British Empire Map: 1921 Colonial Peak


Wikimedia Commons – British Empire 1921

The above map shows the peak of British imperialism in the early 1920s. It shows the colonies owned by the British. The British Empire is considered one of the largest that ever existed.

The British colonies in the Americas, both North and South, include:

  • Canada (including Newfoundland)
  • Bermuda island
  • Bahama islands
  • British West Indies
  • British Honduras
  • British Guiana (now Guyana)
  • Falkland Islands

In Europe, their territories there are:

  • the Irish Free State (now Ireland)
  • Gibraltar
  • Cyprus
  • South Georgia

Among the British colonies in the African continent include:

  • The Gambia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Gold Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Sudan
  • British Somaliland (now Somalia)
  • Kenya
  • Tanganyika (now Tanzania)
  • Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania)
  • Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
  • Nyasaland (now Malawi)
  • Southwest Africa (now Namibia)
  • Bechuanaland (now Botswana)
  • Swaziland
  • Basutoland (now Lesotho)
  • Union of South Africa (now the Republic of South Africa)
  • Mauritius

The empire’s Asian and Pacific territories consist of the following areas:

  • Palestine
  • Iraq
  • Trans Jordan (now Jordan)
  • Kuwait
  • Trucial States (now the United Arab Emirates)
  • Oman
  • Aden city, Yemen
  • Indian empire
  • Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
  • Malaya (now Malaysia)
  • Singapore
  • Brunei (including Sarawak)
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Fiji Islands
  • Gilbert & Ellice Islands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

The whole empire’s land coverage is said to be 25% or one-fourth of the Earth’s total land area. It grew to this number due to the empire’s expansion in Asia, especially the Indian subcontinent. The number also included its territories in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Pacific.

Meanwhile, its population numbers differ depending on the source. Most sources are recording its peak number in the hundreds of millions. The highest figure is recorded by the Guinness World Records. It said that over 500 million people lived within the empire by the year 1938, before the start of the Second World War.

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The empire lasted for over 400 years or four centuries. It started in the year 1588, as England wanted to dominate in the overseas trade. It ended in 1997 when it handed its last colony, Hong Kong, back to the People’s Republic of China.

To know more about the history of the British Empire, these books are worth the read:

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