Brits are still proud of colonialism. Here are seven maps that show why they're wrong

Louis Dor
Friday 05 August 2016 11:50
The Commonwealth Heads of State summit 2015

As we know, if you are to draw up a map of countries that Britain has invaded or fought you are essentially left with a map of the world with a few notable exceptions.

YouGov polling found that most people wished we still had an empire - and that most British people are still proud of our colonial histroy.

This may be due to the fact it worked out very well for Britain, but not so well for the other countries.

Lets run through a few things, shall we?

1. Britain is well known for its history of colonialism.

As the below chart by Statista shows, the UK really went for it with the whole empire thing.

2. In fact it's probably quicker to look at the countries we didn't invade than the ones we did.

3. The US fought a War of Independence in 1776, and since then 59 more territories have become independent states.

4. Mostly, because our management of territory wasn't fantastic, such as the 100-year-old Sykes-Picot agreement, which arbitrarily drew the borders between Syria and Iraq.

The agreement was a deal struck between the French and British during WWI to divvy up the conquered Ottoman Empire into spheres of British and French influence at the end of the war.

As we know, everything is fine there now.

5. One can argue that the projections of the world on maps are colonialistic, having taken the UK and Western Europe as the central point.

Take for example this Mercator projection, the central point for which is the Pacific and East Asia, where we would usually see Europe.

Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The West Wing dealt with this brilliantly, in a scene that will blow your mind if you haven't already seen it.

6. If you look at the list of conflicts the UK has been invovled in, a fair tranch concern our empire-building tendencies.

As this map of all the battles in the world will also tell you.

7. It's a damaging legacy that carries over to the present day, as Boris Johnson, our foreign secretary, has annoyed most of the commonwealth countries and then some with various poorly-judged comments.

Rule Britannia, eh?

These maps don't even take into account things that are hard to visualise due to a lack of data, like slavery and centuries of oppression and resource harvesting in exchange for government.

More: A map of Europe based on how many colonies each country had