British Empire


August 8, 2022

The British Empire (British Empire) included dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates on other territories that were under the authority of the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It arose as a result of the establishment of overseas territories and trading posts by the Kingdom of England in the period from the end of the 16th century. to the beginning of the XVIII century. At the height of its heyday, it was the largest empire in history, and for more than a hundred years it was the world's leading global power. As of 1913, the population of the British Empire was more than 412 million people (23% of the world's population at that time), and as of 1920, the area of ​​the empire was more than 35.5 million km² (24% of the world's surface). As a result, its political, legal, linguistic, and cultural heritage has been widely spread. At the height of its development, the British Empire was often described by the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" (English: the empire on which the sun never sets), because due to its enormous size, the sun always shone on at least some part of it. After World War II, most of Britain's colonies became independent. The British Commonwealth is considered the heir of the British Empire.


The phrase "British Empire" is attributed to the English writer John Dee, although in fact the foundations of the British Empire were laid back in the days when the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland existed as separate states. In 1496, King Henry VII of England, barely recovering from the failures in the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the White and Red Roses, learned about the successes of Spain and Portugal in exploring the distant seas - and equipped an expedition led by John Cabot (English John Cabot) in search of sea way to Asia through the North Atlantic. At the same time, the successes of the Spanish Empire and the Kingdom of Portugal in the Atlantic worried the English crown so much that England introduced privateering tactics, giving the right to private individuals such as John Hawkins and Francis Drake to carry out pirate attacks on Spanish colonies and ships carrying gold from the New World. Despite the fact that there were already calls to establish their own empire, the Kingdom of England was late in establishing overseas colonies: the Spanish had already captured Latin