DefinitionThe term ''dominion'' means "that which is mastered or ruled". It was used by the British to describe their colonies or territorial possessions. Use of ''dominion'' to refer to a particular territory within the British Empire dates back to the 16th century and was sometimes used to describe Wales from 1535 to around 1800: for instance, the Laws in Wales Act 1535 applies to "the Dominion, Principality and Country of Wales". ''Dominion'', as an official title, was conferred on the Colony of Virginia about 1660 and on the Dominion of New England in 1686. Under the Constitution Act, 1867, British North America Act 1867, the partially self-governing colonies of British North America were united into the Dominion of Canada. The new federal and provincial governments split considerable local powers, but Britain retained overall legislative supremacy. At the Imperial Conference, Colonial Conference of 1907, the self-governing colonies of Canada and the Commonwealth of Australia were referred to collectively as ''Dominions'' for the first time. Two other self-governing colony, self-governing colonies—New Zealand and Newfoundland—were granted the status of Dominion in the same year. These were followed by the Union of South Africa in 1910. The Order in Council annexing the island of Cyprus in 1914 declared that, from 5 November 1914, the island "shall be annexed to and form part of His Majesty's dominions". ''Dominion status'' was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State at the 1926 Imperial Conference to designate "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 of Nations”. The British Government of Lloyd George had emphasized the use of the capital "D" when referring to the Irish Free State in the Anglo-Irish Treaty to assure it the same constitutiuonal status in order to avoid confusion with the wider term "His Majesty's dominions", which referred to the British Empire as a whole. At the time of the founding of the League of Nations in 1924, the League Covenant made provision for the admission of any "fully self-governing state, Dominion, or Colony", the implication being that "Dominion status was something between that of a colony and a state". With the adoption of the Statute of Westminster 1931, Britain and the Dominions (except Newfoundland) formed the British Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of sovereign states. Dominions asserted full legislative independence, with direct access to the Monarch as Head of State previously reserved only for British governments. It also recognized autonomy in foreign affairs, including participation as autonomous nations in the League of Nations with full power over appointing ambassadors to other countries. Following the Second World War, the decline of British colonialism led to Dominions generally being referred to as Commonwealth realms and the use of the word ''dominion'' gradually diminished. Nonetheless, though no longer in use, "Dominion of Canada" #Canada, remains Canada's legal title and the phrase ''Her Majesty's Dominions'' is still used occasionally in legal documents in the United Kingdom.
"His/Her Majesty's dominions"The phrase ''His/Her Majesty's dominions'' is a legal and constitutional phrase that refers to all the realms and territories of the Sovereign, whether independent or not. Thus, for example, the British ''Ireland Act 1949'', recognised that the Republic of Ireland had "ceased to be part of His Majesty's dominions". When dependent territories that had never been Annexation, annexed (that is, were not colonies of the Crown, but were League of Nations mandates, British protectorates, protectorates or United Nations Trust Territories) were granted independence, the United Kingdom act granting independence always declared that such and such a territory "shall form part of Her Majesty's dominions", and so become part of the territory in which the Queen exercises sovereignty, not merely suzerainty. The later sense of "Dominion" was capitalised to distinguish it from the more general sense of "dominion".
Overseas dominionsThe word ''dominions'' originally referred to the English overseas possessions, possessions of the Kingdom of England. Oliver Cromwell's full title in the 1650s was "Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging". In 1660, Charles II of England, King Charles II gave the Colony of Virginia the title of ''dominion'' in gratitude for Virginia's loyalty to the Crown during the English Civil War. The Virginia, Commonwealth of Virginia, a State of the United States, still has "the Old Dominion" as one of its nicknames. ''Dominion'' also occurred in the name of the short-lived Dominion of New England (1686–1689). In all of these cases, the word ''dominion'' implied no more than being subject to the Kingdom of England, English Crown.
