A Dominion was the "title" given to the semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867.[1][2] "Dominion status" was a constitutional term of art used to signify an independent Commonwealth realm; they included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire", and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence.

Earlier usage of dominion to refer to a particular territory dates to the 16th century and was used to describe Wales from 1535 to 1801 and New England between 1686 and 1689.


Map of the British Empire under Queen Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century. "Dominions" refers to all territories belonging to the Crown.

A distinction must be made between a British "dominion" and British "Dominions". The use of a capital "D" when referring to the 'British Dominions' was required by the United Kingdom government in order to avoid confusion with the wider term "His Majesty's dominions" which referred to the British Empire as a whole.[3]

All territories forming part of the British Empire were British dominions but only some were British Dominions. At the time of the adoption of the Statute of Westminster, there were six British Dominions: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, and the Irish Free State. At the same time there were many other jurisdictions that were British dominions, for example Cyprus. The Order in Council annexing the island of Cyprus in 1914 declared that, from 5 November, the island "shall be annexed to and form part of His Majesty's dominions".[4][5]

Use of dominion to refer to a particular territory 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".[6] Dominion, as an official title, was conferred on the Colony of Virginia about 1660 and on the Dominion of New England in 1686. These dominions never had full self-governing status. The creation of the short-lived Dominion of New England was designed—contrary to the purpose of later dominions—to increase royal control and to reduce the colony's self-government.

Under the British North America Act 1867, Canada received the status of "Dominion" upon the Confederation of several British possessions in North America. However, it was at the Colonial Conference of 1907 when the self-governing colonies of Canada and the Commonwealth of Australia were referred to collectively as Dominions for the first time.[7] Two other 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 and the Irish Free State in 1922. 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",[8] the implication being that "Dominion status was something between that of a colony and a state".[9]

Dominion status was formally defined in the Balfour Declaration of 1926, which recognised these countries as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire", thus acknowledging them as political equals of the United Kingdom. The Statute of Westminster 1931 converted this status into legal reality, making them essentially independent members of what was then called the British Commonwealth.

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 disused, it remains Canada's legal title[10] and the phrase Her Majesty's Dominions is still used occasionally in legal documents in the United Kingdom.[11]

"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 annexed (that is, were not colonies of the Crown, but were League of Nations mandates, 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".[3]

Historical development

Overseas dominions

The word dominions originally referred to the 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, 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 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 English Crown.

Responsible government: precursor to Dominion status

The 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 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 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 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 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.[12] The Act also separated the Colony of Victoria (in 1851) from New South Wales. During 1856, responsible government was achieved by New South Wales,[13] Victoria,[14] South Australia,[15] and Tasmania,[16] 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,[17] and the Northern Territory (which was not granted self-government prior to federation of the Australian Colonies).[18] Western Australia did not receive self-government until 1891, mainly because of its continuing financial dependence on the UK Government.[19] 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 in 1906, and the Orange River Colony in 1907.

The New Zealand Observer (1907) shows prime minister Joseph Ward as a pretentious dwarf beneath a massive "Dominion" top hat. The caption reads: The Surprise Packet:
Canada: "Rather large for him, is it not?"
Australia: "Oh his head is swelling rapidly. The hat will soon fit."

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 confederation of the Province of Canada (subsequently becoming the Province of Ontario and the Province of Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into "One Dominion under the Name of Canada", the first federation internal to the British Empire.[20] Tilley's suggestion was taken from the 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".[21] The new government of Canada under the 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.[22][23] 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:

By the time of Confederation in 1867, this system had been operating in most of what is now central and eastern Canada for almost 20 years. The Fathers of Confederation simply continued the system they knew, the system that was already working, and working well.[23]

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.

At its inception in 1867, Canada's colonial status was marked by political and legal subjugation to British Imperial supremacy in all aspects of government—legislative, judicial, and executive. The Imperial Parliament at Westminster could legislate on any matter to do with Canada and could override any local legislation, the final court of appeal for Canadian litigation lay with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, the Governor General had a substantive role as a representative of the British government, and ultimate executive power was vested in the British Monarch—who was advised only by British ministers in its exercise. Canada's independence came about as each of these sub-ordinations was eventually removed.[22]

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.

