I always felt the most damaging defeat in Great Britain’s (or England's) long illustrious history was their loss in the Revolutionary War. Neither the rout of Boudicca, the overthrow of Harold, nor even being beaten off the continent by a French peasant girl caused so much loss in potential and pride for Britain then losing North America and her abundant resources.
In the movie “Elizabeth (1998)”, I see Britain in Norfolk when Walsingham said to him, “You were the most powerful man[Kingdom] in England[the World]. And you could have been greater still, but you had not the courage to be loyal [to Empire], only the conviction of your own vanity[Liberalism].”
Without North America’s bounty, Britain was forced to rely on far flung lands filled with throngs of unruly foreign natives to fuel their growing empire. With the precedent of failure following her, Britain shied away from forcing a greater union among her native English speaking domains.
What if Britain won the revolutionary war and had tried most of America’s founding fathers for treason? Would we be celebrating Britain’s ascendency to hyper power status today instead of the United States? Instead of begging slavishly to America for cooperation, could she have simply ordered it?
Now imagine a Britain with the undivided manpower and resources of North America and Australia; would she be the USA of today, or have transformed into something else entirely?