The British Empire is one of the most influential empires. Today, the term “Empire” is often used synonymously with “British Empire,” but there is a vast difference between the two. It extended globally, from North America to Australia and India to East Africa. The Empire united people of different cultures, languages, and religions under a single flag. The British Empire comprised more than 170 independent countries merged into a single entity some 150 years ago.
Their influence spread far beyond their shores — today, many former British colonies are members of the Commonwealth or EU (European Union). But where would those nations be if not for the British Empire? Below we take you through some of the most likely scenarios that could play out if the British Empire reunited today.
A Post-Imperial Britain With No Colonies Left To Rule.
If the British Empire reunited today, the new country would entirely depend on the United Kingdom for its survival. Emperor George VI was the last British monarch to rule over an empire, and it was at his insistence that the dominions of the British Empire were renamed. While we often used “imperial” pejoratively during the British Empire, it is now used to describe a global rule system that served the British people’s interests. The colonies were quickly granted independence and quickly formed their independent states.
Note that the dominions of the British Empire were not typically reliant on the UK for survival. Australia, New Zealand, and the other British Isles were self-sufficient, with food surpluses that allowed them to survive without the need for British imperialism. Australia’s population was initially encouraged to move in with British families. In contrast, New Zealand was encouraged to settle in and take control of its indigenous population through a process known as “Māori “resettlement.”
The United States of Europe.
Europe in the form of a Western-style European Union would have existed without the British Empire. The EU is a federal union of 28 independent countries that belong to the same family. The EU is a medieval relic with far-reaching adverse effects on people and the environment.
A Western-style European Union with the United States of Europe as its core would likely have been even more harmful. The British Empire prevented the EU from becoming as undemocratic as it could have been. The United States of Europe, though, would likely have been even more anti-democratic and could remain as undemocratic as the EU does today.
China and the European Union.
It is often argued that the EU is an out-of-date, ineffective, and unwanted construct. In many ways, it could be said to be the embodiment of the British Empire, which served as the model for the European Union. But now that the Empire has passed away, the EU could easily and quickly become the primary vehicle for American influence in Europe.
The EU is not nearly as globally engaged as the British Empire, which served as the primary conduit for American influence in Europe. With the end of the British Empire, Europe would become more of a hub for the American influence, with China replacing Britain as the primary source of Chinese influence in Europe.
India Heading Towards Greater Integration with Europe.
The British Empire comprised many culturally, linguistically, and religiously diverse countries. Many former British colonies have become Africa, the Americas, and Asia. With the demise of the British Empire, the largest remaining British Empire country, India would become a critical node in the emerging global power web.
With its growing political and military power, and increasing economic importance, India could quickly become a significant player in the new global order. Moreover, India could easily be mighty with its rising economic and military power and increasing political and military importance.
Russia and the United States of America.
On paper, the United States of America has much in common with the United Kingdom. Both are deeply unionized, both have parliamentary systems, and both have wide-based labour unions. But the two countries are very, very different. The US is a constitutional republic, with a monarch as head of state, whereas the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system.
The UK and US are highly industrialized and technologically advanced. Still, the US has a more significant percentage of immigrants than the UK, and the diversity of its cultures is much greater. The US has also been much more involved in world affairs for the last century, with the Second World War being the most famous and influential event in American history.
In terms of geographical size and cultural influence, the United Kingdom and the United States are similar. The UK has a much more significant percentage of immigrants than the US, and the diversity of its cultures is much greater. In many ways, Europe and America are more alike than they are different. But then again, that is where most of the similarity ends.
The United Kingdom has always been more racially and culturally diverse than the more homogeneous American nation, with its large immigrant and non-white communities. The British Empire, with its large non-white communities and diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, was more in line with the American way.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the South Pacific.
In many ways, the South Pacific is the perfect analog for the Americas. It is a highly industrialized, technologically advanced, and racially and culturally homogeneous region. The two areas have much in common, including their shared history as British colonies.
The South Pacific islands were also part of the British Empire, with New Zealand and Australia being its significant components. The same could be said for Southeast Asia, which also had its origins in British imperialism.
Mexico and a New World Order.
The British Empire never really went away; it just evolved. The new countries that emerged from it became independent, keeping the imperial flag and the British monarch as their national heads of state. The UK, Canada, and other European countries are still British dominions, but the Empire is more extensive now, including everything that was once a British colony.
