2. North America

Like many other parts of the empire, British dominion in North America began as a series of small scale, private enterprise initiatives. Competition with other European nationals inevitably led to more protection, control and direction by British monarchs and their government in London. North America became Britain’s first large colonial empire, home to large numbers of people originating from Britain, and it contributed to the rapid growth of British power in the eighteenth century. The bitter war leading to American Independence left Britain with colonies containing mixed Anglo-French populations bordering the United States to the north and significant numbers of First Nation peoples in the lands acquired as they spread westward.

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