At the start of the twentieth century the British Empire stretched over a quarter of the globe; its influence even further. Trade flowed, Britannia ruled the waves and all in all it seemed there was no limit to British ambitions. However, times were changing. Questions of a ethical nature were beginning to surface everywhere from the press to the pulpit. Competition from newly-industrialized Germany and America forced Britain to re-evaluate its approach to foreign rule and to win loyalties it had hitherto taken for granted. The time had come to earn its keep. In doing so, searching questions were asked about the nature of rule, the integrity of empire, how best to ensure its survival, and the true meaning of enlightened self-interest. Could a fundamental shake-up of human values and a new approach to humanity be enough to keep the wheels of industry turning, the profits rolling in and colonial discord to a minimum? Pause for reflection would mature an empire and enrich its narrative, but would this leave it vulnerable to attack and lead it ultimately down that path to self-liquidation? This inquiry sets out to uncover some of these questions from a era that simply won''t go away.