The British Empire
The empire on which the sun never sets
The British Empire
As a starting point suffice is to say that the remnants of the British Empire are nearly insignificant if we have to compare them with the previous ones. Nowadays, The United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland covers England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and some tiny islandsdistributed all over the world, overcoat in the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, it is a well-known fact that the British Empire attained its peak in the 1919. By way of example we can mention, aside the current territories, areas as Canada, India (The Jewel in the Crown), Australia and approximately the half of the African Continent. Immediately one question comes to the fore: How it could be possibleto come up to that point?
This empire, which at one point in time was the widest empire the world had ever seen, is crucial to understand the British mentality. In the light of this we will treat the connection between the colonies and their metropolis.
The British Empire
It is widely known that the British Empire would not have reached that status without the Imperial Expansion whichtook place especially during the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. As a consequence of this, two stages can be distinguished: the First British Empire and the Second British Empire. The former began to take shape during the 17th century when the English arrived to North America and conquered several lands and valuable Caribbean Islands. Relevant British colonies in America were founded later, in1750; examples are numerous: Newfoundland, Bahamas, British Honduras, the Thirteen Colonies… Wars with Netherlands and France followed during the 18th century and in the year 1763 France had to cede New France, these days Canada, to Britain. Thus, North America was rapidly in the hands of the Empire. Problems began to appear notwithstanding; the American War of Independence broke out in 1776 andthe Thirteen Colonies, helped by the French Nation, obtained their proposal and became independent. The latter, the Second British Empire, began since that moment.
One of the causes that lead the British monarchy, which was undoubtedly significant for the development of the empire, to this huge expansion we are all acquainted with was the economy’s scope. The slave trade was essential toachieve all the territories above. It was a triangular trade which started in England and arrived firstly in Western Africa. There, trade goods were changed by slaves and these people crossed the Atlantic and they were sold in Colonial America. As a result, the English returned to their country with cargo; good examples include sugar, rum, tobacco, cotton … Worth mentioning the religious backgroundand the moral purpose the British defended, it was called: The white man’s burden. The English said that they had to help the poorer and ill-starred people by reasons of duty.
As we have mentioned above, African Continent was deeply fundamental not only owing to the fact that it provided slaves to the British but it was on the trade route between England and India, the most cherished colony.The vast majority of the African regions were colonized by the English people who took full benefit of these.
The Jewel in the Crown: that is the name with which the English christened the Indian colony. As should be made clear above, it was the most important one. One of the reasons was the East India Company which was created in the 17th century; this was possessed by the filthy richEnglish who were almost the leaders of the Indian country. The aim of the Company was the commerce of goods between Britain and Asia. France reappeared again so as to get some power over the Indian Colony (and over North America). Then, the forthcoming Seven Years War was given and the ensuing defeat of France and its allies.
The last basic colony we have to allude to is Australia. This...
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