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Breetish Empire

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Inglis: British Empire
Aw auries o the warld that war iver pairt o the Breetish Empire. Current Breetish Owerseas Territories hae thair names unnerlined in reid.
Aw auries o the warld that war iver pairt o the Breetish Empire. Current Breetish Owerseas Territories hae thair names unnerlined in reid.

The Breetish Empire compreesed the domeenions, colonies, pertectorates, mandates an ither territories ruled or admeenistert bi the Unitit Kinrick an its predecessor states. It oreeginatit wi the owerseas possessions an treddin posts established bi Ingland atween the late 16t an early 18t centuries. At its hicht, it wis the lairgest empire in history an, for ower a century, wis the foremaist global pouer.[1] Bi 1913, the Breetish Empire held swee ower 412 million fowk, 23% o the warld population at the time,[2] an bi 1920, it kivert 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi),[3] 24% o the Yird's tot laund aurie.[4] As a result, its poleetical, legal, lingueestic an cultural legacy is widespreid. At the peak o its pouer, the phrase "the empire on that the sun niver sets" wis eften uised tae descrive the Breetish Empire, acause its expanse aroond the globe meant that the sun wis ayeweys shinin on at least ane o its territories.

In the Age o Diskivery in the 15t an 16t centuries, Portugal an Spain pioneered European exploration o the globe, an in the process established lairge owerseas empires. Envyfu o the great walth thir empires generatit,[5] Ingland, Fraunce, an the Netherlands begoud tae establish colonies an tred networks o thair awn in the Americas an Asie.[6] A series o wars in the 17t an 18t centuries wi the Netherlands an Fraunce left Ingland an then, follaein union atween Ingland an Scotland in 1707, Great Breetain, the dominant colonial pouer in North Americae. It then becam the dominant pouer in the Indie subcontinent efter the East Indie Company's conquest o Mughal Bengal at the Battle o Plassey in 1757.

The unthirldom o the Thirteen Colonies in North Americae in 1783 efter the American War o Unthirldom caused Breetain tae lose some o its auldest an maist populous colonies. Breetish attention suin turned taewart Asie, Africae, an the Pacefic. Efter the defeat o Fraunce in the Revolutionary an Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815), Breetain emerged as the principal naval an imperial pouer o the 19t century.[7] Unchallenged at sea, Brrrtish dominance wis later descrived as Pax Britannica ("Breetish Peace"), a period o relative peace in Europe an the warld (1815–1914) in that the Breetish Empire becam the global hegemon an adoptit the role o global polisman.[8][9][10][11] In the early 19t century, the Industrial Revolution begoud tae transform Breetain; sae that bi the time o the Great Exhibeetion in 1851, the kintra wis descrived as the "wirkshop o the warld".[12] The Breetish Empire expandit tae include maist o Indie, lairge pairts o Africae an mony ither territories ootthrou the warld. Alangside the formal control that Breetain exertit ower its awn colonies, its dominance o muckle o warld tred meant that it effectively controlled the economies o mony regions, sic as Asie an Laitin Americae.[13][14]

In Breetain, poleetical attitudes favoured free tred an laissez-faire policies an a gradual widenin o the votin franchise. In the 19t century, Breetain's population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied bi fest urbanisation, that caused signeeficant social an economic stresses.[15] Tae seek new mercats an soorces o raw materials, the Conservative Pairty unner Benjamin Disraeli launched a period o imperialist expansion in Egyp, Sooth Africae, an ensewhaur. Canadae, Australiae, an New Zealand becam sel-govrenin domeenions.[16]

Bi the stairt o the 20t century, Germany an the Unitit States haed begun tae challenge Breetain's economic lead. Subsequent militar an economic tensions atween Breetain an Germany war major causes o the First Warld War, in that Breetain relied hivily upon its empire. The conflict placed enormous stress on the militar, financial an manpouer resoorces o Breetain. Awtho the Breetish Empire achieved its lairgest territorial extent immediately efter Warld War I, Breetain wis na langer the warld's pre-eminent industrial or militar pouer. In the Seicont Warld War, Breetain's colonies in Sootheast Asie war occupied bi Japan. Despite the feenal veectory o Breetain an its allies, the damage tae Breetish prestige helped tae accelerate the decline o the empire. Indie, Breetain's maist vailuable an populous possession, achieved unthirldom as pairt o a lairger decolonisation muivement in that Breetain grantit unthirldom tae maist territories o the empire. The transfer o Hong Kong tae Cheenae in 1997 merked for mony the end o the Breetish Empire.[17][18][19][20] Fowerteen owerseas territories remeen unner Breetish sovereignty.

Efter unthirldom, mony umwhile Breetish colonies jyned the Commonweel o Naitions, a free association o independent states. The Unitit Kinrick is nou ane o 16 Commonweel naitions, a groupin kent informally as the Commonweel realms, that share a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.


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  1. Ferguson 2004b.
  2. Maddison 2001, pp. 97 "The total population of the Empire was 412 million [in 1913]", 241 "[World population in 1913 (in thousands):] 1 791 020".
  3. Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia". International Studies Quarterly. 41 (3): 502. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053. JSTOR 2600793.
  4. "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived frae the original on 18 Mey 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2016. land: 148.94 million sq km
  5. Russo 2012, p. 15 chapter 1 'Great Expectations': "The dramatic rise in Spanish fortunes sparked both envy and fear among northern, mostly Protestant, Europeans.".
  6. Ferguson 2004b, p. 3.
  7. Tellier, L.-N. (2009). Urban World History: an Economic and Geographical Perspective. Quebec: PUQ. p. 463. ISBN 2-7605-1588-5.
  8. Johnston, pp. 508–10.
  9. Porter, p. 332.
  10. Sondhaus, L. (2004). Navies in Modern World History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 9. ISBN 1-86189-202-0.
  11. Porter, Andrew (1998). The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III. Oxford University Press. p. 332. ISBN 0-19-924678-5.
  12. "The Workshop of the World". BBC History. Retrieved 28 Apryle 2013.
  13. Porter, Andrew (1998). The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-19-924678-5.
  14. Marshall, P.J. (1996). The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire. Cambridge University Press. pp. 156–57. ISBN 0-521-00254-0.
  15. Tompson, Richard S. (2003). Great Britain: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present. New York: Facts on File. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-4474-0.
  16. Hosch, William L. (2009). World War I: People, Politics, and Power. America at War. New York: Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-61530-048-8.
  17. Brendon, p. 660.
  18. "Charles' diary lays thoughts bare". BBC News. 22 Februar 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  19. Brown, p. 594.
  20. "Britain, the Commonwealth and the End of Empire". BBC News. Retrieved 13 December 2008.


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