Dominion

Map of the British Empire under Queen Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century. "Dominions" refers to all territories belonging to the Crown.
King George V (front, centre) and his Prime Ministers at the 1926 Imperial Conference.
The New Zealand Observer (1907) shows New Zealand Prime Minister Joseph Ward as a pretentious dwarf beneath a massive "Dominion" top hat. The caption reads:
The Surprise Packet: 
Canada: "Rather large for him, is it not?" 
Australia: "Oh, his head is swelling rapidly. The hat will soon fit."
The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee produced this First World War poster. Designed by Arthur Wardle, the poster urges men from the Dominions of the British Empire to enlist in the war effort.
Dominion of Canada Postage Stamp, 1898
Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe since 1980), coloured red on a map of Africa
The prime ministers of Britain and the four major Dominions at the 1944 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference. Left to right: William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada); Jan Smuts (South Africa); Winston Churchill (UK); Peter Fraser (New Zealand); John Curtin (Australia)

Used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire.

- Dominion
Map of the British Empire under Queen Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century. "Dominions" refers to all territories belonging to the Crown.

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British Empire

A replica of the Matthew, John Cabot's ship used for his second voyage to the New World
African slaves working in 17th-century Virginia, by an unknown artist, 1670
Fort St. George was founded at Madras in 1639.
Robert Clive's victory at the Battle of Plassey established the East India Company as a military as well as a commercial power.
British territories in the Americas, 1763–1776, extending much further than the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast
James Cook's mission was to find the alleged southern continent Terra Australis.
The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 ended in the defeat of Napoleon and marked the beginning of Pax Britannica.
An 1876 political cartoon of Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881) making Queen Victoria Empress of India. The caption reads "New crowns for old ones!"
British cavalry charging against Russian forces at Balaclava in 1854
The Rhodes Colossus—Cecil Rhodes spanning "Cape to Cairo"
A poster urging men from countries of the British Empire to enlist
The British Empire at its territorial peak in 1921
George V with British and Dominion prime ministers at the 1926 Imperial Conference
During the Second World War, the Eighth Army was made up of units from many different countries in the British Empire and Commonwealth; it fought in North African and Italian campaigns.
About 14.5 million people lost their homes as a result of the partition of India in 1947.
Eden's decision to invade Egypt in 1956 revealed Britain's post-war weaknesses.
British decolonisation in Africa. By the end of the 1960s, all but Rhodesia (the future Zimbabwe) and the South African mandate of South West Africa (Namibia) had achieved recognised independence.
The fourteen British Overseas Territories
Cricket being played in India. Sports developed in Britain or the former empire continue to be viewed and played.

The British Empire was composed of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.

The Big Picture, opening of the Parliament of Australia, 9 May 1901, by Tom Roberts

Statute of Westminster 1931

Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that sets the basis for the relationship between the Commonwealth realms and the Crown.

Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that sets the basis for the relationship between the Commonwealth realms and the Crown.

The Big Picture, opening of the Parliament of Australia, 9 May 1901, by Tom Roberts
Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (left) and his British counterpart Stanley Baldwin (right), 1926
Instrument of abdication signed by Edward VIII and his three brothers, Albert, Henry and George, 10 December 1936

Passed on 11 December 1931, the statute increased the sovereignty of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom.

Canada

Country in North America.

Country in North America.

Linguistic areas of North American Indigenous peoples at the time of European contact
Map of territorial claims in North America by 1750, before the French and Indian War, which was part of the greater worldwide conflict known as the Seven Years' War (1756 to 1763). Possessions of Britain (pink), New France (blue), and Spain (orange, California, Pacific Northwest, and Great Basin not indicated)
Benjamin West's The Death of General Wolfe (1771) dramatizes James Wolfe's death during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec.
War of 1812 heroine Laura Secord warning British commander James FitzGibbon of an impending American attack at Beaver Dams
Animated map showing the growth and change of Canada's provinces and territories since Confederation in 1867
A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
A topographic map of Canada, in polar projection (for 90° W), showing elevations shaded from green to brown (higher)
Terrestrial ecozones and ecoprovinces of Canada. Ecozone are identified with a unique colour. Ecoprovinces are subdivisions of ecozones and are identified with a unique numeric code
Köppen climate classification types of Canada
Parliament Hill, home of the federal government in Canada's capital city, Ottawa
The Senate chamber within the Centre Block on Parliament Hill
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, west of Parliament Hill
The Canadian delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945
A Canadian McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet in Cold Lake, Alberta
Political map of Canada showing its 10 provinces and 3 territories
The Toronto financial district is the second-largest financial centre in North America, the seventh-largest globally in employment and the heart of Canada's finance industry.
The Canadian-built Space Shuttle robotic arm (left), referred to as Canadarm, transferred the P5 truss segment over to the Canadian-built space station robotic arm, referred to as Canadarm2
The Quebec City–Windsor Corridor is the most densely populated and heavily industrialized region of Canada and spans 1200 km.
Health care cost rise based on total expenditure on health as percent of GDP. Countries shown are the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
14th G7 summit leaders at the University of Toronto: (left to right) Jacques Delors, Ciriaco De Mita, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Brian Mulroney, François Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl and Noboru Takeshita
Approximately 98 percent of Canadians can speak either or both English and French:
Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Pirelli, in Toronto
The mother beaver on the Canadian parliament's Peace Tower. The five flowers on the shield each represent an ethnicity—Tudor rose: English; Fleur de lis: French; thistle: Scottish; shamrock: Irish; and leek: Welsh.
A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) satellite truck, used for live television broadcasts
The Jack Pine by Tom Thomson. Oil on canvas, 1916, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
Canada's 1928 Olympic Gold Medal hockey team, the Toronto Varsity Blues

