Colonies of britain

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1. Aden -1967

2. Antigua and Barbuda - 1981

3. Australia - 1931

4. Bahamas - 1973

5. Barbados -1966

6. Basutoland - see Lesotho - 1966

7. Bechuanaland - see Botswana

8. Belize - 1981

9. British Antarctic Territory

10. British Central Africa

11. British East Africa

12. British Guiana – (Guyana) -1966

13. British Honduras (Belize) - 1981

14. British Indian Ocean Territory

15. British New Guinea (Papua) - 1975

16. British Somaliland - see Somaliland - 1960

17. British South Africa

18. Brunei

19. Burma - see Myanmar - 1948

20. Canada - 1931

21. Cape Colony - South Africa

22. Ceylon - see Sri Lanka

23. Cook Islands

24. Cyprus - 1960

25. Dominica

26. East India Company

27. Egypt - 1952

28. Federated Malay States

29. Fiji - 1970

30. Gambia - 1965

31. Gilbert and Ellice Islands - see Kiribati and Tuvalu

32. Gold Coast - see also Ghana - 1957

33. Ionian Islands

34. Grenada - 1974

35. Heligoland

36. Hong Kong - 1997

37. India - 1947

38. Ireland – 1922-1931

39. Jamaica - 1962

40. Kenya - 1963

41. Labuan

42. Lagos (Nigeria)

43. Leeward Islands

44. Liu Kung Tau

45. Malacca

46. Malaya - see Malaysia

47. Maldives - 1965

48. Malta - 1964

49. Mauritius - 1968

50. Mosquito Coast

51. Natal

52. Nauru

53. New Hebrides - see Vanuatu

54. Newfoundland

55. New South Wales

56. New Zealand - 1931

57. Niger Coast Protectorate - see British Nigeria

58. Nigeria - 1960

59. Niue - see Western Pacific High Commission

60. North Borneo - see Sabah - 1963

61. Northern Nigeria - see British Nigeria

62. Northern Rhodesia - see Zambia

63. Nyasaland - see Malawi

64. Orange River Colony

65. Palestine - 1948

66. Penang

67. Queensland

68. Rhodesia - see Zimbabwe

69. Royal Niger Company

70. Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

71. Saint Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla - 1983

72. Saint Kitts and Nevis

73. Saint Lucia - 1979

74. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

75. Sarawak

76. Seychelles

77. Sierra Leone - 1961

78. Singapore

79. Solomon Islands - 1978

80. South Africa - 1931

81. South Australia

82. Southern Nigeria - see British Nigeria

83. Southern Rhodesia - see Zimbabwe - 1980

84. Sri Lanka - 1948

85. Straits Settlements

86. Sudan - 1956

87. Swaziland - 1968

88. Tanganyika

89. Tasmania

90. Tonga - 1970

91. Transvaal

92. Trinidad and Tobago - 1966

93. Turks and Caicos Islands

94. Uganda - 1962

95. Unfederated Malay States

96. Victoria Colony

97. Weiheiwei - see China

98. West Indies Federation

99. West Pacific High Commissioner

100. Western Australia

101. Western Samoa - see Samoa

102. Windward Islands

103. Witu Protectorate

104. Zambia - 1964

105. Zanzibar

Former British Dominions, Colonies, Protectorates, Protected and Associated States,
Mandated and Trust Territories


Teacher’s Notes
Goal: Identify the geographic extent of the British Empire on a world map by labeling and coloring British colonies.
Levels: All

  1. Political World Map (blank outline) on a transparency for the teacher.

  2. Political World Map (blank outline) paper copies, one for each student.

  3. Teacher Notes on the Rise of the British Empire.

  4. Colonies of Britain, paper copies for the students and teacher.

  5. Wall size world map (optional)

  6. World political map in an atlas or textbook for teacher reference

  7. Overhead projector

  8. Overhead markers for the teacher

  9. One colored pencil per student, to color British Colonies on maps

Difficult Vocabulary:

  1. Mercantilism – economic policy; a favorable balance of trade from colonization

  2. Dominion – control or exercise of control; sovereignty

  3. Protectorate – protection and partial control by a superior power

Procedures and Activities (adjust appropriately to the students’ level):

  1. Ask students what they think of when they hear the term: “British Colonies.” Students may connect this term with the Thirteen Colonies in the Eastern United States. Explain that Great Britain had a world-wide empire.

  2. Pass out political world maps to each student. Tell them to write their names on he maps but to wait before coloring any countries in.

  3. Put the political world map in transparency form, on the overhead projector. Use an overhead marker to color Great Britain on the map transparency. Ask students to locate the nation of Great Britain on their maps and color it in.

