MWC019 The British Empire

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
   accelerated      administered      covered      decline      dominant      former      found      global      legacy      numerous      occupied      overseas      populous      share      trading      unchallenged      visible   


Read the text about the history of the British Empire. Fill in the missing words from the box on your right. There are THREE words you will not need .

The British Empire consists of dominions, colonies, protectorates and other territories ruled or by the UK.  It originated with the overseas colonies and posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.  The largest empire in history was also a power.

By 1922 the British Empire ruled over 500 million people, about 25% of the world's population at that time, and almost a quarter of the Earth's total land mass. As a result, its political, linguistic and cultural is widespread. At the peak of its power, it was often said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire" because the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

During the Age of Exploration Britain, France and Spain began to colonies and trade networks in the Americas and Asia. After a series of wars with the Netherlands and France, England became the colonial power in North America and India. Following Napoleon had been defeated in 1815, Britain enjoyed a century of almost dominance, and expanded its empire across the globe.

The growth of Germany and the United States led to the of Britain's economy by the end of the 19th century. During the Second World War Britain's colonies in Southeast Asia were by Japan.  This damaged British prestige and the downfall of the Empire. India, Britain's most colony, was granted independence  in 1947.

After World War II most of the territories of the British Empire were granted independence, ending with the handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997.  Fourteen territories remain under British sovereignty.  After independence, many British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of 54 independent member states. Sixteen of these nations their head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, as Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth Games, which are held every four years, are the Commonwealth's most activity.