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Territorial evolution of the British Empire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Animated map showing growth and decline of the British Empire

The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun


with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century.
Since then, many territories around the world have been under the control of
the British Empire or its predecessor states.

When the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the
Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter country's
colonial possessions passed to the new state. Similarly, when Great Britain
was united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 to form the United Kingdom,
control over its colonial possessions passed to the latter state. Collectively,
these territories are referred to as the British Empire. Upon much of Ireland
gaining independence in 1922 as the Irish Free State, the other territories of
the Empire remained under the control of the United Kingdom.

From 1714 to 1837 the British throne was held by a series of kings who were
also the rulers of the German state of Hanover. However, this was purely a
personal union, with Hanover maintaining its political independence
otherwise, and so it is not usually considered to have formed part of the
British Empire.

The nature of the territories (and peoples) ruled as part of the British Empire
varied enormously. In legal terms the territories included those formally under
the sovereignty of the British monarch (who held the additional title of
Empress (or Emperor) of India from 1876 to 1947); various "foreign"
territories controlled as protectorates; territories transferred to British
administration under the authority of the League of Nations or the United
Nations; and miscellaneous other territories, such as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
No uniform system of government was ever applied to any of these.

A number of countries ("dominions") within the British Empire gained

independence in stages during the earlier part of the 20th century. Much of
the rest of the Empire was dismantled in the twenty years following the end
of the Second World War, starting with the independence of India and
Pakistan in 1947, and ending with the hand over of Hong Kong to China in
1997.

Many of the former territories of the British Empire are members of the
Commonwealth of Nations. Fifteen of these (known, with the United Kingdom,
as the 16 "Commonwealth realms") retain the British monarch (currently
Queen Elizabeth II) as Head of State. The British monarch is also "Head of the
Commonwealth", but this is a purely symbolic and personal title; members of
the Commonwealth (including the Commonwealth realms) are fully sovereign
states.

Contents

1 Governance
1.1 Colonies
1.1.1 Crown Colony
1.1.2 Charter colony
1.1.3 Proprietary colony
1.1.4 Chartered company
1.2 Protectorates and protected states
1.3 Dominions
1.4 Mandates
1.5 British Raj
2 Remaining territories
3 List
3.1 Legend
3.1.1 Colour-coding

3.2 Africa
3.3 North America
3.4 Central America and the Caribbean
3.5 South America
3.6 Asia
3.7 Europe
3.8 Antarctic Region
3.9 Atlantic
3.10 Indian Ocean
3.11 Australasia and the Pacific
4 Treaties and Acts of Parliament, etc.
5 See also
6 References
7 External links

Governance

The British Empire refers to the colonial possessions and territories under the
control of the Crown. Although the Crown claimed absolute sovereignty over
them, they were never formally part of the United Kingdom. In addition to the
areas formally under the sovereignty of the British monarch, various "foreign"
territories controlled as protectorates; territories transferred to British
administration under the authority of the League of Nations or the United
Nations; and miscellaneous other territories, such as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
The natures of the administration of the Empire changed both by time and
place, and there was no uniform system of government in the Empire.[1][2]
An anachronous map of British and, prior to the Acts of Union 1707, English
imperial possessions
Colonies

Colonies were territories that were intended to be places of permanent


settlement, providing land for their settlers. The Crown claimed absolute
sovereignty over them, although they were not formally part of the United
Kingdom itself. Generally their law was the common law of England together
with whatever British Acts of Parliament were also applied to them. Over
time, a number of colonies were granted "responsible government", making
them largely self-governing.
Crown Colony
Main article: Crown colony

A Crown colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later
the British Empire, which were directly controlled by the Crown.[3][4]

Government in the colonies represented an extension of the English


government. Crown colonies were ruled by a governor appointed by the
monarch. By the middle of the 19th century, the sovereign appointed royal
governors on the advice of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This
became the main method of creating and governing colonies.[5] Most crown
colonies, especially the white settler colonies had a bicameral legislature,
consisting of an upper house usually called Legislative council, which
members were appointed and served a similar purpose as the British House
of Lords. There also existed lower houses which were usually named
Legislative Assembly or House of Assembly. The lower house was usually
elected, but suffrage was restricted to free white men only, usually with
property ownership restrictions. Since land ownership was widespread, most
white men could vote.[6] The governor also often had an Executive Council
which had a similar function to the Cabinet in England but was not
responsible to the colonial lower house. They held a consultative position,
however, and did not serve in administrative offices as cabinet ministers do.
Members of the Executive Council were not necessarily members of the lower
house but were usually members of the upper house.[7] Later as the white
colonies gained more internal responsible government, the lower house
began to supersede the (usually unelected) upper house as the colonial
legislature, and the position of Premier emerged.[8]
The British Empire in 1897, marked in traditional pink.
Charter colony
Main article: Charter colony

Charter colony is one of the three classes of colonial government established


in the 17th century English colonies in North America. In a charter colony, the
King granted a charter to the colonial government establishing the rules
under which the colony was to be governed and charter colonies elected their
own governors based on rules spelled out in the charter or other colonial
legislation.[9]
Proprietary colony
Main article: Proprietary colony

A number of colonies in the 16th and 17th centuries were granted to a


particular individual; these are known as proprietary colonies. Proprietary
colonies in America were governed by a lord proprietor, who, holding
authority by virtue of a royal charter, usually exercised that authority almost
as an independent sovereign. Eventually these were converted to crown
colonies.[10][11]
Chartered company
Main article: Chartered company

A chartered company is an association formed by investors or shareholders


for the purpose of trade, exploration and colonisation. Chartered companies
were usually formed, incorporated and legitimised under a royal charter. This
document set out the terms under which the company could trade; defined
its boundaries of influence, and described its rights and responsibilities.
Groups of investors formed companies to underwrite and profit from the
exploration of Africa, India, Asia, the Caribbean and North America, under the
patronage of the state. Some companies such as the East India Company
ruled large colonial possessions (especially in India).[12][13]
Protectorates and protected states
Main article: Protectorate

A protectorate is a territory which is not formally annexed but in which, by


treaty, grant or other lawful means, the Crown has power and jurisdiction. A
protectorate differs from a "protected state". A protected state is a territory
under a ruler which enjoys Her Britannic Majesty's protection, over whose

foreign affairs she exercises control, but in respect of whose internal affairs
she does not exercise jurisdiction.[2]
Dominions
Main article: Dominion

