THE BRITISH EMPIRE

Origins of British Empire
The origins of the British Empire can be seen as going back to the middle Ages with the beginning of the conquest of Ireland and conquest of much of France. However, the modern British Empire can be considered having started in 1496 with the King Henry VII of England, commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to discover a route to Asia via the North Atlantic. Cabot sailed in 1497, five years after the European discovery of America, and although he successfully made landfall on the coast of Newfoundland there wasn’t attempt to found a colony. No further attempts to establish English colonies in the Americas were made until well into the reign of Elizabeth I. The Protestant Reformation had made enemies of England and Catholic Spain. The English Crown sanctioned the some privateers to engage in attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa. This effort was rebuffed and later Elizabeth lent her blessing to further privateering against Spanish ports in the Americas and shipping that was returning across the Atlantic.] At the same time, influential writers were beginning to press for the establishment of England's own empire.

First British Empire
Humphrey Gilbert home a discovery abroad. Gilbert failed the first attempt and the second failed to return and was succeeded by his brother, Walter Raleigh. This founded the colony of Roanoke but the colony failed. The British Empire began to take shape at the beginning of the 17th century, with the conquest of the Caribbean and North America. This period has been subsequently dubbed the "first British Empire". 1. America, Africa and the slave trade The colonies soon adopted the system of sugar plantations, which depended on slave labor. England won control of the Dutch colony of new Netherlands, the change of name from New York. The American colonies were less successful financially to the of the Caribbean, but had large areas of good agricultural land. To facilitate this trade, forts were established on the coast of West Africa. 2. The rivalry with the Netherlands in Asia England and the Netherlands began to challenge the monopoly of Portugal's trade with Asia. The main aim of these companies was to take advantage of the lucrative spice trade. In the short term, the most advanced financial system of the Netherlands and the wars of the 17th century left England with a stronger position in Asia. 3. With France-global conflict The 18th century would see England becoming to be dominant colonial power in the world, and France becoming its main rival on the imperial stage. Gibraltar became an important naval base and allowed Britain to control the Atlantic entry and exit to the Mediterranean that. The battle of Plessey left the company in control of Bengal and as the main military and political power in the India. France was control of their left enclaves but with military restrictions and the obligation to support the States British customers, putting an end to French hopes of control of the India. The signing of the Treaty of Paris had important consequences for the future of the British Empire. In North America, the future of France as colonial power was not completed. Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain.

Second British Empire
During the 1760s and early 1770s, the relations between the thirteen colonies and Britain became strained. This was summarized at the time by the slogan: ‘’No taxation without representation’’, a violation of the guaranteed rights of Englishmen. The American Revolution began with rejection of Parliamentary authority and moves towards self government. In response, Britain sent troops, and it was the cause or reason for the war in 1775. So, the following year, the United States declared independence. First photograph: surrender of Cornwallis at York town. With this photograph, we can understand that the loss of the American Colonies marked the end of the ‘ ’first British Empire’’. Second photograph: the man who appears in this photograph is James Cook; his mission was to find the alleged southern continent Terra Australia. James Cook in 1770 discovered the eastern coast of Australia while on a scientific voyage to the South Pacific Ocean, claimed the continent for Britain and named it New South Wales. Third photograph: this photograph represents the battle of Waterloo. The battle of Waterloo ended in the defeat of Napoleon. Quarter photograph: the last photograph is a map which all areas of the world that was ever part of the British Empire.

Imperial century and Decline
Between 1815 and 1914, start a period referred to as Britain's "imperial century". Victory over Napoleon left Britain without any serious international rival, other than Russia in central Asia. Unchallenged at sea, Britain adopted the role of global policeman, a state of affairs later known as the Pax Britannica, and a foreign policy of "splendid isolation". Alongside the formal control it exerted over its own colonies, Britain's dominant position in world trade meant that it effectively controlled the economies of many countries. British imperial strength was underpinned by new technologies invented in the second half of the 19th century, allowing it to control and defend the empire. After this came the period of the World Wars during the First World War and the interwar period did much damage to the rule but the second didn’t affect much as the first. Though Britain and the empire emerged victorious from the Second World War, the effects of the conflict were profound. Much of Europe, a continent that had dominated the world for several centuries, was in ruins and Britain was left essentially bankrupt. At the same time, anti-colonial movements were on the rise in the colonies of European nations. The situation was complicated further by the increasing Cold War rivalry of the United States and the Soviet Union. The British Empire's days were numbered and between 1945 and 1965, the number of people under British rule outside the UK itself is greatly reduced and this was almost ended the British Empire.