Responsible government: precursor to Dominion statusThe foundation of "Dominion" status followed the achievement of internal self-rule in British Colonies, in the specific form of full responsible government (as distinct from "representative government"). Colonial responsible government began to emerge during the mid-19th century. The legislatures of Colonies with responsible government were able to make laws in all matters other than foreign affairs, defence and international trade, these being powers which remained with the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Bermuda, notably, was never defined as a Dominion, despite meeting this criteria, but as a ''self-governing colony'' that remains part of the British Commonwealth realm, Realm. Nova Scotia soon followed by the Province of Canada (which included modern southern Ontario and southern Quebec) were the first Colonies to achieve responsible government, in 1848. Prince Edward Island followed in 1851, and New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland in 1855. All except for Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island agreed to form a new federation named Canada from 1867. This was instituted by the British Parliament in the Constitution Act, 1867, ''British North America Act 1867''. ''(See also: Canadian Confederation).'' Section 3 of the Act referred to the new entity as a "Dominion", the first such entity to be created. From 1870 the Dominion included two vast neighbouring British territories that did not have any form of self-government: Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory, parts of which later became the Canadian provinces, Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the separate territories, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. In 1871, the Crown Colony of British Columbia became a Canadian province, Prince Edward Island joined in 1873 and Newfoundland in 1949. The conditions under which the four separate Australian colonies—New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia—and New Zealand could gain full responsible government were set out by the British government in the ''Australian Constitutions Act 1850''. The Act also separated the Colony of Victoria (in 1851) from New South Wales. During 1856, responsible government was achieved by New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, and New Zealand. The remainder of New South Wales was divided in three in 1859, a change that established most of the present borders of NSW; the Colony of Queensland, with its own responsible self-government, and the Northern Territory (which was not granted self-government prior to Australian federation, federation of the Australian Colonies). Western Australia did not receive self-government until 1891, mainly because of its continuing financial dependence on the UK Government. After protracted negotiations (that initially included New Zealand), six Australian colonies with responsible government (and their dependent territories) agreed to federate, along Canadian lines, becoming the Commonwealth of Australia, in 1901. In South Africa, the Cape Colony became the first British self-governing Colony, in 1872. (Until 1893, the Cape Colony also controlled the separate Colony of Natal.) Following the Second Boer War (1899–1902), the British Empire assumed direct control of the Boer Republics, but transferred limited self-government to Transvaal Colony, Transvaal in 1906, and the Orange River Colony in 1907. The Commonwealth of Australia was recognised as a Dominion in 1901, and the Dominion of New Zealand and the Dominion of Newfoundland were officially given Dominion status in 1907, followed by the Union of South Africa in 1910.
Canadian Confederation and evolution of the term ''Dominion''In connection with proposals for the future government of British North America, use of the term "Dominion" was suggested by Samuel Leonard Tilley at the London Conference of 1866 discussing the Canadian Confederation, confederation of the Province of Canada (subsequently becoming the provinces of Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into "One ''Dominion'' under the Name of Canada", the first federation internal to the British Empire. Tilley's suggestion was taken from the Psalm 72, 72nd Psalm, verse eight, "He shall have ''dominion'' also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth", which is echoed in the national motto, "A Mari Usque Ad Mare". The new government of Canada under the Constitution Act, 1867, British North America Act of 1867 began to use the phrase "Dominion of Canada" to designate the new, larger nation. However, neither the Confederation nor the adoption of the title of "Dominion" granted extra autonomy or new powers to this new federal level of government. Senator Eugene Forsey wrote that the powers acquired since the 1840s that established the system of responsible government in Canada would simply be transferred to the new Dominion government: The constitutional scholar Andrew Heard has established that Confederation did not legally change Canada's colonial status to anything approaching its later status of a Dominion. Heard went on to document the sizeable body of legislation passed by the British Parliament in the latter part of the 19th century that upheld and expanded its Imperial supremacy to constrain that of its colonies, including the new Dominion government in Canada. For decades, none of the Dominions were allowed to have its own embassies or consulates in foreign countries. All matters concerning international travel, commerce, etc., had