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- subject matching 'Regency Empire Portraits'

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The British empire expanded rapidly during the Regency. Stretching from Canada to Africa and from India to Australia, it was more a collection of territories, shaped by military successes, than a coherent whole. This was reflected in the ad hoc imperial policy of the 1790s which was mainly inspired by an all-pervading fear of colonial revolt after the American Revolution (1775-83). Over time, the British government sought to maximise the trading potential of the colonies. The modernisations and improvements put in place to effect this end were of some local benefit. As the anti-slavery movement championed a deeper commitment to the future of colonial Britain, a new concept of empire began to emerge which loosened the ties of central control.

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William Astell, by George Raphael Ward, after  Frederick Richard Say - NPG D561

William Astell

by George Raphael Ward, after Frederick Richard Say
mezzotint, mid 19th century
NPG D561