Dominions were semi-independent polities that were nominally under the


Crown, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning
in the later part of the 19th century.[14][15] The dominions had been
previously crown colonies, and some of the colonies had been united to form
dominions such as Union of South Africa and Commonwealth of Australia.
Dominion status was formally defined in the Balfour Declaration of 1926,
which recognised these countries as "autonomous Communities within the
British Empire", thus acknowledging them as political equals of the United
Kingdom; the Statute of Westminster 1931 converted this status into legal
reality, making them essentially independent members of what was then
called the British Commonwealth. Initially, the Dominions conducted their
own trade policy, some limited foreign relations and had autonomous armed
forces, although the British government claimed and exercised the exclusive
power to declare wars. However, after the passage of the Statute of
Westminster the language of dependency on the Crown of the United
Kingdom ceased, where the Crown itself was no longer referred to as the
Crown of any place in particular but simply as "the Crown". Arthur Berriedale
Keith, in Speeches and Documents on the British Dominions 1918-1931,
stated that "the Dominions are sovereign international States in the sense
that the King in respect of each of His Dominions (Newfoundland excepted) is
such a State in the eyes of international law". After then, those countries that
were previously referred to as "Dominions" became Commonwealth realms
where the sovereign reigns no longer as the British monarch, but as monarch
of each nation in its own right, and are considered equal to the UK and one
another. [16]
Mandates
Main article: League of Nations mandate

Mandates were forms of territory created after the end of the First World War.
A number of German colonies and protectorates were held as mandates by
the United Kingdom, and its dominions of Australia, New Zealand, and the
Union of South Africa. In theory these territories were governed on behalf of
the League of Nations for the benefit of their inhabitants. Most became

converted to United Nations Trust Territories in 1946.[17]


British Raj
Main article: British Raj

The British Raj, also called the Indian Empire, was the imperial political
structure in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947, comprising
British India (a Crown colony: presidencies and provinces directly governed by
the British Crown through the Viceroy and Governor-General of India) and
Princely States, governed by Indian rulers, under the suzerainty of the British
Crown exercised through the Viceroy and Governor-General of India.[18]
Remaining territories
The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, graph starting in 1861

Within twenty years of the partition and independence in 1947 of British India
(considered to be the most important colonial possession), most of the
Empire's territories had achieved full independence. Today only 14 former
colonies (since 2002 known as "British Overseas Territories") remain under
British rule; the term "colonies" is no longer used to describe these.

Almost all of the British Overseas Territories are islands (or groups of islands)
with a small population; some are in very remote areas of the world. Of the
territories with a permanent population, all have at least some degree of
internal self-government, with the United Kingdom retaining responsibility for
defence and external relations.

The fourteen British Overseas Territories are:

Anguilla
Bermuda
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands


Cayman Islands
Falkland Islands
Gibraltar
Montserrat
Pitcairn Islands
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia

List
Legend

!!
Crown dependency
Kingdom

Turks and Caicos Flag

Part of United

::
Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, and Commonwealth realm
and Caicos Flag
Overseas territories
IMP Currency pegged to the GBP

CYP

Turks

Pound sterling derived currency

!T!
Common law legal system to various extent [X]
parliamentary system

Westminster style

abc English as a dominant or an official language /\\/


on the left

Rule of road drive

Colour-coding
Colour

Description
present-day members of the Commonwealth
present-day British Overseas Territories (Remains of the British Empire)
crown dependencies

Africa
Name of territory

Dates Status

Comments

Basutoland 1868 protectorate


1871 annexed to Cape Colony
1884 colony
1965 self-governing colony
1966 independent as Lesotho
Bechuanaland Protectorate

18841965 protectorate

19651966 self-governing protectorate


1966 independent as Botswana
Bight of Benin

18521861 protectorate

1861 united with Bight of Biafra


Bight of Biafra

18491861 protectorate

1861 united with Bight of Benin


Bights of Biafra and Benin

18611891 protectorate

British Bechuanaland
(see also under "Bechuanaland")

18851895 crown colony

1895 incorporated into Cape Colony


North West provinces of South Africa

Now a part of the Northern Cape and

British Cameroons 19161919 occupation


19191946 League of Nations mandated territory
19461961 United Nations Trust Territory
1961 northern part merged into Nigeria, southern part into the Republic of
Cameroon
British East Africa 18881895 territory leased to the Imperial British East
Africa Company by the Sultan of Zanzibar
18951920 protectorate
territory included ex BEAC territory and the
strip of Sultan of Zanizbar's dominions on the coast of Kenya which fell within

the sphere of British influence


1920 became the Colony & Protectorate of Kenya lands of Sultan of
Zanzibar on coast administered with the Colony as one unit
British Somaliland 18841960 protectorate
1960 independent as State of Somaliland
after 5 days merged with the
Trust Territory of Somaliland as Somali Republic, in 1991 independent as
Somaliland (unrecognised)
Cape Colony
18061910 colony
of South Africa as the "Cape of Good Hope"

became a province of the Union

Egypt 18011803 occupation


18821914 occupation
19141922 protectorate
1922 independent
Bioko 18271855 leased territory
Island leased from Spain so that Royal
Navy could undertake anti-slavery operations on West Coast of Africa. Main
settlement was Port Clarence now known as Malabo
Gambia Colony and Protectorate
18161965 colony
declared over hinterland of Gambia River 1894

Protectorate

1965 Independent
Gold Coast

18741957 colony

1957 independent as Ghana


Kenya, Colony & Protectorate of 19201963 colony
British East Africa

Previously part of

1963 independent
Lagos Protectorate 18871906 protectorate, governed from the Lagos
Colony
1906 incorporated into the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria
Southern Nigeria Protectorate 19001906 protectorate, created from Niger
Coast Protectorate and territories of the Royal Niger Company
1906 incorporated the Colony & Protectorate of Lagos to be the Colony &
Protectorate of Southern Nigeria

Libya, regions of Cyrenicia & Tripolitania only 19421946 UK Military


administration in Cyrenicia & Tripolitania
19461951 Italian forces expelled, UN trusteeship of Cyrenicia & Tripolitania,
administered by UK
Fezzan region administered by France under
trusteeship
1951 Independent as the Kingdom of Libya
Natal 18561910 colony
1910 became a province of the Union of South Africa
province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Niger Districts

Now part of the

18851899 protectorate under the Royal Niger Company

1900 became part of Northern Nigeria


Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria
19141954
Created from the
Colony & Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and the Protectorate of Northern
Nigeria
1954 Became the self-governing Federation of Nigeria
Federation of Nigeria
19541960 autonomous federation
the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria

formed from

1960 independent
Northern Nigeria
Southern Nigeria

19001914 protectorate governed by the Colony of

1914 merged with Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to form the Colony and
Protectorate of Nigeria
Nyasaland
known as the Nyassaland Districts until 1893, and then British Central Africa
until 1907 18911964 protectorate
1964 independent as Malawi
Orange River Colony

