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power to rule, or that which is subject to rule. Before 1949 the term was used officially to describe the self-governing countries of the Commonwealth of NationsCommonwealth of Nations,
voluntary association of Great Britain and its dependencies, certain former British dependencies that are now sovereign states and their dependencies, and the associated states (states with full internal government but whose external relations are
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—e.g., Canada, Australia, or India. In 1949 India became a republic within the Commonwealth, and the use of the term dominion has since been largely abandoned because it is thought to imply subordination. Now these states are simply referred to as members of the Commonwealth.



until 1947, the designation of the members of the British Commonwealth. The king of England was the head of the dominions and was represented in them by governors-general.

The term “dominion” was first used at an imperial conference in 1926, which asserted that the United Kingdom and the dominions are autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status and in no way subordinate to each other in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, although they are united by a common allegiance to the crown. However, the organization of power in terms of dominions had been introduced earlier. Dominion status was conferred on Canada in 1867, the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, New Zealand in 1907, the Union of South Africa in 1910, Newfoundland in 1917, and Ireland in 1921. The imperial conferences of 1926 and 1930 officially recognized the complete independence of the dominions in domestic and foreign policy and their political and legal equality with the motherland. The Statute of Westminster of 1931 legally established the sovereignty of the dominions.

Although the term “dominion” was officially replaced in 1947 by the term “member of the Commonwealth,” the form of rule in the former dominions and their legal status within the Commonwealth did not change. In 1971 the dominion form of rule existed in principle in Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, the island of Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Fiji, and Sierra Leone.



1. the land governed by one ruler or government
2. a name formerly applied to self-governing divisions of the British Empire
3. (capital) the. New Zealand
References in periodicals archive ?
Emigration offered the benefits of removing from Britain those who were perceived as a costly economic burden, such as the unemployed, training them and then transferring them to the British Dominions where there was a need for their labour.
He claimed that the British Dominions were 'not foreign land' but 'pieces of Britain distributed about the world enabling the Britisher to have access to the richest parts of the earth'.
Speeches and Documents on the British Dominions 1918-1931: From Self-government to National Sovereignty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966) at 161.
Renowned World War I historian Hew Strachan says the Great War represented a coming of age for the British Dominions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Henrietta Heald's book opens with an account of these stirring events, including the speech by the Prince of Wales, on opening Armstrong Park, when he said of Sir William: "His name is known in the British dominions - I may safely say all over the world - as that of a great man and a great inventor.
Seventy years ago this week George V, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India and grandpapa of the present queen, was 'murdered'.
Speeches by the Anti-Slavery Society were made there and, in 1820, The Newcastle upon Tyne Society for the gradual abolition of Slavery in the British Dominions was established at the Literary and Philosophical Society.
1834 - Slavery was abolished in all British dominions.
But just three weeks later Edward VIII, ``Of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the sea, King, Emperor of India'', left these shores for good.
1834: Slavery was abolished throughout all British dominions.
At Windsor Castle, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York waited with their acolytes to receive "The late Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, George VI, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British dominions beyond the Seas.
But then, outside stodgy Britain the whole world was aware that "Edward the Eighth of Great Britain, Ireland, the British Dominions beyond the seas, King Emperor" and a whole lot more, was besotted by a twice-married American divorcee and that a profound constitutional crisis was in the offing.

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