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British Empire

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

Canadian Confederation

ConfederationFather of ConfederationConfederation of Canada
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. Under the British North America Act 1867, Canada received the status of "Dominion" upon the Confederation of several British possessions in North America.
Canadian Confederation (Confédération canadienne) was the process by which the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.

Dominion of Newfoundland

NewfoundlanddominionBritish dominion
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
Newfoundland was a British dominion from 1907 to 1949.

Canada

🇨🇦CanadianCAN
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces.

Dominion of India

IndiaUnion of IndiaIndian Union
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
India was an independent dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations with King George VI as the head of state between gaining independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947 and the proclamation of a republic on 26 January 1950.

Dominion of Pakistan

PakistanDominionBritish monarchy
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
Pakistan (পাকিস্তান অধিরাজ্য '; undefined '), also called the Dominion of Pakistan, was an independent federal dominion in South Asia that was established in 1947 as a result of the Pakistan movement, followed by the simultaneous partition of British India to create a new country called Pakistan.

Irish Free State

Free StateIrelandIrish independence
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The Irish Free State, set up in 1922 after the Anglo-Irish War, was the first Dominion to appoint a non-British, non-aristocratic Governor-General when Timothy Michael Healy took the position in 1922.
The Free State was established as a Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Dominion of New Zealand

New ZealandDominionDominion status
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
New Zealand chose not to take part in Australian Federation and became the Dominion of New Zealand on 26 September 1907, Dominion Day, by proclamation of King Edward VII.

Constitution Act, 1867

British North America Act'', 1867British North America Act, 1867British North America Act
Under the British North America Act 1867, Canada received the status of "Dominion" upon the Confederation of several British possessions in North America.
The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system.

Union of South Africa

South AfricaUnionSouth African
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
Like Canada and Australia, the Union of South Africa was a self-governing autonomous dominion of the British Empire.

Statute of Westminster 1931

Statute of Westminster1931 Statute of WestminsterStatute of Westminster Act
The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous within the British Empire", and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence.
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and modified versions of it are now domestic law within Australia and Canada; it has been repealed in New Zealand and implicitly in former Dominions that are no longer Commonwealth realms.

Australia

🇦🇺AUSAustralian
They included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
This established the Commonwealth of Australia as a dominion of the British Empire.

Ireland Act 1949

Ireland ActIreland BillBritish law
Thus, for example, the British Ireland Act, 1949, recognised that the Republic of Ireland had "ceased to be part of His Majesty's dominions".
Following the secession of most of Ireland from the United Kingdom in 1922, the then created Irish Free State remained (for the purposes of British law) a dominion of the British Empire and thus its people remained British subjects with the right to live and work in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the Empire.

Colony

coloniescolonialcolonized
At the time of the founding of the League of Nations in 1924, the League Covenant made provision for the admission of any "fully self-governing state, Dominion, or Colony", the implication being that "Dominion status was something between that of a colony and a state".
🇨🇦 Canada: was colonized first by France as New France (1534-1763) and England (in Newfoundland, 1582) then under British rule (1763–1867), before achieving Dominion status and losing "colony" designation.

British North America

BritishNorth AmericaCanada
Under the British North America Act 1867, Canada received the status of "Dominion" upon the Confederation of several British possessions in North America.
In 1907, the sole remaining British North American colony, Newfoundland, was granted the status of a Dominion, although starting in 1934 it returned to British administration under the Commission of Government.

1907 Imperial Conference

19071907 Colonial ConferenceConference of Colonial Premiers
The assertiveness of the self-governing colonies was recognised in the Colonial Conference of 1907, which implicitly introduced the idea of the Dominion as a self-governing colony by referring to Canada and Australia as Dominions.
The conference decided to cease referring to self-governing British colonies as colonies and conferred upon them dominion status.

Constitution of Ireland

ConstitutionIrish constitution1937 Constitution
In 1937 Ireland adopted, almost simultaneously, both a new constitution that included powers for a president of Ireland and a law confirming a role for the king in external relations. Following a plebiscite of the people of the Free State held on 1 July 1937, a new constitution came into force on 29 December of that year, establishing a successor state with the name of "Ireland" which ceased to participate in Commonwealth conferences and events.
The Constitution of Ireland replaced the Constitution of the Irish Free State which had been in effect since the independence, as a dominion, of the Irish state from the United Kingdom on 6 December 1922.

Newfoundland Commission of Government

Commission of GovernmentChairman of the Newfoundland Commission of GovernmentCommission of Government of Newfoundland
In any event, Newfoundland's letters patent of 1934 suspended self-government and instituted a "Commission of Government", which continued until Newfoundland became a province of Canada in 1949.
Established following the collapse of Newfoundland's economy during the Great Depression, it was dissolved when the former dominion became the tenth province of Canada.

Republic of Ireland

IrelandIrishRepublic
Following a plebiscite of the people of the Free State held on 1 July 1937, a new constitution came into force on 29 December of that year, establishing a successor state with the name of "Ireland" which ceased to participate in Commonwealth conferences and events.
It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and effectively became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.

George V

King George VKingthe King
In 1930, the Australian prime minister, James Scullin, reinforced the right of the overseas Dominions to appoint native-born governors-general, when he advised King George V to appoint Sir Isaac Isaacs as his representative in Australia, against the wishes of the opposition and officials in London.
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

Irish War of Independence

War of IndependenceAnglo-Irish WarIrish independence
The Irish Free State, set up in 1922 after the Anglo-Irish War, was the first Dominion to appoint a non-British, non-aristocratic Governor-General when Timothy Michael Healy took the position in 1922.
This ended British rule in most of Ireland and, after a ten-month transitional period overseen by a provisional government, the Irish Free State was created as a self-governing Dominion on 6 December 1922.

Self-governing colony

self-governingself-governing coloniesself-government
Two other self-governing colonies—New Zealand and Newfoundland—were granted the status of Dominion in the same year.
The Canadian colonies were federated as a Dominion in 1867, except for Newfoundland, which remained a separate self-governing colony, was a separate Dominion in 1907-1934, reverted to being a crown colony in 1934, and joined Canada in 1949.

Commonwealth realm

realmsCommonwealthCommonwealth Realms
Following the Second World War, the decline of British colonialism led to Dominions generally being referred to as Commonwealth realms and the use of the word dominion gradually diminished.
For the latter the Canadian precedent was followed, and the term Dominion was extended to apply to Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and the colonies of the Cape, Natal, and Transvaal, before and after they merged in 1910 with the Orange River Colony to form the Union of South Africa.

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Privy CouncilJudicial CommitteeJudicial Committee of the British Privy Council
Until 1931, Newfoundland was referred to as a colony of the United Kingdom, as for example, in the 1927 reference to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to delineate the Quebec-Labrador boundary.
In the twentieth century, the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council shrank considerably, as British Dominions established their own courts of final appeal and as British colonies became independent, although many retained appeals to the Privy Council post-independence.

London Declaration

Drafted by the Indian statesman V. K. Krishna Menon, the declaration had two main provisions: It allowed the Commonwealth to admit and retain members that were not Dominions, so including both republics and indigenous monarchies, and it changed the name of the organisation from the British Commonwealth to the Commonwealth of Nations, reflecting the first change.