British Empire, a vast complex of states in various parts of the world, subject to the crown of England. Its different portions will be treated under their several names. We here present a condensed view of them all together:
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with the adjacent islands in the British seas, including the Shetlands, Orkneys, Hebrides, Scillies, Man, the Channel islands, and the Isle of Wight; area 121,115 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 31,817,108. Wales was incorporated into the kingdom of England in the reign of Edward I. Scotland, whose sovereign became king of England in 1G03, long continued distinct for administrative and legislative purposes. It was fully joined to England by the act of union in 1707, by which the Scottish legislature was dissolved, and the Scotch were admitted to representation in the British houses of lords and commons. The Scotch still maintain their own peculiar laws, customs, and national church. Ireland was nominally annexed to the crown of England in 1172; but for centuries it resisted the invader, and can scarcely be said to have been subjugated until it was reduced by Cromwell. It was governed by its own parliament till 1800, when by an act of union it was united to England, and. like Scotland, admitted to the rights of representation both by peers and commoners in the British parliament.
Its laws are essentially the same as those of England, though passed specially for Ireland. The Anglican church was imposed upon Ireland as a state church, with all the endowments of the ancient Catholic church, although less than one eighth of the population are members of its communion; but it was finally disestablished in 1871. Heligoland, a small island in the German ocean, inhabited chiefly by fishermen, taken from the Danes in 1807; area. 0.21 sq. m.; pop. in 1860, 2,172. "Gibraltar, taken from the Spaniards in 1704, consisting of a lofty steep rock, bristling with guns, and regularly fortified, and a small space of sloping ground at its foot on which stands its town; area, 2 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 18,695. Malta, a strongly fortified naval and military station, with its dependency Gozo. taken from the French in 1800; area of both, 143 sq. m.; pop. in 1866,139,502.
British India is divided into British possessions and native states more or less under the control of the British government. Since Aug. 2,1S58, all the territories heretofore under the government of the East India company have been vested in the crown, in the name of which all authority is exercised. The executive authority is vested in a governor general, who acts under the orders of the secretary of state for India, and also appoints various lieutenant governors and commissioners for the several presidencies and provinces. The provinces of Hyderabad, Mysore, and Coorg (47,661 sq. m., pop. 6,3S9,792) are under the direct administration of the governor general. The remainder is under the following functionaries: lieutenant governor of Bengal, 239,591 sq. m., pop. 35,975,274; lieutenant governor of Northwest Provinces, 83,875 sq. m., pop, 80,086,898; lieutenant governor of the Punjaub, 102,001 sq. m., pop. 17,596,752; chief commissioner of Oude, 24.060 sq. m.; pop. 11,220,747; chief commissioner of Central Provinces, 84,162 sq. m., pop. 7.985,411; chief commissioner of British Burmah, 98,881 sq. in., pop. 2.463,484; governor of Madras, 141,746 sq. m., pop. 26,589,052; governor of Bombay, 87,639 sq. m., pop. 11,093.512; commissioner of Sinde, 54,403 sq. m., pop. 1,795,594. Total area of British possessions in India, 963.929 sq. m., pop. 151,146,426. There are some 60 or 70 native chiefs and states under the control of the British government; area, 646,147 sq. m., pop. 46,245,8S8. Besides India, the British possessions in Asia include the islands of Ceylon and Singapore, Hong Kong in China, and a few small settlements, with a total population of about 2,800,000; also Aden, a seaport at the mouth of the Red sea, pop. about 50,000.
Cape Colony, extending from the Cape of Good Hope to the Orange river, taken from the Dutch in 1806; 200,610 sq. m., pop. 566,158. Port Natal, N. E. of Cape Colony, settled in 1838; 17,801 sq. m., pop. 269,862. Sierra Leone, settled in 1787, as a colony for slaves who had been released from their captors; 468 sq. m., pop. 55,874. Gambia, N. of Sierra Leone, settled in 1681; 21 sq. m., pop. in 1851,6,989. The Gold Coast Settlements, comprising several forts and trading posts, of which Cape Coast Castle is the chief; 16,626 sq. m., pop. estimated at 400,000. Mauritius, and several small islands adjacent, lying in the Indian ocean, taken from the French in 1810; 708 sq. m., pop. 322,924. St. Helena, an island in the Atlantic, ceded by the Dutch in 1651; 47 sq. m., Sop. 6,860. Ascension, an almost uninhabited rock N. of St. Helena.
Dominion of Canada, comprising the former territorial divisions of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Hudson' Bay territory, British Columbia, and Vancouver island; 8,481,779 sq m., pop. 3,648,000. Newfoundland; 40,200 sq. m., pop. 146 536. Prince Edward Island; 2,173 sq. m., pop. 94,021. The Bermudas, in the Atlantic ocean, off the coast of the United States; 24 sq. m., pop. 11,796. West India Islands; 12,636 sq. m., pop. 1,028,708. British Honduras; 13,500 sq. m., pop. 25,635. British Guiana, taken from the French in 1803; 99,925 sq. m., pop. 122,812. Falkland Islands, in the Atlantic, off the S. E. coast of South America; 4,741 sq. m., pop. 686.
Australia, 2,973,127 sq. m., pop. in 1871,1,561,027, comprising the following colonies: New South Wales, organized in 1783, 823,437 sq. m., pop. 501,611; Western Australia, organized in 1829, 978,000 sq. m., pop. 24,785; South Australia, organized in 1836,383,828 sq. in., pop. 188,995; Victoria, organized in 1851, 86,831 sq. m., pop. 729,868; Queensland, organized in 1859, 678,000 sq. m., pop. 115,567; Northern territory, not yet organized, 523,531 sq. m., pop. 201. Tasmania, formerly Van Diemen's Land, settled in 1803; 26,215 sq. in., pop. 97,368. New Zealand, settled in 1839; 106,259 sq. m., pop. 294,028. Labuan, an island near Borneo; 50 sq. m., pop. 3,b2S. Sarawak, a protected state in the island of Borneo, established in 1844 by Sir James Brooke; 3,000 sq. m., pop. 50,000.
The following table gives approximately, in round numbers, the area and population of the British empire:
Area, square miles.