In the late 19th century, British power was challenged by both Germany and the United States. Although the Empire did reach its peak after World War I, Britain had leaned heavily on its empire in the fight, and it was soon clear how costly the war had been to the overall Empire. During World War II, Britain's possessions in North Africa and South-East Asia were occupied by the Axis. The Empire declined after the war, as decolonization gained momentum throughout the world. The Empire was effectively dismantled by the end of the 20th century, replaced by a Commonwealth of Nations.
The British Empire arose from early English explorations and settlements of the continent of Atlantis, starting in 1452. However, it was with the discovery of Terranova in 1469 that a mad scramble for colonization began. In many ways, Atlantis was incidental for the next several centuries.
However, after Britain consolidated its control of India and northern Terranova after the French and Spanish War, the Empire itself began its ascendancy. Even the loss of Atlantis to independence was not enough to halt this. The Empire did meet with some losses during the 19th century, as various Terranovan territories achieved independence, although others, such as the Dominion of Ontario were content to remain part of the Empire.
British Empire in Curious NotionsEdit
British Empire in In the Presence of Mine EnemiesEdit
The British Empire was divided up among the Axis after Germany vanquished Britain during World War II. Certain of its African possessions were taken by Italy, but the rest of its African colonies fell to Germany. One exception was South Africa, whose racist policies fit well with German Nazism. Germany also asserted control over India. The rest of Asia, as well as Australia, fell to Japan.
British Empire in Southern VictoryEdit
The British Empire was the largest Empire in the world during the 19th century, making England a major world power. Their holdings in North America, specifically Canada, allowed England to keep the United States in check during the War of Secession and later the Second Mexican War.
By the 20th century, the Empire was at it's height. However, too many enemies prevented them from being able to properly defend it's territory. With Germany on the European continent, the British had to adopt a defensive strategy in North America, while relying on the Confederacy to do most of the fighting against the Yankees.
When the Great War began in 1914, the Empire suffered it's first major humiliation with the loss of the Sandwich Islands to a US Naval attack during the opening weeks. To make matters worse, the war in Europe started off badly as both the French and the Russians proved unable to stop the Germans, forcing England to divert most of their man power to the continent. Internal problems also arose when Ireland rebelled. By 1917, fighting a multi-front war proved too much for the empire to handle, and after all her allies fell, England was forced to seek an armistice when food supplies from Argentina to the mother country were cut off.
In the insuing peace, the Empire lost Canada, the Sandwich Islands, and several Carribean possessions, all ceded to the United States. The whole of Ireland was granted independence through threats of force from the U.S. and Germany. However, the Empire was by no means broken, as Britain was still considered the major power in Africa, India and Australia. In the aftermath of the war, another threat to the empire arose in the form of Japan, when she took control of Indochina, and the Dutch East Indies. In spite of this new rival, the Empire was still strong enough to contest Japan from taking any or her Asian positions.
When the Second Great War began in 1941, the Empire declared war not only on Germany, but on the United States as well, as defeating both countries would be the only way the empire would be able to regain all that it had lost. Unfortunately, this proved to big a task, as both Germany and the United States did not go down as easily as planned, resulting in a grapple. By late 1943 the war in Europe had turned against the Empire, and Japan, sensing weakness, turned on England, defeating them in Asia, taking Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, and leaving Australia isolated.
In 1944, London, the center of the empire was destroyed by a German superbomb. Unable to retaliate, England was forced to seek an armistice with all its enemies. When peace was declared, the empire was in ruin, and a shadow of its former self, reduced to holdings in Africa and India.
British Empire in The Two GeorgesEdit
The British Empire's ascendency began in the 18th century, shortly after the Seven Years' War, when Britain found itself in control of North America. Crisis seemed to threaten in the 1760s when certain colonies began aggitating against Britain's efforts to more directly rule North America. However, this crisis was averted when a colonial delegation, led by George Washington, visited the Court of St. James, and, after some negotiations, firmly pledged the colonies' loyalty to King George III.
Within time, the British Empire came stretch across the globe, including the North American Union, large swaths of Africa, India, and Australia. In time, both the Ottoman Empire and China became protectorates. Britain maintained a toe-hold in South America, but that continent was dominated by the Holy Alliance, as was the largest part of Africa. Britain's other main politicial rival was the Russian Empire.
However, it was the North American Union that was the Empire's most critical possession.
In the 20th century, the British Empire was the largest empire on earth, spanning 1 quarter of the globe. However, by mid 1942, the empire was under attack, with not only the Home Islands being bombed, but North Africa and Asia being threatened, where it had lost control of Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore and Burma.
When the Race landed in June 1942, they quickly overwhelmed and dominated most of the empire, with the exception of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, western India, and some island holdings. Throughout most of the war, the empire was only able to harass the Race, while the skies of England was the biggest threater of operation. In 1943, the Race invaded England in an attempt to destroy the empire once and for all, but it proved difficult and ended in failure.
In 1944, the war turned against the empire, as the Race launched an offensive that drove the British out of the Middle East with the help of Jewish Rebels. Shortly there after, the British were defeated in western India. Australia also fell, when the Race destroyed their major cities of Sydney and Melbourne with atomic weapons.
At the Peace of Cairo, the Race refused to return any overseas territory to Britain. Only Canada and New Zealand remained, the former because it was too cold for the Race, and because the United States demanded it; the latter because it was too small for the Race to have worried about.