British Empire
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This glossary is organised in alphabetical order. If you are looking for a word (eg leave) it might be part of a phrase (eg ticket of leave)
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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
aborigines people who first lived in a particular land; usually refers to native peoples of Australia, but technically means any native peoples
accuse (accusation) to say that someone did a particular thing, usually something wrong
adventure exciting and perhaps risky event
Afrikaaner white Africans descended from European settlers who lived in South Africa from the 1600s onwards
to say something without proof
alliance close connection made between two or more countries or rulers
Asante African nation, from West Africa
agreement between USA and Britain in 1842 in which borders between USA and Canada were agreed (also Treaty of Washington)
atrocity very cruel and violent action, e.g. killing of unarmed civilians or prisoners of war
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Bantu group of African peoples who live in most of central and southern Africa
Barbados island in the Caribbean Sea ruled by Britain at one time
benefit gain
Bengal large province of India
Benin important African state in West Africa
bigot person who will not change an unreasonable opinion, e.g. person who is prejudiced against another group of people for no good reason
blockade military action stopping ships or people coming in or out of a place
Boer name given to white South Africans, which comes from the Dutch word for farmer
Borneo large island in South East Asia
Britannia name and symbol used to represent Britain
territory of Canada
burgher person living in a town, e.g. shopkeeper or business person
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Calcutta city in India
calico type of cloth
Canada area of North America ruled by Britain until 1867, now an independent country
Caribbean sea to the east of Central America
cash crop crop grown to be sold rather than being grown for food
person hurt in an event, e.g. a casualty of war
charitable kind; helping people without asking anything in return
chintz type of cloth
citadel fort
clandestine hidden; sneaky
colonisation taking over a country and making it into a colony (see also glossary entry for decolonisation)
colony place lived in and controlled by people who have come from another distant country, e.g. South Africa was a British colony; group of people living together
commodities goods to be traded, e.g. gold, cotton
Commons the part of the British Parliament where MPs discuss and pass laws
Commonwealth organisation which maintains economic, sporting and other links between former British empire countries
communism political belief which supported the idea of one political party in charge, and said that the individual's needs were less important than the needs of society as a whole
communist follower of communism
confederation country made up of the union of smaller states (e.g. Australia)
convict someone put in prison for a crime
curfew restriction which means people have to stay in their homes at certain times
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