[2], Dominions were semi-independent polities that were nominally under the Crown, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the later part of the 19th century. From there, other countries and even the entire continent of Australia became part of the Commonwealth. From there, the British Commonwealth started going by the Commonwealth of Nations, and you will commonly see it shortened as the Commonwealth. Annexed as the latest territorial addition to the United Kingdom. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. Which countries are ruled by the Queen of England? Five years later, the United Kingdom officially upheld the formation of the Commonwealth by signing a document called the Statute of Westminster. These include Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as several Caribbean states. Interestingly enough, most, though not all, of the countries in the British Commonwealth happen to be British colonies. However, this was purely a personal union, with Hanover maintaining its political independence otherwise, and so it is not usually considered to have formed part of the British Empire. No uniform system of government was applied to any of these. There were so many additions, alterations, and revisions to the Commonwealth of Nations until 1949. [9], A number of colonies in the 16th and 17th centuries were granted to a particular individual; these were known as proprietary colonies. Some companies like the East India Company (the most famous), the Hudson's Bay Company, and the Royal African Company ruled large colonial possessions (especially in India), but the Hudson’s Bay Company took Canada, and the Royal African Company started to ship slaves from Africa to the West Indies. They held a consultative position, however, and did not serve in administrative offices as cabinet ministers do. Surrendered to Honduras in 1860, Part of colony of South Caribbean Islands, Part of colony of Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat, Amalgamated with Saint Kitts to form the presidency of Saint Christopher and Nevis (within the Leeward Islands), Amalgamated with Nevis to form the presidency of Saint Christopher-Nevis (within the Leeward Islands), Part of province of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla of, Part of colony of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, Part of associated state of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, Amalgamated with Tobago as "Trinidad and Tobago", United with Demerara-Essequibo to form British Guiana, Formed by the merger of the colonies of Berbice and Demerara-Essequibo, Merged with Essequibo to form Demerara-Essequibo, Formed by the merger of the separate colonies of Demerara and Essequibo, United with Berbice to form British Guiana, Merged with Demerara to form Demerara-Essequibo, Incorporated into the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, Coastal settlements of southwestern Sumatra, subordinated to, Presidency of Coromandel and Bengal Settlements, Partitioned between [West] Bengal and Eastern Bengal and Assam, Lower and Upper Burma United as province of. The British rule may have united India, but in their absence, the result is the presence of 60-100 princely states that co-exist as rivals or alliances. Territorial evolution from the foundation of the English colonial empire to the present. British Empire, a worldwide system of dependencies— colonies, protectorates, and other territories—that over a span of some three centuries was brought under the sovereignty of the crown of Great Britain and the administration of the British government. The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century. Out of all fifty-three countries, India's population accounts for most of the Commonwealth's total population. Vaccines minister … This document set out the terms under which the company could trade, defined its boundaries of influence, and described its rights and responsibilities. Although the term British Isles has a long history of common usage, it has become increasingly controversial, especially for some in Ireland who object to its connotation of political and cultural connections between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Main settlement was Port Clarence now known as Malabo, Protectorate declared over hinterland of Gambia River in 1894, Incorporated into the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, Italian forces expelled, UN trusteeship of, Created from the Colony & Protectorate of, Annexed to form part of Her Majesty's dominions as part of the dominion of, United with Mashonaland as South Zambezia in 1894, United with Matabeleland as South Zambezia in 1894, Not a member of the Commonwealth between 1961 and 1994, Established as condominium between UK, France and Spain (later also Portugal, USA, Italy, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands), Zone dissolved, Tangier returned to Morocco, Reverted to control of the Hudson's Bay Company, Formed by the federation of the provinces of the, Re-established within the Dominion of Canada as the province of, Formed by the amalgamation of the provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, Joined the Dominion of Canada and divided into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Now the southern halves of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, Re-established within the Dominion of Canada as the province of Ontario in 1867, Sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain, Now part of the state of Florida, United States, Now divided between the Canadian provinces of, Nominally included territory that is now part of the provinces of, Divided into the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, Nominally included territory that is now part of the Canadian territories and provinces of, Now divided between British Columbia and Yukon, Canada, Southern part returned to Spanish sovereignty; sovereignty of northern part formally relinquished by Great Britain, Part of colony of St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands, Unilateral declaration of independence as, Independence as part of Antigua and Barbuda, Colony of Port Royal (Roatan). The United Kingdom is, of course, part of the Commonwealth, as are a few Asian countries and the majority of southern Africa. Dependent or not upon Britain's government, the Commonwealth of Nations' member states all have a historical tie to Britain. A protected state is a territory under a foreign ruler which enjoys British protection, over whose foreign affairs she exercises control, but in respect of whose internal affairs she does not exercise jurisdiction. There also existed lower houses which were usually named the Legislative Assembly or House of Assembly. The British monarch is also Head of the Commonwealth, but this is a purely symbolic and personal title; members of the Commonwealth (including the Commonwealth realms) are fully sovereign