Former British Colonies

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on December 3 2018 in World Facts

The modern-day Canadian province of Newfoundland was once a British colony.
The modern-day Canadian province of Newfoundland was once a British colony.

The colonies, dominions, and areas under colonial rule in the 16th century to the early 18th century made up the British Empire. It was the largest known empire in history. Spain and Portugal started exploring the world during the 15th and 16th centuries, and they set up big empires abroad, this sparked the interest to explore by other European countries including Britain and France. Britain was one of the world powers even back then, which gave them an advantage over other countries and helped to amass a large empire. The country had the largest naval army with advanced equipment; the invention of the steamship during the industrial revolution also helped the country to explore faraway lands. Britain had colonies that were rich in resources which they traded thus contributing to the economy and with a stable economy the country gained power.

Former British Colonies

British America

The thirteen colonies were the first British overseas acquisitions. There are 13 states located in North America that were the founding states of the United States of America. The states were under British rule from 1607 to 1776. The British started settling permanently in the US in 1607, and the first settlements were in Jamestown. The thirteen colonies constituted provinces of New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Georgia, Delaware Colony, Colony of Virginia, province of Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut Colony, Province of North Carolina, Colony of Rhode Island, province of Maryland, South Carolina, and the province of New Jersey. The colonies make the present-day states. The British colonies were a part of the trade business in Britain as resources from the said states were sent to London for trade, and goods from Britain were imported. Slavery was widespread during the colonial period, and it was widely practiced in the 13 states. Most of the slaves were sourced from Africa and shipped to the states to work on different plantations. The dominant religion in the period was Protestantism and education was mostly open to boys. In 1776, through the American Revolution that began in 1775, the states got their independence from Britain and decided to unite and form the United States of America. Today the United States constitutes 51 states located in North America, and it is a global power. The US has the largest economy in the world regarding nominal GDP and is a multi-racial nation comprising of Native Americans, blacks, whites, Asians, and Hispanics. Washington, D.C. is considered the capital city while New York is the largest city.

British East Africa

British East Africa included the countries that are present-day Kenya, Uganda, and the Zanzibar Islands. The colonization of British East Africa began with the settling of British missionaries in the region in the 1840s. William Mackinnon was the man behind the British influence in the region; he set up the Imperial British East African Company, which carried out the administration of the region. Mombasa was used as the capital from 1895 to 1905 when it was shifted to Nairobi. East Africa had piqued both Germany and Britain’s interests and the two countries signed an agreement which let Germany claim Tanzania and Britain to claim Kenya and Uganda. Lord Delamere arrived in Kenya in 1897 and impressed by the fertile highlands in the country, and he encouraged fellow countrymen to move and settle in Kenya. The following years saw an influx of British settlers who applied to own tracts of land in the area. Before 1920, Kenya was a British protectorate but turned into a colony after. From 1952 to 1959, there were several uprisings to resist colonial rule and in 1963 Kenya gained its independence. Today, Kenya is an independent republic and a popular tourist destination in Africa. Uganda gained its independence from colonial rule in 1962, and today it is a republic with a consistently growing economy.

British India

Britain colonized India from 1858 to 1947 and the colony was known as British Raj. The empire consisted of present-day India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. The East India Company saw the establishment of the British settlements in Asia, the company was later dissolved, and the British government took over direct rule of India in 1858. India was Britain’s most valuable colony, and the colonial rule lasted until 1947 when the colony became independent and split into present day India and Pakistan. India today is one of the Southeast Asia regional powers; the country is a federal republic with the second largest army in the world and the sixth largest economy.

British Solomon Islands

The South Solomon Islands were pronounced a British protectorate in 1893. Surrounding islands were also added to the protectorate in the following years. The French had occupied the northern parts of the island, but they relinquished their rights to Britain in 1900 in exchange for Western Samoa. The Solomon Islands were torn apart during World War II as some of the biggest wars took place on the island for three years. After the war, Britain begun rebuilding the island and preparing the locals for independence and stability was restored in the 1950s. Today, the Solomon Islands constitute six major islands and about 900 smaller islands located in Oceania. The islands are an independent country with Honiara as the capital. The Solomon Islands got their independence in 1978 and are self-governing, but they recognize the queen of England as the head of state.

British Influence

Britain today still has jurisdiction over a few territories known as the British overseas territories. They include Anguilla, British Antarctica territory, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, British Indian Ocean Territory, Bermuda, South Georgia, Falkland Islands, South Sandwich Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, Ascension Island, Turks Island, Caicos Island, Saint Helena, and Tristan da Cunha Islands. Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, and Gibraltar individually voted to remain under British jurisdiction. Most of the former British colonies are members of the Commonwealth, and there are 16 commonwealth realms that, even though are independent states, recognize the Queen of England as the head of state. Years later, the British left a mark in their previous colonies; most of the countries use English as the official language of communication.

Former British Colonies

Former British Colonies
Aden Protectorate
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Auckland Islands
British Borneo
British Cameroons
British East Africa
British Egypt
British Egypt
British Guiana
British Honduras
British India
British Malaya
British Solomon Islands
British Somaliland
British Togoland
British Western Pacific Territories
Colonial Fiji
Colonial Nigeria
Colony of Newfoundland
Emirate of Transjordan
Falkalnd Islands
Federated Malay States
Former British Colonies
Gambia Colony and Protectorate
Gilbert and Ellice Islands
Gold Coast
Hong Kong
Indian Reserve
Ionian Islands
Island of St. John
Kingdom of Rarotonga
Kingdom of Sarawak
Leeward Islands
Mandatory Iraq
Mandatory Palestine
Mosquito Coast
Muscat and Oman
New Hebrides
New Hebrides
New South Wales
North Borneo
Northern Rhodesia
Oregon Country
Phoenix Islands
Province of East Florida
Province of Nova Scotia
Province of Quebec
Province of West Florida
Rupert's Land
Sheikhdom of Kuwait
Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Arabia
South Australia
South Georgia
South-West Africa
Southern Rhodesia
Straits Settlements
Sultanate of Zanzibar
Swan River Colony
Tanganyika Territory
Territory of New Guinea
Territory of Papua
Territory of Papua New Guinea
Thirteen Colonies
Trucial States
Uganda Protectorate
Unfederated Malay States
Van Diemen's Land
Western Samoa
Windward Islands

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