Best years of the British Empire ?

#1
In view of the latest budget and tidings of doom and gloom, what period of British history would you regard as it's finest ?

Bear in mind the following :

Life expectancy

War (We were usually fighting someone)

Standard of living (wages, hours etc.)

Education

Medical treatment.


e.g.

1800's - War with France, chance of being press ganged, life expectancy not great, education and medical not too good either.


I think it would have to be post war, jobs, the introduction of the NHS, Capital punishment still in force and National service.
 
#2
1908 - 1914
No major wars. The worst excesses of social hardship were either dealt with or were being addressed.
Fully functional national transport and communications infrastructure. Pretty effective international equivalents.
Great scientific and medical advances. Great personal freedom and liberty. Fantastic opportunities for travel and commerce.

and so on.
 
#3
EX_STAB said:
1908 - 1914
No major wars. The worst excesses of social hardship were either dealt with or were being addressed.
Fully functional national transport and communications infrastructure. Pretty effective international equivalents.
Great scientific and medical advances. Great personal freedom and liberty. Fantastic opportunities for travel and commerce.

and so on.
Except we didn't have universal suffrage so as a society we were not 'free'.

I'd agree on the post WW2 era.
 

Auld-Yin

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#4
1957

We know because Harold Macmillan told us "many of our people have never had it so good."

And if the Prime Minister says so then it must be, n'est pas?
 
#6
Markintime said:
EX_STAB said:
1908 - 1914
No major wars. The worst excesses of social hardship were either dealt with or were being addressed.
Fully functional national transport and communications infrastructure. Pretty effective international equivalents.
Great scientific and medical advances. Great personal freedom and liberty. Fantastic opportunities for travel and commerce.

and so on.
Except we didn't have universal suffrage so as a society we were not 'free'.

I'd agree on the post WW2 era.
and we are now? :?
 
#7
Markintime said:
EX_STAB said:
1908 - 1914
No major wars. The worst excesses of social hardship were either dealt with or were being addressed.
Fully functional national transport and communications infrastructure. Pretty effective international equivalents.
Great scientific and medical advances. Great personal freedom and liberty. Fantastic opportunities for travel and commerce.

and so on.
Except we didn't have universal suffrage so as a society we were not 'free'.

I'd agree on the post WW2 era.
Back then it wouldn't have bothered us too much, just as in 100 years we'll probably look at freedoms that we don't have now (and don't see as particularly injust) and wonder how we managed.

Remember racial minorities and women weren't all that free post WWII either.

I agree with 08-14
 
#8
1919-28 post great war pre depression, edwardian country life and hunting perfect.
 
#10
Best for whom? Like my maternal grandad was fond of saying, a deal is only fair if it still feels that way when you're on the other end of it.

We did a lot of good and some bad, but would we have wanted to be on the receiving end?
 
#13
OldRedCap said:
Round about the years of the Napoleonic wars.
Arthur Bryant wrote a series of books about the "Age of (whatever)" that are worth reading.
1800's limbs amputated with no anaesthetic, press ganged, no holiday in Florida, no car, no fridge for beer, no ps2 , no interweb. Then again no dolies, no H&S, life expectancy about 40
 
#15
smartascarrots said:
Best for whom? Like my maternal grandad was fond of saying, a deal is only fair if it still feels that way when you're on the other end of it.

We did a lot of good and some bad, but would we have wanted to be on the receiving end?
Strong point there. I agree completely. We were probably not giving a 'fair deal' in many cases (particularly on class issues), but in the case of the Empire someone else would have got there if we didn't and once we go through the initial phase of endless rebellions we actually provided a pretty good set up in the colonies and territories. We are liked by the few elders who remember us in these countries and we're cetainly better than the French, Belgians or Germans in Empire terms.

I think, in the main, we've historically been at the forefront of liberality development and modernisation so we were probably better than most countries for everyone after the Tudors finished and we got a real parliament.

Edited to add: 22nd June 1897? Are we talking about the silver jubilee or the start of the Indian independance movement. I do think your other date is one of the most truly 'British' in our history.
 
#16
tiger stacker said:
Two dates
29th January, 1856
22nd June, 1897
29 Jan 1856: Establishment of the Victoria Cross?

22 June 1897: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee



I think I'd like to try 1897. I read Jan Morris' Pax Brittanica trilogy and according to Morris that year was considered to be the peak year of the later empire. It started to slide in South Africa with the Boers in 1899 and continued to go downhill until we reached Broon and New Labor.

1897 though - that would be a grand year where a man could come into his own. (See C. Rhodes) Lions and tigers to shoot by the score and native people to boss around and "loot six ways from Sunday." Wow. :lol: :1:

 
#17
1815-1870 were the years of Britains greatest relative economic and military advantage over the rest of the world...after that the unification of Germany and industrialisation in the US began to eat into our economic lead...
 
#18
Markintime said:
Auld-Yin said:
1957

We know because Harold Macmillan told us "many of our people have never had it so good."

And if the Prime Minister says so then it must be, n'est pas?
I saw a sign on a car today "God only knows" underneath it said "Tony Blair thinks he does."
need one of those
 
#19
Taffnp said:
OldRedCap said:
Round about the years of the Napoleonic wars.
Arthur Bryant wrote a series of books about the "Age of (whatever)" that are worth reading.
1800's limbs amputated with no anaesthetic, press ganged, no holiday in Florida, no car, no fridge for beer, no ps2 , no interweb. Then again no dolies, no H&S, life expectancy about 40
Best years for the Empire is the question I answered. Don't tell me that today with the conditions you describe is the best. Not even the most comfortable, safe, economically good or peaceful
 
#20
jew_unit said:
smartascarrots said:
Best for whom? Like my maternal grandad was fond of saying, a deal is only fair if it still feels that way when you're on the other end of it.

We did a lot of good and some bad, but would we have wanted to be on the receiving end?
Strong point there. I agree completely. We were probably not giving a 'fair deal' in many cases (particularly on class issues), but in the case of the Empire someone else would have got there if we didn't and once we go through the initial phase of endless rebellions we actually provided a pretty good set up in the colonies and territories. We are liked by the few elders who remember us in these countries and we're cetainly better than the French, Belgians or Germans in Empire terms.

I think, in the main, we've historically been at the forefront of liberality development and modernisation so we were probably better than most countries for everyone after the Tudors finished and we got a real parliament.

Edited to add: 22nd June 1897? Are we talking about the silver jubilee or the start of the Indian independance movement. I do think your other date is one of the most truly 'British' in our history.
I'm not disputing that we were on the main the best of the imperial powers by some considerable way, just that it's like the difference between stepping in dogshit or elephant shit. One might be not as deep but your shoes still stink.

We most certainly were far better than what's followed in the vast majority of cases, but that's a whole different can of worms.
 

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