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The British Empire's Legacy

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 31 December 1998

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Britain's colonial legacy. The 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th centuries were times of colonial conquest for this country but the abiding image of empire (true or not) is stuck squarely in the 1850’s when Victoria was on the throne and the world map was liberally sprinkled with red. So what does that mean for us as we go into the next millennium - Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social History at University College London, asks us to 're-remember' our colonial past, and suggests that only by acknowledging the guilt it has saddled us with and its legacy of a truly multi-cultural Britain can we face our new life in Europe.Are there different ways of remembering that past, and what effect do these different approaches have on our present? Are we still too close to our imperial past to view it objectively, or is the reverse true - that we are too deeply rooted in our present to learn the lessons of that past? With Catherine Hall, Professor Modern British Social and Cultural History, University College, London; Professor Linda Colley, currently holder of the Leverhulme Research Professorship at the London School of Economics and former Professor of History, Yale University.

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