- The Empire Marketing Board produced this poster in 1930. The Empire
Marketing Board was a government department whose job was to promote
trade between Britain and the empire.
- The primary aim of the poster was to show that the empire was still
growing and to give people a sense of pride in the empire by seeing
its long history.
- The poster shows a long line of empire builders from the earliest
explorers (John Cabot, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh in the
1500s) to Cecil Rhodes in the late 1800s.
- The British empire actually reached its greatest extent in the period
between the First and Second World Wars. Britain took over some of the
lands ruled by the defeated German and Turkish empires.
- By the time this poster was produced the meaning of the term empire
had changed in Britain. In the 1700s and 1800s the empire was made up
of lands that Britain ruled. By the early 1900s much of the empire was
ruling itself. The empire was much more a community of nations, rather
like the British Commonwealth today.
- However, large parts of the empire, especially India and Africa,
were still ruled directly by the British and were not independent.