to be transacted through British embassies and consulates. For example, all transactions concerning visa (document), visas and lost or stolen passports by citizens of the Dominions were carried out at British diplomatic offices. It was not until the late 1930s and early 1940s that the Dominion governments were allowed to establish their own embassies, and the first two of these that were established by the Dominion governments in Ottawa and in Canberra were both established in Washington, D.C., in the United States. As Heard later explained, the British government seldom invoked its powers over Canadian legislation. British legislative powers over Canadian domestic policy were largely theoretical and their exercise was increasingly unacceptable in the 1870s and 1880s. The rise to the status of a Dominion and then full independence for Canada and other possessions of the British Empire did not occur by the granting of titles or similar recognition by the British Parliament but by initiatives taken by the new governments of certain former British dependencies to assert their independence and to establish constitutional precedents. What was significant about the creation of the Canadian and Australian federations was not that they were instantly granted wide new powers by the Imperial centre at the time of their creation; but that they, because of their greater size and prestige, were better able to exercise their existing powers and lobby for new ones than the various colonies they incorporated could have done separately. They provided a new model which politicians in New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, Ireland, India, Malaysia could point to for their own relationship with Britain. Ultimately, "[Canada's] example of a peaceful accession to independence with a Westminster system of government came to be followed by 50 countries with a combined population of more than 2-billion people."
Colonial Conference of 1907Issues of colonial self-government spilled into foreign affairs with the Second Boer War, Boer War (1899–1902). The self-governing colonies contributed significantly to British efforts to stem the insurrection, but ensured that they set the conditions for participation in these wars. Colonial governments repeatedly acted to ensure that they determined the extent of their peoples' participation in imperial wars in the military build-up to the First World War. The assertiveness of the self-governing colonies was recognised in the Colonial Conference of 1907, which implicitly introduced the idea of the Dominion as a self-governing colony by referring to Canada and Australia as Dominions. It also retired the name "Colonial Conference" and mandated that meetings take place regularly to consult Dominions in running the foreign affairs of the empire. The Colony of New Zealand, which chose not to take part in Australian federation, became the Dominion of New Zealand on 26 September 1907; Dominion of Newfoundland, Newfoundland became a Dominion on the same day. The Union of South Africa was referred to as a Dominion upon its creation in 1910.
First World War and Treaty of VersaillesThe initiatives and contributions of British colonies to the British war effort in the First World War were recognised by Britain with the creation of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917, which gave them a say in the running of the war. Dominion status as self-governing states, as opposed to symbolic titles granted various British colonies, waited until 1919, when the self-governing Dominions signed the Treaty of Versailles independently of the British government and became individual members of the League of Nations. This ended the purely colonial status of the Dominions.
The First World War ended the purely colonial period in the history of the Dominions. Their military contribution to the Allied war effort gave them claim to equal recognition with other small states and a voice in the formation of policy. This claim was recognised within the Empire by the creation of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917, and within the community of nations by Dominion signatures to the Treaty of Versailles and by separate Dominion representation in the League of Nations. In this way the "self-governing Dominions", as they were called, emerged as junior members of the international community. Their status defied exact analysis by both international and constitutional lawyers, but it was clear that they were no longer regarded simply as colonies of Britain.
Irish Free StateThe Irish Free State, set up in 1922 after the Anglo-Irish War, was the third Dominion to appoint a non-UK born, non-aristocratic Governor-General when Timothy Michael Healy, following the tenures of Gordon Drummond, Sir Gordon Drummond in Canada and of Walter Edward Davidson, Sir Walter Davidson and William Allardyce, Sir William Allardyce in Newfoundland, took the position in 1922. Dominion status was never popular in the Irish Free State where people saw it as a face-saving measure for a Her Majesty's Government, British government unable to countenance a republic in what had previously been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Successive Irish governments undermined the constitutional links with Britain until they were severed completely in 1949. In 1937 Ireland adopted, almost simultaneously, both a new Constitution of Ireland, constitution that included powers for a president of Ireland and a Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936, law confirming a role for the king in external relations.
