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The key question in this gallery is: Why did the British become empire builders?
Your job in this gallery is to see what evidence supports the different views of the experts about why Britain became a great empire.
A Trade – making money for British companies
B Politics – stopping other European powers developing their empires and becoming too powerful
C Religion – trying to spread the Christian faith
D Ambition – hoping to get rich easily or get a good job in the government of the empire
E Adventure – wanting to learn about new lands and peoples
F Land – hoping to settle down and start a new life in a new land
  Study the sources in case studies 1-4 and see which views the sources seem to support. You will need to work in stages.
stage 1 stage 2 stage 3
Examine the sources in the case studies

Your teacher may want you to just look at one case study. For each case study you look at, make a note of which sources seem to provide evidence of which views.
Use this research table to record your notes.


As well as putting Yes or No in each box, you should be able to explain why you put the Yes or No in the boxes.

Look at the picture presented by all the case studies

Compare what you (or other students) have found out in each of the case studies in this gallery. You can use this research table to note down the overall findings from the gallery.


We’ve only given you a few source documents to look at. Do you think these documents are enough to show you the full picture? Where might you go to find out more evidence?

Present your conclusions

When you have looked at the case studies, you can present what you have found out to the students.

You could give them a written report. Here is a suggestion on how to organise it.

   Research table
   Research table
   Report outline
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