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Geography - British Colonisation - Essay Example

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British Colonisation Name of the and Number of the Course Date British Colonisation Introduction The British Empire was expanded to become one of the largest in history, completely encircling the globe. Melvin E. Page observes that from this extensive British colonisation over several continents, emerged the notion that the ‘sun never sets on the British empire’…
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Download file to see previous pages The maritime adventures of the 16th century naval and merchant seamen were responsible for the extension of English economic power throughout the Atlantic to North America and the Caribbean, to promote trade for the home country. “Obsession with maintaining colonial production led to policies that encouraged the development of labour in the new territories” argues Page (75). Consequently, religious dissidents in England such as the Puritans were subjected to unfavourable treatment which compelled them to flee to the newly discovered land of America by the 15th century. Similarly, indentured labourers were sent away from the British Isles to distant colonies, while slave trade from Africa continued to be carried over several centuries, for subjugation and slavery. The British colonization of India along with trading rivalry from other European powers resulted in their extending their mercantile principles to India by the early 17th century. By the 18th century, British imperialism spread to Australia as well. In the 19th century, Africa, New Zealand and Canada were brought under British colonization. In the 20th century radical changes took place in the British Empire, besides its separation into dominion and colonial divisions. By the mid-20th century, massive decolonizations led to the achievement of independence by many British colonial areas, although some marginal regions remained in the colonial fold. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate British Colonization across the globe, over several centuries of British Imperialism. Colonization and Expansion of the First British Empire James A. Williamson observes that because there was no scope for ambitious land expansion by the British, colonization had to be undertaken overseas. English sea-power primarily emerged and developed during the Middle Ages, and by the Tudor era (1485-1603) seafaring took lasting hold of the imagination of the people. Thus, British colonization and expansion must take into account the beginnings of sea-power, and its development driven by geographical, political, and economic factors (Williamson 3). The first British empire was established in the Americas between the 16th to 18th centuries by emigrants fleeing from Britain to escape the religious rule and harassment. Thus, by the early 19th century, Britain formed an empire spanning the seas by emigration to the newly discovered land of America which was the homeland of native Indians since ancient times. Gradually, “multiplication of the colonial stock began to transform British North America from a fringe of maritime possessions into a territorial nation” (Williamson 6). In South Africa, the same process resulted in Cape Colony being taken over as a predominantly naval station on the British route to the East. In Australia, the coasts occupied for a distinctive administrative purpose drew immigrants who spread into the interiors. British expansion into New Zealand took place against the wishes of the imperial government, states Williamson (6). Thus, the four distinct regions of North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand were taken over by the growing population of British immigrants who overflowed into unoccupied borderlands. Establishment of the Second British Empire Establishment of the Second British Empire included the expansion of British colonial rule in India from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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