Balfour Declaration of 1926 and Statute of WestminsterThe Balfour Declaration of 1926, and the subsequent Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster, 1931, restricted Britain's ability to pass or affect laws outside of its own jurisdiction. Significantly, Britain initiated the change to complete sovereignty for the Dominions. The First World War left Britain saddled with enormous debts, and the Great Depression had further reduced Britain's ability to pay for defence of its empire. In spite of popular opinions of empires, the larger Dominions were reluctant to leave the protection of the then-superpower. For example, many Canadians felt that being part of the British Empire was the only thing that had prevented them from being absorbed into the United States. Until 1931, Newfoundland was referred to as a colony of the United Kingdom, as for example, in the 1927 reference to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to delineate the Quebec-Labrador boundary. Full autonomy was granted by the United Kingdom parliament with the Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster in December 1931. However, the government of Newfoundland "requested the United Kingdom not to have sections 2 to 6[—]confirming Dominion status[—]apply automatically to it[,] until the Newfoundland Legislature first approved the Statute, approval which the Legislature subsequently never gave". In any event, Newfoundland's letters patent of 1934 suspended self-government and instituted a "Commission of Government", which continued until Newfoundland became a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada in 1949. It is the view of some constitutional lawyers that—although Newfoundland chose not to exercise all of the functions of a Dominion like Canada—its status as a Dominion was "suspended" in 1934, rather than "revoked" or "abolished". Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Irish Free State, Newfoundland and South Africa (prior to becoming a republic and leaving the Commonwealth in 1961), with their large populations of European descent, were sometimes collectively referred to as the "White Dominions".Europe Since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction; John Merriman and Jay Winter; 2006; see the British Empire entry which lists the "White Dominions" above except Newfoundland
List of Dominions
AustraliaFour colonies of Australia had enjoyed responsible government since 1856: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Queensland had responsible government soon after its founding in 1859. Because of ongoing financial dependence on Britain, Western Australia became the last Australian colony to attain self-government in 1890. During the 1890s, the colonies voted to unite and in 1901 they were federated under the British Crown as the Commonwealth of Australia by the ''Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act''. The Constitution of Australia had been drafted in Australia and approved by popular consent. Thus Australia is one of the few countries established by a popular vote. Under the Balfour Declaration of 1926, the federal government was regarded as coequal with (and not subordinate to) the British and other Dominion governments, and this was given formal legal recognition in 1942 (when the ''Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster'' was adopted retroactively to the commencement of the Second World War in 1939). In 1930, the Australian prime minister, James Scullin, reinforced the right of the overseas Dominions to appoint native-born governors-general, when he advised King George V of the United Kingdom, George V to appoint Sir Isaac Isaacs as his representative in Australia, against the wishes of the opposition and officials in London. The governments of the States (called colonies before 1901) remained under the Commonwealth but retained links to the UK until the passage of the ''Australia Act 1986''.
