British Empire Essay

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THE BRITISH EMPIRE The British Empire was the largest empire in history and for a time was the foremost global power. It was a product of the European age of discovery, which began with the maritime explorations of the 15th century, that sparked the era of the European colonial empires. By 1921, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's population. It covered about 36.6 million km² (14.2 million square miles), about a quarter of Earth's total land area. As a result, its legacy is widespread, in legal and governmental systems, economic practice, militarily, educational systems, sports, and in the global spread of the English language. At the peak of its power, it…show more content…
In 1600, the English East India Company was established to facilitate the trade, but because of the then continuing war with Spain, the British overseas interests were limited to mainly raiding Spanish fleets. SIR WALTER RALEIGH'S FAILED ATTEMPT TO COLONIZE AMERICA The very first attempt at creating a British colony in the Americas was launched by the English adventurer, Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1585. This settlement did not survive, and the English did not attempt further exploration and colonization in the Americas until 1604, after peace had been made with Spain. Raleigh himself gained fame in the war with Spain, but fell out of favor with the English monarch and was later imprisoned in the Tower of London, finally being executed in 1618. NORTH AMERICA COLONIZED IN 17TH CENTURY During the 17th Century, Britain established its first permanent colonies in North America, first in Virginia, and then in the Caribbean, with tobacco plantations in the West Indies and religious colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America. FIRST SLAVES IN AMERICA WERE WHITE The first British foothold in the West Indies was Saint Christopher (later Saint Kitts), acquired in 1623. A little known fact about the first English plantations established in the West Indies was that the laborers who were first used to work
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