Hist3380 ideologies of expansion: british self-perceptions and. Growth of british empire dictates two questions: how to govern colonies, how to justify governance. British self-perception as free and civilized people warrants justifying empire. Intellectual history of britain and europe shapes ideas on empire. Britain identifies their identity based upon european history they viewed themselves as the most advanced. This provides the moral and ideological foundation for british imperialism. By 18th century, british self-view as ultimate civilization provides justification to have and rule empire. British idea of imperial people" first develops in ireland (1st colony) Anglo-irish aristocracy irish conquest gave legitimization to colonization. Explanations for colonization that satisfy british conscience: right of conquest. The proper english on irish religion living like beasts, devoid of law, uncivilized, unclean more brutal in their customs than anywhere else in the world : bring civilization to uncivilized" ireland.