Portraying Colonial Expansion & Experience
British history did not just happen in the United Kingdom. The British competed with other European powers to dominate shipping routes, land and natural resources across the globe. The impact on the colonized peoples and their colonizers was profound. Though there was resistance, many Indigenous communities were devastated. Millions were kidnapped and trafficked from Africa. Those that survived the journey were forced into enslaved labour in America, the Caribbean and Britain. Portraits represented soldiers, naval officers and colonial diplomats as brave leaders with exotic lives. A few of the Indigenous people who came to Britain were also romanticised in this way.