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British Empire and Commonwealth – Definition und geschichtliche Entwicklung 05:58 min

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Transkript British Empire and Commonwealth – Definition und geschichtliche Entwicklung

Hi! This is a video made by Adrian. In this video I will give you a short presentation about the British Empire and Commonwealth. Let’s begin with the British Empire.At its peak, it was the largest formal empire that the world had ever known. As such, its power and influence stretched all over the globe. Of course, the British Empire expanded and contracted over the years. The beginning of the Empire dates back to the sixteenth century when the British seafarers started to seek profit overseas. In the seventeenth century Britain concentrated on North America and the Caribbean. In 1672, King Charles II allowed slave trade to supply slaves to the British colonies in the Caribbean. Until the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, Britain was responsible for the transportation of 3.5 million African slaves to America. In the eighteenth century, Britain colonised Australia and New Zealand, firstly as a penal colony in 1788. This period that lasted until the American War of Independence at the end of the eighteenth century has been referred to as the First British Empire. The eighteenth century was the point when the British concentration turned to Asia and Africa. After some victories against Indian princes and driving the French out in 1757 Great Britain took possession of India, Ceylon, Burma, Malaysia and Hong Kong. However, Britain lost some territory when thirteen American colonies proclaimed independence of the United States of America in 1776. In the late nineteenth century, Britain colonised Africa and was ruling over almost 30% of Africa’s total population. They were able to establish successful colonial power in South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and other African colonies. In the late nineteenth century, Queen Victoria could claim the sun never sets on her empire. By 1921 the British Empire held power over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one quarter of the world’s population. It covered about 36.6 million square kilometres, about a quarter of earth’s total land area. The end of the Second World War also meant the end of the British Empire. Great Britain was economically ruined and had to concentrate on domestic problems after the war. First India and Pakistan, then other Asian and African territories gained independence from Britain. This process marked the Empire’s transformation into today’s Commonwealth. What is the Commonwealth? Well, it is a loose confederation of independent nations, mostly former members of the British Empire. There are 52 countries in the Commonwealth with a total population 2.4 billion people. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth and head of state in sixteen countries. The Commonwealth is pledged to promote peace and democracy, liberty and equal rights for all, oppose racial discrimination and eradicate poverty, ignorance and disease. Because of the colonial background and the shared history with Britain, most of the Commonwealth members use English as their first language. Like I said before, Queen Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth secretariat, which is in London, coordinates the international cooperation of the members. Great Britain has no political power over the member states like it used to have in the British Empire, but still it plays the central role in the Commonwealth. The UK’s past as a colonial power is also reflected in the ethnic composition of Britain. 88% of the population are white, but 7.6 million people, 12%, belong to other ethnic groups like Chinese or Black British. Indians and Pakistanis are the largest of these groups, followed by Black Caribbeans and Black Africans. Well, I hope you had fun watching this video. Thank you. And see you next time!

3 Kommentare
  1. Default

    Gut gemachtes Video mit den wichtigsten Infos!

    Von Christiane Stechow, vor 9 Monaten
  2. 041

    good

    Von salih han b., vor fast 2 Jahren
  3. Default

    Very good job!

    Von Alex Schwarz8, vor fast 4 Jahren