CanadaThe term ''Dominion'' is employed in the Constitution Act, 1867 (originally the British North America Acts, British North America Act, 1867), and describes the resulting political union. Specifically, the preamble of the act states: "Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom..." Furthermore, Sections 3 and 4 indicate that the provinces "shall form and be One Dominion under the Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly". According to the ''Canadian Encyclopedia,'' (1999), "The word came to be applied to the federal government and Parliament, and under the Constitution Act, 1982, 'Dominion' remains Canada's official title." Usage of the phrase ''Dominion of Canada'' was employed as the country's name after 1867, predating the general use of the term ''Dominion'' as applied to the other autonomous regions of the British Empire after 1907. The phrase ''Dominion of Canada'' does not appear in the 1867 act nor in the Constitution Act, 1982, but does appear in the List of Canadian constitutional documents, Constitution Act, 1871, other contemporaneous texts, and subsequent bills. References to the ''Dominion of Canada'' in later acts, such as the Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster, do not clarify the point because all nouns were formally capitalization, capitalised in British legislative style. Indeed, in the original text of the Constitution Act, 1867, "One" and "Name" were also capitalised. F. R. Scott, Frank Scott theorised that Canada's status as a Dominion ended when Canadian parliament declared war on Germany on 9 September 1939, separately and distinctly from the United Kingdom's declaration of war six days earlier. From the 1950s, the federal government began to phase out the use of ''Dominion'', which had been used largely as a synonym of "federal" or "national" such as "Dominion building" for a post office, "Dominion-provincial relations", and so on. The last major change was renaming the national holiday from Dominion Day to Canada Day in 1982. Official bilingualism laws also contributed to the disuse of ''Dominion'', as it has no acceptable equivalent in French. While the term may be found in older official documents, and the Dominion Carillonneur still tolls at Parliament Hill, it is now hardly used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces or (historically) Canada before and after 1867. Nonetheless, the federal government continues to produce publications and educational materials that specify the currency of these official titles. The Constitution Act of 1982 does not mention and does not remove the title, and therefore a constitutional amendment may be required to change it. The word ''Dominion'' has been used with other agencies, laws, and roles: * Dominion Carillonneur: official responsible for playing the carillons at the Peace Tower since 1916 * Dominion Day (1867–1982): holiday marking Canada's national day; now called Canada Day * Dominion Observatory (1905–1970): weather observatory in Ottawa; now used as Office of Energy Efficiency, Energy Branch, Natural Resources Canada * Dominion Lands Act (1872): federal lands act; repealed in 1918 * Dominion Bureau of Statistics (1918–1971): superseded by Statistics Canada * Dominion Police (1867–1920): merged to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) * Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (1918–present); now part of the National Research Council (Canada), National Research Council Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics * Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (1960–present); now part of the National Research Council (Canada), National Research Council Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics * Dominion of Canada Rifle Association founded in 1868 and incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1890 Notable Canadian corporations and organizations (not affiliated with government) that have used ''Dominion'' as a part of their name have included: * The Dominion Bank, opened 1871 ** The Toronto-Dominion Bank, its successor since a 1955 merger with the Bank of Toronto; as of 2016 one of the country's major banks * The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, founded in 1887; bought out by The Travelers Companies, Travelers in 2013 * The Dominion Atlantic Railway, in Nova Scotia, formed by the 1894 merger of two railways; controlled by the Canadian Pacific Railway after 1911, shut down in 1994 * Dominion (supermarket), Dominion Stores, a supermarket chain founded in 1927; following a series of acquisitions the last Dominion stores were renamed as Metro Inc., Metro stores in 2008 * The Dominion Institute, created in 1997 to promote awareness of Canadian history and national identity ** The Historica-Dominion Institute, its successor following a 2009 merger with the Historica Foundation; renamed Historica Canada in 2013
CeylonCeylon, which, as a Crown colony, was originally promised "fully responsible status within the British Commonwealth of Nations", was formally granted independence as a Dominion of Ceylon, Dominion in 1948. In 1972 it adopted a republican constitution to become the Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka. By a new constitution in 1978, it became the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
India, Pakistan and BangladeshBritish India acquired a partially representative government Indian Councils Act 1909, in 1909, and the first Parliament was introduced Government of India Act 1919, in 1919. Discussions on the further devolution of power, and granting of Dominion status, continued through the 1920s, with The Commonwealth of India Bill 1925, Simon Commission 1927–1930, and Nehru Report 1928 being often cited proposals. Further powers were eventually devolved, following the 1930–32 Round Table Conferences (India), to the locally elected legislatures, via the Government of India Act 1935. The Cripps Mission of 1942 proposed the further devolution of powers, within Dominion status, to the political leadership of British India. Cripps's plan was rejected and full independence was sought. Pakistan (including Muslim-majority East Bengal forming East Pakistan) seceded from India at the point of Indian Independence with the passage of the Indian Independence Act 1947 and ensuing partition of India, partition, resulting in two dominions. For India, dominion status was transitory until its new Constitution of India, republican constitution was drafted and promulgated in 1950.The Statesman's Year Book, p. 635 Pakistan remained a dominion until 1956 when it became an Islamic Republic under its Constitution of Pakistan of 1956, 1956 constitution. East Pakistan History of Bangladesh#Independence movement, gained independence from Pakistan through Bangladesh Liberation War, Liberation War, as Bangladesh, in 1971.