In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces.

Canadian Territory at Confederation

Canadian Confederation

The process by which three British North American provinces, the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, were united into one federation called the Dominion of Canada, on July 1, 1867.

The process by which three British North American provinces, the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, were united into one federation called the Dominion of Canada, on July 1, 1867.

Canadian Territory at Confederation
George-Étienne Cartier
Map of the Eastern British Provinces in North America at the time of Canadian Confederation, 1867.
Delegates of the Charlottetown Conference on the steps of Government House, September 1864
Thomas D'Arcy McGee in 1868
Delegates at the Quebec Conference, October 1864
Queen Victoria granted royal assent to the British North America Act on March 29, 1867
Proclamation of Canadian Confederation
John A. Macdonald became the first prime minister of Canada.
1885 photo of Robert Harris' 1884 painting, Conference at Quebec in 1864, to settle the basics of a union of the British North American Provinces, also known as The Fathers of Confederation. The original painting was destroyed in the 1916 Parliament Buildings Centre Block fire. The scene is an amalgamation of the Charlottetown and Quebec City conference sites and attendees.

The term dominion was chosen to indicate Canada's status as a self-governing polity of the British Empire, the first time it was used in reference to a country.

Boer militia at the Battle of Spion Kop

Second Boer War

Conflict fought between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics (the South African Republic and the Orange Free State) over the Empire's influence in Southern Africa from 1899 to 1902.

Conflict fought between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics (the South African Republic and the Orange Free State) over the Empire's influence in Southern Africa from 1899 to 1902.

Boer militia at the Battle of Spion Kop
A typical British soldier Corporal Alexander Duncan Turnbull of Kitchener's Fighting Scouts
Extent of the British Empire in 1898, prior to the outbreak of the Second Boer War
The geography of the region in 1885, between the First and Second Boer Wars
A sketch showing the arrest of Jameson after the failed raid, in 1896
Paul Kruger, leader of the South African Republic (Transvaal)
Mauser 1895 bolt-action rifle (at the Auckland Museum)
1899 German political cartoon
Boers in a trench at Mafeking, 1899
War theatre in northern Natal
General Redvers Henry Buller launched an offensive against the Boers in the early phases of the war but after several defeats, culminating at the Battle of Colenso, he was replaced by Earl Roberts.
Lord Roberts's arrival at Cape Town
British casualties lie dead on the battlefield after the Battle of Spion Kop, 24 January 1900.
Boer General Piet de Wet, 1900
Siege of Ladysmith
The Relief of Ladysmith. Sir George Stuart White greets Major Hubert Gough on 28 February. Painting by John Henry Frederick Bacon (1868–1914).
General Piet Cronjé as a prisoner of war in Saint Helena, 1900–02. He was captured, along with 4,000 soldiers, after the loss of the Battle of Paardeberg.
A Transit camp for Prisoners of War near Cape Town during the war. Prisoners were then transferred for internment in other parts of the British Empire.
Kitchener succeeded Roberts in November 1900 and launched anti-guerrilla campaigns. 1898 photograph in 1910 magazine.
A surviving blockhouse in South Africa. Blockhouses were constructed by the British to secure supply routes from Boer raids during the war.
One British response to the guerrilla war was a 'scorched earth' policy to deny the guerrillas supplies and refuge. In this image Boer civilians watch their house as it is burned.
Christiaan De Wet was the most formidable leader of the Boer guerrillas. He successfully evaded capture on numerous occasions and was later involved in the negotiations for a peace settlement.
Boer commandos
The end result of the Boer War was the annexation of the Boer Republics to the British Empire in 1902
Peace conference at Vereeniging
C Company returns from Boer War, pictured here in King Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tents in the Bloemfontein concentration camp
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Memorial to soldiers from Quebec who fell in the Second Boer War, Quebec City
Alfred, Lord Milner, was the British High Commissioner of Southern Africa. He was involved from the start of the war and had a role in the peace process and the creation of the Union of South Africa.
Memorial window from St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin by An Túr Gloine. Much of the Irish public sympathised with the Boer side,, rather than the British side on which fought the Royal Irish Regiment.
A horse destined to serve in the war, being offloaded in Port Elizabeth
Stretcher-bearers of the Indian Ambulance Corps during the war, including the future leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Middle row, 5th from left)
British and Australian officers in South Africa, c. 1900
The unveiling of the South African War Memorial in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1908
Harold Lothrop Borden – son of the National Minister of Defence and the most famous Canadian casualty of the war
New Zealand troops marching down Wellesley Street, Auckland, to embark for South Africa
The top of the Dunedin Boer War Memorial. The memorial reaffirms New Zealand's dedication to the Empire. As McLean and Phillips said, the New Zealand Boer War Memorials are "tributes to the Empire and outpourings of pride about New Zealand’s place” in the Empire.
Rhodesian volunteers leaving Salisbury for service in the Second Boer War, 1899
Memorial at Plymouth, by Emil Fuchs
A group of British prisoners, with Winston Churchill on the right
Wounded British soldiers
Canadian soldiers en route to South Africa in 1899
Indian Monument at Observatory Ridge

