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By John King

With their energetic and certain tradition -- wealthy in tune, paintings, and language -- the Celts have captured the mind's eye of individuals during the international. yet who precisely are they, the place have been their earliest kingdoms, and the way did their spiritual and social practices strengthen? This "guidebook" to Celtic heritage lines in attention-grabbing aspect their origins in Europe (including the identify "Celt" itself); old descriptions in their visual appeal and behaviour; their social constitution; and their migration from los angeles Tene, Switzerland, to the British Isles. pictures of warrior kings and queens, the mythical, chivalric King Arthur, and the Welsh and Breton royal dynasties vividly catch their personalities and the worlds during which they lived. all through, photographs and illustrations demonstrate artifacts, art, and maps, in addition to Celtic poetry and full of life excerpts from historic money owed.

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Yet both were regarded as of key importance to Britain's security interests as a great power in Asia and the Pacific, Egypt especially. The Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf were the gateways to the Indian Ocean. Hence Cairo was required to maintain a special relationship with Britain, to accept London's 'advice' in the conduct offoreign policy, and to make military bases available for British use. British influence was upheld through a treaty, but in practice by the presence of a British garrison and naval supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean.

Nationalism in Europe had been a dynamic, if not lethal, force in the continent's modern history. As a political doctrine it seemed capable of mobilising enormous enthusiasm and the support of all classes. Moreover, the course of events in most colonies did appear to vindicate its significance: the end of colonial rule generally seemed to follow upon the rise of a mass movement demanding independence and threatening insurrection or civil disobedience ifit were not granted in rapid stages. Nothing seemed more natural in retrospect than that the new educated elites in the colonies should have come to resent alien rule; that their resentment should have come to be shared by the mass of the population; and that with mass support behind them the nationalist leadership should have been able to dictate the timing of colonial withdrawal.

It was a valuable though declining market, an enormous bank of cheap manpower (extensively used in the First World War), the provider of a regular army available in emergency for British use, and, in geopolitical terms, a great zone ofstability from which British influence could be exerted in East Asia and the Middle East. An India that was hostile or under the influence of a foreign power was simply inconceivable. Hence in London's eyes India's significance bulked larger than any other part of the imperial system and the defence of India was a vital strategic priority.

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