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The situation, of course, is more complicated than portrayed. In 1933 there were several empires in existence: British, French, Dutch, Japanese, Russian, and US, at a minimum. Germany had been deprived of her imperial possessions at Versailles. The empires with the shortest history had been the US, dating from the Spanish-American War in 1898, (excluding the subjugation of the various Native American populations), the Japanese, which effectively dated from the time of the Sino-Japanese War, 1895, partly over influence in Korea, and the German, from 1884, when Bismark accepted the idea that colonial possessions might have some value.

But, prior to WW II, Great Britain was the hegemon and the holder of the largest empire. The British Navy was the dominant naval force and GB tolerated the continued existence of other colonial empires, even while contesting Imperial Russia in Central Asia and worrying about the rise of the German navy. The British somewhat reluctantly undertook a policy of de-colonialization after WW II while with the French, it was an involuntary process. The Neatherlands really made no serious effort to reestablish colonial possessions in South East Asia after WW II and only kept some Caribbean islands and one South American Colonial possession.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 at 02:53:13 PM EST
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