Why Britain Became the Global Power It Is Today
The genesis of the leading position of England on the contemporary global political, business and cultural scenes can be traced back in time for centuries. Several are the factors that led to making our country one of the greatest in the history of Western civilization, and explaining all of them in detail would be a tiresome task that even the best specialists in the world would not be up to. However, there are a number of starting points that can be taken.
First and foremost, the Industrial revolution that took place in Britain’s biggest cities in the 18th century was the precursor of all that followed. Manchester, London and Liverpool became true centers of the production world, and changed the way society functions. Mass production paved the way for the modern consumer society but it also was the reason for rapid accumulation of wealth that was unprecedented up to this moment. This however led also to a great demand of resources. The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Spain were the leading colonial empires of the day, but now England was stimulated to explore and conquer new territories that could provide the country with the much needed raw materials and resources that were lacking on the Isles. So, off to sea we went, looking for new land.
Surely, from a modern point of view, the colonial Empire that Britain became in the 19th century has quite a few shortcomings. But after all that is the reason it is no longer in existence after all. When you look at the historical context however, there is no way not to see how great an accomplishment it was. We all know that the sun never set down on the empire, but have you ever thought about what did it signify.
Actually the power of Britain in the Victorian era, which was a heyday of culture, science and adventure if you will, cemented the positions of the country on the global political and economic map for the centuries to come. It was Albert Einstein who once said that he was not a genius but merely a dwarf who is standing on the shoulders of giants, e.g. his predecessors like Newton and Galileo. Well, if we are allowed to paraphrase, modern British power stands on the shoulders of Victorian England.
But we should give a little credit to the modern British society as well for being able to sustain the high status and the somewhat troublesome inheritance of the colonial times. As we very well know, the end of the Second World War slowly but surely marked the end of the good old British Empire as everyone knew it –actually, the process began with the WWI, but that is another question. It was also the time of the Cold War, and if the society – politicians, scientists and the common people, did not do their best to make the transition as efficient and durable as possible, the outcome would not have been Britain as we know it today. So, there is the secret – our country has always managed to blend perfectly the benefits and responsibilities of the past with the latest developments of the present.