A … By 1914, most of the countries in the world had been colonized by Europe. Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Lesson Summary. Contents. India. Mueller holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law. The colonies originally were administered by New South Wales, but in 1841 New Zealand became a British colony in its own right. At its height in 1921, this empire had become a refined worldwide network, ruling approximately one quarter of all the land on Earth. The French also had colonies in Africa, from the ROC to modern-day Morocco, among other colonies worldwide. During this time, the vast majority of Iran was under rule by the Qajar Dynasty, … The country already had officially laid claim to Western Australia in 1829 as one of the British colonies. In the sixteenth century, “England was a backward country”, says Robertson. 1 … The end of an era, which began in the 16th century, finally came around in 1997 when Hong Kong, one of the empire’s most prominent territories, was transferred back to China. British settlers landed in New Zealand in 1840. Follow Africa is Home to learn more. Britain was left essentially bankrupt, with insolvency only averted in 1946 after the negotiation of a $US 4.33 billion loanfrom the United States, the last installment of which … It all began back in the 1600s when Britain first set up the East India Company in order to ... Hong Kong. Both British and Russian forces were interested in controlling present-day Iran (then the Persian Empire). In the mid- to late-1800s, European powers became obsessed with obtaining territory and British colonies on the African continent. These were all places Britain wanted to dominate for access to goods such as rubber, salt, gold, ivory, and other natural products. Britain began colonizing the world back in the 16th century and spread its power through a strong army and by partnering with local authorities to conduct business. The British Empire ruled over many countries in Africa, beginning in 1870. Thus, many European countries, such as Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain, England and Germany, began acquiring colonies, leading to the colonial division of the world. The British government watched the East India Company, who ruled India. Before proceeding to look at how the British rule shattered the Indian economy, it will be useful to consider the respective macro-economic situations that prevailed in Britain and India before the Indian subjugation.It should be noted that the British, during the 16th and 17th centuries, were in a bad shape. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 worldatlas.com. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. An empire is a group of colonies that are ruled by a single power, and while Britain itself has always been quite small in land mass and located far away from many of the places it has governed, it somehow succeeded in growing the largest empire in history. The British in Africa. ThoughtCo / Adrian Mangel Countries Represented at the Berlin Conference . Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Today, Queen Elizabeth is still officially the head of state for 16 Commonwealth countries outside the UK. The last province to join since the 1867 confederation was Newfoundland and Labrador in 1949 and the last territory was Nunavut in 1999. In what is now the eastern US, thirteen British colonies were set up during the 17th and 18th centuries. They are mainly Sunni Muslim. The history of colonization began when the First Fleet of Britain arrived in Sydney. Egypt, the bordering country of Sudan, was one of them. European countries with interest in Africa met in Berlin in 1884 to divide the continent among themselves. Great Britain waged two wars with Afghanistan to protect the northwest border of India resulting in Afghanistan becoming a semi-protectorate of the crown in 1880. The colonized the following territories; Sudan Lesotho Benin Kenya Tanzania Somalia Eastern Ghana Cameroons Egypt Gambia Nigeria South Africa Likewise, China was never colonized formally, but the Opium Wars were fought to ensure that British opium merchants had access to Chinese markets. Britain colonized India from 1757 to 1947. It was the period of colonization in the country. Who are the indigenous people of Palestine? Colonization by the French and the British had a strong influence on Egyptian society. Both Canada and the United States have areas in them that were once British colonies. The British started colonizing Africa from the 1870s. These countries had been part of the Ottoman Empire until World War I. Today, Hong Kong is governed under the “one country, two systems” relationship. These two countries fought for the territory and made many influences along the way. With the occupation of Egypt in 1882, Great Britain aimed to annex more territory in East Africa until British territory connected the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo. A Short History of the Colonization of Palestine Myth: “‘Israel’ was a land without a people for a people without a land.” History: Arab people have lived in Palestine for thousands of years. At this time, these included New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and “Canada” which was comprised of Upper and Lower Canada, today the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. In the mid- to late-1800s, European powers became obsessed with obtaining territory and British colonies on the ... 