By 1913 the British Empire held sway over 23% of the world population. By 1920 it covered 35,500,000 km2 – 24% of Earth’s total land area. At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.
About British Empire in brief
By 1913 the British Empire held sway over 23% of the world population. By 1920 it covered 35,500,000 km2 – 24% of Earth’s total land area. At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. Its constitutional, legal, linguistic, and cultural legacy is widespread. Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty. After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations. The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping informally known as the Commonwealth realms. Queen Elizabeth II is currently one of the monarchs of the United Kingdom. The foundations of a monarch were laid when England and Scotland were separate kingdoms. In 1496, King Henry VII commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to discover a route to the Americas via the North Atlantic. No further attempts were made to establish colonies in Asia, but there was no further attempt to establish a colony in the Americas until the year after Cabot sailed in 1497, but he made landfall on the coast of Newfoundland, five years after the discovery of European discovery of the Americas. In the following year, there was nothing heard of his voyage into the Americas, but nothing was ever heard of another English colony again until after the year of the Second World War, when he sailed into the Pacific Ocean to find a new route to Asia. The British Empire achieved its largest territorial extent immediately after World War I, but Britain was no longer the world’s pre-eminent industrial or military power.
The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain’s decline as a global power, and the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British empire. Britain’s most valuable and populous possession, India, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire. After the defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars, Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century, and expanded its imperial holdings across the globe. By the time of the Great Exhibition in 1851, the country was described as the \”workshop of the World\”. Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it effectively controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America. The period of relative peace in Europe and the world during which theBritish Empire became the global hegemon was later described as Pax Britannica. British attention soon turned towards Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The independence of the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1783 after the American War of Independence resulted in Britain losing some of its oldest and most populous colonies. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand became self-governing dominions. The British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in Egypt, South Africa and elsewhere. There was no attempt to make a colony of Asia, and no further attempts to establish an English colony in Asia.