At the very least, I would have to say that the assertion seems debatable given the differing sources. Tameamseo (talk) 10:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Whilst we are examining the first sentence, I have also never been happy with the statement that "The British Empire...was the world's foremost global power". Britain was the power, not the Empire. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 10:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Mmm, a quick look on Wikipedia shows the Mongol Empire at 33 000 000 km², the Britsh Empire at 36 700 000 km². Population in the British Empire at 458 million, the Mongol Empire 100 million. Mongol Empire was a contiguous land mass, the British Empire was global. What do you want to use to define "largest"? A quick peek at the available data would indicate that the British Empire was larger. I can't access the JSTOR article so can't comment. They were all largest in their day but the British Empire was largest overall. A little common sense is in order here I believe.
And regarding Red Hat's comment I think the Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders might disagree that Britain was the sole power. Not to mention the Indian Army, the Gurkhas or any of the many native levies. Justin talk 11:05, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but we are dealing with fact here, not people's sensitivities. It was Britain that built and maintained the Navy, it was Britain that sent administrators to its colonies, it was Britain that declared war on the colonies' behalf, it was Britain that had the legal power to grant independence to the colonies and Dominions (save for those American rascals, who broke the law). Yes, Britain was not a power without its empire, but it was nevertheless Britain, as the controlling head of the empire, that was the power. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 02:57, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
What is power, without a power base? One is nothing without the other. Justin talk 08:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I suggest there is no need to make any assertion about the comparitive size of the Empire. It lends itself to a eurocentric mindset. How can we quantify precisely the borders of the Mongol Empire? Certainly not in a time when national borders as we understand them now did not exist. So the difference of 3000 km between the BE and the ME is pretty well interpretive and arbitrary. As Justin intimates, 'largest' is a nebulous concept, fraught with incautious comparisons and POV laden.--Gazzster (talk) 23:55, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree, it would simpler and avoid all the aggravation to say in each article that in their day there were the largest empires on earth. Neither were unique in being empires. Justin talk 08:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
disagree, think it is a valid comment and described on another wikipedia page stateing the largest empire of all time. The Mongol Empire can be defined, by the areas that have been documentated as being under there control. Lets not forgot a far older empire, the Roman Empire borders are clearly defined, same with the Persian, Hittites empire. To say there were no national borders as we know today, is really a none arguement.--Rockybiggs (talk) 09:15, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Changing the sentence to incorporate the weasel wording needed to placate the vandals does not strike me as being particularly sensible. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Whose empire?

May I point out that the United Kingdom doesn't get a mention in the lead section, which I think is notable by its absence. --Jza84 |  Talk  01:09, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

You are right... I had never noticed that! The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 02:28, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Pink or red?

The antique map's colour for the B.E. is clearly pink, despite the fact that it says it is red on the map. Given that I have seen other atlases and globes of the period shaded in the same colour (pink, not red), and indeed, there is a book on the subject of the remaining British Overseas Territories entitled "The Last Pink Bits" [40], I think that Wikipedia's legend should state the colour that it is, rather than what the map itself says it is. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:21, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Mmm, interesting argument, the map says red but you think its pink, whatever happened to verifiability over truth? Colours are notoriously subjective, for example see [[Category:Shades of red]] the shades of red category I've added below, several of which have various degrees of "pinkness" but are all classified as red (which I'll explain presently). Also with more thorough research, you'd have noticed that both Pink and Red have equally been used to demarcate the former British Empire, for example on Wikipedia see The empire on which the sun never sets and I quote "especially during the Victorian era, when British world maps coloured the Empire in red or pink" Looking into it even deeper, Red is the colour traditionally associated with the British Empire[41] (the Redcoats, the Red Duster etc etc), use of Pink is a printers compromise from the 19th century since a red background made it difficult to read letters overprinted in black, and so pink was used as a colour close to red but light enough for the lettering to be clearly legible. On that basis I've gone and reverted the compromise edit, since red is the colour traditionally associated with the British Empire. Justin talk 11:16, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes it did start as red, but pink became Universally accepted and pink become the colour. This is the assciated colour, no matter how it started out, and the map in this case is clearly wrong. It was also taught in schools with the famous pharse ``all the pink bits are British``.[42] [43] [44]--Rockybiggs (talk) 12:09, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The colour is rose-pink, which is a shade of both red and pink. However, the version shown on this site is slightly different from the colour of the ribbon of awards made in the Order of the British Empire, which use this colour. I think that's about as official as it gets. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Wiki-Ed. The map says its red, is there a need to argue about it? Justin talk 13:21, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I am content with the compromise wording. The colour displayed is the "correct" colour (insofar as I believe it corresponds to other sources I have seen), although I would not describe it as "red" myself. We can leave it for the reader to decide what it is because, as you say, colour is (or used to be) highly subjective. Wiki-Ed (talk) 15:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Map RFC at Italian Colonial Empire

Hi - I'd be grateful for any input at Talk:Italian Colonial Empire regarding the map. [45] The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 18:35, 8 June 2008 (UTC)