(historical, place, brit.) The United Kingdom and the British dominions, colonies, etc.
The geographic and political units formerly under British control, including dominions, colonies, dependencies, trust territories, and protectorates. At the height of its power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the empire comprised about one quarter of the world's land area and population and encompassed territories on every continent, including the British Isles, British North America, British West Indies, British Guiana, British West Africa, British East Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
Cromwell's colonial policy aimed definitely at the recognition and extension of the British empire.
After proclaiming his intention of conferring on his subjects the blessings of peace, he joined in 1798 an Anglo-Austrian coalition against France; but when Austria paid more attention to her own interests than to the interests of monarchical institutions in general, and when England did not respect the independence of Malta, which he had taken under his protection, he succumbed to the artful blandishments of Napoleon and formed with him a plan for ruining the British empire by the conquest of India.
With the uninhabited dependency of South Georgia Island, to the E.S.E., they form the most southerly colony of the British empire.
The problem is one of great practical importance, especially to the trative British Empire.
Of this total there were in the British Empire about 380,000 Jews (British Isles 240,000, London accounts for 150,000 of these; Canada and British Columbia 60,000; India 18,000; South Africa 40,000).