19001910 colony

1907 granted responsible government


1910 became a province of the Union of South Africa as the "Orange Free
State"
Rhodesia

now divided between Zambia and Zimbabwe

- Matabeleland
Company

18881894 protectorate under British South Africa

1894 united with Mashonaland as South Zambesia in 1894


- Mashonaland

18891894 protectorate under BSAC

1894 united with Matabeleland as South Zambesia in 1894


- South Zambesia 18941895 protectorate under BSAC
1895 united with North Zambesia as Rhodesia
- Rhodesia

18951901 protectorate under BSAC

1901 Mashonaland and Matabeleland united as Southern Rhodesia


- Northern Rhodesia
19111924 protectorate under BSAC
amalgamation of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and NorthEastern Rhodesia
19241953 protectorate
19531963 part of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
1964 independent as Zambia
- Southern Rhodesia

19011923 protectorate under BSAC

19231953 self-governing colony


19531963 part of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
19641965 self-governing colony
Rhodesia
19651970 unilaterally declared independent, with Elizabeth II
as head of state
not internationally recognised
19701979 republic

not internationally recognised

-Zimbabwe-Rhodesia

1979 interim state

19791980 colony
1980 independent as Zimbabwe
Sierra Leone
Company

17871808 Freed slave colony organised by Sierra Leone

18081821 crown colony

18211850 part of British West Africa


18501866 crown colony
18661888 part of British West Africa
18881895 colony
18961961 colony and protectorate
1961 independent
South Africa 19101961 dominion
formed by the federation of the Cape,
Orange River, Natal, and Transvaal colonies
1961
and 1994

republic

Not a member of the Commonwealth between 1961

Sudan
("Anglo-Egyptian Sudan")

18991952 condominium with Egypt

19521956 self-rule
1956 independent
Swaziland

19021967 protectorate

19671968 autonomous
1968 independent
Tangier

1661 ceded to England by Portugal

1684 abandoned by England


German East Africa

19161922 occupation

Tanganyika Territory

19221946 mandate

19461961 United Nations Trust Territory under Britain


1961 independent

Merged with Zanzibar in 1964 to form Tanzania

Tati Concessions Land

18721893 concession

1893 detached from Matabeleland


18931911 under protectorate of Bechuanaland
1911 annexed to Bechuanaland

Transvaal

18771884 colony

18841900 independent as South African Republic


19001906 colony
19061910 self-governing colony
1910 part of Union of South Africa
now divided between the provinces of
Gauteng/Limpopo/North West/Mpumalanga, South Africa
Uganda

18901893 occupied by British East Africa Company

18931894 provisional protectorate


18941905 protectorate
19051962 colony
1962 self-government
1962 independent
Walvis Bay

17951878 occupation

18781884 protectorate
1884 part of Cape Colony
Zanzibar

18901963 protectorate

1963 independent
Zululand

now part of Namibia

merged with Tanganyika in 1964 to form Tanzania

18871897 crown colony

1897 incorporation into Natal


South Africa

now part of the province of KwaZulu-Natal,

North America
Name of territory
Assiniboia

Dates Status

Comments

18121836 colony

1836 reverted to control of the Hudson's Bay Company


province of Manitoba, Canada
Avalon

16231637 palatinate

1637 incorporated into Newfoundland

Now part of the

Bristol's Hope

16181631 colony

1631 abandoned and later as Newfoundland


British Columbia
1871

18581871 colony

province of Canada

Canada, Dominion of
dominion (18671931)
formed by the federation
of the provinces of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
:: [X] abc

Queen Elizabeth II first monarch to be titled Queen of Canada (Ascended to


the Throne of Canada in 1952)
1982 New Constitution updating Canada's relationship with the United
Kingdom
Several Provinces and Territories have joined since Confederation.

Canada, Province of
18411867 colony
Formed by the
amalgamation of the provinces of Lower and Upper Canada
1867 joined the Dominion of Canada and divided into the provinces of
Ontario and Quebec
Now the southern halves of Ontario and Quebec,
Canada
Cape Breton Island
1763 incorporated into Nova Scotia
under French sovereignty
1784 colony

Previously

separated from Nova Scotia

1820 re-incorporated into Nova Scotia


Carolina

1663 proprietary colony

1729 formally divided into Crown colonies of North & South Carolina
North Carolina

1729 Crown colony

1776 declared independent as the State of North Carolina


1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
South Carolina

1729 Crown colony

1776 declared independent as the State of South Carolina

1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain


Connecticut 1636 colony
later incorporated the unchartered New
Haven Colony (1638-1665) and Saybrook Colony (1635-1644)
1776 declared independent as the State of Connecticut
1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
Cuper's Cove

16101621 colony

1621 abandoned and later as Newfoundland


East Florida 17631783 colony
1783 returned to Spanish sovereignty
United States
Georgia

Now part of the state of Florida,

1732 proprietary colony

1755 crown colony


1776 declared independent as the state of Georgia
1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
Massachusetts Bay

1629 colony

1691 United with Plymouth Colony


Lower Canada
17911841 province (colony)
the province of Quebec, Canada

Now the southern half of

1841 merged with Upper Canada to form the Province of Canada


Reestablished within the Dominion of Canada as the province of Quebec in 1867
New Brunswick

1784 colony

Separated from Nova Scotia

1867 became a province of Canada


New Hampshire

1641 became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony

1679 separate colony


1686 became a province of Dominion of New England
1691 separate colony
1776 declared independent as the state of New Hampshire
1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain

New Jersey 1664-1673 Proprietary Colony Formed from portions of New


Netherland and New Sweden
1673-1702

Divided into separate colonies of East and West Jersey

1702 Royal colony

East & West Jersey re-unified

1776 declared independent as the state of New Jersey


1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
New York
1664-1685
Netherland
1685-1776

Proprietary colony formed after conquest of New

Royal Province

1776 declared independent as the state of New York


1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
Newfoundland

14971583 claimed by England

15831818 colony
18181907 crown colony
19071934 dominion
19341949 Commission of Government
in name only
1949 became a province of Canada
Labrador"
North-Western Territory

Self-rule suspended, "Dominion"

Now known as "Newfoundland and

18591870

1870 incorporated into the Northwest Territories of Canada


Now divided
between the Canadian provinces and territories of Northwest Territories,
Yukon, Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia
Nova Scotia 16211632 Scottish colony
16541670 English occupation
1713 colony
1848 granted responsible government
1867 became a province of Canada
Prince Edward Island

known as New Ireland until 1769, and as St. John's Island until 1799
1748 occupation

