One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A former empire consisting of Great Britain and its possessions, dominions, and dependencies.
Colonization of North America and domination of India began in the 17th century. A series of small colonies, mostly in the West Indies, was gained during the late 17th–early 19th centuries, and Australia, New Zealand, various parts of the Far East, and large areas of Africa were added in the 19th century. Self-government was granted to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa in the mid 19th century, and most of the remaining colonies have gained independence since the end of World War II
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