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The British EmpireMARCH OF THE TITANS A HISTORY OF THE WHITE RACE Chapter 46 : The Sun Never Sets - The British Empire When the British Empire was at its height in the early 1900s, it included over 20 percent of the world's land area and more than 400 million people - the single largest empire in the history of the world since time began. This remarkable achievement by a country half the size of France, was a tribute to the superb organizational skills of the White empire builders of that nation: the saying that the "sun never set on the British Empire" was very close to the truth: because of its geographic spread, some territory, somewhere, was always in the daylight hours. This astonishing empire was never undone in the way that the Roman Empire was: instead it dissolved peacefully, by mutual consent, and the British, apart from creating the world's largest empire, also had the privilege of being the only empire builders not to be destroyed in their far flung empire itself. Origins UNDER ELIZABETH I The first moves by the British to establish an empire came during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Elizabeth was a far-sighted sovereign who financially supported the voyages of exploration, mainly through her favorite, Sir Francis Drake, who in 1580, became the first Englishman to sail around the world, following a Spanish expedition a few years previously. The English East India Company ESTABLISHED IN 1600 The British were, like the Dutch and Spanish, quick to realize the potential of trade with the newly discovered lands. 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 these were initially white indentured slaves from England. Jamaica - FIRST COLONY SEIZED BY FORCE In 1655, the English conquered the Spanish colony of Jamaica, the first ever British colony to be seized by force of arms. The English invasion was only formally acknowledged by Spain in 1670. Black Slaves IMPORTED TO CARIBBEAN The continuing acquisition of Caribbean Islands by the British saw the establishment of sugarcane plantations, which were labor intensive industries. The British then set up the Royal Africa Company in 1672, to import Black slaves to the Caribbean. Before this time there were no Blacks in the Caribbean at all - but by 1680, the annual rate of Black importation had reached over 70,000 each year - this policy resulted in the majority of the population, in Jamaica especially, being Black, something that would later determine the future of these islands. The Mayflower BRINGS RELIGIOUS REFUGEES TO NORTH AMERICA The great English religious settlements in North America started in 1620 with the arrival of the Pilgrims, who sailed from the English city of Plymouth in the ship, the Mayflower, landing in Massachusetts Bay in 1620. These White Protestant extremists - Puritans who held that the Anglican Church of England was still too close to the Catholic Church - set up a Puritan community, forming the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628. Other religious colonies were established in Rhode Island (1636), where the colony was based on the principle of religious toleration; Connecticut (1639), based on Congregationalist religious beliefs; and Maryland (1634), a haven for Roman Catholics. DUTCH CITY OF NEW AMSTERDAM SEIZED - RENAMED New York Slowly the English penetrated further down the eastern coastline. In 1664, New Amsterdam was seized from the Netherlands and renamed New York. The Dutch inhabitants were the first large established White settlement to be subdued by force into the then growing British Empire. By 1681, an English adventurer, William Penn, had, under Royal permission, established a new colony which was called Pennsylvania. Further North American Expansion After Pennsylvania had been established, British colonies in North America were strengthened by two developments: • the Hudson's Bay Company was established near Hudson Bay to participate in the fur trade by 1688; and • in 1714, as a result of an European war which the French lost, the British captured the French colonies of Acadia and Newfoundland. BRITISH Penal Settlements IN NORTH AMERICA The British then hit upon a novel use for its North American colonies; they presented ideal dumping grounds for convicted felons from England, and in 1718, the Transportation Act became law which subsidized the moving of convicted criminals from Britain to North America. Georgia, originally a refuge for debtors, became the 13th American colony in 1732, and the colony of New England then began to fill out and extend further into the interior. French COLONIES Seized AFTER EUROPEAN WAR As a result of the Seven Years' War in Europe (1756-1763), Britain was able to seize further French colonies in North America: in 1758, the French fortress of Louisburg fell, giving the British access to the Saint Lawrence Valley. In 1759, the city of Quebec was captured, marking the end of the French colonial presence in Canada. BRITAIN LOSES NORTH AMERICAN DOMINANCE WITH The American Revolution Just as the British colonies in North America seemed to be reaching a peak, the colonists themselves broke out in revolt against British rule, resulting in the American Revolution and War of Independence which occurred from 1776 to 1779. This momentous event, detailed in another chapter, saw the British lose all their North American possessions except for Canada, which