states. These countries are known as the “Commonwealth of Nations”. c. 63), s. 18. Similarly, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdo… In a charter colony, the King granted a charter to the colonial government establishing the rules under which the colony was to be governed and charter colonies elected their own governors based on rules spelled out in the charter or other colonial legislation. The British Empire ruled over many countries in Africa, beginning in 1870. Republicanism became more prevalent in the Early Modern period, but monarchy remained predominant in Europe during the 19th century.Since the end of World War I, however, most European monarchies have been abolished.There remain, as of 2020, twelve sovereign monarchies in Europe.Seven are kingdoms: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. If they are not currently under British rule, these locations were at one time. The only country in South America that is part of the British Commonwealth is Guyana in the continent's northern region. Initially, the Dominions conducted their own trade policy, some limited foreign relations and had autonomous armed forces, although the British government claimed and exercised the exclusive power to declare wars. Eventually these were converted to Crown colonies. Proprietary colonies in America were governed by a Lord Proprietor, who, holding authority by virtue of a royal charter, usually exercised that authority almost as an independent sovereign. Every continent in the world has member countries that are part of the British … A document called the Balfour Declaration was signed in 1926, and it marked the official start of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Both British and Russian forces were interested in controlling present-day Iran (then the Persian Empire). Fifteen of these (known, with the United Kingdom, as the 16 Commonwealth realms) retain the British monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) as Head of State. This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 20:22. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales (which collectively make up Great Britain), as well as Northern Ireland (variously described as a country, province or region). Likewise, British forces gained power in the eastern region of the Persian Empire, near present-day Pakistan. It was unclear if the spike was due to the presence of the U.K. virus variant, of which only one case has so far been confirmed in a visiting British citizen. Collectively, these territories are referred to as the British Empire. Queen Victoria's 1837 ascension to the throne ushered in British empire industrialization and global expansion. [5] Most Crown colonies, especially the white settler colonies had a bicameral legislature, consisting of an upper house usually called the Legislative council, which members were appointed and served a similar purpose as the British House of Lords. The British also created "divide and rule" policies, pitting Hindu and Muslim Indians against one another. Fifty-three countries are recognized as part of the Commonwealth of Nations. During the Imperial Conference, there was a gathering of political figures at an event held by the prime ministers across the British Empire at the time. The very first title of this political association amongst various countries was the British Commonwealth of Nations. As mentioned, the Commonwealth of Nations is an organization made up of fifty-three countries around the world. Over time, a number of colonies were granted "responsible government", making them largely self-governing. However, after the passage of the Statute of Westminster the language of dependency on the Crown of the United Kingdom ceased, where the Crown itself was no longer referred to as the Crown of any place in particular but simply as "the Crown". Scotland independent again but in personal union with England, Political union with Scotland to form the, Formed by union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland, Union of Great Britain with Ireland to form the, United States of Ionian Islands, under British protection, Kingdom subordinated to the English (later British) Crown. Similarly, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 to form the United Kingdom, control over its colonial possessions passed to the latter state. Every continent in the world has member countries that are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the … China. Compact Oxford English Dictionary - "Crown colony". "Popular Law Library Vol 1 Introduction To The Study Of Law Legal History", Peace Treaties and International Law in European History, From the Late Middle Ages to World War One, Burgundian and Habsburg in the Low Countries, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Territorial_evolution_of_the_British_Empire&oldid=1000805452, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, English as a dominant or an official language, Northern part merged into Nigeria, southern part into the, Territory included former IBEAC territories and the strip of Sultan of Zanizbar's dominions on the coast of Kenya which fell within the British sphere of influence, Lands of Sultan of Zanzibar on coast administered with the Colony as one unit, Island leased from Spain so that Royal Navy could undertake anti-slavery operations on West Coast of Africa. Together, these countries formed the British Empire. Since the Act of Union in 1707, the United Kingdom has ruled vast swaths of land across the world. The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. End of the, Ireland unites with Great Britain to form the, Joint British-Egyptian condominium established over, Cyprus (Annexation) Order in Council 1914, Financial difficulties result in Newfoundland losing its status as a dominion, Australia adopts the Statute of Westminster, backdated to 1939, New Zealand adopts the Statute of Westminster, Newfoundland becomes a province of Canada, The status of "colony" is renamed "dependent territory", Hong Kong is transferred to the People's Republic of China, The status of "British Dependent Territory" is renamed "British Overseas Territory", Queen Elizabeth II first monarch to be titled Queen of Canada (accession to the throne of Canada in 1952). The British Commonwealth refers to a collection of countries associated with the same political affiliation, meaning that the Commonwealth of Nations is intended to bring countries together and provide them with a foundation for economic growth, financial prosperity, and just overall success for all nations involved. Several provinces and territories have joined since Confederation. T he other countries must feel so left out. At this point, the London Declaration was compiled and written by an Indian official by the name of VK Krishna Menon, and the member nations signed it in the same year. They are remnants of the British Empire and do not form part of the