The history of decolonisation is a fascinating one, and one that has attracted some of the best academic analysis. It benefits, too, from the quickened pace of the release of British official documents, which has produced a flood of papers, memoranda, Cabinet discussions, correspondence, secret, as well as merely confidential, that throws new light on the process of decolonisation, and will continue to do so. Many of these documents have found their way into print, with the series British Documents of the End of Empire providing an invaluable source for historians of Empire, and a corrective to facile views such as that the empire was doomed by the granting of Indian self-government in 1947, or by the Suez crisis. Indeed, so complex is the picture now emerging that the expression ‘end of empire’ might be better replaced by something like ‘old empires never die, they just fade away’.
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- Conclusion: Colonisation and Decolonisation — A Perspective
D. George Boyce
- Macmillan Education UK
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