British Empire

BritishEmpireBritainImperialBritish colonialcolonialBritish colonyBritish coloniesBritish ruleBritish imperialism
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.wikipedia
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Dominion

Dominionsdominion statusBritish Dominion
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.
A dominion was the name given to the semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867.

English overseas possessions

EnglishEnglish colonyEnglish settlement
It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries.
The many English possessions then became the foundation of the British Empire and its fast-growing naval and mercantile power, which until then had yet to overtake those of the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Portugal, and the Kingdom of Spain.

Culture of the United Kingdom

British cultureBritish cultural iconsBritish
As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread.
As a result of the British Empire, significant British influence can be observed in the language, law, culture and institutions of a geographically wide assortment of countries, including Australia, Canada, India, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United States and English speaking Caribbean nations.

List of largest empires

largest empires in historylargest empirelargest empires
At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.

Common law

common-lawcommoncourts of common law
As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread.
The British Empire spread the English legal system to its historical colonies, many of which retain the common law system today.

United Kingdom

British🇬🇧UK
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.
There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.

Colonialism

colonialcolonial powerscolonialist
A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England and then, following union between England and Scotland in 1707, Great Britain, the dominant colonial power in North America.
The Belgian, British, Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish empires established colonies across large areas.

The empire on which the sun never sets

The sun never sets on the British Empirea vast Empire, on which the sun never setsBritains' vast worldwide empire
At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
In more recent times, it was used for the British Empire, mainly in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

English language

EnglishEnglish-languageen
As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread.
Through the worldwide influence of the British Empire, Modern English spread around the world from the 17th to mid-20th centuries.

East India Company

British East India CompanyBritishHonourable East India Company
It then became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The British Empire began to take shape during the early 17th century, with the English settlement of North America and the smaller islands of the Caribbean, and the establishment of joint-stock companies, most notably the East India Company, to administer colonies and overseas trade.
The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India.

Dutch Empire

DutchDutch coloniesDutch colony
Envious of the great wealth these empires generated, England, France, and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia.
In the 18th century the Dutch colonial empire began to decline as a result of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War of 1780-1784, in which the Netherlands lost a number of its colonial possessions and trade monopolies to the British Empire.

Benjamin Disraeli

DisraeliLord BeaconsfieldBeaconsfield
To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in Egypt, South Africa, and elsewhere.
He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire.

British Overseas Territories

British Overseas Territoryoverseas territoryoverseas territories
Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty.
They are the parts of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories.

Commonwealth of Nations

CommonwealthBritish CommonwealthCommonwealth nations
After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states.
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as The Commonwealth, is a sui generis political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire.

Pax Britannica

a period of relative peaceacted as the world's policemanforemost power
Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was later described as Pax Britannica ("British Peace"), a period of relative peace in Europe and the world (1815–1914) during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.
Pax Britannica (Latin for "British Peace", modelled after Pax Romana) was the period of relative peace between the Great Powers during which the British Empire became the global hegemonic power and adopted the role of a global police force.

Decolonization

decolonisationdecolonizeddecolonize
India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire.
These include the breakup of the Spanish Empire in the 19th century; of the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian Empires following World War I; of the British, French, Dutch, Japanese, Portuguese, Belgian and Italian colonial empires following World War II; and of the Soviet Union (successor to the Russian Empire) in 1991.

Handover of Hong Kong

transfer of sovereignty over Hong Konghandovertransfer of sovereignty
The transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British Empire.
Consequently, the Handover is regarded by some as the final act of the British Empire, with 1 July 1997 as being the end date of the British Empire.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
In the Second World War, Britain's colonies in East and Southeast Asia were occupied by Japan.
Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, and the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the British Empire.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonicwar with FranceNapoleonic War
After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815), Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century.
The wars had profound consequences on global history, including the spread of nationalism and liberalism, the rise of the British Empire as the world's foremost power, the appearance of independence movements in Latin America and subsequent collapse of the Spanish Empire, the fundamental reorganisation of German and Italian territories into larger states, and the establishment of radically new methods of conducting warfare.

German Empire

GermanyGermanImperial German
By the start of the 20th century, Germany and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead.
Claiming much of the leftover territory that was yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom

MonarchBritish monarchQueen
The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping known informally as the Commonwealth realms, that share a monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.
The British monarch was the nominal and de jure head of the vast British Empire, which covered a quarter of the world's surface at its greatest extent in 1921.

Atlantic slave trade

slave tradetransatlantic slave tradeAfrican slaves
In 1562, the English Crown encouraged the privateers John Hawkins and Francis Drake to engage in slave-raiding attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa with the aim of breaking into the Atlantic slave trade.
The major Atlantic slave trading nations, ordered by trade volume, were: the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Spanish, and the Dutch Empires.

John Dee

DeeDr. John DeeDr. Dee
At the same time, influential writers such as Richard Hakluyt and John Dee (who was the first to use the term "British Empire") were beginning to press for the establishment of England's own empire.
He was also an advocate of England's imperial expansion into a "British Empire", a term he is generally credited with coining.

British colonization of the Americas

BritishEnglishBritish colonies
The British Empire began to take shape during the early 17th century, with the English settlement of North America and the smaller islands of the Caribbean, and the establishment of joint-stock companies, most notably the East India Company, to administer colonies and overseas trade.
Three types of colonies were established in the English overseas possessions in America of the 17th century and continued into the British Empire at the height of its power in the 17th century.

Jamestown, Virginia

JamestownJamestown ColonyJamestown Settlement
England's first permanent settlement in the Americas was founded in 1607 in Jamestown, led by Captain John Smith and managed by the Virginia Company.
William Kelso writes that Jamestown "is where the British Empire began".