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By Andrew Roberts

A magisterial heritage encouraged through Winston Churchill's recognized opus, A historical past of the English-Speaking Peoples because 1900 is an engrossing account of the 20th century, with a different viewpoint on our turbulent instances. In 1900, the place Churchill ended the fourth quantity of his background of the English-Speaking Peoples , the us had no longer but emerged onto the realm scene as an outstanding energy. but the arrival century used to be to belong to the English-speaking peoples, who successively and effectively fought the Kaiser's Germany, Axis aggression and Soviet Communism, and who're now suffering opposed to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. Andrew Roberts's historical past proves in particular helpful because the usa this day appears to be like to different elements of the English-speaking global as its top, closest and such a lot liable allies.

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An army of nearly half-a-million men had been fielded, larger than the enemy populations of the Transvaal and Orange Free State combined, yet on New Year's Day 1901 there was a serious armed incursion by Akrikaaner commandos into Queen Victoria's Cape Colony. Worse still for imperialists was the moral effect; the sheen of Empire that had seemed so bright at the Queen-Empress's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 seemed tarnished four years later as a result of the harsh measures employed to isolate 4 INTRODUCTION and harry the Boer forces.

Although Britain was under no threat from them herself, Lord Palmerston imposed regime change in Spain, Portugal and Belgium, using the power of the Royal Navy to force liberal constitutions on countries that baulked at first but later came to value them. 'I hold that the real policy of England', he told the House of Commons in March 1848, 'is to be the champion of justice and right... ' The neoconservatives of President George W. Bush's Administration did not invent some brand new political philosophy in their desire to extend representative institutions to the Middle East.

In 1901, there was nothing inevitable about the domination that the Englishspeaking peoples' political culture would retain throughout the twentieth century and beyond. Wilhelmine Germany's burgeoning economic power was reflected in the massive High Seas Fleet that was being built specifically to challenge the Royal Navy. Third Republic France had a huge global empire and a thirst for revenge against Britain for slights, real and imagined, that she had received over the last century, culminating on the Upper Nile three years earlier.

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