Empire promote trade and should therefore be promoted
International trade has been responsible for shaping the world we live in. It has a direct impact on how goods, services and capital move around the globe. In the last centuries, during the development of the first wave of globalization, trading gained importance over a long previous period of very stationery exchange.
Economic growth is the most notorious consequence, as it can be seen in the British Empire, especially in the 18th century (since the Glorious Revolution until Waterloo). It is important to highlight that British Empire, as it later became, would certainly not have existed without the Industrial Revolution, which is usually defined as the breaking point when the production shift from relying in animal labor or wind power to steam power.
The key of the success from the industrialization is very simple: sea coal. Until then, wood had been the main source for energy, although it arrived a moment when transport cost was too expensive. England had the advantage of having tons and tons of this mineral, and not just that, sea coal had been very easy to extract.
British Empire expanded quickly. They colonized North America, most of Africa, the Pacific, India, part of Asia and South America. From those colonies, British Empire got supply and raw material for their manufacturing industries. Exports and imports were constantly sailing. Cotton came from India and Sugar from West Indies, because production was more efficient, so it was cheaper than farming in England.
Specialization started being a necessity. Economies that realize specialization have a comparative advantage in the production of a good. It was a determining factor since it benefits international trade. A comparative advantage refers to the ability to produce a good or service at a lower marginal cost and opportunity cost, benefit lost if a country produce a good in which it is not specialized, than another good or service.
However, international trade in the Empire was not all good. The Empire had the monopoly of the markets. The British created laws in order to prohibit their colonies to have economic relations with others. The empire held very strict control over commerce, which could have been beneficial for the crown, but affected strongly the overseas territories. For example, the Indian textile industry suffered due to the lack of equipment; machines were imported from England and never produced in India.
This leads to the second negative aspect. It is a fact that the economic policies were never focused on the urbanization and industrial development of the colonies. As it is mentioned above machinery was made in England. When independence was declared in India, the textile industry lost its only buyer. The process of opening to real international trade was hard, although, beneficial in the future.
In my opinion, Empire should not be promoted considering that this political organization requires conquering and submission. For instance, slavery was one of the pillars facilitating England´s development. Slaves had no rights, they were exploited, and their lives meant nothing. Trade and commerce are favorable to economic growth, even so, respect for individual liberties is on the button, above from any monetary incentive.