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Witton Middle School



The British Empire 

LO: Examine the benefits and drawbacks of The British Empire

Key question: Do you think that the British Empire was a good thing overall?

Key vocabulary: A colony is a group of people from one country who build a settlement in another territory, or land. They claim the new land for the original country, and the original country keeps some control over the colony.


Look at the image below.

Who is in the image? What is happening? What do you think is being said? 

The image is of Queen Victoria giving a bible to an unidentified African prince.


What does this tell us about the relationship between Britain and colonies?

Why don’t we know who the African is?

What impression do you get of Victoria? (Identify details which tell you this.)

What does this suggest about the benefits of the Empire?

TASK 1 - Draw and Venn diagram like the one below. Then, read the statements and decide if they represent a benefit to Britain, to the colonies or both and record your answers on your Venn diagram. You do not need to write out the whole statement - just the key words/phrases.

TASK 2 - Using the information gathered in your Venn diagram, summarise in a table the benefits and drawbacks of The British Empire. Use the sheet below labelled: USEFUL SHEET FROM LAST WEEK to help you.


Benefits  Drawbacks 

TASK 3 - Answer the questions below:

  • Who benefitted the most from the British Empire?
  • Why did some people not benefit from the Empire?
  • Do you think that the British Empire was a good thing overall?