|1585–1783 (before British North America)
|Colonies of England (1585–1707)
Colonies of Scotland
Colonies of Great Britain (1707–1783)
|Administered from London, England
|English (de facto official)
|James VI and I (first)
|George III (last)
|Pound sterling, Spanish dollar, bills of credit, commodity money, and many local currencies
British America comprised the colonial territories of the English Empire, and the successor British Empire, in the Americas from 1607 to 1783.These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies immediately prior to thirteen of the colonies seceding in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and forming the United States of America.
After the conclusion of war in 1783, the term British North America was used to refer to the remainder of Great Britain's possessions in what became Canada, the British West Indies in reference to its various island territories, Belize, and Guyana. The term British North America was used in 1783, but it was more commonly used after the Report on the Affairs of British North America, published in 1839 and generally known as the Durham Report.
A number of English colonies were established in America between 1607 and 1670 by individuals and companies whose investors expected to reap rewards from their speculation. They were granted commercial charters by Kings James I, Charles I, and Charles II, and by the British Parliament. Later, most colonies were founded, or converted to, royal colonies. In 1607, the London Company (fully titled the Virginia Company of London, but better known as the "Virginia Company") founded the first permanent settlement on the James River at Jamestown, Virginia upstream from Chesapeake Bay. English settlement in the Somers Isles (or Islands of Bermuda), 640 miles off Cape Hatteras, began in 1609 with the wreck of the Sea Venture, leaving the Virginia Company in de facto possession of Bermuda. The company's charter was extended in 1612 to officially encompass the archipelago, and settlers were despatched to join the three men remaining there from the Sea Venture (and plans were begun for an under-company that would become the Somers Isles Company). This was followed, in 1620, with the Pilgrims establishing the Plymouth settlement in New England. English Catholics settled the Province of Maryland in 1634, under Cecilus Calvert, second Lord Baltimore.
A state department in London known as the Southern Department governed all the colonies beginning in 1660 along with a committee of the Privy Council, called the Board of Trade and Plantations. In 1768, Parliament created a specific state department for America, but it was disbanded in 1782 when the Home Office took responsibility for the remaining possessions of British North America in Eastern Canada, the Floridas, and the West Indies.
British America gained large amounts of territory with the Treaty of Paris of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War in America and the Seven Years' War in Europe. At the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, the British Empire included 23 colonies and territories on the North American continent. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ended the Revolutionary War, and Britain lost much of this territory to the newly formed United States. In addition, Britain ceded East and West Florida to the Kingdom of Spain, which in turn ceded them to the United States in 1821. The Atlantic archipelago of the Bahamas had been administratively grouped with the North American continent, but with the loss of the Floridas was grouped with the British colonies of the Caribbean as the British West Indies. Most of the remaining colonies to the north (including the continental colonies and the archipelago of Bermuda, the nearest landfall from which was North Carolina, but the nearest other British territory from which became Nova Scotia) formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867, with the colony of Newfoundland (which had been the Dominion of Newfoundland from 1907 to 1934, before reverting to a colony) joining the independent Commonwealth realm of Canada in 1949, and Bermuda, elevated (by the independence of the thirteen colonies that became the United States) to the role of an Imperial fortress and the most important British naval and military base in the Western Hemisphere (due to its location, 1,236 km (768 mi) south of Nova Scotia, and 1,538 km (956 mi) north of the British Virgin Islands, and handily placed for naval and amphibious operations against its nearest neighbour, the nascent United States, during the 19th century), remains as a British Overseas Territory today.
In the Caribbean, the British West Indies and other European sugar colonies were at the center for the Atlantic slave trade.
From 1783 through 1801, the British Empire, including British North America, was administered by the Home Office and by the Home Secretary, then from 1801 to 1854 by the War Office (which became the War and Colonial Office) and Secretary of State for War and Colonies (as the Secretary of State for War was renamed). From 1824, the British Empire was divided by the War and Colonial Office into four administrative departments, including NORTH AMERICA, the WEST INDIES, MEDITERRANEAN AND AFRICA, and EASTERN COLONIES, of which North America included:
The Colonial Office and War Office, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Secretary of State for War, were separated in 1854.The War Office, from then until the 1867 confederation of the Dominion of Canada, split the military administration of the British colonial and foreign stations into nine districts: North America And North Atlantic; West Indies; Mediterranean; West Coast Of Africa And South Atlantic; South Africa; Egypt And The Sudan; INDIAN OCEAN; Australia; and China. North America And North Atlantic included the following stations (or garrisons):
North America and North Atlantic
The Thirteen Colonies that became the original states of the United States were:
Colonies and territories that became part of British North America (and from 1867 the Dominion of Canada):
Colonies that became part of British North America (but which would be left out of the 1867 Confederation of Canada:
Colonies and territories that were ceded to Spain or the United States in 1783:
Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean and the West Indies. The closest land outside the territory is in the American state of North Carolina, about 1,035 km (643 mi) to the west-northwest.
The Thirteen Colonies were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America during the 17th and 18th centuries. Grievances against the imperial government led the 13 colonies to begin uniting in 1774 and expelling British officials by 1775. Assembled at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, they appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army to fight the American Revolutionary War. In 1776, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence as the United States of America. Defeating invading British armies with French help, the Thirteen Colonies gained sovereignty with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
The British colonization of the Americas is the history of establishment of control, settlement, and colonization of the continents of the Americas by England, Scotland and, after 1707, Great Britain. Colonization efforts began in the late 16th century with failed attempts by England to establish permanent colonies in the North. The first of the permanent English colonies in the Americas was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Approximately 30,000 Algonquian peoples lived in the region at the time. Colonies were established in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Though most British colonies in the Americas eventually gained independence, some colonies have remained under Britain's jurisdiction as British Overseas Territories.
