Assess the Significance of Strategic Factors in Bringing About Change in Relation to Expansion and Dismantling of the British Empire in Africa in the Period C1870 – C1981

2337 words 10 pages
Assess the significance of strategic factors in bringing about change in relation to expansion and dismantling of the British Empire in Africa in the period c1870 – c1981

The British expansion into the Dark Continent rose as fast as it declined, although there were many contributing factors to expansion, those same factors then contributed to the decolonisation of the continent. Historian Bernard Porter argues that formal imperialism for Britain was a symptom and an effect of its relative decline in the world, and not of strength. Therefore it was strategic policy that influenced Britain’s expansion in Africa, more so than economic or moral aims. Strategic policy, in definition, is the foreign policy of Britain changing due to internal
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It can therefore be said that Britain’s further intervention into African states was required to secure her investments in Egypt. The importance of securing the waterway was outdated, especially with encroaching European powers. Therefore suggesting that British expansion was due to economic purposes but to do so they had to strategically protect interests in Africa, thus expansion was therefore necessary to secure these economic propositions.
Other reason other than strategic factors that led to expansion in to the Dark Continent was for moral implications. ‘It (the empire) was sustained by pride in the empire as an essential part of Britain’s national identity and ad defining Britain’s role in the world’ Britain was viewed as a powerful nation having strong views on freedom and democracy and felt it was their paternal responsibility to influence nations government and policy to the same. Britain having secured the status as a large super power, they saw it as their responsibility to get involved in other nations and reproduce what had made Britain so eminent and affluent. Therefore it can be argued that Britain’s desire to morally influence Africa had been significant to expand empire. However the moral argument for expansion into Africa was one of its time, therefore being merely a scapegoat for other reasoning behind entering Africa. Therefore suggesting that the white mans burden was just an excuse for the