Add to Watchlist

Hosted by veteran BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman (The Victorians), this five-part series examines the impact of the empire and how it continues to exert an influence today.

Acorn TV
1 Season, 5 Episodes
September 6, 2015
Documentary & Biography, History, Military & War, Mini-Series
Cast: Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Taraji P. Henson

Empire Full Episode Guide

  • The drive for conquest also becomes a mission to help the rest of mankind, especially in "the dark continent" of Africa, where David Livingstone sets out to save souls for Christ and the people from Arab and Portuguese slavers.

  • British privateers prey on Spanish wealth in the Caribbean, but theft is soon replaced by trade, including the slave trade of Africans to work the islands' sugar plantations.

  • The empire gives rise to a peculiarly British type of hero-the gentleman adventurer whose values are honed on the sports fields of England's public schools, where how you play the game is more important than winning.

  • While early British traders adopt local Indian customs, later arrivals impose Victorian values and try to mold the country into a version of England.

  • In India, the British learn the art of imperialism, using local rulers and troops to maintain power. But it is little more than a confidence trick, an enormous bluff-and as the mutiny of 1857 shows, it's only a matter of time before that bluff is called.