Irish Free State / IrelandThe Irish Free State (Ireland from 1937) was a British Dominion between 1922 and 1949. As established by the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922, Irish Free State Constitution Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom Parliament on 6 December 1922 the new state—which had Dominion status in the likeness of that enjoyed by Canada within the Commonwealth of Nations, British Commonwealth of Nations—comprised the whole of Ireland. However, provision was made in the Act for the Parliament of Northern Ireland to opt out of inclusion in the Irish Free State, which—as had been widely expected at the time—it duly did one day after the creation of the new state, on 7 December 1922. Following a plebiscite of the people of the Free State held on 1 July 1937, Constitution of Ireland, a new constitution came into force on 29 December of that year, establishing a Republic of Ireland, successor state with the name of "Ireland" which ceased to participate in Commonwealth conferences and events. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom and other member states of the Commonwealth continued to regard Ireland as a Dominion owing to the unusual role accorded to the British Monarch under the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936, Irish External Relations Act of 1936. Ultimately, however, Ireland's Oireachtas passed the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, which came into force on 18 April 1949 and unequivocally ended Ireland's links with the British Monarch and the Commonwealth.
NewfoundlandThe colony of Colony of Newfoundland, Newfoundland enjoyed responsible government from 1855 to 1934. It was among the colonies declared Dominions in 1907. Following the recommendations of a Royal Commission, parliamentary government was suspended in 1934 due to severe financial difficulties resulting from the depression and a series of riots against the Dominion government in 1932. In 1949, it joined Canada and the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, legislature was restored.
New ZealandThe New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 gave New Zealand its own Parliament (General Assembly) and home rule in 1852. In 1907 New Zealand was proclaimed the Dominion of New Zealand. New Zealand, Canada, and Newfoundland used the word Dominion in the official title of the nation, whereas Australia used Commonwealth of Australia and South Africa Union of South Africa. New Zealand adopted the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947, Statute of Westminster in 1947 and in the same year legislation passed in London gave New Zealand full powers to amend its own constitution. In 1986, the New Zealand parliament passed the Constitution Act 1986, which repealed the Constitution Act of 1852 and the last constitutional links with the United Kingdom, formally ending its Dominion status.
South AfricaThe Union of South Africa was formed in 1910 from the four self-governing colonies of the Cape Colony, Colony of Natal, Natal, the Transvaal Colony, Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony (the last two were former Boer republics). The South Africa Act 1909 provided for a Parliament consisting of a Senate and a House of Assembly. The provinces had their own legislatures. In 1961, the Union of South Africa adopted a new constitution, became a republic, left the Commonwealth (and re-joined following end of Apartheid rule in 1994), and became the present-day South Africa, Republic of South Africa.
