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The British Empire is the term referring to the full dominions of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from its formation in 1707 until the 1916 October Revolution, which ended the monarchy and established the British Union. After defeating France in the Napoleonic Wars and establishing a reliable ally in the German states, Britain set about embarking on a previously unheard-of expansion of industrial and military might across the world during the Victorian Era. At its zenith at the beginning of the 20th century, the British Empire covered about a quarter of the world's land mass and ruled over a quarter of its people. Today, the successor state of the British Empire is the United Republic of Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland and Wales.