Articles on British Empire

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Thomas Johnson’s illustration of his banana plant from The Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes. Wikimedia Commons

The day bananas made their British debut

The story of Britain's favourite tropical fruit (and how it came to dominate the world).
Fireworks go off at the opening ceremonies for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Why the Commonwealth Games still matter

The Commonwealth Games do not get the same level of media coverage as the Olympics. But a one-time Commonwealth gold medallist says the Games are still an important athletic competition.
A scene from Sir Clarmont Percival Skrine’s film Quetta-Damghan, almost certainly the only colour footage of the Indian Long Range Squadron in action. The film recently has been digitised by the Royal Geographical Society and the British Film Institute. British Film Institute/Royal Geographical Society

British Empire’s hidden workings in India and Iran revealed in remarkable new film footage

More than 100 historic expeditionary and travel films have been digitised recently by the Royal Geographical Society and the British Film Institute.
A controversial article in a respected academic journal recently made the argument for colonialism. Here, a man is carried by Congolese men in a photo from the early 20th centiry.

Colonialism was a disaster and the facts prove it

An academic article that asserted the benefits of colonialism caused an outcry and resulted in calls for its removal. A post-colonial expert explains why.
How will U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis handle America’s “Forever War’? Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP

Afghanistan is now officially James Mattis’ war

Donald Trump's speech on "principled realism" in Afghanistan contained few surprises. Now, under the aegis of DOD chief Mattis it is the latest stage in America’s "forever war."

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