British Empire

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Proper noun[edit]

the British Empire

English Wikipedia has an article on:
An anachronous map of the British Empire.
  1. (chiefly historical) The United Kingdom and its overseas dependencies and colonies.
    • 2015, Shashi Tharoor, "Britain Does Owe Reparations", 00:05:16:
      Violence and racism were the reality of the colonial experience and no wonder that the sun never set on the British Empire because even God couldn't trust the English in the dark.
    • 2021-2022 Winter, Matthew R. Prescott, John P. Ruedisueli, “The Relevance of the 1781 Yorktown Campaign”, in SAR Magazine, volume 116, number 3, Louisville, KY: Sons of the American Revolution, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 20, column 1:
      Two hundred and forty years have passed since the 1781 Yorktown Campaign, a campaign that was a decisive victory for the Continental Army and forced the British Empire to reach concessions with the 13 Colonies.
    In 1920, the British Empire covered over a quarter of the Earth's surface area.

Usage notes[edit]

The term British Empire was never used legally, although the British sovereigns from Victoria to George VI styled themselves as empress and emperors of India from 1876 until its independence in 1947. Similarly, there is no fixed date for the end of the British Empire, although it is often dated to the 1956 Suez Crisis or the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong. As a separate ministry of the British government, the Colonial Office existed from 1768–1782 and again from 1801–1966, after which it was folded into the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Coordinate terms[edit]