Does /his/ think the British Empire could have survived as a slightly stronger and more unified version of the Commonwealth of Nations if they had adopted a federalization program, focusing on a strong economic bloc and granting home rule rather than making things worse through crackdowns on things like Indian independence
There had been that plan to turn the whole deal into a Federation of sorts. The problem really was WW1 more than anything, since its economic strain and resulting WW2 made it unfeasible to maintain a lot of the colonies, many of which didn't make much money to begin with.
If they had gone federal, I'd expect a good deal of the english majority territories would remain together, but distance would likely have made even that a bit unfeasible. It's hard to say.
Brits should have industrialized and commercialized their colonies a lot more so they could become self sufficient blocs within a World British Federation or whatever.
Also massively increased their anglo populations so the natives became minorities. It worked for America.
>The problem really was WW1 more than anything
This too, becuase of WWI the Irish home rule bill which had been approved was delayed, and being a bunch of a impatient manchildren the Irish Republicans decided to try and get it during the war through force
It was postponed (yet again), Lloyd George told them it would be passed by Christmas yet the war continued on.
The IRB recommended that Irish show their loyalty by joining the war and over 250k did. However when the bodies started coming back and the bill hadn't been passed, tensions grew within the ranks of the IRB and a rising was drawn up.
O'Neil called it off and had it posted in the national papers but his orders were ignored by the Dublin and Galway regiments.
After the leaders were arrested they were booed and had rotten fruit thrown at them by the public. It was the forced hand of the brits though and the manner in which they executed Connolly (so badly wounded they had him tied to a chair) that anti British sentiment rose and eventually erupted into the War of Independence
Tl;Dr: if they had just imprisoned the leaders Ireland would probably still be in the UK to this day
(Pictured) British troops and tank during the rising in the streets of Dublin)
No. Any colony which would be richer than England would have demanded independance to Keep the Money for themself.
The poorer ones would demand Money from England until the English themself would get tired of paying and grant total autonomy to the colonies.
All they could have achieved is that more ex-colonies would have kept the queen as head of state and such symbolic stuff. That's all.
Sooner or later it would have led to the same result.
No, the biggest problem was one of demographics. If you create a federation where everyone in India gets representation, the entire thing would dominated by India because of its massive population, at the expense of Britain and British colonialists. Even if it was an ideal some people supported, it went totally against the interests of the British people who held power at the time, they would never have allowed it.
As for an example of what might happen with closer integration we can look at the French colonial empire which actively incorporated colonial possessions into France itself. In Algeria the biggest political opposition wasn't for independence, it was for greater integration with European France and representation in the French parliament. There was obviously a lot of opposition to this because it would create a large arab bloc in the French parliament and dilute white French power.
However, the French approach did result in many territories remaining part of France, including ones with substantial populations like French Guiana. This is in contrast to British Overseas Territories which are not part of the UK.
No way it was going to last as a political union for any longer than it did. But it could have survived as a more closely-knif military and economy alliance, perhaps in a world where the US never gets involved in WW2, or keeps its head firmly planeted in the sand re: the menace of communism.
>Also massively increased their anglo populations so the natives became minorities. It worked for America.
That was not going to happen for India.
This is actually what a lot of earlier Independence leaders were agitating for. Like Ram Mohan Roy for instance. For it to work though the British would have had to be willing to actually give the colonials equal political status, which would imply equal economic status. Wasn't gonna happen.