EM 16: What Makes the British Commonwealth Hold Together? (1946)

What Makes the British Commonwealth Hold Together?By Herbert Heaton
Professor, University of Minnesota
(Published January 1946)

What’s Included in the British Commonwealth?

Why do we ask?

  • Is there an Englishman in the house?
  • What is this thing we’re talking about?
  • The independent Commonwealth
  • The dependent Empire
  • What’s in a name?

What Happened after America Pulled Out In 1776?

  • The new British Empire
  • Spoils of the Napoleonic Wars
  • Enterprise and expansion
  • The empire of settlement
  • The empire of commerce
  • The new imperialism
  • “Old Joe” Chamberlain
  • The mandates

Growth of the Empire

  • The Early Years
  • Colonial Expansion, 1780–1880
  • The Empire Comes of Age, 1850–1914

Why Haven’t Other Colonies Followed Our Example?

  • Lord Durham’s report
  • The crucial test
  • The scope of self-government
  • The right to be heard

Are the Dominions Really Independent?

  • Autonomy and equality of status
  • Eire—the test case
  • The other dominions
  • Unity and free association
  • Consultation, cooperation, coordination

Are the Colonies Moving toward Independence?

  • What of India?

The Commonwealth at War

Will The Commonwealth Hold Together?

  • What of “Empire Preference”?
  • Will the rest of us hang together or separately?

To the Discussion Leader

  • Organizing your discussion
  • Questions for discussion

For Further Reading