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The Commonwealth - Referat


My part today is the Commonwealth.
The first thing I wondered about was what exactly the “Commonwealth” is.
Today, the Commonwealth of Nations, once called the British Commonwealth of Nations, is a community of the United Kingdom and it’s ex-colonies. You could say, it’s the successor of the British Empire. But there’s one big difference between the Commonwealth and the Empire. The nations, which become members of the Commonwealth are free and independent nations. They are no colonies anymore. Nobody forces them to be in the Commonwealth. It is their own decision. Today the members of the Commonwealth have common interests and goals and they built a political community.

As I have already said, the Commonwealth is the present successor of the British Empire. But at first it was founded for another reason.
Everything started in the early 20th century. At this time some of the British Dominions (a Dominion is something like a colony but with its own government) tried to depart from the British Empire. They tried to become free and independent. To make sure that this would not happen, the British Empire founded the “British Commonwealth of Nations” at the 18th of November 1926. The “British Commonwealth” should tie these “Dominions” to the Empire so that they couldn’t leave it.

By this time, the Commonwealth was a community within the Empire and the members were still a part of it. The first members were Canada, South-Africa, Australia and New Zealand. All the Dominions within the “British Commonwealth” had the same rights and were united by the loyalty towards the Empire. Here I’ve found the original part of the contract, which the members had to sign:

Yeah and I’m just going to read this now.
“[...] are autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth”.

So the members of the “British Commonwealth” were still connected to Britain and the British King was their head of state. When time went by, more and more Dominions joined the “British Commonwealth”. In 1955 there were eight members. Ten years later, there even were 20 members. And soon a lot of the other British Dominions became a part of it, too, and so it was called the “New Commonwealth”.

The members of the New Commonwealth won more and
more independence and since India has become a Republic the influence of the Empire was finally broken. The British King had no more lordship in the ex-colonies.
Today, all the nations of the Commonwealth are free and independent. The Commonwealth is a multiethnic and multicultural organization. Even countries, that haven’t been British colonies, joined the organization; for example Mozambique. That was a Portuguese colony.

These days, the Commonwealth of Nation has 53 members. 16 of them called “The Commonwealth Realms” still kept the British monarch as their head of state. But this is their own decision.
Over 30 % of the people who live on earth (that are 1.8 Million people), live in a nation, which is a member of the Commonwealth. India is the country with the most inhabitants.
In London there is the Commonwealth Office, the head office of the Commonwealth. Every member has its own representative there. So that they can exchange information.

Two times a year, all the members of the Commonwealth meet to discuss about the current situation in the world and about problems.
It’s traditionally the Queen or the King of England, who opens the meeting. Here you can see that the Commonwealth has still a connection to Britain.

Finally here you’ve got an overview about all the members of the Commonwealth. That’s the end of our presentation. Thank you for your attention. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Dieses Referat wurde eingesandt vom User: Rille

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