subsequently became known as British North America and remained a loyal colony and later a member of the British Commonwealth. The history of Canada is also remarkable in itself, and is therefore the subject of a further separate study, suffice to say here that over 30,000 loyalist colonists emigrated from the United States of America to Canada at the time of the American War of Independence. BRITISH EXPANSION IN THE FAR EAST Stung by the loss of what clearly was turning into the most important colony of all, Britain then turned its attention to the east, following up on the initial trading settlements established by the English East India Company. India: the British Establish the City of Calcutta Although the story of the British involvement in India is dramatic and is studied in detail in the next chapter, it is still necessary to here review the major developments. By 1700, the English East India Company had set up three major trading posts in India, being careful at the time to engage in trade only and making no attempt to colonize or rule the locals. In fact, through co-operation with a local prince, the British succeeded in building a factory on a site on the Hooghly river, a development which eventually became the city of Calcutta. A conflict with a French mission in Bengal, which culminated in a British force defeating a combined French and Indian army at the Battle of Plessey in 1757, saw the British establish their first major area of jurisdiction on the Indian subcontinent in Bengal. Other large parts of India were only to come under British rule after 1858. Race war with Burma Although the British did not initially have any intention of expanding further in Southeast Asia, aggression from the Burmese Konbaung dynasty resulted in several cross border attacks against India and the scattered British outposts: this led to the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824 to 1826, which saw the Burmese suffer the fate of most Second World powers attempting to take on the First World with its technological advantage: the Burmese were destroyed and forced to cede several large coastal areas to the Whites. Above: A Burmese position, overrun by British troops, 1885. Note that by this time the Burmese had been able to capture and use White technology, namely the cannon, visible bottom left. Further conflicts resulted in the Second and Third Anglo-Burmese Wars (1852 and 1885) which eventually saw Britain occupying all of Burma, with the country being officially made a province of India in 1886. WARS IN Afghanistan SEE THAT Land's INDEPENDENCE By the middle of the 19th Century, the British, who had established themselves in India, started eyeing Afghanistan as a potential area for further expansion mainly motivated by a desire to stop the Russians encroaching from the north of that country. The Afghans however rebelled: thereafter the British, using White troops and Indian recruits, fought three major race wars against the Afghans: the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838-1842); the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880); and the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919). The third war was the last: after it a peace treaty recognized the independence of the by then thoroughly mixed race country. The First Anglo-Afghan war resulted in the famous battle of Khyber Pass (1842), where nearly 16000 White British troops and their non-White Indian recruits were trapped and killed by the Afghans. During the second Anglo-Afghan war, three divisions of the British army invaded Afghanistan from India. Kabul, the capital, was taken in 1879, and in 1880, the Afghans were defeated at the battle of Kandahar, which saw an end to that war. Australia NEW FOCUS FOR PENAL COLONIES Although the Australian subcontinent had been explored in the 1600s, it was only after the loss of the North American penal colonies, that the British started sending the first significant numbers of White settlers to that country. The history of Australia, which became an important part of the British Empire, is recounted in a separate chapter. Gibraltar SEIZED FROM SPAIN in 1714 As a result of the end of the Spanish War of Succession in 1714, Britain obtained the Spanish islands of Gibraltar and Minorca, giving the British their first physical presence in the Mediterranean Sea. The Napoleonic Wars GIVE BRITAIN MASTERY OF THE SEAS The outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe saw Britain's land empire expand once again through a series of conquests of French or French allied territories. This expansion was linked to the great British naval victory over the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805: the destruction of the French fleet led to the British navy establishing its mastery of the seas, a situation which would remain unchanged until the early 20th Century. A British naval fleet, operating out of the new British bases in the Mediterranean, were instrumental in chasing the French out of Egypt after Napoleon invaded that country in 1798. Territorial Acquisitions as a Result of the Napoleonic Wars In 1794, Britain captured the French sugar-producing islands around Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. This resulted in a glut of sugar on the British market and contributed indirectly to British legislation in 1807 abolishing the slave trade, by virtue of the fact that production was so high that few