British Empire

The British Empire comprised the dominions, protectorates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2, 24% of the Earth's total land area; as a result, its political, legal and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories. During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries and Spain pioneered European exploration of the globe, in the process established large overseas empires.

Envious of the great wealth these empires generated, England and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia. A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England and following union between England and Scotland in 1707, Great Britain, the dominant colonial power in North America, it became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The independence of the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1783 after the American War of Independence caused Britain to lose some of its oldest and most populous colonies. British attention soon turned towards Asia and the Pacific. After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century. Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was described as Pax Britannica, a period of relative peace in Europe and the world during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.

In the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution began to transform Britain. The British Empire expanded to include most of India, large parts of Africa and many other territories throughout the world. Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its own colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America. During the 19th century, Britain's population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied by rapid urbanisation, which caused significant social and economic stresses. To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in Egypt, South Africa, elsewhere. Canada and New Zealand became self-governing dominions. By the start of the 20th century and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead. Subsequent military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War, during which Britain relied upon its empire.

The conflict placed enormous strain on the military and manpower resources of Britain. Although the British Empire achieved its largest territorial extent after World War I, Britain was no longer the world's pre-eminent industrial or military power. In the Second World War, Britain's colonies in East and Southeast Asia were occupied by Japan. Despite the final victory of Britain and its allies, the damage to British prestige helped to accelerate the decline of the empire. India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire; the Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline as a global power. The transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British Empire. Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty. After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states.

The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping known informally as the Commonwealth realms, that share a monarch Queen Elizabeth II. The foundations of the British Empire were laid when Scotland were separate kingdoms. In 1496, King Henry VII of England, following the successes of Spain and Portugal in overseas exploration, commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to discover a route to Asia via the North Atlantic. Cabot sailed in 1497, five years after the European discovery of America, but he made landfall on the coast of Newfoundland, mistakenly believing that he had reached Asia, there was no attempt to found a colony. Cabot led another voyage to the Americas the following year but nothing was heard of his ships again. No further attempts to establish English colonies in the Americas were made until well into the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, during the last decades of the 16th century. In the meantime, the 1533 Statute in Restraint of Appeals had declared "that this realm of England is an Empire".

The subsequent Protestant Reformation turned Catholic Spain into implacable enemies. In 1562, the English Crown encouraged the privateers John Hawkins and Francis Drake to engage in slave-raiding attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa with the aim of breaking into the Atlantic slave

Endeavour, Saskatchewan

Endeavour is a village within the Rural Municipality of Preeceville No. 334, in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The village had a population of 65 in the 2016 Canada Census; the Endeavour railway station receives Via Rail service, as well the village can be accessed via Highway 9. A feature on Mars was named for the village: the crater Endeavour, which the rover Opportunity has been investigating since 2011. Johnny Cash makes reference to Endeavour in his song'The Girl in Saskatoon': "I left a little town a little south of Hudson Bay." List of communities in Saskatchewan Villages of Saskatchewan Saskatchewan City & Town Maps Saskatchewan Gen Web - One Room School Project Post Offices and Postmasters - ArchiviaNet - Library and Archives Canada Saskatchewan Gen Web Region Online Historical Map Digitization Project GeoNames Query 2006 Community Profiles

Operation Priboi

Operation Priboi was the code name for the Soviet mass deportation from the Baltic states on 25–28 March 1949. The action is known as the March deportation by Baltic historians. More than 90,000 Estonians and Lithuanians, labeled as enemies of the people, were deported to forced settlements in inhospitable areas of the Soviet Union. Over 70% of the deportees were women, children under the age of 16. Portrayed as a "dekulakization" campaign, the operation was intended to facilitate collectivisation and to eliminate the support base for the armed resistance of the Forest Brothers against the Soviet occupation; the deportation fulfilled its purposes: by the end of 1949, 93% and 80% of the farms were collectivized in Latvia and Estonia. In Lithuania, the progress was slower and the Soviets organized another large deportation known as Operation Osen in late 1951; the deportations were for "eternity" with no way to return. During the de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw, deportees were released and some of them managed to return, though many of their descendants still live in Siberian towns and villages to this day.

Since the general situation in the Soviet Union had improved since the end of the war, this mass deportation did not result in as many casualties as previous deportations, with a reported mortality rate of less than 15 percent. Due to the high death rate of deportees during the first few years of their Siberian exile, caused by the failure of Soviet authorities to provide suitable living conditions at the destination, whether through neglect or premeditation, some sources consider these deportations an act of genocide. Based on the Martens Clause and the principles of the Nuremberg Charter, the European Court of Human Rights has held that the March deportation constituted a crime against humanity. Collectivisation in the Baltic states was introduced in early 1947. Despite new heavy taxes on farmers and intense propaganda, only about 3% of farms in Lithuania and Estonia joined kolkhozes by the end of 1948. Borrowing from the collectivisation experiences of the early 1930s, kulaks were named as the primary obstacle and became targets of repressions.

It is unclear. On 18 January 1949, leaders of all three Baltic republics were called to report to Joseph Stalin; that day, during a session of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the decision was made to carry out the deportations. On 29 January, the top secret decision No. 390-138 ss was adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, approving the deportation of kulaks, bandits, their supporters and families from Lithuania and Estonia. The decision specified deportee quotas for each republic: 8,500 families or 25,500 people from Lithuania, 13,000 families or 39,000 people from Latvia, 7,500 families or 22,500 people from Estonia. Lists of kulaks to be deported were to be compiled by each republic and approved by each republic's Council of Ministers, it listed responsibilities of each Soviet ministry: the Ministry of State Security was responsible for gathering the deportees and transporting them to the designated railway stations. Given just two months for preparations, the various agencies began marshaling resources.

On 28 February 1949, Viktor Abakumov, the minister of MGB, signed the USSR MGB order No. 0068 for the preparation and execution of the mass deportations. Lieutenant General Pyotr Burmak commanded the MGB troops while Lieutenant General Sergei Ogoltsov, Deputy Minister of MGB, was in charge of the overall MGB role in the deportation. Burmak set up his headquarters in Riga; the success of the operation depended on its suddenness to prevent mass panic, escape attempts, or retaliations by the Forest Brothers. Therefore, secrecy was of paramount importance. Special MGB representatives were dispatched to various local offices of MGB to form operative staff that would select the deportees and compile a file on each family; the information was gathered from many different sources, including republican MGB files on "nationalists", local MGB files on "bandits", local executive committee files and tax records on "kulaks", border guard and navy files on emigrants. Since there was not enough time to investigate people's attitudes or activities during the German occupation, there were many contradictory cases where Communist activists were deported but Nazi collaborators were not.

This led to widespread confusion and uncertainty as to what offenses warranted deportation and what actions could guarantee safety. Deportees blamed local informants of MGB who, they believed, acted out of petty revenge or greed, but Estonian researchers found that deportee lists were compiled with minimal local input. List of kulaks were to be prepared by local executive committees and approved by the Council of Ministers, but due to the tight deadline and top secret nature of the task, local MGB offices compiled their own lists of kulaks; this caused much confusion during the operation. Local MGB offices would prepare summary certificates for each family and send them for approval to the republican MGB office. For example, by 14 March, Estonian MGB approved summary certificates for 9,407 families which