Canada has ten provinces and three territories that are sub-national administrative divisions under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada —united to form a federation, becoming a fully independent country over the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times as it has added territories and provinces, making it the world's second-largest country by area.
British North America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in North America from 1783 onwards. English colonisation of North America began in the 16th century in Newfoundland, then further south at Roanoke and Jamestown, Virginia, and more substantially with the founding of the Thirteen Colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America.
The secretary of state for the colonies or colonial secretary was the Cabinet of the United Kingdom's minister in charge of managing the British Empire.
In the British Empire, a self-governing colony was a colony with an elected government in which elected rulers were able to make most decisions without referring to the colonial power with nominal control of the colony. This was in contrast to a Crown colony, in which the British Government ruled and legislated via an appointed Governor, with or without the assistance of an appointed Council. Most self-governing colonies had responsible government.
Newfoundland was a British dominion in eastern North America, today the modern Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was confirmed by the Balfour Declaration of 1926 and the Statute of Westminster of 1931. It included the island of Newfoundland, and Labrador on the continental mainland. Newfoundland was one of the original dominions within the meaning of the Balfour Declaration, and accordingly enjoyed a constitutional status equivalent to the other dominions of the time.
The North America and West Indies Station was a formation or command of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy stationed in North American waters from 1745 to 1956, with main bases at the Imperial fortresses of Bermuda and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The North American Station was separate from the Jamaica Station until 1830 when the two combined to form the North America and West Indies Station. It was briefly abolished in 1907 before being restored in 1915. It was renamed the America and West Indies Station in 1926. It was commanded by Commanders-in-Chief whose titles changed with the changing of the formation's name, eventually by the Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.
Starting with the 1763 Treaty of Paris, New France, of which the colony of Canada was a part, formally became a part of the British Empire. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 enlarged the colony of Canada under the name of the Province of Quebec, which with the Constitutional Act 1791 became known as the Canadas. With the Act of Union 1840, Upper and Lower Canada were joined to become the United Province of Canada.
The Colonial Office was a government department of the Kingdom of Great Britain and later of the United Kingdom, first created in 1768 from the Southern Department to deal with colonial affairs in North America, until merged into the new Home Office in 1782. In 1801, colonial affairs were transferred to the War Office in the lead up to the Napoleonic Wars, which became the War and Colonial Office to oversee and protect the colonies of the British Empire. The Colonial Office was re-created as a separate department 1854, under the colonial secretary. It was finally merged into the Commonwealth Office in 1966.
A dominion was any of several largely self-governing countries of the British Empire. Progressing from colonies, their degrees of self-governance increased unevenly over the late 19th century through the 1930s, and some vestiges of empire lasted in some areas into the late 20th century. With the evolution of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations, the dominions became independent states, either as commonwealth republics or commonwealth realms.
A number of states and polities formerly claimed colonies and territories in Canada prior to the evolution of the current provinces and territories under the federal system. North America prior to colonization was occupied by a variety of indigenous groups consisting of band societies typical of the sparsely populated North, to loose confederacies made up of numerous hunting bands from a variety of ethnic groups, to more structured confederacies of sedentary farming villages, to stratified hereditary structures centred on a fishing economy. The colonization of Canada by Europeans began in the 10th century, when Norsemen explored and, ultimately unsuccessfully, attempted to settle areas of the northeastern fringes of North America. Early permanent European settlements in what is now Canada included the late 16th and 17th century French colonies of Acadia and Canada, the English colonies of Newfoundland (island) and Rupert's Land, the Scottish colonies of Nova Scotia and Port Royal.
Vice Admiral George Murray was a Royal Navy officer and politician. He was the third son of the Jacobite general Lord George Murray.
Newfoundland was an English and, later, British colony established in 1610 on the island of Newfoundland, now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. That followed decades of sporadic English settlement on the island, which was at first seasonal, rather than permanent. It was made a Crown colony in 1824 and a Dominion in 1907. Its economy collapsed during the Great Depression and on 16 February 1934, the Newfoundland legislature agreed to the creation of a six-member Commission of Government to govern the country. In 1949, the country voted to join Canada as the province of Newfoundland.
The Bermuda Garrison was the military establishment maintained on the British Overseas Territory and Imperial fortress of Bermuda by the regular British Army and its local militia and voluntary reserves from 1701 to 1957. The garrison evolved from an independent company, to a company of Royal Garrison Battalion during the American War of Independence, and a steadily growing and diversifying force of artillery and infantry with various supporting corps from the French Revolution onwards. During the American War of Independence, the garrison in Bermuda fell under the military Commander-in-Chief of America. Subsequently, it was part of the Nova Scotia Command until 1868, and was an independent Bermuda Command from then until its closure in 1957.
The English overseas possessions, also known as the English colonial empire, comprised a variety of overseas territories that were colonised, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England during the centuries before the Acts of Union of 1707 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The many English possessions then became the foundation of the British Empire and its fast-growing naval and mercantile power, which until then had yet to overtake those of the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Portugal, and the Crown of Castile.
St. George's Garrison was the first permanent military camp of the Bermuda Garrison established in the British colony and Imperial fortress of Bermuda, with construction of Old Military Road and the original Royal Barracks commencing during the war between Britain and France that followed the French Revolution. It would remain in use until 1957, when it was transferred to the civil (colonial) government with most of the other Admiralty and War Office properties in Bermuda.
Lord Salisbury described Malta, Gibraltar, Bermuda, and Halifax as Imperial fortresses at the 1887 Colonial Conference. Later historians have also given the title "imperial fortress" to St. Helena and Mauritius.
|website= ignored (help)