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Unformatted text preview: E II
Right through his tory, im perial powers have clung to their pos s es s ions to death. Why, then, did Britain in 1947
give up the jewel in its crown, India? For m any reas ons . The independence s truggle expos ed the hollownes s of
the white m an's burden. Provincial s elf rule s ince 1935 paved the way for full s elf rule. Churchill res is ted
independence, but the Labour governm ent of Atlee was anti-im perialis t by ideology. Finally, the Royal Indian Â
Navy m utiny in 1946 rais ed fears of a s econd Sepoy m utiny, and convinced Britis h waverers that it was s afer to
withdraw gracefully. But politico-m ilitary explanations are not enough. The bas is of em pire was always m oney.
The end of em pire had m uch to do with the fact that Britis h im perialis m had ceas ed to be profitable. World War
II left Britain victorious but deeply indebted, needing Mars hall Aid and loans from the World Bank. This
cons titutes a s trong financial cas e for ending the no-longer-profitable em pire.
Em pire building is exp...
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This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.
- Summer '14