Parliament and Empire 1815-1970

1833

Parliament passed the Slavery Emancipation Act

1839

Lord Durham's Report on North America recommended setting up responsible self-government in settler colonies

1840

Britain signed the Treaty of Waitangi and annexed New Zealand

1847

Law makers in Nova Scotia formed a responsible government, and other British-North American provinces soon followed

1849

Parliament refused to intervene in the controversy over the Canada government's Rebellion Losses Bill, as the colony was self-governing

1850

Australian Colonies Government Act established responsible self-government in almost all the Australian colonies

1852

New Zealand Constitution Act established responsible self-government in its provinces

1857

Indian Rebellion against British rule broke-out and was brutally suppressed

1858

Government of India Act established direct Crown rule over the East India Company's Indian territories

1867

British North America Act created a federation of the Canadian colonies as a self-governing state

1892

Indian Councils Act allowed a limited number of elected Indians to sit on legislative councils. The number was increased by another act in 1909

1900

Australian Constitution Act made the country a self-governing federation of its six states - effective in 1901

1902

Boer leaders recognised British sovereignty over their republics in the Treaty of Vereeniging, which ended the second Anglo-Boer War

1909

South Africa Union Act made the four colonies in that country a single state

1919

Government of India Act established a complicated system of power-sharing - known as diarchy - between British and Indian officials

1931

Statute of Westminster provided for complete constitutional and legislative autonomy of the self-governing colonies - known as the Dominions

1935

Government of India Act provided for fully-elected Indian legislatures, and responsible government, at the provincial level

1947

Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act, - effective 15 August 1947

1957-70

The former directly-ruled Crown colonies of Malaya, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika, Cyprus, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Kenya, Gambia, Malawi, Malta, Zambia, Barbados, Botswana, Guyana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Swaziland and Fiji all became independent - confirmed by Parliamentary statute