1744

17581763 occupation
17631769 part of Nova Scotia
17691873 colony
1873 became a province of Canada
Quebec
17631791 province (colony) Quebec and Ontario, in Canada,
and (until 1783) the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and
Minnesota, in the United States
1791 divided into the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada
Renews
16101623 colony
Newfoundland

abandoned and later became part of

Rupert's Land
16701870 possession of Hudson's Bay Company
Nominally included territory that is now part of the Canadian territories
and provinces of Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and (until 1818) parts of the US states of North
Dakota and Minnesota
1870 incorporated into Canada
South Falkland
16231626 colony
part of Newfoundland
Stikine Territory
18621863
and Yukon, Canada
Upper Canada

abandoned and later became

Now divided between British Columbia

17911841 province (colony)

Ontario, Canada

1841 merged with Lower Canada to form the Province of Canada


Reestablished within the Dominion of Canada as the province of Ontario in 1867
Vancouver Island

18491866 crown colony

1866 merged into the colony of British Columbia


of British Columbia, Canada
Virginia

1607 Proprietary colony

1624 crown colony


1776 declared independent as the state of Virginia

Now part of the province

1783 Sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain


West Florida 17631783 colony
1783 Southern part returned to Spanish sovereignty; sovereignty of northern
part formally relinquished by Great Britain
Now part of the states of
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, United States
Central America and the Caribbean

Name of territory
Anguilla

Dates Status

Comments

16501696 colony under St. Christopher

16961816 part of colony of Leeward Islands


18161832 part of colony of St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the British
Virgin Islands
18321871 part of colony of Leeward Islands as colony of St. Christopher,
Nevis, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands
18711882 part of the presidency of Saint Christopher (within the Leeward
Islands)
18821956 part of the presidency of Saint Christopher and Nevis (within the
Leeward Islands)
19561967 part of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
19671969 unilaterally declared independence as Republic of Anguilla
19691980 part of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
19801982 self-governing colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

British Overseas Territory

Antigua
(incl. Barbuda from 1860)

16321671 colony

16711672 part of colony of Leeward Islands


16721816 part of colony of Leeward Islands

18161832 part of colony of Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat


18321833 colony
18331871 part of colony of Leeward Islands
18711956 presidency within the Leeward Islands
19561958 colony
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621967 colony
19671981 associated state
1981 independent as Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat

18161832 colony

1832 dissolved
Bahamas

16701684 proprietary colony

1684 occupied by Spain


17181964 crown colony
19641969 self-government
19691973 commonwealth
1973 independent
Barbados

16241627 claimed by England

16271652 proprietary colony


16521663 colony
16631833 crown colony
18331885 part of colony of Windward Islands
18851958 colony
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621966 colony
1966 independent

Barbuda

16281832 colony

16321671 dependency of Antigua


16711816 part of colony of Leeward Islands
18161832 part of colony of Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat
18321833 colony
18331860 part of colony of Leeward Islands
1860 annexed to Antigua
19761980 autonomous
1980 unilateral declaration of independence
1981 independent as part of Antigua and Barbuda
Bay Islands 16431780 crown colony
1780 occupied by Spain for a month
17801860 crown colony subordinated to Jamaica
1860 ceded to Honduras
Belize see under "British Honduras"
British Honduras

16651742 settlement

17421840 settlement subordinated to Jamaica


18401862 colony subordinated to Jamaica
18621884 crown colony subordinated to Jamaica
18841954 crown colony
19541964 autonomy
19641981 self-governing colony
1973 renamed "Belize"
1981 independent
British Virgin Islands

16661672 occupation

16721713 part of colony of Leeward Islands as part of Antigua

17131816 crown colony part of colony of Leeward Islands


18161832 part of colony of St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the British
Virgin Islands
18321871 part of colony of Leeward Islands as colony of St. Christopher,
Nevis, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands
18711956 presidency within the Leeward Islands
19561960 part of territory of Leeward Islands
19601967 colony
19671982 self-governing colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

British Overseas Territory

Cayman Islands

16701958 colony part of Jamaica

19581962 province of West Indies Federation


19621982 crown colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

British Overseas Territory

Dominica
-

17631778 occupation

1778 ceded to France


17841871 colony
18711939 presidency within the Leeward Islands
19401958 colony within the Windward Islands
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621967 colony
19671978 associated state
1978
independent

Grenada

17621763 occupation

17631779 part of colony of South Caribbean Islands


1779 occupied by France
17831802 part of colony of South Caribbean Islands
18021833 colony
18331958 part of Windward Islands
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621967 colony
19671974 associated state
1974 independent
Jamaica

16551670 occupation

16701953 colony
19531958 self-governing colony
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
1962 independent
Leeward Islands

16711816 colony

18331871 colony
18711956 federal colony
Comprised the presidencies of Antigua (incl.
Barbuda), Dominica (to 1939), Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Kitts (incl. Anguilla,
and combined with Nevis in 1883), and the Virgin Islands
19561960 territory
1960 dissolved
Montserrat

16321667 colony part of Antigua

1667 occupied by France


16681782 part of colony of Leeward Islands
17841816 part of colony of Leeward Islands
18161832 part of colony of Antigua-Barbuda-Montserrat

18321833 colony part of Antigua


18331871 part of colony of Leeward Islands
18711956 presidency within the Leeward Islands
19561958 colony
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621982 colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

British Overseas Territory

Mosquito Coast

16681786 protectorate

17871861 protectorate
1861 incorporated into Nicaragua & Honduras
Nevis 16281671 colony subordinated to Barbados
16711701 part of colony of Leeward Islands
17011704 part of colony of Leeward Islands under Antigua
17041816 part of colony of Leeward Islands
18161833 part of colony of St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the British
Virgin Islands
18331871 part of Leeward Islands as colony of St. Christopher, Nevis,
Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands
18711883 presidency within the Leeward Islands
1883 amalgamated with Saint Kitts to form the presidency of Saint
Christopher and Nevis (within the Leeward Islands)
Redonda

18721981 part of Antigua

1981

dependency

St. Christopher
(Saint Kitts) 16231666 colony
1666 occupied by France

16711701 part of colony of Leeward Islands


17011704 part of colony of Leeward Islands under Antigua
17041782 part of colony of Leeward Islands
1782 occupied by France
17831816 part of colony of Leeward Islands
18161833 part of colony of St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, and the British
Virgin Islands
18331871 part of Leeward Islands as colony of St. Christopher, Nevis,
Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands
18711882 part of colony of Leeward Islands
1882 amalgamated with Nevis to form the presidency of Saint ChristopherNevis (within the Leeward Islands)
St. Christopher and Nevis
Islands

18821958 presidency within the Leeward

19581962 part of province of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla of West


Indies Federation
19621967 part of colony of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
19671980 part of associated state of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
19801983 associated state
1983 independent
St. John

