chapter  20
THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Pages 16

The British Empire had developed as a result of very different cycles of growth. During the eighteenth century, the colonisation of India and North America had been based on commercial exploitation and military conquest, usually in wars against France. Then, for much of the nineteenth century there was a reluctance at Whitehall to increase the number of dependencies, largely on the grounds of expense. From about 1870 onwards, however, the Empire expanded rapidly in the hitherto largely untapped areas of Africa and the Pacific.