The British Empire: From its Making to its End as a Colonial Power

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The British Empire Structure introduction British Empire Introduction to British imperialism Timeline explanations from Empire to Commonwealth Questions to class Sources 1. The British Empire The phrase, "the Empire on which the sun never sets", has been used with variations to describe certain global empires that were so extensive that there was always at least one part of their territory in daylight. The British Empire was the largest colonial empire in history. In Britain were two empires, one of them was called “First Empire” (1607-1776) and the other was called the “Victorian Empire”.

It’s ending was in 1931,when it turned into the “British Commonwealth of Nations”. The making of the EmpireIn the 16th century a fight between Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, France and England began. They all wanted the commercial and navel supremacy around the American continent. And after the ending of this struggle, England became the most important country. England had some important advantages, e. g. it has a very good position as an island. Moreover it had along tradition as a seafaring nation and had a very modern war fleet.

The reason why England wanted to get colonies was very simple: England thought the colonies would give its raw materials and it could sell its manufactured products, e. g. cotton, wheat, tea, oil or beef. But before England was able to start that it had a lot to do. First the colonies had to be discovered, there were two important explorers, John Cabot: Newfoundland (1497) and Captain James Cook: Australia and New Zealand (1770). After the discovery of the colonies, England established trading posts.

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The most important companies were the “East India Company”, which had been found in 1600 and the “Virginia Company” founded in 1606. England was able to establish more colonies in the following 150 years. Later many people immigrated to North America, e. g. Puritans, Catholics and various sects. They thought they wouldn’t be persecuted for their faith. The First Empire (1607-1776) The First British Empire consisted of conquered colonies in wars with France (Canada ; e. g. Newfoundland and the Hudson Bay territory) and with Spain (West India; e. . Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Bermudas and Gibraltar in Europe). The people who lived in the colonies, lived in three kinds of territories that were politically disunited. - The New England Colonies: Territory around Boston; mostly strict Protestants from England - The Middle Colonies : centred around New York, there lived all kinds of European immigrants - The Southern Colonies : mainly settled by merchants. England’s rise to world power happened during the 7 year war (1758-1763). France lost all its possessions to England.

But the end of the First British Empire came 20 years later. After the War of American Independence (1775-1783) England lost the American colonies. Though England wanted to establish a new Empire and therefore it expanded the colonies in Canada and West India. Consequently it could enlarge its trading with this and other colonies. The Seven Years' War was a world war that took place between 1754 and 1763. It involved most of the great powers of the time and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines.

The war was driven by the antagonism between Great Britain and the Bourbons , resulting from overlapping interests in their colonial and trade empires, and by the antagonism between the Hohenzollerns (in Prussia) and Habsburgs (Holy Roman Emperors and archdukes in Austria), resulting from territorial and hegemonial conflicts in the Holy Roman Empire. Overall, about 900,000 to 1,400,000 people died. The Victorian Empire But in order to get a new empire, England had to expand the colonies in West India, India and Canada. It needs the raw materials to dominate the world market. And in order to do that, England exploit and murdered the conquered olonies. England protected the sea way to get important islands, like Gibraltar and Malta. This sea way via protected St. Helena, the Cape Colony and the Cape of Good Hope. In the 19th century England enlarged its Empire within a century to such a big Empire, that more than a third of Africa, the whole Indian subcontinent and the 5th continent belong to it. And here are some important colonies of the B. E. : Cape Colony(1795), Malta(1800), Australia(1813), Singapore(1819), New Zealand(1839), Hong Kong(1841), Nigeria(1873), Suez Canal(1875), Rhodesia(1890) 2. Introduction to British imperialism: The time of the Victorian Empire trongest industrial power in the world largest colonial power owned about one-fifth of the Earth had colonies in every continent strongest naval power 3. Explanations John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the mainland of North America. The official position of the Canadian and United Kingdom governments is that he landed on the island of Newfoundland. Sir Francis Drake,Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver and politician of the Elizabethan era.

Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the second circumnavigation of the world, from 1577 to 1580. The Thirteen Colonies were the British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded between 1607 (Virginia) and 1733 (Georgia). The thirteen colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Each colony developed its own system of self-government. Residents of these colonies were mostly independent farmers, who owned their own land and voted for their local and provincial government. 4. From Empire to Commonwealth The people who lived in the colonies wanted to get independent. They demanded for self- government and they disagreed with British rules and reforms in India. After many rebellions the former crown colonies, which were internal and external dependent from the mother country developed into self- governing colonies. They had the internal sovereignty. And at least they were dominions.

That means they are completely independent. But they accept the Queen as head of the state. The first dominion colonies were Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland. After the 2nd World War all colonies, which had belonged to the B. E. have become Independent. In 1931 the Statue of Westminster became the charter of the Dominions. Now the B. E. was replaced by the British Commonwealth of Nations. And in 1951 the word “British” was dropped in “C. o. N. ” 5. Questions to class Why do you think Britain want to create such a big empire? What reasons are acceptable for wanting an empire? British rules Egypt

British forces occupied Egypt in 1882. Although the British government intended the military occupation to be brief, Britain became ever more involved in Egyptian affairs. Between 1883 and 1885 British troops attempted to crush a rebellion in Sudan that threatened Egypt’s control of the upper Nile and the Red Sea coast. The British exerted increasing control over Egypt’s government. Their consul general, Sir Evelyn Baring (known after 1892 as Lord Cromer), undertook to reform the country’s finances and to restore public order. His success in reforming finances restored European confidence in Egypt’s economy

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