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By Andrew Roberts

A magisterial background encouraged through Winston Churchill's recognized opus, A background of the English-Speaking Peoples considering the fact that 1900 is an engrossing account of the 20 th century, with a distinct point of view on our turbulent instances. In 1900, the place Churchill ended the fourth quantity of his historical past of the English-Speaking Peoples , the USA had now not but emerged onto the realm scene as a superb strength. but the arriving century was once to belong to the English-speaking peoples, who successively and effectively fought the Kaiser's Germany, Axis aggression and Soviet Communism, and who're now suffering opposed to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. Andrew Roberts's historical past proves particularly worthwhile because the usa at the present time appears to be like to different elements of the English-speaking global as its top, closest and so much responsible allies.

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The United States already had to deal with a popular revolt in the Philippines that was fought against her with very similar guerrilla and terror tactics. The problem of how to deal with asymmetric warfare being made upon them would be one that would perplex the English-speaking peoples several times over the next eleven decades. 'I was born at the end of the last century when Queen Victoria was still on the throne,' recalled the British soldier Major John Gordon-Duff in his autobiography entitled It Was Different Then.

After the British ended slavery, they told my ancestors they were now British citizens with all the rights of any subject of the crown. That was an exaggeration; still, the British did produce good schools and made attendance mandatory. They filled the ranks of the lower civil service with blacks. 19 This was no mean legacy, but the twentieth century was to see the Caribbean remain by far the poorest part of the English-speaking world. The British West Indies raised regiments to fight for the Crown in both world wars, but otherwise the region slipped slowly but perceptibly from the British into the American zone of influence.

The world of 1901 was a multi-polar one of fiercely competing Great Powers. The idea that a century later the English-speaking peoples would hold unquestioned sway in the world, challenged only - and even then not mortally by some disaffected fanatics from the rump of the Ottoman Empire, would have astounded Kaiser, Tsar and French president alike. Two global conflagrations in the space of a generation, in which the English-speaking peoples escaped invasion - except those who lived in the Channel Islands - whereas no other Great Power did, explains much, but certainly not all.

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