The British Empire in 1914

At the beginning of the 20th century the British Empire covered more than 11,400,000 square miles of territory. This made it the largest empire the world had ever known. The foundations for the empire were laid between 1750 and 1850 during which Britain acquired India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, several islands in the West Indies and various colonies on the African coast. The late 19th century saw the acquisition of new territories in Africa and by 1900 the British king, Edward VII, reigned over 410,000 million people.