The new US order would likely not be too different from the old one. The US still has a monarch as its head of state, but now it includes many former British colonies and territories that were once part of the British Empire.
Australia and New Zealand Reunited as One Country.
The British Empire was made up of many independent countries. The new world order would also be made up of many independent countries. The areas affected the most by whatever happens in the future would be Asia and Africa.
Asia would be divided between China and the European Union, while Europe would be divided between the Eastern and Western European parties. The United States and Canada would combine into one country, called “The United States of Canada,” while Australia and New Zealand would become one.
The Rise of a New Britain
Britain could bring its vast Empire together if it became a new nation-state. The Empire was in many ways a British creation, so its reparations to the peoples of the former colonies would have to consider the new circumstances on the ground. The demands of the new nation-state would make it necessary for the Empire to share a common border. Still, that shared border would create a single political entity, regardless of language, culture, or race differences.
The Empire would have to adopt a parliamentary government, with the British parliament retaining its role as the constitutional heart of the Empire. The Empire would continue to exist, but it would be a much smaller entity with a much more modest role in world affairs. It would likely be called the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, or the UK.
The United States Domination Is Over
Today, the American Empire is a shadow of its former self; it no longer reaches into other continents or even the remotest corners of the Americas. It has been reduced to the smallest island nation, the United States of America. The present-day political landscape could provide an attractive backdrop to this.
The United States has no proven oil reserves, is water-based, and relies on agriculture for its growth. The American people also speak many different languages, with different cultural influences shaping their language varieties over time. It would make sense that the American people would want to choose their government and parliament back as closely as possible to their own as they have a long and rich history as a United States colony.
East Timor Becomes An Even Greater Asset
East Timor is one of the wildest and most beautiful places in the world, with an estimated population of just under half a million. The country is also one of the most mineral-rich areas in the world, with huge oil and gas reserves under the Timor Sea. Finally, the former British colony of East Timor is a tempting option for a reunited empire.
The region also has a sizeable Muslim population, and it is widely believed that Muslim Timorios would form an essential component of a newly reunited British Empire. The people of Timor would also be British nationals, making them a valuable political resource. The rest of the former British holdings in East Timor would likely be included in the United Kingdom, making it its largest trading partner.
India Continues To Grow and Develop
India’s growth and development have been rapid over the last few decades, and the country is now one of the most technologically advanced in the world. India has also made great strides in social justice, with an extensive welfare system and one of the world’s lowest child mortality rates.
India would likely become the largest trading partner of the UK and would likely be followed by the northeast region of the neighbouring country. The country also has large reserves of oil, gas, and minerals. It is also home to a sizeable Muslim population, and many believe that the Muslim population would make for a highly integrated part of a reunited British Empire.
Malaysia and Singapore Remain As Is
The future of Malaysia and Singapore remains a debated issue among experts. The two countries have a long and storied history, and the situation in both countries is likely to be very similar to what it was in 1946. It would likely include the former British territories in Malaysia in the United Kingdom. Both countries are racially and culturally diverse, with most of the population of Malay and Singaporean descent.
However, Singapore is an entirely different ball game. Singapore will have to split from Malaysia if it wants to be independent. It would be challenging for the whole country to remain one unit, even if it wanted to. After all, Singapore is a city-state with a highly well-connected and integrated smart city concept.
Hong Kong Becomes a Free City Again
Hong Kong is a particular case. It was formerly a British colony and has been part of China for the last 100 years. However, it is an independent city-state and one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. If Hong Kong were to rejoin the British Empire, it would probably consist of the same divided political entity as before, with a sizeable Chinese majority and a British minority. It would be necessary for the new Hong Kong government to maintain a strong British influence but keep the freedom of choice that Hong Kong has always enjoyed.
New Zealand Becomes An Independent State
The final option is for New Zealand to become a part of the British Empire again. New Zealand was not part of the British Empire because it was not part of the British Dominions but the British Commonwealth. The British Commonwealth is now a loose grouping of mostly-independent countries. If New Zealand were to join the Commonwealth, it would likely be a member state with strict immigration policies.