United Kingdom itself. When the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter country's colonial possessions passed to the new state. Groups of investors formed companies to underwrite and profit from the exploration of Africa, India, Asia, the Caribbean and North America, under the patronage of the state. [14][15] The dominions had been previously Crown colonies, and some of the colonies had been united to form dominions such as Union of South Africa and Commonwealth of Australia. Most converted to United Nations Trust Territories in 1946. In theory these territories were governed on behalf of the League of Nations for the benefit of their inhabitants. United with England and Ireland as the Commonwealth of England. These included what are now Kenya, Sudan, Lesotho, Botswana, Northern Somalia, Egypt, Eastern Ghana, Gambia, Niger, and Benin. Some are constitutional monarchies, where the monarch’s power is regulated by … The queen of the UK is also separately the queen of a number of other Commonwealth countries who choose to have her as their head of state. Most of these countries used to be territories of the British Empire. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales (which collectively make up Great Britain), as well as Northern Ireland (variously described as a country, province or region). When the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter country's colonial possessions passed to the new state. Of the territories with a permanent population, all have at least some degree of internal self-government, with the United Kingdom retaining responsibility for defence and external relations. Monaco. Name changed to Myanmar after a military junta in 1989. The British thought of their rule as a form of "autocratic paternalism." Arthur Berriedale Keith, in Speeches and Documents on the British Dominions 1918–1931, stated that "the Dominions are sovereign international States in the sense that the King in respect of each of His Dominions (Newfoundland excepted) is such a State in the eyes of international law". The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. The Lord Lyon King of Arms holds a similar role within Scotland. In 1905, the colonial government divided Bengal into Hindu and Muslim sections; this … https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/former-british-colonies.html These fifty-three nations have a combined population of over two-point-three billion people, with the most densely populated countries being Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. In addition to the areas formally under the sovereignty of the British monarch, various "foreign" territories were controlled as protectorates; territories transferred to British administration under the authority of the League of Nations or the United Nations; and miscellaneous other territories, such as the condominium of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. British have invaded nine out of ten countries - so look out Luxembourg Britain has invaded all but 22 countries in the world in its long and colourful history, new research has found. A number of countries (dominions) within the British Empire gained independence in stages during the earlier part of the 20th century. 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. He dug into the history of almost 200 … [17], The British Raj, also called the Indian Empire, was the imperial political structure in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947, comprising British India (a Crown colony: presidencies and provinces directly governed by the British Crown through the Viceroy and Governor-General of India) and Princely States, governed by Indian rulers, under the suzerainty of the British Crown exercised through the Viceroy and Governor-General of India.[18]. Although the term British Isles has a long history of common usage, it has become increasingly controversial, especially for some in Ireland who object to its connotation of political and cultural connections between Ireland and the United Kingdom. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952. [8], Charter colony is one of the three classes of colonial government established in the 17th-century English colonies in North America. 15. In legal terms the territories included those formally under the sovereignty of the British monarch (who held the additional title of Emperor (or Empress) of India from 1876 to 1947); various "foreign" territories controlled as protectorates; territories transferred to British administration under the authority of the League of Nations or the United Nations; and miscellaneous other territories, such as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, a condominium with Egypt. The tiny Principality of Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi … During this time, the vast majority of Iran was under rule by the Qajar Dynasty, … The College of Arms is the authority on the flying of flags in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and maintains the only official register of flags for these countries. No one is ‘under’ the British monarchy. It was established in 1484 and as part of the Royal Household operates under the authority of the Crown. ... European countries with interest in Africa met in Berlin in 1884 to divide the continent among themselves. Russia was successful in capturing some of the northern areas of the Empire (present-day Turkmenistan, for example) in the 19th century. Below are the British Commonwealth countries in alphabetical order. The natures of the administration of the Empire changed both by time and place, and there was no uniform system of government in the Empire.[1][2]. A number of German colonies and protectorates and Ottoman provinces were held as mandates by the United Kingdom (Tanganyika, British Cameroons, Togoland, Palestine and Mesopotamia); and its dominions of Australia (New Guinea, Nauru), New Zealand (Western Samoa), and South Africa (South West Africa). [3][4], Crown colonies were ruled by a governor appointed by the monarch. See England; Ireland; Northern Ireland; Scotland; United Kingdom; Wales. The lower house was usually elected, but suffrage was restricted to free white men only, usually with property ownership restrictions. Since the Act of Union in 1707, the United Kingdom has ruled vast swaths of land across the world. [7] Later as the white colonies gained more internal responsible government, the lower house began to supersede the (usually unelected) upper house as the colonial legislature, and the position of Premier emerged. In 1888 the Imperial British East Africa Company The College of Arms is the authority on the flying of flags in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and maintains the only official register of flags for these countries. 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. Albert II, Prince of Monaco. 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