Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Xxxxxxxxx hed here

Q&A: An update on the British Empire's 'possessions'

British Empire's 'possessions'

What's left of the once-mighty British Empire's "possessions" worldwide and how does it compare to what it was at its peak?

Back in the 1920s, the British Empire was known as the empire "where the sun never sets" because it consisted of territories in seemingly every corner of the world.

At its peak, the British Empire encompassed more than 13 million square miles — almost a quarter of Earth's land. More than 450 million people lived on those lands, about 20 percent of the world's population at the time.

More than 50 countries fell under the British flag, according to research done by teacher and author Stephen Luscombe (british empire.co.uk/). The largest were Canada, Australia and India. Among the others were the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, South Africa, Tanganyika, Nigeria, Iraq, the Bahamas, the Falkland Islands, Honduras, the Irish Free State, Kenya, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Zealand, Palestine, Rhodesia, Uganda, Cypress, Bermuda, Barbados and the Cameroons.

The empire began contracting after World War II, as countries began to seek and win their independence. That movement culminated in 1997 with the handover of Hong Kong to become a special administrative region of China. In attendance that day was Charles, the prince of Wales, who later wrote: "Such is the end of Empire, I sighed to myself."

Today, the British Empire consists of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and 14 territories known as the British Overseas Territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St. Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekalia on Cyprus and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Total land area: A little more than 750,000 square miles, though 600,000 of that is Britain's slice of Antarctica.

That number may dwindle further. Scotland is making noise about independence. And the United Kingdom is currently in dispute over some of the territories: with Spain over Gibraltar; with Argentina over the Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands; with Chile and Argentina over the British Antarctic; with Mauritius and the Seychelles over the British Indian Ocean Territory.

There are 16 countries formerly in the empire that now belong to the Commonwealth Realms: The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guineau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Many of the other former British colonies belong to the Commonwealth of Nations. It consists of 54 countries, all of which used to be part of the British Empire except for Mozambique and Rwanda.

Q&A: Xxxxxxxxx hed here

Q&A: An update on the British Empire's 'possessions' 01/21/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 21, 2013 12:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

     Winner of the week

    Peter Antonacci. Gov. Rick Scott tapped his go-to utility player to lead his Florida job recruiting agency, Enterprise Florida, having previously picked him for his general counsel, to lead the South Florida Water Management District and to serve as Palm Beach state …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table

    Travel

    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers

    Nap

    Walk 6.2 kilometers

    Nap

    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  4. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  5. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.