New Zealand was the last of the original British colonies to join the Empire, which did so in 1841. In those days, the concept of “separateness” was more important than it is today. The New Zealand Constitution Act of 1841 defined New Zealand as an “island province,” which was regarded as the start of its separation from Britain. However, the concept of the “separateness” of New Zealand was never wholly eradicated.
What would happen if New Zealand became a separate country from the rest of the British Empire? For example, only about 50km of the 2,000km long North Island lies inside New Zealand. The New Zealand Parliament also passed a law that prevented any person from being deported from one country to another without the consent of both parliaments.
Malaysia Merges Into A Tighter Union
If the British Empire were to be reunited, it would have to include the former British territories in the Malay Peninsula and Singapore. Although the Malay Peninsula is a part of Malaysia, it is an independent country with its own culture, language, and history. The two countries also share a border but are politically and culturally different. The former British territories in the Malay Peninsula would likely be incorporated into Malaysia, with the island of Borneo remaining an independent country.
Ireland Reunites as an Independent Country
The announcement of the country’s wish to withdraw from the EU led to some wild speculation. As one of the original members of the British Empire, Ireland would undoubtedly be keen to become a full member of the European Union again. But as things stand, it would only become a part of the European Union again after it leaves the EU in 2021. If, as is likely, the country votes to rejoin the EU in the next few years, it would be unable to inherit its membership automatically since it would be outside the EU’s customs union.
A border agreement with the EU is expected to be signed in the next few months, and it is expected that the signing of the agreement will be followed by a short period of downtime. During this time, the new member state will be able to join the EU’s internal market using only tariff-free trade. It would, of course, be great news for the people of Ireland, but what of the rest of the British Empire?
Japan Becomes a Major Economic Power
The Japanese government has also said that it will withdraw from the ASO if it becomes too difficult to manage an underaged workforce of 100 million. Tokyo has a lot of enthusiasm for the notion of a “re-colonization” of the world. It has been suggested that the re-colonization process would start with the return of the imperial palaces to China, followed by other former British colonies. But what would happen to the “Imperial Capitals” if the British Empire reunited today?
Germany and Europe’s Other Former Colonies Band Together
Germany and its former colonies in Eastern Europe have a long and rich history. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which formally handed over the territory of Belarus and Ukraine to Russia in 1918, was one of the first steps towards the end of the Russian Empire. Bilateral agreements have since been in place to normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries. Many experts expect that, given the right circumstances, the former Soviet states (including Belarus and Ukraine) would like to join the European Union again.
But a Brexit would make this much harder. Brexit will undoubtedly hurt the British economy, but it will have a much more significant impact on the EU. Any country that wants to join the Eastern Partnership should probably do so as a regional EU association since the EU membership would be too difficult for them. But the Eastern Partnership is not a real union, so that the countries would remain independent. They would be members of the EU only because they agreed to be.
All 7 Continents are United
The New World Order is a concept that grew from the writings of the 19th-century scientist and Francophone writer Pierre-Simon De Laplace. Laplace believed that the entire world was organized into distinct regions, with strict and clear-cut boundaries, with all nations directly or indirectly dependent on one or more of the others.
The idea is still very much with us today, with the United States and the rest of the world seeking to create a new world order that is more just, stable, and peaceful. The New World Order would be nothing short of a global utopia, with no nation-state or political boundaries. What would happen if the whole world was made up of nations that were all part of the New World Order?
India Merges With Pakistan
People think the two countries that comprise the bulk of the Indian subcontinent have never been part of the same country. On the contrary, the whole of South Asia was part of the British Empire until the Indian Mutiny of 1857. After this, the British government passed the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, unilaterally recognized by all dominions and territories in South Asia, including Pakistan.
The British government continued to exist in name until 1922, when it was succeeded by the Government of the Dominion of India. The Indian National Congress has advocated a “nation-state” form of government for India, with a Parliament consisting of national and regional representatives. Congress has also supported a secular form of government. It has in the past supported an upper house that would consist of elected representatives from all regions of the country. What would happen if the British Empire merged with the Indian National Congress?
The British Empire is one of the most famous and longest-lived empires in history. It was formed after the dissolution of the British Isles and lasted for over 127 years. It included dominions, protectorates, and colonies that are now part of modern-day nations.
Although the Empire was short-lived, it significantly impacted the course of human history and should be remembered and honoured. The new world order that could emerge from the old ruins would likely be very different from the one shattered so long ago.
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