18011802 occupation

18071815 occupation
St. Lucia

::

Now part of the United States Virgin Islands

16051640 settlement

1640 abandoned
16641667 occupation
17621763 occupation
17811783 occupation
17941795 occupation

17961802 occupation
18031838 colony
18381958 crown colony part of colony of Windward Islands
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621967 crown colony
19671979 associated state
1979 independent
Saint Martin 16901699 occupation
18011802 occupation
St. Thomas 18011802 occupation
18071815 occupation

Now part of the United States Virgin Islands

St. Vincent and the Grenadines 16271636 claimed


1672 claimed
17621763 occupation
17631776 colony
17761779 crown colony
1779 occupied by France
17831833 crown colony
18331958 part of colony of Windward Islands
19581962 province of West Indies Federation
19621969 colony
19691979 associated state
1979 independent
South Caribbean Islands 17631802 colony
1802 dissolved
Included the present-day countries of Dominica, Grenada,
and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the island of Tobago
Tobago

17621764 part of colony of Windward Islands

17641781 colony
1781 colony of France
17931802 occupation
1802 colony of France
18031833 crown colony
18331888 part of colony of Windward Islands
1889 amalgamated with Trinidad
Tortuga

16311635 colony

1635 French possession Now part of Haiti


Trinidad

18021888 colony

1889 amalgamated with Tobago as "Trinidad and Tobago"


Trinidad and Tobago

18891958 colony

19581962 province of West Indies Federation


1962 independent
Turks and Caicos Islands 17991848 colony part of Bahamas
18481874 colony
18741959 colony part of Jamaica
19591962 province of West Indies Federation
19621982 colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

British Overseas Territory

Virgin Islands see under "British Virgin Islands"


West Indies Federation

19581962 federation of colonies

1962 dissolution Included the present-day countries of Antigua and


Barbuda, Barbados; Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, and the
British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks
and Caicos Islands

Windward Islands

18331956 colony

19561960 territory
1960 dissolution Included the present-day countries of Barbados (to 1885),
Grenada, Dominica (from 1940), St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, and (until 1889) the island of Tobago
South America
Name of territory
Berbice

Dates Status

Comments

17811782 subordinated to Barbados

1782 occupied by France


17961802 occupied
1802 restored to the Netherlands
18031814 occupied
18141831 colony
1831 united with Demerara-Essequibo to form British Guiana
Guyana

Now part of

British Guiana
18311961 colony
Formed by the merger of the
colonies of Berbice and Demerara-Essequibo
19611966 self-rule
1966 independent as Guyana
Demerara

17811782 subordinated to Barbados

1782 French occupation


17961802 occupied
1802 restored to Netherlands
18031814 occupied
1814 merged with Essequibo to form Demerara-Essequibo
Demerara-Essequibo
18141831 colony
the separate colonies of Demerara and Essequibo
1831 united with Berbice to form British Guiana

Formed by the merger of

Essequibo

17811782 subordinated to Barbados

1782 French occupation


17961802 occupied
1802 restored to the Netherlands
18031814 occupied
1814 merged with Demerara to form Demerara-Essequibo
Oyapoc

1620 settlement

Now in Guyana

Pomeroon

16661667 occupied

1689 occupation
1689 incorporated into Essequibo
Willoughby

Now in Guyana

16521688 settlement

1688 Dutch occupation

Now Paramaribo, in Suriname

Asia
Name of territory

Dates Status

Comments

Aden 1839 colony subordinate to Bombay Presidency British India


1932 separate province of British India
1937 separate crown colony
1963 part of Federation of South Arabia
Afghanistan 18391842 protectorate
1879 protectorate
1919 independent
Assam

18741905 province of British India

19051912 incorporated into the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam
19121947 province of British India
Bahrain

1880 protectorate

19611971 autonomous

Now a state of the Republic of India

1971 independent

Invited to join the Trucial States, but declined

Baluchistan 18771896 province


18961947 province of British India
1947 part of Pakistan
Now part of Balochistan and the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas, in Pakistan
Bantam

16031609 station

16091617 factory
16171621 presidency
1621 expelled by the Dutch
16301634 subordinated to Surat
16341652 presidency
16521682 subordinated to Surat
1682 expelled by the Dutch

Now in Indonesia

Bencoolen
(Fort York)

16851760 fort subordinated to Madras

17601785 presidency
17851825 subordinated to Bengal Presidency
1825 part of Netherlands East Indies Now Bengkulu, in Indonesia
Bengal
("Fort William")

16341658 factories

16581681 subordinated to Madras


16811682 agency
16821694 presidency of Coromandel and Bengal Settlements
16941698 subordinated to Madras
16981700 presidency of Coromandel and Bengal Settlements
17001774 presidency
17741905 presidency of British India

19051912 partitioned between [West] Bengal and Eastern Bengal and


Assam
19121937 presidency of British India
19371947 province of British India
1947 divided between India (West Bengal) and Pakistan (East Bengal) Now
Bangladesh, and part of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, and Jharkhand, in India
Brunei

1888 protectorate

1967 protected state


1984 Independent
Burma

18241852 Arakan, Tenasserim

18521886 Lower Burma


18851886 Upper Burma
1886 Lower & Upper Burma United as province of British India
1937 Separate Crown Colony
1948 independent
Eastern Bengal and Assam
19051912 province of British India
Established upon the partition of Bengal (1905)
1912 partition reversed Split between the re-established province of Assam
and the re-constituted presidency of Bengal
Ceylon
1795 Ceded by the Dutch and subordinated to the Madras
presidency of British India
1798 Separate Crown colony
1948 independent
Hong Kong

Now the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

1841 Hong Kong Island occupied

1843 Crown colony


1860 Kowloon & Stonecutters Island ceded by China
1898 New Territories leased from China for 99 years
1997 Returned to China as a

special administrative region


Kuwait

1899 Protectorate

1961 Independent
Indian Empire (British Raj)

1613 Company rule in India

1858 Crown rule over the Indian Princely states, the Presidencies and
provinces of British India
1947 Independent as India & Pakistan after partition
Manila and Cavite 17621764 Occupation
Mandatory Iraq
19201932 League of Nations Mandate never passed,
replaced by Anglo-Iraqi treaty with the Kingdom of Iraq
Java 18111816 territory of the East India Company
Netherlands
Malaya

restored to the

1824 transferred following Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824

