Hierarchy In Britain

815 Words 4 Pages
The British people believe of themselves as a greater people, “lords of all the world and thus of humankind,” (Cannadine, 5). They imposed their ideas about hierarchy of race and class, hoping to create replications of British society within other societies (9). They sought to use hierarchy to create a sense of belonging and importance within those they took over. Doing so allowed them greater political control, even if through the local elite. This occurred because Britain saw their new colonies as either being “backwards,” but they wanted to encourage the feelings of a “traditional and organic” order to continue to be their new colonies’ status quo (12). However, imposed hierarchy and Britain’s sole self-interest brought the colonists …show more content…
According to David Cannadine, this level of social, political, and economic control eventually led to the slow evolution of the British Empire from a comprehensive, far-reaching, regimented society to an “empire” comprised of nations who each wanted their national independence and individual …show more content…
They avoided acting as settlers and immigrants, focusing on conquering and trading instead (16). This argument appears to be flawed due to the basic fact that in order to settle, the lands need to be conquered. Furthermore, the focus of the American colonies was a trade economy. Whether this is a flaw in the argument of the author or in the thinking of the British, it is not clear as these two sets of tasks can appear to be distinct out of context. Furthermore, when discussing the reasoning behind the imposition of hierarchy, Cannadine believes that the British were only in it for their own interests. He explains that their focus was to allow those that came under their control to feel a greater sense of entitlement and self-importance, as seen through their architecture, the introduction of the honors system, and the grandiosity of British-like aristocracy, as seen in their leisure activities and employed staff for individual homes (18-21, 30-36). This seems very intense, but also a very likely scenario. While this is a very biased point of view from those who view non-British cultures as lesser, this was the view that Britons would have had. The fact that he attempts to argue in the point of view from times of the British Empire (not modern times) makes the argument more

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