The former republics were transformed into the British colonies of the Transvaal and Orange River, and in 1910 were merged with the Natal and Cape Colonies to form the Union of South Africa, a self-governing dominion within the British Empire.

Union of South Africa

The historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa.

The historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa.

Union of South Africa with South West Africa shown as a hatched area (occupied in 1915 and administered as 5th province of the Union under a C-mandate from the League of Nations)
Union of South Africa blue ensign (1910–1928)
The provinces of the Union
The first Union cabinet
South West Africa stamp: Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret on the 1947 Royal Tour of South Africa
De facto flag (1910–1912)
De facto flag (1912–1928)
Coat of arms (1910–1930)
Coat of arms (1930–1932)
Coat of arms (1932–2000)

Like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Union of South Africa was a self-governing dominion of the British Empire.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922.

Sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922.

The United Kingdom in 1914
The signing of the Treaty of Ghent ending the war with the United States (by Amédée Forestier, c. 1915)
The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 resulted in 18 deaths and several hundred injured.
A painting by James Pollard showing the Trafalgar Square before the erection of Nelson's Column
Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830
A painting by George Hayter that commemorates the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. It depicts the first session of the newly reformed House of Commons on 5 February 1833. In the foreground, the leading statesmen from the Lords: Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845), William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779–1848) and the Whigs on the left; and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769–1852) and the Tories on the right.
Lord Palmerston addressing the House of Commons during the debates on the Treaty of France, February 1860
Jeremy Bentham's panopticon prison (1791 drawing by Willey Reveley)
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 (1882 photograph)
The British Empire in 1910
Benjamin Disraeli
Lobby card, 1929
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Men of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment following up the Germans near Brie, March 1917
The Irish Free State (red) in 1922
George V, the last British king to be styled as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Beginning in earnest in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Imperial government granted increasing levels of autonomy to locally-elected governments in colonies where white settlers had become demographically and/or politically dominant, with this process eventually resulting in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland and South Africa becoming self-governing dominions.

Signature page

Anglo-Irish Treaty

Agreement between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of Independence.

Agreement between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of Independence.

Signature page
Page from a draft of the Treaty, as annotated by Arthur Griffith
Éamon de Valera, who, as President of the Irish Republic, opposed the Treaty
Crowds holding a prayer vigil outside Whitehall during 1921, while negotiations were underway inside
Members of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921
British cavalry soldiers leaving Ireland, 1922

It provided for the establishment of the Irish Free State within a year as a self-governing dominion within the "community of nations known as the British Empire", a status "the same as that of the Dominion of Canada".

British North America

British North America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in North America from 1783 onwards.

British North America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in North America from 1783 onwards.

British North America ca. 1747
British North America in 1775; the Thirteen Colonies are shown in red.
Military Governors and Staff Officers in garrisons of British North America and West Indies 1778 and 1784
British possessions in North America ca. 1830
British possessions in North America ca. 1855
British North America c. 1864

Following royal assent of the BNA Act, three of the provinces of British North America (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which would become the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec)) joined to form "One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom," on July 1, 1867, the date of Canadian Confederation.

Irish Free State

State established in December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921.

State established in December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921.

Location of the Irish Free State with Northern Ireland in light green
A symbol most often associated with the new state's postal system
Location of the Irish Free State with Northern Ireland in light green
Funeral procession of Michael Collins, Dublin, 1922
Irish Free State passport (holder's name removed)
Overprinted stamp
Poster promoting Irish Free State farm goods for breakfast to Canadians ("Irish Free State butter, eggs and bacon for our breakfasts")

The Free State was established as a dominion of the British Empire.