What impact did the Second World War have upon British imperial authority? (by Valentin Boulan)

PublisHistory Blog

What impact did the Second World War have upon British imperial authority?

The Second World War was a key event in reshaping the geo-political map in the second half of the 20th century. The conflict resulted in a power shift from European imperial dominance towards US and Soviet hegemony , and a change in the organisation of nations characterised by the breakdown of imperial structures, particularly Britain’s. Certainly, many historians have pointed to the British Empire’s rapid post-war decline, arguing the war itself was a decisive factor in bringing British authority to an end. Before going any further, it must be reminded that WWII alone cannot explain the decline of the British Empire, and other factors such as the rising education of colonial subjects should not be overlooked.

However, this article aims not to compare the impact of the war with that of other issues. Rather, it will highlight some of the direct and indirect consequences of the war itself on British…

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