2 Spices and Tea. The British empire ruled over British North America in what is now Canada, beginning in about 1860. 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. This eventually led to the American War of Independence, also known as the Revolutionary War, which took place from 1775 to 1783. In 1860, Kowloon was won by the British, and 1898, the modern dividing line between mainland China and Hong Kong was established. The colonization was orchestrated by the East India Company, a British corporation that traded cotton, silk, spices and tea. The British maintained Burma as a province of British India, unlike other colonies which kept their ethnic identities. Iraq: Occupied by Britain in World War I. Nominally independent after 1932. Today, the US is not governed by the UK, and Canada is a sovereign nation but a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of Canada (Queen Elizabeth) as the head of state. After more conflict, Burma became part of the empire in the 1880s. While various countries gained their independence over time, even by 1952 when Queen Elizabeth took the throne, over 70 colonies still existed in the empire overseas. In this case, the 13 colonies were located in North America, and they were controlled by Great Britain. These included what are now Kenya, Sudan, Lesotho, Botswana, Northern Somalia, Egypt, Eastern Ghana, Gambia, Niger, and Benin. By the end of her 64-year reign, the United Kingdom (U.K.) controlled more than 14 million square miles of territory and produced around 30 percent of the world's total industrial output. A List of Countries Colonized by the British in the Victorian Era. Canada’s road to independence has been long and winding. Following World War II, Britain lost much of its wealth and authority which led to granting India its independence as dissatisfaction with British rule was growing in the colony. When the British colonized these new lands, they changed things. Britain advanced the land and the territories greatly in terms of technology and society, it came at the expense of the native peoples. As in the Indian Subcontinent, the British used local African tribal leaders to work for them from afar. Former British Colonies. Nothing lasts forever, however. T he other countries must feel so left out. Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, The History Press: India from Queen Victoria's Time to Independence, Australian War Memorial: Colonial period, 1788–1901. © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. The company had an army, led by British officers and staffed by Indian soldiers. The Sykes-Picot Agreement partitioned the area between Britain and France. Interestingly, 18 African countries that were formerly British colonies have chosen to remain connected to Great Britain as members of the British Commonwealth. This is what British historian Stuart Laycock learned after his son asked him how many countries Britain had invaded. The history of colonization began when the First Fleet of Britain arrived in Sydney. Here is a brief look at some former British Colonies and how they came to be. Senegal. By 1670 there were British American colonies in New England, Virginia, and Maryland and settlements in the Bermudas, Honduras, Antigua, Barbados, and Nova Scotia. The countries represented at the time included Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden-Norway (unified … Further east, the British established control of the Malay peninsula and acquired a lease on Hong Kong from China following the end of the Opium Wars. Britain had an extensive history of colonization, and it wanted colonies in North America for multiple reasons, including to increase their trading opportunities, create new jobs, and bring in revenue from colonial workers and goods. But it took a couple of decades for the European colonialism to fully collapse; France was fighting for Algeria until 1962 and Portugal did not abandon its African colonies until 1974. The British Empire was the largest of its kind in history, and once covered about one quarter of all the land on Earth. See disclaimer. The primary motive was to become a planetary superpower and dominate the world. The primary motive was to become a planetary superpower and dominate the world. Britain seized control in 1822 when the Egyptian government was in debt to Europe. Ethnic rivalries were not serious in precolonial Africa. The British government did not officially rule Iran, but it did affect most of the government's policy because it owned the country's most valuable resource. During the First Opium War between China and Britain in 1839, China temporarily gave Hong Kong Island over to the British. By the end of Queen Victoria's reign, the list of British colonies in the British West Indies included the island nations of Anguilla, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Turks and Caicos. British influence in India has been longlasting, and English is commonly used as a lingua franca in the country. All of them speak Arabic. These areas became prosperous economically and many people living in them began to wonder at one point why they needed to pay taxes to leaders back in England. He was hanged in 1859 for his part in an attack on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. So many countries were colonized by the British, but there are many countries that weren't colonized by the British either. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. Many say the British Empire was made possible by conquering the world by sea, investing in a formidable army, and partnering with local people to further its spread. Nonetheless, British colonials held themselves apart from local people more than other Europeans did, hiring locals as domestic help, but rarely intermarrying with them. Right now, Hong Kong is a special administrative region (SAR) of China, but that will change in 2047, when China will likely take complete control of the region. Britain ruled Hong Kong with an agreement that the empire would give Hong Kong back to China 99 years after signing the deal, on July 1 1997, which it did. By Victoria Simpson on September 8 2020 in World Facts. This means … Different territories had different official statuses, and not all were governed directly by the British. ... British colonies, including Africa and India, made a significant contribution to the war effort. The Berlin Conference awarded large portions of East Africa to Great Britain. Great Britain annexed Aden in 1839 and established colonies in South Africa in 1843. New research shows that practically everyone has been invaded by British troops at one point or another. Source: Colonization in Africa. They captured Malacca in 1511, holding it until the Dutch seized it in 1641. In part, this may have been due to a transfer of British ideas about the separation of classes to their overseas colonies. Historians debate exactly how this happened. Between 1840 and 1868, the British began phasing out their original practice of shipping convicts to Australia. Spanning over 400 years, historians continue to research and discover new things about the British Empire.And today more than ever, people are recognising, questioning and understanding the full story behind this important part of world history. Facts about British Colonization of Australia talk about the history of Australia in 1780 until 1859. Germany had only been unified in … The few colonies Britain maintained in West Africa primarily provided support for the British navy. Who will be next? But it took a couple of decades for the European colonialism to fully collapse; France was fighting for Algeria until 1962 and Portugal did not abandon its African colonies until 1974. The Democratic Republic of the Congo. 0000.999.37240. In 1780, these people began to form a colony in New South Wales. Top British and middle Indian administrators ruled Burma. In British North America, clashes with the United States during the War of 1812 and growing concerns about possible American annexation during the Civil War (1861-1865) led to the creation of the independent Dominion of Canada by Act of Confederation in 1867. Like in Africa, many western and central African countries were colonized by other European powers. The other country was Great Britain, who happened to colonize many countries besides Sudan (Benjamin 1060). British rule extended into the Pacific with the acquisition of the Fiji Islands in 1874 and British New Guinea in 1884. Togo. This is what British historian Stuart Laycock learned after his son asked him how many countries Britain had invaded. One of the last major colonies to be given up by Britain was Hong Kong which was given back to China on July 1st 1997. When Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, she ushered in an era of industrialization and global expansion of the British empire. Let’s find out more in our British Empire facts… British Empire facts. In 1935, Britain consented to separate Burma from India and this was put into force in 1937 (Wilson). Britain did not want to be paternalistic like the French colonialists, and it did not practice the assimilation policies of the French. One of the last British colonies to gain its independence was Zimbabwe in 1980. The sun figuratively never set on the British empire during the Victorian Era with British colonies on every part of the globe. These countries accounted for more than 30% of Africa's population. Syria: Colonized by France in 1918, became independent in 1946. During the Victorian era which ended with the queen's death in 1901, Great Britain became the largest imperial power in the world. Much of Europe, a continent that had dominated the world for several centuries, was in ruins, and host to the armies of the United States and the Soviet Union, who now held the balance of global power. The British Empire is famous for spreading itself to almost every corner of the globe. Eventually, a growing spirit of independence would strip Spain of its New World empire. Great Britain participated in economic imperialism in India. Though Britain and the empire emerged victorious from the Second World War, the effects of the conflict were profound, both at home and abroad. There were, however, some large conquering empires: the Bugandan Empire in Uganda; the Zulus in South Africa; the Mwene Mutapa Empire of the Shona people in Zambia, or Great Zimbabwe; the Benin Empire; the kingdoms of the Yoruba (Ife, Oyo, and Ibadan); the Ashanti in Ghana; the Fulani Empire in northern Nigeria, which even tried to extend into regions of Sierra Leone; the Kanem-Bo… In the early 17th century, says Mill, Britain was, “oppressed by … As far as current British overseas territories go, these include land in the Antarctic as well as Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands, St Helena and its Dependencies, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, and the Turks & Caicos Islands. India was a colony of Britain from 1858 to 1947. 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