Best years of the British Empire ?

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Taffnp, Apr 22, 2009.

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  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.)


    Medical treatment.


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

    I'd agree on the post WW2 era.
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor


    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?
  5. I saw a sign on a car today "God only knows" underneath it said "Tony Blair thinks he does."
  6. and we are now? :?
  7. 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.
  9. The Raj -carry on up the khyber, Poona and North West Frontier
  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?
  11. Where would the call centres be based if not in India? Have you tried ringing BT lately?

    My Dad enjoyed serving in India (not in a call centre)
  12. Round about the years of the Napoleonic wars.
    Arthur Bryant wrote a series of books about the "Age of (whatever)" that are worth reading.
  13. 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
  14. Two dates
    29th January, 1856
    22nd June, 1897
  15. 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.