History 226


                                                      The British Empire


                                                            Bruce Kinzer



This mid-level survey course will examine the history of the British Empire from its origin in the sixteenth century through its dissolution in the twentieth.  The British Empire, whose beginnings were modest, would by the close of the nineteenth century encompass something like thirteen million square miles and a population of nearly 400 million.  Well before the end of the twentieth century this empire, the largest the world had ever seen, virtually ceased to exist.  Its story, from inception to extinction, is a remarkable one.  The forces shaping the British Empire were both endogenous and exogenous.  Internal imperatives, global imperial competition, and developments on the periphery impelled the empire forward and ultimately brought about its demise.  This course will seek to grasp the changing characteristics of the British Empire and try to explain the dynamics influencing its rise and fall.


Instructor’s Office:  Seitz House, #03.  Office Hours:  Monday, 9:30-Noon; Wednesday, 9:30-Noon; Thurs, 9:30-11:00.  Office Phone: 5318.  Home Phone:  393-0341.  E-Mail Address: kinzerb@kenyon.edu.


Responsibilities of Students—attend class (participation in the course presupposes regular attendance) and contribute to discussions; complete the reading assignments; take quizzes; sit mid-term and final examinations; compose and submit three short papers.  Any student with a disability bearing upon the carrying out of assigned course work should contact the Office of Disability Services at Ex. 5453.  The Coordinator of Disability Services is Erin Salva (salvae@kenyon.edu).  She will review your concerns with a view to determining what accommodations are appropriate.  All information and documentation of disability remain confidential.



Grading Scheme


                                    Participation                                         15%


                                    Quizzes                                                15%


                                    Mid-Term Exam (Wed., Oct. 12)         15%


                                    Final Exam                                           25%


                                    Three Papers                                        30 (10% each)




Books Required for HIST 226


                        Trevor Lloyd    The British Empire1558-1995

                        Linda Colley     Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850

                        David Cannadine  Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire

                        James Morris    Pax Britannica: The Climax of an Empire

                        George Orwell  Burmese Days



Reading Assignments—Assignments should be completed by the beginning of class on Friday of each week.


Week I             Lloyd, Preface, pp. 1-61; Colley, pp. 1-41



Week II           Colley, pp. 42-134



Week III          Lloyd, pp. 62-84; Colley, pp. 137-202 



Week IV          Lloyd, pp. 85-111; Colley, pp. 203-238



Week V           Colley, pp. 241-307



Week VI          Lloyd, 112-137; Colley, pp. 308-346 



Week VII         Lloyd, pp. 138-170; Colley, pp. 347-379



Week VIII       Cannadine, The Whole Thing



Week IX          Lloyd, pp. 171-252     



Week X           Morris, The Whole Thing



Week XI          Lloyd, pp. 253-312



Week XII         Orwell, The Whole Thing



Week XIII       Lloyd, pp. 312-346



Week XIV       Lloyd, pp. 347-380




Instructions for Papers:  Each paper should be approximately 1500 words in length. Parenthetical citations should be provided for quotations, ideas, and assertions derived from your sources.


First Paper, due at the beginning of class on Monday, Sept. 26.

Using the relevant sections of Lloyd and Colley, briefly explain the divergent outcomes experienced by Britain in the Seven Years War and the American War of Independence.


Second Paper, due at the beginning of class, Friday, Nov. 4.

Using the relevant sections of Lloyd and Morris, briefly explain what was “new” in the “New Imperialism” of the late nineteenth century.


Third Paper, due at the beginning of class, Monday, Dec. 5.

Using Orwell’s Burmese Days, along with the relevant sections of Lloyd and Cannadine, briefly examine the sources of Britain’s declining imperial morale between Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the onset of the Second World War in 1939.   




Academic Honesty and Questions of Plagiarism:  Please review carefully the section on “Academic Honesty and Questions of Plagiarism” in the Kenyon College Course of Study for 2005-2006 (pp. 26-29).