On the subject of whether the British Empire ever "fell";
Once the American colonies were lost, the real heart of the British empire was India. The remaining colonies in the strict sense (receiving emigrants
from Britain) became increasingly independent partners.
India was the territory which got legally established as an "Empire". The territory kept expanding, mainly as a way of protecting the provinces
already under British control. For this purpose, armies were sent as far afield as Afghanistan and Burma.
Another concern was to protect the routes between Britain and India. That was why it was desirable to have segments of control all the way round
Africa, with CapeTown as the most important station. Also Lord Salisbury was shrewd enough to swap the now useless Heligoland for the German-held
The other route was the shortcut through the Mediterranean. Hence the firm grip on Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, and the Suez Canal. It was typical of
Lord Salisbury, again, that he arranged for the conquest of the Sudan as an oblique way of protecting Egypt.
Both routes were of vital importance in the war against Hitler. (If you like, we can think of that as the real purpose in God's eyes of the existence
of the British Empire, which could be wound up once that task was over).
After the war, the territories of India were allowed to have the independence which they had been demanding. Churchill had always resisted this idea,
because he thought the act would begin the winding-up of the British Empire. For practical purposes, he was right. Once India had been given up, most
of the subsidiary possessions in Africa and Asia had lost their point, though it took the British government another couple of decades to grasp the
nettle and withdraw.
So it is true that the Victorian empire- which involved controlling the world as a way of keeping a firm grasp on the Ganges valley- has come to an
As Kipling predicted.
"Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Ninevah and Tyre" [Recessional)
Many years ago I read another version. A journalist was re-visiting his home-town (or his native part of London). In his taxi journey, he noticed that
the old familiar "Empire cinema" was no longer visible. "What happened to the "Empire?", he asked.
"Don't you remember, guv?" said the taxi driver. "We gave it away to the Yanks during the war".
edit on 4-8-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)