18241867 territory of British East India Company


18671946 Straits Settlements, crown colony
18951946 Federated Malay States, protectorate
18851946 Johor, protectorate (part of Unfederated Malay States)
19091946 Kedah, protectorate (part of Unfederated Malay States)
19091946 Kelantan, protectorate (part of Unfederated Malay States)
19091946 Perlis, protectorate (part of Unfederated Malay States)
19091946 Terengganu, protectorate (part of Unfederated Malay States)
19421945 Japanese occupation
19461948 Malayan Union
19481957 Federation of Malaya
19571963 independent state
1963
Joined with North Borneo and Sarawak to form independent
state of Malaysia
North Borneo

18821946 protectorate

1946 crown colony

Labuan to British N. Borneo on 15 July 1946

1963 Joined Malaysia


Palestine
Gaza Strip

1920 mandate

1948 independence

Now known as Israel, the West Bank, and

Now known as Israel

Pulo Condore Island/Cn o


Company

1702 possession of British East India

1705 abandoned Now Cn o, in Vietnam


Sarawak

1888 protectorate

1946 Crown Colony


1963 Joined Malaysia
Straits Settlements
18261858 possession under British East India
Company
Now divided between Malacca and Penang, in Malaysia, and
Singapore
18581867 subordinated to British India
18671942 crown colony
1942 occupied by Japan
Qatar 19161971 Protectorate
1971 Independent

Invited to join the Trucial States, but declined

Surat 16121658 factory


16581668 presidency
16681685 possession under British East India Company
16851703 subordinated to Bombay
1703 incorporated into Bombay
Singapore

Now in India

1824 purchased

1824 Part of Straits Settlements (as residency of the Presidency of Bengal


1867 Part of Straits Settlements (crown colony)
1946 crown colony

1963 Part of Malaysia


1965

Independence

Transjordan 1920 part of Palestine Mandate

Now known as Jordan

1923 formally separated from Palestine


1928 emirate independent, except military and finance control
1946 formal independence
Trucial States

1892 protectorate

1971 formation of Federation of Arab Emirates


Arab Emirates
Weihaiwei

Now part of the United

18981930 leased from China

1930 returned to China

Now part of the People's Republic of China

West Bengal
("Bengal") 19051912 province of British India Established by the
partition of Bengal. Abolished with the reversal of the partition and the
creation of the new province of Bihar and Orissa.
Europe
Name of territory

Dates Status

Akrotiri and Dhekelia


Alderney

Comments

1960 to present

Sovereign Base Areas

11981204 lordship

1204 fiefdom
1205 fiefdom
12061279 fiefdom
1279 briefly occupied by France
12791660 part of bailiwick of Guernsey
16601825 seigneurie
1825 subordinated to Guernsey
Cyprus
1878 administration while nominally remaining part of the
Ottoman Empire

1914 annexation
1925 crown colony
1960 independent
Two sovereign base areas remain under British
sovereignty; see under "Akrotiri and Dhekelia"
Dunkirk

16581662 town and surrounding hinterland

1662 incorporated into France


England

927

kingdom formed

1282 Conquest of principality of Gwynedd (last remaining independent


Welsh principality)
1536 incorporation of Principality of Wales and Marcher Lordships into
England
1603 personal union with Scotland
1649 republic as the Commonwealth of England. Scotland and Ireland united
with England
1660 End of Republic. Scotland independent again but in personal union with
England
1707 political union with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain
Treaty of Union 1706 and Acts of Union 1707
Gibraltar

1704 Captured by Britain

1713 colony

Ceded by Spain Treaty of Utrecht 1713

1983 dependent territory


2002
British Overseas Territory Gibraltar :: GIP !T! abc [X]
Sovereignty claimed by Spain
Great Britain, Kingdom of 1707 formed by union of the kingdoms of England
and Scotland
1801 union of Great Britain with Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland
Guernsey
(incl. islands of Brechou, Herm, Jethou, and Sark)
12041205 fiefdom

11981204 lordship

12061279 fiefdom
12791940 bailiwick
19401945 occupied by Germany
1945

bailiwick

Heligoland

18071814 occupied

18141890 colony
1890 incorporated into Germany
19451952 occupied
Ionian Islands

18091815 occupied

18151864 United States of Ionian Islands, under British protection


1864 incorporated into Greece
Ireland

1172 lordship

Papal Bull Laudabiliter 1155

1541 kingdom subordinated to the English (later British) Crown


1801 merged with Great Britain to form the United Kingdom
1800
Irish Free State
Irish Treaty 1921

1922 Independence from the United Kingdom

1949 Declared a Republic


Isle of Man

Act of Union

12661290 fiefdom under Scotland

13131317 fiefdom under Scotland


13281333 fiefdom under Scotland
13331504 fiefdom
15041594 lordship
15941610 direct crown rule
16101649 lordship
16491660 commonwealth and protectorate
16601765 lordship

Anglo-

17651827 possession
1827

crown dependency

Jersey

1204 fiefdom subordinated to Guernsey

12041205 fiefdom subordinated to Guernsey


12061279 fiefdom subordinated to Guernsey
12791380 bailiwick subordinated to Guernsey
13821461 bailiwick subordinated to Guernsey
14681487 bailiwick subordinated to Guernsey
14871940 bailiwick
19401945 occupied by Germany
1945

bailiwick

Malta 18001813 protectorate


18131921 crown colony
19211933 self-governing colony
19331947 crown colony
19471958 self-governing colony
19581961 crown colony
19611964 self-governing colony
1964 independent
Minorca

17081713 occupied

1713 ceded to Britain


17141756 colony
1756 occupied by France
17981802 colony
1802 restored to Spain
United Kingdom
1801 formed by the union of the kingdoms of Great
Britain and Ireland

1922 secession of the Irish Free State


1927 formal name changed from "United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland" to "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"
Antarctic Region

(territories south of 60 S)
Name of territory

Dates Status

Comments

British Antarctic Territory 19621982 colony


19832002 dependent territory
2002

overseas territory BAT Flag :: !T! GBP abc

Enderby Land

19301933 claimed

1933 transferred to Australia


Graham Land

Now part of the Australian Antarctic Territory

1832 annexed

19081962 dependency of Falkland Islands


1962

part of the British Antarctic Territory

South Orkney

18211908 claimed

19081962 dependency of the Falkland Islands


1962

part of the British Antarctic Territory

South Shetland

18191908 claimed

19081962 dependency of the Falkland Islands


1962

part of the British Antarctic Territory

Victoria Land

18411933 claimed

1933 transferred to Australia

Now part of the Australian Antarctic Territory

Atlantic

(islands in the Atlantic Ocean)