When the Dominion of Canada was created in 1867, it was granted powers of self-government to deal with all internal matters, but Britain still retained overall legislative supremacy. This Imperial supremacy could be exercised through several statutory measures. In the first place, the British North America Act of 1867 provided in Section 55 that the Governor General may reserve any legislation passed by the two Houses of Parliament for "the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure", which is determined according to Section 57 by the British Monarch in Council. Secondly, Section 56 provides that the Governor General must forward to "one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State" in London a copy of any Federal legislation that has been assented to. Then, within two years after the receipt of this copy, the (British) Monarch in Council could disallow an Act. Thirdly, at least four pieces of Imperial legislation constrained the Canadian legislatures. The Colonial Laws Validity Act of 1865 provided that no colonial law could validly conflict with, amend, or repeal Imperial legislation that either explicitly, or by necessary implication, applied directly to that colony. The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894, as well as the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act of 1890 required reservation of Dominion legislation on those topics for approval by the British Government. Also, the Colonial Stock Act of 1900 provided for the disallowance of any Dominion legislation the British government felt would harm British stockholders of Dominion trustee securities. Most importantly, however, the British Parliament could exercise the legal right of supremacy that it possessed over common law to pass any legislation on any matter affecting the colonies.[22]

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 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 is remarkable about this whole process is that it was achieved with a minimum of legislative amendments. Much of Canada's independence arose from the development of new political arrangements, many of which have been absorbed into judicial decisions interpreting the constitution—with or without explicit recognition. Canada's passage from being an integral part of the British Empire to being an independent member of the Commonwealth richly illustrates the way in which fundamental constitutional rules have evolved through the interaction of constitutional convention, international law, and municipal statute and case law.[22]

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."[24]

Colonial Conference of 1907

Issues of colonial self-government spilled into foreign affairs with the 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; 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 Versailles

The Empire Needs Men WWI
The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee produced this First World War poster. Designed by Arthur Wardle, the poster urges men from the Dominions of the British Empire to enlist in the war effort.

The 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.[25]

Irish Free State

The Irish Free State, set up in 1922 after the Anglo-Irish War, was the first Dominion to appoint a non-British, non-aristocratic Governor-General when Timothy Michael Healy 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 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 that included powers for a president of Ireland and a law confirming a role for the king in external relations.

Balfour Declaration of 1926 and Statute of Westminster

The Balfour Declaration of 1926, and the subsequent 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 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 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".[26] Today Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are sometimes referred to collectively as the "White Commonwealth".[27]


List of Dominions

Country[‡ 1] From To[‡ 2] Status
Canada 1867 1953

Continues as a Commonwealth realm and member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 'Dominion' was conferred as the country's title in the 1867 constitution and retained with the constitution's patriation in 1982, but has fallen into disuse.[20][28][29][30]

Australia 1901 1953

Continues as a Commonwealth realm and member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

New Zealand 1907 1953

Continues as a Commonwealth realm and member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Newfoundland 1907 1949 After governance had reverted to direct control from London in 1934, became a province of Canada under the British North America Act 1949 (now the Newfoundland Act) passed in the UK parliament, 31 March 1949,[31] prior to the London Declaration of 28 April 1949.
South Africa 1910 1953 Continued as a Commonwealth realm until it became a republic in 1961 under the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act 1961, passed by the Parliament of South Africa, long title "To constitute the Republic of South Africa and to provide for matters incidental thereto", assented to 24 April 1961 to come into operation on 31 May 1961.[32]
Irish Free State (1922–37)
Éire (1937–49) [‡ 3]
1922 1949 The link with the monarchy ceased with the passage of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, which came into force on 18 April 1949 and declared that the state was a republic.
India 1947 1950 The Union of India (with the addition of Sikkim from 1978) became a federal republic after its constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950.
Pakistan 1947 1956 Continued as a Commonwealth realm until 1956 when it became a republic under the name "The Islamic Republic of Pakistan": Constitution of 1956.[33]
Ceylon 1948 1972 Continued as a Commonwealth realm until 1972 when it became a republic under the name of Sri Lanka.
  1. ^ The flags shown are the national flags of each country at the time it was a Dominion.
  2. ^ The term dominion generally fell into disuse from 1953, after which these countries were referred to as realms; however, see section on Canada, Name of Canada. Three Dominions continue as Commonwealth realms.
  3. ^ The Irish Free State was renamed Éire in Irish or Ireland in English in 1937. In 1937–1949, the Dominion was referred to as "Eire" by the British government. See also Names of the Irish state.


Four colonies of Australia had enjoyed responsible government since 1856: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.[34] Queensland had responsible government soon after its founding in 1859.[35] Because of ongoing financial dependence on Britain, Western Australia became the last Australian colony to attain self-government in 1890.[36] 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.[37] 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 was retroactively adopted to the commencement of the Second World War 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 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.


