What was the British Empire?

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Ruth Shivas
What was the British Empire?
Main Subject
Key stage
Industry and Empire c. 1750-1900: British Empire
Resource type
Concepts and methods
Continuity and change
Concepts and methods
Similarity and difference

This introduction to the British Empire for year 7 students will help them to understand the concept of 'empire' in general and to get a sense of the scale of the British Empire at its height.

In the first task, students think about the word 'empire' in contexts that they are likely to have already encountered (Star Wars, the Roman Empire and Alan Sugar's business empire) and consider the similarities between them before writing their own definition of 'empire'.

They then study maps of the extent of the British Empire in 1763 and 1921 and note what changed and what conclusions can be drawn from the maps.

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