Name of territory

Dates Status

Comments

Ascension Island

18151922 possession

19222009 dependency of St. Helena


2009

part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Bermuda

16121684 colony

16841968 crown colony


19681982 self-governing colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

overseas territory Bermuda Flag :: !T! abc /\\/

Falkland Islands

1766 West Falkland settled

1774 settlement withdrawn


17741833 claimed
1833 settlement re-established
18411892 crown colony
18921908 colony
19081962 colony
1962 The Falkland Islands Dependencies of South Shetland, South Orkney,
and Graham Land are established as the separate colony of British Antarctic
Territory
19621982 colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

overseas territory Falkland Islands Flag :: !T! FKK abc /\\/

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha


(formerly known as "St. Helena and its Dependencies")
Helena claimed
16731815 possession of the East India Company
18151821 crown colony
18211834 possession of British East India Company

15881673 St

18341982 crown colony


19832002 dependent territory
2002

overseas territory St. Helena Flag :: !T! SHP abc /\\/

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

17751908 claimed

19081985 dependency of the Falkland Islands


19852002 dependent territory
2002
overseas territory South Georgia and the South Sandwich
Islands :: !T! GBP abc
Tristan da Cunha

(18161938)

dependency of the Cape Colony

19382009 dependency of St. Helena


2009

part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Indian Ocean

(islands in the Indian Ocean)


Name of territory

Dates Status

Andaman and Nicobar Islands


Andaman Islands

Comments
1789 British take possession of the

1848 British take possession of the Nicobar Islands


19421945 Japanese occupation
1947 became part of India upon its independence Now a union territory of
India
Ashmore Island

1878 annexed

1931 transferred to Australia


and Cartier Islands
Cartier Island

Now administered as part of the Ashmore

19091931) annexed

1931 transferred to Australia


and Cartier Islands

Now administered as part of the Ashmore

British Indian Ocean Territory

18101814 occupied

1814 ceded to the United Kingdom by the Treaty of Paris


18141903 part of the colony of Seychelles
19031965 part of colony of Mauritius
19651982 colony
1976 the Aldabra Group, the Des Roches islands, and the Farquhar
Group/Des Roches are restored to the Seychelles
19832002 dependent territory
2002
GBP abc

overseas territory British Indian Ocean Territory flag :: !T!

Christmas Island

1888 annexed

18891890 leased
19001942 dependency of the colony of Straits Settlement
19421945 Japanese occupation
19451946 military administration
19461958 dependency of the colony of Singapore
1958 crown colony
1958 transferred to Australia
Cocos Islands

1825;

18261831 settlement
18311857 fiefdom
18571878 crown colony
18781886 part of Ceylon
18861942 part of the colony of the Straits Settlements
19421946 part of Ceylon
19461955 dependency of the colony of Singapore
1955 transferred to Australia
(Keeling) Islands

Now the Australian territory of Cocos

Dansborg

18011802 occupied

18081815 occupied
1845 purchased and incorporated into British India
state, India
Frederiksnagore

Now in Tamil Nadu

18011802 occupied

18081815 occupied
1845 purchased and incorporated into British India
Bengal state, India
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
1947 transferred to Australia
and McDonald Islands

Now in West

18331947 claimed

Now the Australian territory of Heard Island

Madagascar 19421946 occupied


Maldives

17961953 protectorate

19531954 republic
19541965 protectorate
(19591963)

See also the United Suvadive Republic

1965 independence !T! /\\/


Mauritius

1809 occupation of Rodrigues

18101968 colony
1814 formal cession by the Treaty of Paris
1965 the Chagos Archipelago is transferred to the British Indian Ocean
Territory
1968 independence
Runion

!T! abc /\\/

18101815 occupied

19421946 occupied
Seychelles

17941810 occupied

18101814 colony subordinated to Mauritius


1814 formal cession by the Treaty of Paris

18141903 colony
19031970 crown colony
19701975 self-governing colony
19751976 self-rule
1976 independence

!T! abc /\\/

Australasia and the Pacific


Name of territory
Australia

Dates Status

Comments

19011942 dominion

1942 adopted the Statute of Westminster into domestic law


[X] /\\/
Baker Island 18861934 claimed
Bonin Islands

:: !T! abc

Now a territory of the United States

18271876 claimed

1876 annexed by Japan


British New Guinea

18841886 protectorate

18861906 colony
1906 transferred to Australia
Cook Islands

Now part of Papua New Guinea

18881891 protectorate

18911900 federation
1900 annexed by New Zealand
Coral Sea Islands
Fiji

1879

part of Queensland

18741877 colony

18771952 colony administered as part of the British Western Pacific


Territories
19521970 colony
1970 independent

!T! abc /\\/

Friendly Islands
(Tonga)

18891900 tripartite protectorate

19001952 protectorate administered as part of the British Western Pacific


Territories
19521970 protectorate
1970 independent

!T! abc /\\/

Gilbert and Ellice Islands 18921916 protectorate


19161975 crown colony administered as part of the British Western Pacific
Territories
1975 the Gilbert and Ellice Islands are split into the two separate colonies of
the Gilbert Islands and Tuvalu
Gilbert Islands
19751976 crown colony administered as part of the
British Western Pacific Territories
19761979 colony
1979 independent as "Kiribati" !T! abc /\\/
Howland Island
States

18861935 claimed

Jarvis Island 18891935 annexed


Lord Howe Island

Now a territory of the United States

17881834 claimed

18341855 settlement
Macquarie Island

Now a territory of the United

Now part of New South Wales

18101890 part of the colony of New South Wales

1890

part of Tasmania

Nauru
Territories

19141920 administered as part of the British Western Pacific

19201921 League of Nations mandate administered as part of the British


Western Pacific Territories
19211942 League of Nations mandate
19421945 Japanese occupation
19451947 League of Nations mandate
19471968 United Nations Trust Territory
1968 independent

!T! abc /\\/

New Hebrides

18241878 protectorate

18781887 neutral territory


18871906 joint naval commission
19061976 condominium with France, administered as part of the British
Western Pacific Territories
19761980 condominium
1980 independent as "Vanuatu"
New South Wales
1901

!T! abc

17881900 colony

state of Australia

New Zealand

17691788 claimed

17881835 part of New South Wales


1835 declared independence
18351840 protectorate
18401841 part of New South Wales
18411907 colony
19071947 Dominion of New Zealand
1947 adopted the Statute of Westminster into domestic law
[X] /\\/

:: !T! abc

Niue 18891900 tripartite protectorate


19001901 protectorate administered as part of the British Western Pacific
Territories
1901 annexed to New Zealand (as part of the Cook Islands)
Norfolk Island

17881844 part of New South Wales

18441856 part of Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania)


18561897 subordinated to New South Wales
1897 dependency of New South Wales
Palmyra Atoll

