You are on page 1of 6

The British Empire and Burma

Information pertinent to George Orwells On Shooting an Elephant

History of the British Empire

The sun never sets on the British Empire By 1922, largest empire in the history of human

458 million people (1/5), 33,700,000 km2(1/4)

Serious decline after WWII

1940s Independence of India and partitioning of

Pakistan and creation of the state of Israel 1950s Suez Canal crisis 1960s-1980s pulled out of Africa 1990s Return of Hong Kong to China

19th C. Map of the British Empire

Consider the following map
How does the map reflect the mentality of the

British towards their colonies? How is this mentality reflected in On Shooting an Elephant?

Myanmar (Burma)
Many different ethnic groups moved into region

over time Often at war both internally and externally Fell to war with British in mid-19th C.
Transformed from agrarian society into industrial

society Tensions between the in-groups and the outgroups were exaggerated
Orwell there from 1922-27
Gained independence in 1948 Under various military regimes from 1962-2010 Currently undergoing democratization