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Unfinished Empire by John Darwin

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Unfinished Empire

The article entitled “Unfinished Empire” by John Darwin published in London considers the reasons of the fall of the British Empire. Mr. Darwin refers to Harold Macmillan’s ideas and enumerates possible reasons of different empires’ collapses. The author also explains why it is difficult to predict their fall. At the end of the article John Darwin concludes that the demolition of the British Empire was caused by the destructive nature of all causes.

To begin with, John Darwin examines a historical myth, which suggests that the British excelled in the practice of ‘managed decline’: the pragmatic adjustment of imperial ambition to shrinking resources. He agrees that It was certainly true the British were not eager to resist mass political movements. But they used military force where chances of success were better.

After that, the author dwells upon Harold Macmillan’s scheme for preserving British world power that changed the wrong understanding of European politics and conception of the complex realities of African politics. Mr. Darwin considers Macmillan’s assumption, according to which predicting historical change is very difficult, adding that it is proved by many historical examples, an unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union on the one hand, and surprising vitality of the Ottoman Empire on the other.

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