Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

This chapter reports the impact of the wartime experience on the British Empire as a system of power, and suggest where between these two extremes the Imperial or colonial outcome of the war came to rest. Whether Britain could transform itself into a continental elephant, instead of being constrained into an Imperial and aquatic role, was also an issue between 1914 and 1918. The war did not spawn new Dominion nations in the way that simplified commentaries afterwards assumed. Just as the Great War was for Britain too complex an experience in human terms ever to be satisfactorily reconstructed by historians, so its Imperial dimension cannot be reduced to a formula.

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