Commonwealth: was founded in 1931 as an association of former British colonies, which committed themselves to world peace, the basic human rights & the fight against colonialism. But this goals were not reality, because there were conflicts between C. members (B vsP). The problem is that the C. is much more a political than a cultural association. It tries to unite people of very different social st&ards or income.

The only thing that these countries have in common is the same history of British colonialism. Some say that the C. is a useless, old-fashioned body but in reality these pact of states, gives the poorer nations the chance to get technical & scientific help from the industrialised western world. The C.

is a voluntary association of 49 independent countries. In these countries the English Common law is a model for their judicial systems. The British Empire: was the largest colonial empire in history, it comprised nearly one fifth of the l& surface. Engl& was the last country to join the colonial powers, but about a century later she became the most important colonizing country. Britain s advantage: her geographical position as an isl& & her long tradition as a seafaring nation. The existence of a modern war fleet, that proved to be superior to galleons of other countries.

the establishment of trading links. the development of Britain into a modern state, into a nation under a powerful monarch. = >British colonialism of the 16 th to 19 th century pursued economic interests, they wanted to aim self-sufficiency (economic independence). She sought the colonies that would provide her with precious metals, raw materials, & convenient markets, to sell the manufactured products.

Trade was the most influential motivation of colonization. It meant profits for the merchants & the enrichment of the Crown s treasures. Trade was soon followed by taxation & administration. The firs empire: consisted of scattered possesions: Jamaica, Bahamas, Bengal, Gibraltar; Bermudas. The colonies were conquered in wars with France & spain.

The principal part of the 1 E was formed by North American colonies, stretching from the East coast to the caribbean. During the 7 Years war France lost all her Canadian possesions to Engl&, the left Engl& strong indebted, therefore the tax rate was increase. The colonists answered to the taxation no taxation without representation = >they protested in the Boston tea party. The Independence of the US resulted the disruption of the First British Empire. The Victorian Empire: the existing colonial possesions in Canada, the west Indies & India were enlarged.

India & Far East meant import of cotton, spice, tea & the export of cloth & cotton goods. In the 19 th century colonies were primarily markets for British goods & only of the economic interest for the mother country, developed into the policy of imperialism. Britain enlarged her empire within a century to such an extend. Main causes for the disintegration of the Empire were: dem&s for self-government & sovereignity dissatisfaction with British rule & reforms growing nationalism disagreement between Britain & the white minority governments in South Africa. Development: Originally all colonial possesions had the status of Crown colonies (internal & external dependence).

The crown colony developed into a self-governing colony with internal sovereignity, while defence & foreign affairs were still reserved for the mother country. This type of colony finally acquired dominion status, a dominion being a completely free nation that owes loyalty to the crown alone. 3 rd world: almost all countries in the southern hemisphere = > developing countries; borderline cases: Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil. North-South divide, hardest hit: African continent, South East Asia. physical features: climate: tropical & sub tropical, too hot & humid, to dry-droughts in deserts. political features: authoritarian, autocratic regimes, one-party system, radical army->civil wars, disrespect of human rights.

social problems: overpopulation starvation, malnutrition low life expectancy high infant mortality widespread of diseases & epidemics lack of wate lack of sanitation poor housing conditions (slums) migration from rural to urban areas wordlessness economic problems: lack of raw materials or natural resources inadequate infrastructure lack of technical equipment, no native-born-experts, no spare parts huge foreign depts large agricultural sector, small industrial low prices for goods they export. agricultural problems: small group of rich l& owners & millions of poor peasants destruction of the eco-system: burning tropical forests to gain farm&, soil erosion, lack of soil fertility monocultural farming = cash crops destruction of self-sufficient economies misuse of fertilizers, pesticides problem from 3 rd world angle: natural resources are exploited industrialised countries pay unfair prices ->buy raw materials cheap, refine them in their home countries, process them into finished products, sell them on the worl markets at high prices. Rich Countries: dominate world markets, dictate prices, act as if the developing countries still were colonies. 1 st world: waste, affluence, overproduction 3 rd world: starvation & poverty. 328.