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The East offering its riches to Britannia - Roma Spiridone, 1778 - BL Foster 245

The East offering its riches to Britannia. Allegorical ceiling piece commissioned by the East India Company.

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators. (Edward Gibbon)
The Commonwealth has several territories in America, Europe, Africa, India-Burma, Australasia and Oceania.

History

British-Red-Ensign-1707

Commonwealth Ensign. Flown by British Merchant ships. Also used by overseas dominions and colonies.

Under Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell (1653-1658) the Commonwealth already had several American colonies; Virginia (1607), Newfoundland (1610), Bermuda (1623), Leeward Islands (consolidated in 1664), Barbados (1627), Massachusetts Bay (1628), Plymouth (1628, Maryland (1932), Connecticut (1636), Rhode Island (1636), New Heaven (1638), Bahamas (1648). It gained from France Nova Scotia (1654), and Spain the Colony of Colony of Jamaica (1655) the later by the Western Design campaign. The most important and populated colonies and more mature ones in their society were Virginia, Maryland and the ones of New England. The later providing men on the side of Parliament during the British Civil Wars (1636-1651).

In times of Henry Cromwell (1658-1696) the several colonies of North America were consolidated in the Dominion of New England (1675) under a Governor-General named by the Lord Protector. It was under his rule that the East India Company secured its foothold in the Indian in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) was given the administration of Borealia in North America becoming one of the main suppliers of fur for Europe. Under Henry Cromwell's administration was the base of colonial administration establish and the Navigation Acts regulated commerce.

The British in expansion in India was done by means of a private venture, the East India Company until the crisis of the Clive-Dupleix Agreement (1761) that began the direct control of India by the Commonwealth.

After Seven Years' War (1756-1763) and by the Treaty of Paris (1763) the Commonwealth gained in North America from France the Colony of Quebec and the Northwest Territories of which were carved out of the colonies and Indian territories of Illinois Country, Ohio and Tennessee.

Administration and Government

Colonies and territories can be distinguished in the following groups according to their patent letters, charters and acts of Parliament and orders of Protector-in-Council.

  • Commonwealth Colonies, the former Crown colonies, in which the Protector appoints the governor and are directly ruled. They can be granted the right to have an elected legislative assembly;
  • Proprietary Colonies, whose administration and property is granted to a lord or lords proprietors, who, hold authority by virtue of a charter. Authority is usually exercised in a way that they are almost an independent sovereign;
  • Charter Colonies, have system similar to a commonwealth outlined in their charter. The governor and an assembly are elected by the colonist. The Protector as reserved powers like organizing and appointing the judiciary, name Colonial Commissioners with specific instructions that can include the suspension of the colonial charter or nominate a Provisional Council or name a military commander. The oldest charter colonies are Virginia and Maryland;
  • Company Colonies, are the territories directly administered by a chartered company, such as the ones in Asia, Africa and America by the East India Company, Hudson's Bay Company, Adventurers Trading to Africa, etc.;
  • Presidencies of India, the administrative divisions, similar to a province, of British governance in India; and
  • Protectorates, indirectly ruled with most of the government functions are in hands of the local rulers and the British Commonwealth directs foreign relations and the military.

Long established colonies usually have a Governor (named either by the Protector, the proprietary, the Chartered company, or the colonists), an executive council, and a legislative council (elected or partially named). Law courts are usually created and named by the Governor or directly named by the Protector.

The directives of the colonial policy and administration reside in the Lord Protector and the Commonwealth Council of State. Though most and everyday issues are derived or resolved by the Council for Foreign Plantations and Council of Trade, both permanent bodies of the State Council.

America

For example, across the Atlantic Ocean it has several colonies in the Caribbean and North America. These are:


Colony or Territory
Establishment / Political Status Region
Virginia 1607 to date Commonwealth (former Crown) Colony -> Charter Colony 1663 to date. Southern Colonies (Chesapeake Colonies)
Capital Jamestown. First permanent colony in North America. Fourth Charter of 1663.
Newfoundland 1610 to date Proprietary Colony 1610 to date Canada
Capital St. John's. Administered by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence Trade and Fishing Company.
Bermuda 1612 to date Company Colony West Indies
Capital Saint George's Town. Administered by the Somers Isles Company.
Leeward Islands Colony 1623 to date Commonwealth (former Crown) Colony West Indies
Capital Basseterre (Saint Christopher Island). Includes Antigua (1632), Barbuda (1684), Montserrat (1632), Saint Kitts (1623), Nevis (1628), and Anguilla (1650). Act for Leeward Caribbean Island Government of 1664.
Barbados 1627 to date Proprietary Colony 1627 - Commonwealth Colony 1652 to date. West Indies
Capital Bridgetown.
Massachusetts Bay 1628-1675 Charter Colony New England
Capital Boston. Former member of the New England Confederation (1643). Became part of the Dominion of New England in 1675.
Plymouth 1628-1675 Charter Colony New England
Capital Plymouth. Former member of the New England Confederation (1643). Became part of the Dominion of New England in 1675.
Maryland 1632 to date Proprietary Colony 1632 - Charter Colony 1662 to date. Southern Colonies (Chesapeake Colonies)
Capital Annapolis[1]. Funding charter provides toleration to all Christian groups. Maryland Charter of 1661.
Connecticut 1636-1675 Charter Colony New England
Capital Hartford. Former member of the New England Confederation (1643). Became part of the Dominion of New England in 1675.
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1636-1675 Charter Colony New England
Capital Providence. Freedom of religion among rights of colonial charters. Became part of the Dominion of New England in 1675.
New Haven 1638-1662 merged to Connecticut Charter Colony New England
Capital New Heaven. Former member of the New England Confederation (1643).
Bahamas 1648 to date Company Colony West Indies
Capital New Providence. Administered by the Eleutherian Adventurers. Freedom of religion among rights of colonial charters.
Nova Scotia 1654 to date Proprietary Colony Canada
Capital Alexandria [2]. Administered by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence Trade and Fishing Company.
Jamaica 1655 to date Commonwealth Colony West Indies
Capital Port Spain[3].
Borealia 1670 to date Company Colony Canada
Capital Fort Rupert. Administered by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC).
Dominion of New England 1675 to date Commonwealth Colony New England
Capital Boston. Acts of New England Dominion Charter (1675 and 1704)
Quebec 1763 to date Commonwealth Colony Canada
Capital Québec. Former part of French Canada.
Illinois 1763-1838 Commonwealth Colony and Indian Territory Northwest Territories
Capital Chicago[4]. Former part of French Canada. Later part of Indiana.
Ohio 1766-1838 Commonwealth Colony and Indian Territory Northwest Territories
Capital New Lancaster[5]. Former part of French Canada. Later part of Indiana.
Tennessee 1768-1838 Commonwealth Colony and Indian Territory Northwest Territories
Capital Fort Loudoun. Former part of French Canada. Later part of Indiana.
Dominion of Indiana 1838 to date Commonwealth Colony and Indian Territory Northwest Territories
Capital Chicago. Merger of Ohio, Illinois Country and Tennessee (by Commonwealth Charter Establishing the Dominion of Indiana, 1838)

