Cabot led another voyage to the Americas the following year but nothing was ever heard of his ships again. This effort was rebuffed and later, as the Anglo-Spanish Wars intensified, Elizabeth I gave her blessing to further privateering raids against Spanish ports in the Americas and shipping that was returning across the Atlantic, laden with treasure from the New World. By this time, Spain had become the dominant power in the Americas and was exploring the Pacific Ocean, Portugal had established trading posts and forts from the coasts of Africa and Brazil to China, and France had begun to settle the Saint Lawrence River area, later to become New France.
Maritime expansion, driven by commercial ambitions and by competition with Franceaccelerated in the 17th century and resulted in the establishment of settlements in North America and the West Indies.
Slave trading had begun earlier in Sierra Leonebut that region did not become a British possession until Nearly all these early settlements arose from the enterprise of particular companies and magnates rather than from any effort on the part of the English crown.
The crown exercised some rights of appointment and supervision, but the colonies were essentially self-managing enterprises. The formation of the empire was thus an unorganized process based on piecemeal acquisition, sometimes with the British government being the least willing partner in the enterprise.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the crown exercised control over its colonies chiefly in the areas of trade and shipping.
In accordance with the mercantilist philosophy of the time, the colonies were regarded as a source of necessary raw materials for England and were granted monopolies for their products, such as tobacco and sugar, in the British market.
In return, they were expected to conduct all their trade by means of English ships and to serve as markets for British manufactured goods. The Navigation Act of and subsequent acts set up a closed economy between Britain and its colonies; all colonial exports had to be shipped on English ships to the British market, and all colonial imports had to come by way of England.
Competition with France British military and naval power, under the leadership of such men as Robert CliveJames Wolfeand Eyre Cootegained for Britain two of the most important parts of its empire—Canada and India. Malacca joined the empire inand Sir Stamford Raffles acquired Singapore in Dominance and dominions The 19th century marked the full flower of the British Empire.
That office, which began inwas first an appendage of the Home Office and the Board of Trade, but by the s it had become a separate department with a growing staff and a continuing policy; it was the means by which discipline and pressure were exerted on the colonial governments when such action was considered necessary.
Partly owing to pressure from missionaries, British control was extended to FijiTongaPapua, and other islands in the Pacific Oceanand in the British High Commission for the Western Pacific Islands was created. The French completion of the Suez Canal provided Britain with a much shorter sea route to India.
Britain responded to this opportunity by expanding its port at Adenestablishing a protectorate in Somaliland now Somaliaand extending its influence in the sheikhdoms of southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf.
Cypruswhich was, like Gibraltar and Malta, a link in the chain of communication with India through the Mediterranean, was occupied in Elsewhere, British influence in the Far East expanded with the development of the Straits Settlements and the federated Malay states, and in the s protectorates were formed over Brunei and Sarawak.
The greatest 19th-century extension of British power took place in Africahowever. Britain was the acknowledged ruling force in Egypt from and in the Sudan from The cabinet would depend primarily on support by the colonial legislative assembly for its tenure of ministerial office.
Decisions on foreign affairs and defense, however, would still be made by a governor-general acting on orders from the British government in London. The system whereby some colonies were allowed largely to manage their own affairs under governors appointed by the mother country spread rapidly.
In it was put into effect in the colonies in Canada, and it was later extended to the Australian colonies, New Zealandand to the Cape Colony and Natal in southern Africa. These colonies obtained such complete control over their internal affairs that in they were granted the new status of dominions.
This select group of nations within the empire, with substantial European populations and long experience of British forms and practices, was often referred to as the British Commonwealth. The demands and stresses of World War I and its aftermath led to a more formal recognition of the special status of the dominions.
When Britain had declared war on Germany in it was on behalf of the entire empire, the dominions as well as the colonies.The "wind of change" ultimately meant that the British Empire's days were numbered, and on the whole, Britain adopted a policy of peaceful disengagement from its colonies once stable, non-Communist governments were available to transfer power to.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.
It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries.
At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the. British and United States history.
THIS IS A DIRECTORY PAGE. America favoured the limited development of a system of representation more broadly based than the one in use in Great Britain. These conditions included the vast distance from London, which forced the British government to grant significant autonomy to the colonies; the .
HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN (from ) including Mounting antagonism, Boston Tea Party, First Continental Congress, Lexington and Concord, Loss of American colonies.
Thirteen of Great Britain's colonies rebelled in the American Revolutionary War, beginning in , primarily over representation, local laws and tax issues, and established the United States of America, which was recognised internationally with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 3 September Was reconciliation between the American colonies and Great Britain possible in ?
Why or why not? Would you like to follow the 'U.s.
history' conversation and receive update notifications? Ask. 6 Look again at the painting that opened this chapter: The. By OpenStax. Read Online Course.