Southern RhodesiaSouthern Rhodesia (renamed Zimbabwe in 1980) was a special case in the British Empire. Although it was never a Dominion, it was treated as a Dominion in many respects. Southern Rhodesia was formed in 1923 out of company rule in Rhodesia, territories of the British South Africa Company and established as a self-governing colony with substantial autonomy on the model of the Dominions. The imperial authorities in London retained direct powers over foreign affairs, constitutional alterations, native administration and bills regarding mining revenues, railways and the governor's salary. Southern Rhodesia was not one of the territories that were mentioned in the 1931 Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster although relations with Southern Rhodesia were administered in London through the Dominion Office, not the Colonial Office. When the Dominions were first treated as foreign countries by London for the purposes of diplomatic immunity in 1952, Southern Rhodesia was included in the list of territories concerned. This semi-Dominion status continued in Southern Rhodesia between 1953 and 1963, when it joined Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Central African Federation, with the latter two territories continuing to be British protectorates. When Northern Rhodesia was given independence in 1964 it adopted the new name of Zambia, prompting Southern Rhodesia to shorten its name to Rhodesia, but Britain did not recognise this latter change. Appendix to Rhodesia Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence, unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965 as a result of the British government's insistence on no independence before majority rule, no independence before majority rule (NIBMAR). London regarded this declaration as illegal, and applied sanctions and expelled Rhodesia from the sterling area. Rhodesia continued with its Dominion-style constitution until 1970, and continued to issue British passports to its citizens. The Rhodesian government continued to profess its loyalty to the Sovereign, despite being in a state of rebellion against Her Majesty's Government in London, until 1970, when it adopted a republican constitution following a Rhodesian constitutional referendum, 1969, referendum the previous year. This endured until the state's reconstitution as Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979 under the terms of the Internal Settlement; this lasted until the Lancaster House Agreement of December 1979, which put it under interim British rule while fresh elections were held. The country achieved independence deemed legal by the international community in April 1980, when Britain granted independence under the name Zimbabwe.
Other DominionsSeveral of Britain's newly independent colonies were dominions during the period from the late 1950s to the early 1990s. Their gradualist constitutions, featuring a Westminster-style parliamentary government and the British monarch as head of state, were typically replaced by republican constitutions in less than a generation: In Africa, the Dominion of Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast (British colony), Gold Coast) existed from 1957 until 1960, when it became the Republic of Ghana. The Federation of Nigeria was established as a dominion in 1960, but became the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1963. The Dominion of Uganda (1962–1963), Uganda existed from 1962 to 1963. Kenya (1963–1964), Kenya was a dominion upon independence in 1963, but a republic was declared in 1964. Tanganyika (1961–1964), Tanganyika was a dominion from 1961 to 1962, after which it became a republic and then merged with the former British protectorate of Zanzibar to become Tanzania. The Dominion of The Gambia (1965–1970), Gambia existed from 1965 until 1970, when it was renamed the The Gambia, Republic of Gambia. Sierra Leone (1961–1971), Sierra Leone was a dominion from 1961 to 1971. Mauritius (1968–1992), Mauritius was a dominion from 1968 to 1992, when it became a republic. In the Caribbean, the Dominion of Trinidad and Tobago existed from 1962 to 1976, when it became the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Guyana (1966–1970), Guyana was a dominion from 1966 to 1970 and the Guyana, Co-operative Republic of Guyana thereafter. State of Malta, Malta was a dominion from 1964 to 1974.
Foreign relationsInitially, the Foreign Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom conducted the foreign relations of the Dominions. A Dominions section was created within the Colonial Office for this purpose in 1907. Canada set up its own Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Department of External Affairs in June 1909, but diplomatic relations with other governments continued to operate through the governors-general, Dominion High Commissioners in London (first appointed by Canada in 1880; Australia followed only in 1910), and British legations abroad. Britain deemed her declaration of war against German Empire, Germany in August 1914 to extend to all territories of the Empire without the need for consultation, occasioning some displeasure in Canadian official circles and contributing to a brief anti-British insurrection by Afrikaners, Afrikaner militants in South Africa later that year. A Canadian War Mission in Washington, D.C., dealt with supply matters from February 1918 to March 1921. Although the Dominions had had no formal voice in declaring war, each became a separate signatory of the June 1919 peace Treaty of Versailles, which had been negotiated by a British-led united Empire delegation. In September 1922, Dominion reluctance to support Chanak Crisis, British military action against Ottoman Empire, Turkey influenced Britain's decision to seek a compromise settlement. Diplomatic autonomy soon followed, with the U.S.