1889 annexed

1898 annexed by the United States


Pitcairn Islands

18381887 protectorate

18871898 colony
18981970 colony administered as part of the British Western Pacific
Territories
19701982 colony
19832002 dependent territory
2002

overseas territory Pitcairn Islands Flag :: !T! abc /\\/

Queensland 18241859 part of the colony of New South Wales


18591900 colony
1901

state of Australia

Samoan Islands

18891900 tripartite protectorate

Sandwich Islands

1794 10 February 1843 protectorate

10 February 1843 31 July 1843


Solomon Islands

ceded to Britain

18891893 tripartite protectorate

18931942 protectorate administered as part of the British Western Pacific


Territories
19421943 Japanese occupation
19431971 protectorate administered as part of the British Western Pacific
Territories
19711973 protectorate
19731976 autonomy
1975 renamed from "British Solomon Islands" to "Solomon Islands"
19761978 self-government
1978 independent
South Australia

:: !T! abc [X] /\\/


17881836 part of the colony of New South Wales

18361900 province (colony)

1901

state of Australia

Tasmania
(Van Diemen's Land)

18031825 part of New South Wales

18251900 colony
1856 renamed as "Tasmania"
Tokelau
(Union Islands)

18891898 protectorate

18981916 protectorate administered as part of the British Western Pacific


Territories
19161949 part of colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands
Zealand

transferred to New

1949 transferred to New Zealand


Torres Strait Islands

1879

part of Queensland

Tuvalu
19751976 colony administered as part of the British Western
Pacific Territories
19761978 colony
1978 independent
Victoria

:: !T! abc [X] /\\/

18391851 part of colony of New South Wales

18511900 colony
1901

state of Australia

Western Australia 17911829 King George Sound settled


18291832 Swan River Colony
18321900 colony
1901

state of Australia

Treaties and Acts of Parliament, etc.

This is a listing of the more important treaties, Acts of Parliament, and other
legal instruments and events affecting the nature and territorial extent of the

British Empire.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Effective date
1536/1542
of England

Name of treaty, etc.

Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542

Territorial effect
Wales annexed to the Kingdom

1707 Acts of Union 1707 Scotland and England unite as the Kingdom of
Great Britain
1713 Treaty of Utrecht Spain cedes Gibraltar to Britain. France cedes
Newfoundland, Hudson Bay and Acadie to Britain.
1763 Treaty of Paris
France cedes all its territories in America to Britain
except Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands.
1776 Declaration of Independence of the United States The Thirteen
Colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New
York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina, and Georgia) assert independence
1783 Second Treaty of Paris
Great Britain formally recognises the
independence of the United States. End of the American Revolution.
1788

New South Wales is established by settlement as a penal colony

1791 Constitution Act


The Province of Quebec is divided in two sections
Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (now Quebec).
1801 Act of Union 1800 Ireland unites with Great Britain to form the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1814 Third Treaty of Paris
France cedes the Seychelles to Britain and
Malta officially becomes a colony
1840 Treaty of Waitangi New Zealand becomes a British colony
1867 British North America Act 1867 (known in Canada as the Constitution
Act, 1867) The Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
federate as the Dominion of Canada
1870
Canada

Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory are annexed to

1871

British Columbia becomes a province of Canada

1876 proclamation under the Royal Titles Act 1876

Queen Victoria

adopts the title "Empress of India"


1899

Joint British-Egyptian condominium established over Sudan

1901 proclamation under the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act


(1900)
The Commonwealth of Australia is formed by the federation of
the colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia,
Western Australia, and Tasmania
1910 proclamation under the South Africa Act 1909
Union of South
Africa formed by the federation of the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope,
Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony
1914 Cyprus (Annexation) Order in Council 1914

Cyprus formally annexed

1920 Kenya (Annexation) Order in Council 1920


Protectorate is annexed as the Colony of Kenya

Most of the East Africa

1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty


Kingdom

The Irish Free State is separated from the United

Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence


independent

Egypt becomes

1931 Statute of Westminster


Canada, the Irish Free State, and the Union
of South Africa obtain effective sovereignty
1934
dominion

Financial difficulties result in Newfoundland losing its status as a

1942

Australia adopts the Statute of Westminster, backdated to 1939

1947

New Zealand adopts the Statute of Westminster

Indian Independence Act 1947 British India is partitioned into the


independent dominions of India and Pakistan
1948

King George VI relinquishes the title "Emperor of India"

1949

Newfoundland becomes a province of Canada

1960 Nigeria Independence Act 1960 The colony and protectorate of Nigeria
become independent
1962 Jamaica Independence Act 1962
1983

Jamaica becomes independent

The status of "colony" is renamed "dependent territory"

1997 Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) and the Hong Kong Act 1985

Hong Kong is transferred to the People's Republic of China


2002
Territory"

The status of "dependent territory" is renamed "British Overseas

See also

List of British Empire-related topics


List of countries that gained independence from the United Kingdom
Scottish colonization of the Americas
Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisation
Imperialism
Colonialism
Decolonisation

References

Ferguson, Niall (2004). Empire, The rise and demise of the British world order
and the lessons for global power. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-02328-2.
The Statesman's Yearbook 1967-1968
U.S. Library of Congress - Glossary of terms.
Compact Oxford English Dictionary - "Crown colony".
Jenks, p. 70.
Cooke (1993) vol 1 part 4
Armstrong, Frederick H. (1985). Handbook of Upper Canadian Chronology
(Revised ed.). Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 39.
Christopher Moore (2011-07-27). 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal.
McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-1-55199-483-3.
Putney, Albert H. (1908). "Popular Law Library Vol 1 Introduction To The Study
Of Law Legal History". Cree Publishing Company. Retrieved September 3,
2010.

Roper (2007)
Elson, Henry William, History of the United States of America, The MacMillan
Company, New York, 1904. Chapter IV
Ferguson, Niall, 2003. EmpireHow Britain Made the Modern World, Allan
Lane, London, United Kingdom.
http://www.bartleby.com/65/ch/chartere.html Chartered companies
Merriam Webster's Dictionary (based on Collegiate vol., 11th ed.) 2006.
Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Hillmer, Norman (2001). "Commonwealth". Toronto: Canadian Encyclopedia.
"...the Dominions (a term applied to Canada in 1867 and used from 1907 to
1948 to describe the empire's other self-governing members)"
Marshall, Sir Peter (September 2001). "The Balfour Formula and the Evolution
of the Commonwealth". The Round Table. 90 (361): 54153.
doi:10.1080/00358530120082823.
Peace Treaties and International Law in European History, From the Late
Middle Ages to World War One

Interpretation Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 63), s. 18.

External links

UK Overseas Territories
World Statesmen

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Territories of the British Empire and the United Kingdom

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Territorial evolution of the world


Categories:

British EmpireColonialismTerritorial evolution

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