Home History How much has the British Empire shrunk? How much has the British Empire shrunk?No continent without the British – ever since the 16th century, settlers from the British Isles traveled to the most remote places of the globe and laid the foundation for… History 12/07/2023 by Space Navy 0 Comment No continent without the British – ever since the 16th century, settlers from the British Isles traveled to the most remote places of the globe and laid the foundation for the largest empire in history. At the height of the Great Power Era, the British Empire was the largest empire in history. In the years around the First World War, this gigantic colonial power covered about a quarter of all the land on earth – from Australia to Canada and from Jamaica to India. The first step towards this empire was already taken in the 12th century when the English conquered Ireland. Britain’s growing pains, however, increased especially in the 16th century and in the following centuries when explorers, traders and colonists from the British Isles headed out to all corners of the world. Video: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire During its heyday, Great Britain had colonies on every continent in the world. The war weakened Britain In the years after the Second World War, however, the empire began to fall. In the previous centuries, some of the colonies – i.a. Canada and Australia – achieved independence from British rule and in the 20th century, nationalists and separatists began to assert themselves in many other colonies. The World War had also drawn so much power from Great Britain that the country no longer possessed the resources needed to hold the empire together. By the end of the 1970s, almost all the colonies had broken away from Great Britain. Today, the remnants of the British Empire are several small islands around the globe, including Bermuda and the Falkland Islands.