British people are proud of colonialism and the British Empire, poll finds
The Empire's history is not widely taught in detail in British schools
The British public are generally proud of their country’s role in colonialism and the British Empire, according to a new poll.
At its height in 1922 the British Empire governed a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s total land area, but its legacy divides opinion.
Common criticisms of the empire include its policies causing millions of famine deaths in British India, its running of brutal detention camps in occupied territories, and massacres of civilians by imperial troops.
The British Empire was also a dominant slave-trading power until the practice was outlawed in 1807, after which the Empire played key a role in ending the practice internationally.
The Empire’s proponents say it brought economic development to parts of the world and benefited the countries it controlled.
David Cameron has previously said the Empire should be “celebrated”.
YouGov found 44 per cent were proud of Britain’s history of colonialism while only 21 per cent regretted that it happened. 23 per cent held neither view.
The same poll also asked about whether the British Empire was a good thing or a bad thing: 43 per cent said it was good, while only 19 per cent said it was bad. 25 per cent responded that it was “neither”.
Rest at RL.