English overseas possessions  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The English overseas possessions comprised a variety of overseas territories that were colonised, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England during the centuries before the Acts of Union between England and the Kingdom of Scotland. In 1707 these created the Kingdom of Great Britain, when the many English possessions became the foundation of the British Empire.

The first English overseas settlements were established in Ireland, quickly followed by North America, Bermuda, and the West Indies, and by trading posts called "factories" in the East Indies, such as Bantam, and in the Indian subcontinent, beginning with Surat. In 1639, a series of English fortresses on the Indian coast was initiated with Fort St George. In 1661, the marriage of King Charles II to Catherine of Braganza brought him as part of her dowry new possessions which had been Portuguese, including Tangier in North Africa and Bombay in India.

In North America, Newfoundland and Virginia were the first centres of English colonisation. As the 17th century wore on, Maine, New Hampshire, Salem, Massachusetts Bay, New Scotland, Connecticut, Maryland, and Rhode Island and Providence, were settled. In 1664, New Netherland and New Sweden were taken from the Dutch, becoming New York, New Jersey, and parts of Delaware and Pennsylvania.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "English overseas possessions" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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