March 28, 2003
America: an Empire in Denial
Once there was an empire that governed roughly a quarter of the world's population, covered about the same proportion of the Earth's land surface, and dominated nearly all its oceans. The British empire was the biggest empire ever, bar none. How an archipelago of rainy islands off the northwest coast of Europe came to rule the world is one of the fundamental questions not just of British but of world history.
Why should Americans care about the history of the British empire? There are