The British Empire (/brɪtɪʃ empaɪə/) was an imperialist and colonial endeavour by the United Kingdom between the late 16th and late 20th centuries. English initially became a world language largely due to the historic influence of the Empire.
Major English-speaking countries that were once part of the Empire include Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.
The 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China is seen as the end of the British Empire.
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