Pax Britannica (1815-1914)

Introduction

In the history of the British Empire, the period between 1815 and 1914 is often referred to as Pax Britannica or the ‘imperial century’. This was the period when the British Empire was most extensive, both in terms of land and population. It was also the time when the Empire was the strongest player in international relations, assuming the role of a police presence in international conflicts.

The changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution increased the Empire’s strength. Examples of new technologies such as the steamship, the telegraph, and new weaponry gave Great Britain greater control over the more remote parts of its territory, while also making it easier to defend their claim in these places.

The Indian Rebellion

In Asia, the East India Company continued to purchase land for the Empire, often helped by the Royal Navy. Although the company was privately owned, the military help they requested from the Crown made it less autonomous. At the same time, the company’s actions in Indian territories often had the effect of making th...

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