The British Empire is a now-defunct imperial union that existed between 1707 and 1815. Officially called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and including overseas territories around the globe, the British Empire officially consisted of the islands in the British Isles as well as colonies, protectorates or dominions such as Canada and much of northern North America, holdings in the West Indies, territories in south Asia as well as Australia, and had semi-colonial relationships with numerous territories in Africa.
The British Empire was officially disbanded in 1815 following the Treaty of London, at which the United Kingdom was divided up into the three autonomous kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland (the latter of which was an effective French vassal state) and whose colonial holdings were either granted independence (f.ex. India), carved up amongst France and its allies (Canada, Caribbean territories, Sierra Leone) or divided amongst the three successor states. Throughout the 19th century, the still-powerful England sought to reassert itself as a colonial power and found modest success, thanks to the collapse of the Spanish and Portuguese overseas empires and the focus of Imperial France on its conquered European territories.