Europe

  • Gibraltar.
  • Malta (capital Valletta). Briefly occupied by France (1798–1800, 1803-1805) and Commonwealth (1800-1802, 1805-1810). Treaty of Amiens awarded Malta to Kingdom of Sicily (1802-1810) under protection of the Commonwealth. Treaty of Vienna (1810) awards Malta to Commonwealth for perpetuity.

India

India before the Carnatic Wars
  • Presidency of Bombay
  • Presidency of Calcutta
  • Presidency of Madras
Territories in India after the Carnatic Wars[6]

Pitt's India Act of 1803 transferred political and diplomatic affairs to the Government of the Commonwealth ending Company rule. The Board of Control (for the administration of British India 1764-1804) replaced by the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India (1804 to date).


Colony or Territory
Establishment / Political Status Region
Bengal Presidency 1612 to date Presidency of British India India
Capital Calcutta.
Bombay Presidency 1618 to date Presidency of British India India
Capital Bombay.
Mandras Presidency 1652 to date Presidency of British India India
Capital Mandras.
Flag of Awadh Oudh State or Kingdom of Oudh Protectorate India
Jaipur State Protectorate India
Capital Jaipur.
Baroda flag Baroda State (British Protectorate) Protectorate India
Capital Baroda.

Asia and East Indies


Colony or Territory
Establishment / Political Status Region
Presidency of Bantam 1634 to date Presidency of British India Java
Capital Bantam.
Presidency of Pryaman Presidency of British India Sumatra
Capital Pryaman.

Africa


Colony or Territory
Establishment / Political Status Region
Coastal settlements of Guinea and Gold Coast 1665 to date Coastal settlements and protectorates Western Africa
Capital Cape Castle. Administered by the Company of Adventurers Trading to Africa (CATA).
Natal Colony

(Pietermartzburg)

Commonwealth Colony Southern Africa
Capital Pietermartzburg. Former Boer state of Natalia
Saint Helena 1659 to date Company Colony (1659-1804), Commonwealth Colony (1804 to date) South Atlantic Ocean
Capital Castle of St John. Administered by the East India Company, chartered in 1657. Military naval base. It consists of the island of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha.
Senegambia Commonwealth Colony and Protectorate Western Africa
Capital Bathurst.
British West Africa Commonwealth Colony and Protectorate Western Africa

Australasia and Oceania


Colony or Territory
Establishment / Political Status Region
New Arcadia 1782 to date Commonwealth Colony Australasia
Capital Sydney.
Tasmania Commonwealth Colony Australasia
Capital Hobart. Dutch Colony 1774-1805, occupied by France 1805-1811
Cookland 1826 to date Commonwealth Colony Australasia
Capital Brisbane. Created from northern territories of New Arcadia.
Flag of Modern New Zealand (King of America) Aotearoa (Waitangi) Treaty Polity (Britannia-France-Dutch) Australasia
Kanaka Maoli flag Kingdom of Hawaii Protectorate Oceania
Capital Honolulu.
Flag of the United Kingdom of Fiji 1871-1874 Kingdom of Fiji Protectorate Oceania
Capital Suva.
Solomon Islands Colony Oceania
Capital Honiara. Administered by New Arcadia.
British Western Territories Territory Oceania
Includes Gilbert and Ellice, Kiribati, Cook, Tonga and others.

  1. St. Mary's City (1632-1695), Annapolis (1695 to date)
  2. OTL Port Royal.
  3. Port Royal (until 1692), Port Spain (since 1692)
  4. Kaskaskia (1768-1772), Chicago (1772 to date)
  5. Logstown (1766-1773), New Lancaster (1773 to date)
  6. According to the Clive-Dupleix Agreement (France and Britain) of 1761
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