There are several attitudes towards the empire expressed in the music and visual material provided.
The key attitude of the British toward the Empire is patriotism, which naturally is followed by pride, then in turn developed in self-righteousness and ego.The strong sense of patriotism grew when the British power provided peace and wealth. Days of plenty and years of peace; March of a strong lands swift increase; as Henry H. Bennett wrote in The Flag Goes By.
Citizens were brought up in an environment that taught them to love Britain. The Empire-day Catechism of League of the Empire, informed the duties of a British citizen: To be the loyal friend of all fellow subjects of the King-EmperorK To prepare himself by every means in his power to advance the welfare of his fellow citizens, whether in peach or war…Order now
These words were like blue prints for a patriotic British heart. Evidently, the patriotism fostered hasnt perished yet; there is still an annual concert in London performing patriotic music. The words of Pomp and Circumstance March in D Major, by Edward Elgar echoed in the great hall Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of Free, the audience sang with loyalty, How shall we extol thee, who are born of Thee!
Although patriotism was the incipient reaction of the citizens, there is no doubt that this feeling produced ego. Arrogance was inevitable; The Empires size alone had the charisma to attract pride! The Catechism said The extent of the Empire was twelve million square miles; it took up one fifth of the earths surface.
Therere a total of 400 million subjects of King Edward, which is also about one fifth of the world…
All the contemporary pieces reflected grand pomposity of the empire.
They were loud and thick in texture with roaring melody lines. Brass and percussion instruments were popularly used to represent the glory of the empire. Poetry-wise, The Flag Goes By cleverly expressed the peoples pride by referring to the Union Jack: Sign of a nation, great and strongKPride, and glory, and hour – all live in the colors to stand or fall!
Self-righteousness and racism was the infamous result of patriotism and pride. In the cartoon Justice, about the Indian Mutiny, self-righteousness was eminent when the British thought it right to punish the Indians for fighting against their oppressor, the British! Also, in Jerusalem, a song by Milton, Britain was proudly compared to Jerusalem as being the chosen land of God.
Simultaneously, while promoting Britain itself, the superiority of the other races was lowered; The British Lion Aroused cartoon rudely mocked Africans by drawing one wearing various British items inappropriately to show their idiocy, while Stamping It Out expressed it a necessity to wipe out the scorpion-like-Afghans to protect the weak, women-like Pakistan.
Indeed, as the power of the British Empire extended and flourished so did the peoples hearts. There was a great rise of patriotism and overflowing arrogance, which in the end brought about self-righteousness and racism.