new slaves were needed. (The islands were later returned to France.) During the war, the Netherlands became aligned with France, and Britain seized several Dutch possessions, including the Cape Colony in South Africa; Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) off the Indian coast; and parts of Guiana in South America. South Africa SEIZED FROM DUTCH Thousands of British colonists settled in South Africa after 1820, and English became the official language in that colony in 1822. South Africa developed into one of the most interesting racial case studies. Due to the large non-British element of the White population, its relations with Britain were always stormy: they are reviewed in full in a later chapter. Rhodesia SEIZED FROM BLACK TRIBES By 1893, British rule had extended north to Matabeleland in present day Zimbabwe, leading to the creation of what became known as the Colony of Southern Rhodesia, later Zimbabwe. The Black Matabele revolted against British rule almost immediately in 1896, but were put down with a massive show of arms by the White colonists, sparking off a conflict of that nature which would only finally end in 1980. The Gold Coast AND SIERRA LEONE - FREE SLAVE SETTLEMENTS The establishment of British outposts on the west coast of Africa - initially as trading posts, then for emancipated slave settlements and then for military base purposes, led to an ever increasing area of jurisdiction being established. These territories included Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast. The Ashanti Wars in NIGERIA This creeping influence of the British over the Black tribes led to a number of race wars in West Africa: the longest running being with the Ashanti tribesmen. These race wars started in 1823 and ran intermittently from that year until around 1900. In the Niger delta of Nigeria, (from the Latin "niger", for "black") the British decided to take control of the increasing trade in palm oil, and in 1852, by sheer military threat, they forced the Blacks in Lagos to accept British protection. In 1861, Lagos was annexed as a crown colony. Egypt - THIRD WORLD CHAOS SEES BRITISH INTERVENTION The construction of the Suez Canal in 1869 (designed by an Austrian, Alois Negrilli, and built by a Frenchman, Ferdinand de Lesseps), saw Britain being given a protectorate over the canal region to safeguard it. As the rest of Egypt had dropped into Third World chaos, the new arrangement effectively meant a British administration for all of Egypt. During the First World War, Britain declared Egypt a protectorate as a defensive measure against the Turks who had entered that war on the side of Germany. Effective British control of Egypt continued through a series of puppet Egyptian rulers until 1952. New Colonies in AFRICA The creation of British rule over Egypt sparked off a new wave of African colonization for Britain, this time racing against other European powers for territory. By 1885, Britain had effectively seized or annexed, through war or treaty, huge slices of Africa: the Sudan (1881), Bechuanaland (now Botswana) in 1885, Uganda in1894; the first British settlers in Kenya started arriving towards the end of the 19th century Gordon of Khartoum - KILLED IN NATIVE UPRISING In 1877, the British appointed one of their most able generals, Charles Gordon, as governor of Sudan. Establishing a strict colonial rule based in the capital city, Karthoum, Gordon established a police force and a court system and attempted to suppress the slave trade in the region. Muslim militancy was by then again a growing force: a Muslim uprising against White British rule in both Egypt and the Sudan started in 1883, and was particularly successful in the Sudan: by 1885 Gordon and a tiny White British contingent had been surrounded in Khartoum by a Muslim army drawn up mostly from locals. Gordon held out against the siege in Khartoum for ten months under the most appalling conditions, but was killed by the non-White besiegers on 26 January 1886, only two days before a British relief column under general Kitchner was able to reach Karthoum and suppress the Muslim army. World War One GIVES BRITAIN MUCH OF FORMER OTTOMAN TERRITORY IN MIDDLE EAST The outcome of the First World War in 1919, saw the British Empire at its height: the Treaty of Versailles gave Britain most of the German Empire in Africa, while the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East led to the British acquisition of Palestine and Iraq in 1918. Dissolution of the Empire AFTER WORLD WAR II The British Empire only finally started dissolving after the First World War, with the process being speeded up dramatically in the aftermath of the Second World War. The primary reason for the dissolution of the empire was economic and political rather than racial: after the Second World War, Britain was simply too impoverished to continue holding on to an empire created in a previous century, and it was easier to grant independence to the far flung colonies, especially when some of these turned violent. The process of decolonization is reviewed later: suffice to say here that the dissolution of the British Empire eventually led to waves of Third World immigrants settling in Britain itself, the consequences thereof being dealt with later in this book. Chapter 47 or back to White History main page All material (c) copyright Ostara Publications, 1999. Re-use for commercial purposes strictly forbidden.