  4. Discuss the small size of this island country in comparison to the world. Tell students the object of this map is to locate the colonies of Great Britain and color them in.

  5. Using handout “Colonies of Britain”, and a world map in an atlas or textbook to locate the (harder to find) countries, color the larger, major colonial nations of Great Britain on the overhead. (Canada, Australia, India, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Iraq, portions of Antarctica, the U.S. east of the Mississippi, etc.) Each time a nation is filled in on the overhead map, the students will color the same nation on their maps, using a colored pencil. The idea behind this lesson is to show the spread of the empire and the vast territory controlled by Britain. The map is too small for students to label the countries or locate all of the small regions of empire.

  6. Ask students to think about how the small island nation became an empire by the end of World War I. Introduce the subject using teachers notes “The Rise of the British Empire”. Students should take notes and discuss each item and rationale.

  7. Discuss the scope of the empire and the reasons for growth:

    1. How do you think people viewed the British at the height of the empire?

    2. What do you think it was like to be a British citizen during this time period?

    3. What do you think it was like to be a native inhabitant living in a British colony during this time?

    4. Discuss the vocabulary words: mercantilism, dominion, and protectorate.

    5. Discuss Britain’s motivation for colonization. (Answers should include information from the Teacher Notes.)

    6. Share with students that many western nations felt the need to share their religion and became missionaries to societies with different beliefs.

    7. What may have been the ultimate goal of Great Britain?

    8. How do you suppose the policy of colonialism affected the British economy? (It made many British citizens wealthy.)

    9. What do you see as the primary motivation for following a policy of imperialism? (Students may say for the economy, to remain a world power, for defense, to spread English civilization, etc.)

    10. Are there any countries today that remind you of the British Empire?

    11. Have students take another look at the World Map on the overhead with the largest colonies filled in. Refer to Teacher Notes, and show the trade route strategies exercised by Britain.

    12. Ask students for comments on the amount of territory Britain controlled.


How did the Great Britain become a powerful empire?

  1. Mercantilism Economic policy that required nations to colonize weaker nations to obtain natural resources Global expansion Trade routes needed to be protected East India Company – monopoly on trade with India

  2. Success in wars

    1. Ireland – 1100’s – 1600’s

    2. Treaty of Utrecht: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland; a monopoly on the slave trade in Spanish America

    3. Treaty of Paris, 1763, Seven Years’ War All of French Canada East India Company pushed France out of India

    4. Boer War, 1899-1902, Africa

    5. Opium Wars, 1841-1842, China

    6. World War I, 1914-1918

    7. World War II, 1939-1941

  3. Superior naval power Most powerful navy in the world,

  4. Few restrictions on trade

    1. British monopoly on trade - East India Company Dec. 31, 1600, British government gave this company permission to control all trade between Britain and India

    2. 1784 – British Parliament forced the government to shut the East India Company and rule India because of atrocities:

      1. Land tax, 50% (made schools close)

      2. Cash crops: cotton, indigo, tea, jute (Less food grown)

      3. Raw materials, (cash crops), shipped to England

      4. People became landless, ill fed, illiterate

      5. By the late 1800’s, dissatisfaction with British brewed feelings of nationalism for Indians.

Additional important points:

  1. India was considered a region of vast riches to the British. They needed to protect India from other power seekers. Great Britain continued acquiring colonies, some for the specific purpose of strategic positioning to protect their interests in India.

  2. In 1600, the British East India Company pursued the spice-rich East Indies. Through their exploration efforts, this company was eventually given total control (by the British government) over British trade with India; imports and exports.

  3. Point out the pattern of British colonization in Africa, from north to south, with the specific goal of controlling waterways to the East.

  4. Remind students that the sea was the major transportation mode during this time period. Ships carrying goods had to sail around the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa. Great Britain controlled African territory from Capetown, in the south, to Alexandria in the north. One could travel overland for 7,400 kilometers of land without ever leaving the British Empire. In addition Britain was afforded valuable seaports on the Mediterranean Sea because of territorial acquisitions.

  5. The importance of control of the southern route around Africa remained essential until 1869, when the construction of the Suez Canal made a short cut for trade.

  6. Discuss the vocabulary words: mercantilism, dominion, and protectorate. Explain that in addition to Britain, other Europeans were scrambling to gobble up colonies in an effort to bolster their economies. France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Germany were imperialistic as well; however, Britain was the most powerful and the most successful. Advise students to remember that “colonies equaled profit.”

  7. Share with students that many British missionaries attended to the colonies to expose natives to religious views of the empire. While this theme gave credence to the benevolence of the empire in taking colonies under its wing, anti-imperialists insisted that it was greed for increased military power and economic gain that the colonization continued.

John Cudak ©

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