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The Suez Canal


1875 ̶ the Conservative government of Benjamin Disraeli, bought the indebted Egyptian ruler 44% shareholding in the Suez Canal for £4 million to secure control of this strategic waterway, a channel for shipping between the United Kingdom and India.

The United Kingdom's 1882 military occupation of Egypt (itself triggered by concern over the Suez Canal) contributed to a preoccupation over securing control of the Nile valley, leading to the conquest of the neighbouring Sudan in 1896–98.

1899 – 1902 - the Boer War in southern Africa. Were two wars fought during 1880-1881 and 1899-1902 by the British Empire against the Dutch settlers of two Boer republics. (Afrikaners are a Germanic ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from Dutch , French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans).

The stage for war was set in 1884, when gold was discovered in the region then encompassing parts of the southern Transvaal. The discovery lured thousands of British miners and prospectors to settle in the area, the influx being so great that the city of Johannesburg was created almost overnight.

The Afrikaners, primarily farmers, resented the newcomers, and taxed them heavily and denied them voting rights. The resentment on both sides grew, ultimately leading to a revolt in Johannesburg against the Afrikaner government. Negotiations for peace began in 1902. Afrikaner leaders signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. The settlement provided for the end of hostilities and eventual self-government to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State as colonies of the British Empire. Britain agreed in turn to pay a £3 million indemnity for rehabilitation, and granted amnesty and repatriation to Afrikaner soldiers who pledged their loyalty to the British monarch.

World War One (1914 – 1918)

During World War I (1914-1918) the British Empire remained essentially united.

The war expanded the British Empire to its greatest extent. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 gave Britain most of the German Empire in Africa, while the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East led to the British acquisition of Palestine and Iraq in 1918.

World War One appeared to add yet more colonies to the British Empire in the form of mandates. Mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League of Nations. Mandates were set up after World War One as German and Turkish colonies were passed to Britain and France to prepare for self-government on behalf of the League of Nations.

The League of Nations (abbreviated as LN in English, and SDN in its other official languages), was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue.

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