-Canadian Halibut Treaty (March 1923) marking the first time an international agreement had been entirely negotiated and concluded independently by a Dominion. The Dominions Section of the Colonial Office was upgraded in June 1926 to a separate Dominions Office; however, initially, this office was held by the same person that held the office of Secretary of State for the Colonies. The principle of Dominion equality with Britain and independence in foreign relations was formally recognised by the Balfour Declaration 1926, Balfour Declaration, adopted at the Imperial Conferences, Imperial Conference of November 1926. Canada's first permanent diplomatic mission to a foreign country opened in Washington, D.C., in 1927. In 1928, Canada obtained the appointment of a British High commissioner (Commonwealth), high commissioner in Ottawa, separating the administrative and diplomatic functions of the governor-general and ending the latter's anomalous role as the representative of the British government in relations between the two countries. The Dominions Office was given a separate Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, secretary of state in June 1930, though this was entirely for domestic political reasons given the need to relieve the burden on one ill minister whilst moving another away from unemployment policy. The Balfour Declaration was enshrined in the Statute of Westminster 1931 when it was adopted by the British Parliament and subsequently ratified by the Dominion legislatures. Britain's declaration of World War II, hostilities against Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939 tested the issue. Most took the view that the declaration did not commit the Dominions. Ireland chose to remain neutral. At the other extreme, the conservative Australian government of the day, led by Robert Menzies, took the view that, since Australia had not adopted the Statute of Westminster, it was legally bound by the UK declaration of war—which had also been the view at the outbreak of the First World War—though this was contentious within Australia. Between these two extremes, New Zealand declared that as Britain was or would be at war, so it was too. This was, however, a matter of political choice rather than legal necessity. Canada issued its own declaration of war after a recall of Parliament, as did South Africa after a delay of several days (South Africa on 6 September, Canada on 10 September). Republic of Ireland, Ireland, which had negotiated the removal of British forces from its territory the year before, remained neutral. There were soon signs of growing independence from the other Dominions: Australia opened a diplomatic mission in the US in 1940, as did New Zealand in 1941, and Canada's mission in Washington gained Canadian Embassy in Washington, embassy status in 1943.
From Dominions to Commonwealth realmsInitially, the Dominions conducted their own trade policy, some limited foreign relations and had autonomous armed forces, although the British government claimed and exercised the exclusive power to declare wars. However, after the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, Statute of Westminster the language of dependency on the Crown of the United Kingdom ceased, where the Crown itself was no longer referred to as the Crown of any place in particular but simply as "the Crown". Arthur Berriedale Keith, in Speeches and Documents on the British Dominions 1918–1931, stated that "the Dominions are sovereign international States in the sense that the King in respect of each of His Dominions (Newfoundland excepted) is such a State in the eyes of international law". After then, those countries that were previously referred to as "Dominions" became Commonwealth realms where the sovereign reigns no longer as the British monarch, but as monarch of each nation in its own right, and are considered equal to the UK and one another. The Second World War, which fatally undermined Britain's already weakened commercial and financial leadership, further loosened the political ties between Britain and the Dominions. Australian Prime Minister John Curtin's unprecedented action (February 1942) in successfully countermanding an order from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that Australian troops be diverted to defend British-held Myanmar, Burma (the 7th Division was then en route from the Middle East to Australia to defend against an expected Japanese invasion) demonstrated that Dominion governments might no longer subordinate their own national interests to British strategic perspectives. To ensure that Australia had full legal power to act independently, particularly in relation to foreign affairs, defence industry and military operations, and to validate its past independent action in these areas, Australia formally adopted the Statute of Westminster in October 1942''Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942'' (Act no. 56 of 1942). The long title for the Act was "To remove Doubts as to the Validity of certain Commonwealth Legislation, to obviate Delays occurring in its Passage, and to effect certain related purposes, by adopting certain Sections of the Statute of Westminster, 1931, as from the Commencement of the War between His Majesty the King and Germany." Link
See also* Changes in British sovereignty * Colonisation * Commonwealth realm * Sovereign state
References* Buckley, F. H., ''The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America'', Encounter Books, 2014. * Choudry, Sujit. 2001 (?)