Please don’t forget to hand in your papers!

Hi guys, to almost all of you: Please hand in your papers as soon as you can – time’s passing by really fast and we don’t have much time left! Please pass me the papers so I can revise and hand them back to you; Then we need to find a date for your presentation and afterwards, you’ll get your mark.


10 – British Empire and the Commonwealth (Referat vom 26. Juni 2014)

Written by G.S. – all credits to him



British Empire and the Commonwealth

Historical background:
16th century: Struggle between Spain, Portugal, Holland, France and England to get the power of the New World →England won
Main motivation of British colonization (from the 16th to the 19th century): economic interests

First British Empire (1607 – 1776):
Consisted of possessions in the West Indies, Canada, India, and especially of the North American colonies along the east coast
3 kinds of territories in North America:
The New England Colonies
Around Boston
Radical Protestants
The Middle Colonies
Around New York
European immigrants
Religious and political freedom
The Southern Colonies
Tobacco- and cotton-culture + slave-labour
Seven Years’ War (1756 – 1763)
France lost parts of Canada to England, but: High financial costs for England
→Higher taxes
→Rebellion against England: “Boston Tea Party” (1773)
→War of American Independence (1776 – 1783)
→The end of the First British Empire

The Second British Empire:
England enlarged areas in Canada, West Indies, India + won important islands and ports (e.g. Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus)
19th century: Policy of imperialism
Main aim: To enlarge the British influence (political, military, economical)
As its peak: More than 1/3 of Africa, whole Indian subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand, Canada

From Empire to Commonwealth:
Decline of the British Empire, as a result in the colonies of:
Demands for self-government and sovereignty (Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
Unhappy about British rules (India)
More nationalism (African colonies)
Development of independent status: 3 major stages:
Crown colony → self-governing colony → dominion
1. Crown colony:
A governor administered the colony
He lost more and more power to legislative assembly
2. Self-governing colony:
Parties and local government was built up
They got more responsibility
But: Defence and foreign affairs belonged only to the mother country
3. Dominion status = completely free nation
After World War II:
England layed in ruins
Nationalism-movement in some colonies
So: Independence for almost all colonies of England

The Commonwealth:
1931: “The Statute of Westminster” replaced the term “Empire” by “The British Commonwealth of Nations”
It’s a voluntary association of 54 independent countries with a population of almost 1/3 of the world’s total
The most important members are: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK
The principles of the Commonwealth are:
Democracy based on the British parliamentary system
Recognition of human rights and social justice
Economic and sporting links
Common language, culture and traditions
The Queen is recognized as the symbolic Head of the Commonwealth whereas 16 countries recognize the Queen as their Head of State

The Dependent Territories (“Dependencies”):
Most important territories: Falklands and Gibraltar
Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997


POLL: which date do you prefer? (substitution of our two classes that won’t take part on July 17)

Hi guys,

Please let me know which date you prefer!

POLL: which date do you prefer? (substitution of our two classes that won’t take part on July 17)


I can offer you Tuesday, July 8

or Tuesday, July 15

or would you prefer Tuesday, July 22

If it shouldn’t be a Tuesday at all, please let me know as well!




class of June 5, 2014

James Cook

1 moved 2 spent 3 developed 4 travelled 5 found 6 was serving 7 had 8 had ended 9 took 10 went 11 was mapping 12 observed 13 sent 14 won 15 had published 16 asked 17 put 18 went on 19 reached 20 had visited 21 had mapped 22 sailed 23 named 24 reminded 25 had returned 26 hired 27 discovered 28 went 29 made 30 proved 31 did not exist 32 took 33 tried 34 could not pass 35 forced 36 had discovered 37 were resting 38 stole 39 tried 40 broke out 41 stabbed






Discussion topics:

1)      If you want to work, you can work. There’s no need to be unemployed.

2)      Football only creates violence.

3)      All trains and busses [(also: buses)[ should be free for everyone.

4)      Smokers should pay their own hospital bills.

5)      Males and females have equal rights, so what’s the problem?

6)      Schools should be more strict if you don’t work or don’t do homework.

7)      (Soft) drugs should be legalized.

HOMEWORK: Please do research on 5) and 7) – we will talk about these next time in class!

Please repeat your discussion vocabulary and the basics we learned the past weeks. Pick the ones that most suit you and train and memorize them.

I would also like to ask you to repeat your grammar – if you have difficulties, go through the basics.

Here are some pages that surely will help you: or  or or