By John Darwin
The British Empire, wrote Adam Smith, 'has hitherto been no longer an empire, however the undertaking of an empire' and John Darwin bargains a magisterial international historical past of the increase and fall of that fab imperial venture. The British Empire, he argues, used to be even more than a bunch of colonies governed over through a scattering of British expatriates till eventual independence. It was once, particularly, a world phenomenon. Its strength derived a little less from the statement of imperial authority than from the fusing jointly of 3 other forms of empire: the settler empire of the 'white dominions'; the economic empire of town of London; and 'Greater India' which contributed markets, manpower and army muscle. This extraordinary background charts how this complicated imperial internet was once first reinforced, then weakened and at last severed at the rollercoaster of worldwide fiscal, political and geostrategic upheaval on which it rode from starting to finish.