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NE of the most beautiful passages ever uttered by the
grandest of all modern orators, Daniel Webster, was
that in which he referred to the morning drum-beat of
the sun around the world and keep-
ing pace with it.

Such is the truth, for there is never

an hour in which the sun is not shining upon some

portion of the British Empire.

that of every other empire on earth.

Its extent surpasses

The area of England

Let us try to grasp a few big facts. proper is less than that of our own State of New York. Combining this area with that of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the adjoining islands, the whole, including also Gibraltar, Malta, etc., is less than the area of California, and not one-half that of Texas. The homely declaration has been made that if Texas were a blanket it could be wrapped around England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales without leaving a glimpse of them. The population of these countries is only about half that of our own.

And yet that "tight little island" is master of an empire larger than that of Russia, and more than three times as great as all our States and Territories, with a population surpassing ours fivefold, and that of Russia threefold. In this chapter, therefore, we will give some attention to a few of the possessions of this mightiest of all colonial powers.

The colonies and dependencies in Asia include India, Burmah, Ceylon, Cyprus, Aden, and Socotra, the Straits Settlements, Hong-Kong, Labuan, and

British North Borneo. Of these, the most important by far is India, with six times the population of England and thirty-six times its extent. Mention has been made in the course of our story of the main incidents connected with British history in India.

Of the remaining dependencies in Asia it may be said that Ceylon was gained by treaty in 1801; Cyprus by convention with Turkey, in 1878; Aden and Socotra by conquest, in 1839; the Straits Settlements by treaty cession, in 1785-1824; Labuan by treaty cession, in 1846, and British North Borneo by cession, in 1877.

In Africa the British possessions include besides the protectorate of Egypt the absolute dominion over Cape Colony, acquired by treaty cession, in 1814; Natal and Zululand, by annexation, 1843; St. Helena, by conquest, 1673; Ascension, by annexation, 1815; Sierra Leone, by settlement, 1787; British Guinea, Gold Coast, etc., by treaty cession, 1872; Mauritius, by conquest and cession 1810-1814; British South and East Africa, by conquest and cession, 1870-1890; Transvaal, by conquest, 1902; Orange River Colony, by conquest,


The story of England's establishment in Egypt has been told in the history of that country. Money questions first gave the Britons power in the land, about 1870. In 1881, a party among the Egyptians resented England's domination and attempted to expel her. One of her fleets was sent to Alexandria, and a cannon shot of warning was fired over the rebel camp. The response was a cannonade directed against the fleet. Then the English bombarded Alexandria, landed, and took military possession of Egypt. In the name of the Egyptian Government they have since suppressed several uprisings of the native tribes in central Africa, and they have extended almost to the equator their claim of sovereignty, nominally for Egypt, but practically for themselves. The last serious struggle there was in 1899, when the Soudanese were utterly 'defeated in Darfur, and their leader, the Khalifa, successor to the Mahdi, was slain.

The most recent of England's African wars has been that with the Boers, which began in 1899 under Queen Victoria and did not end until 1902. There had been trouble between Boers and Britons for many years. England purchased the southern extremity of Africa from Holland in 1814. At first the Dutch settlers, or Boers, found little cause to complain of the change of sovereignty. But the disputes arising over England's liberation of their slaves caused ill-feeling, and finally, in 1836, large numbers of the Boers abandoned their homes and "trekked" away northward into the wilderness to be free of England's dominance. The wanderers founded two states-the Orange River Free State, and at a later period, still farther north, the Transvaal Republic.

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English Colonies-The Transvaal


Gradually, however, Englishmen followed the exiles northward, and impelled by her ever-increasing "earth-hunger," England asserted dominion over the lands all around the little Boer state. East, west, north, and south of them was the British Empire, and some vague claim to "suzerainty" was asserted even over the free states themselves.

These states were not progressive. Vast diamond fields and gold mines, the richest in the world, were discovered within their borders. Immigrants, mostly English, flocked thither. Soon the "Outlanders" within the territory were more numerous and wealthy than the Boers themselves. The Boers hated the intruders, treated them harshly, refused them admission to the right of voting.

The Outlanders plotted a rebellion against this tyranny. In 1895, an armed band under Dr. Jameson rode into the Transvaal and summoned all to join them in revolt. The raiders were, however, easily suppressed by the Boer general, Joubert. The "Jameson raid" caused widespread excitement. The British Prime Minister of South Africa, Cecil Rhodes, was accused of having originated it; and England held a Parliamentary inquiry into the matter. Rhodes was officially acquitted, though every one felt him morally responsible, and the raid was generally approved of in England. Jameson and Rhodes were made the heroes of the hour.

The feeling between the two.races became even more bitter, and at last, in 1899, the British Government insisted on the immediate extension of the franchise to the Outlanders. President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal, "Oom Paul," refused. Great Britain hurried masses of troops to South Africa, and President Kruger saw he must act or be devoured. In the fall of 1899, he sent an ultimatum to his mighty enemy. In effect it said: "Stop gathering troops

on our frontier or we will declare war."

There has been much discussion as to the rights of both parties in this struggle. American sympathies have naturally been with the Boers as a free people struggling to maintain their independence. There has been a general feeling of admiration for the stern threat in which President Kruger voiced the spirit of his countrymen: "Before England conquers us she shall pay a price that will stagger humanity."

The Boers' ultimatum was not heeded, and they invaded the British possessions. At first their advance was successful. The British general, White, was defeated and besieged in Ladysmith. Two other towns, Kimberley and Mafeking, were also surrounded and shut off from communication with the world. General Methuen, at the head of an overwhelming English force, pushed his way across the Modder River in face of a murderous fire, but his loss. was appalling, and he could advance no farther.

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