The term Dominion is employed in the Constitution Act, 1867 (originally the 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".

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 Constitution Act, 1871, other contemporaneous texts, and subsequent bills. References to the Dominion of Canada in later acts, such as the Statute of Westminster, do not clarify the point because all nouns were formally capitalised in British legislative style. Indeed, in the original text of the Constitution Act, 1867, "One" and "Name" were also capitalised.

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.[38] 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.[30][39][40]

Defenders of the title Dominion—including monarchists who see signs of creeping republicanism in Canada—take comfort in the fact that the Constitution Act, 1982 does not mention and therefore does not remove the title, and that a constitutional amendment is required to change it.[28]

The word Dominion has been used with other agencies, laws, and roles:

Notable Canadian corporations and organizations (not affiliated with government) that have used Dominion as a part of their name have included:


Ceylon, which, as a Crown colony, was originally promised "fully responsible status within the British Commonwealth of Nations", was formally granted independence as a 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 Bangladesh

British India acquired a partially representative government in 1909, and the first Parliament was introduced in 1919.[41] Discussions on the further devolution of power, and granting of Dominion status, continued through the 1920s, with The Commonwealth of India Bill 1925,[42][43] 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.[44] 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, resulting in two dominions.[45] For India, dominion status was transitory until its new republican constitution was drafted and promulgated in 1950.[46] Pakistan remained a dominion until 1956 when it became an Islamic Republic under its 1956 constitution.[47] East Pakistan gained independence from Pakistan, as Bangladesh, in 1971.

Irish Free State / Ireland

The Irish Free State (Ireland from 1937) was a British Dominion between 1922 and 1949. As established by the Irish Free State Constitution Act of the United Kingdom Parliament on 6 December 1922 the new state—which had Dominion status in the likeness of that enjoyed by Canada within the 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.[48]

Following a plebiscite of the people of the Free State held on 1 July 1937, a new constitution came into force on 29 December of that year, establishing a 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 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.


The colony of Newfoundland enjoyed responsible government from 1855 to 1934.[49] 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.[50] In 1949, it joined Canada and the legislature was restored.[51]

New Zealand

The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 gave New Zealand its own Parliament (General Assembly) and home rule in 1852.[52] In 1907 New Zealand was proclaimed the Dominion of New Zealand.[53] 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 in 1947[53] 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.[54]

South Africa

The Union of South Africa was formed in 1910 from the four self-governing colonies of the Cape Colony, Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange Free State (the last two were former Boer republics).[55] 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 the 1990s), and became the present-day Republic of South Africa.[56]

Southern Rhodesia

Zimbabwe in Africa
Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe since 1980), coloured red on a map of Africa

Southern 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 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.[57]

Southern Rhodesia was not one of the territories that were mentioned in the 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.[57]

Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965 as a result of the British government's insistence on majority rule as a condition for independence. London regarded this declaration as illegal, and applied sanctions and expelled Rhodesia from the sterling area.[58] 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 referendum the previous year.[59] 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.[60]

Other Dominions

Several 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:

After World War II, Britain attempted to repeat the Dominion model in decolonizing the Caribbean. ... Though several colonies, such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, maintained their formal allegiance to the British monarch, they soon revised their status to become republics. Britain also attempted to establish a Dominion model in decolonizing Africa, but it, too, was unsuccessful. ... Ghana, the first former colony declared a Dominion in 1957, soon demanded recognition as a republic. Other African nations followed a similar pattern throughout the 1960s: Nigeria, Tanganyika, Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi. In fact, only Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Mauritius retained their Dominion status for more than three years.[61]

In Africa, the Dominion of Ghana (formerly the 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.[62] The Dominion of Uganda existed from 1962 to 1963.[63] Kenya was a dominion upon independence in 1963, but a republic was declared in 1964.[64] Tanganyika and Zanzibar, predecessor states of Tanzania, were dominions from 1961 to 1962 and 1963 to 1964, respectively.[65][66] The Dominion of Gambia existed from 1965 until 1970, when it was renamed the Republic of Gambia.[67] Sierra Leone was a dominion from 1961 to 1971.[68] Mauritius was a dominion from 1968 to 1992, when it became a republic.[69]

In the Caribbean, the Dominion of Trinidad and Tobago existed from 1962 to 1976, when it became the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.[70] Guyana was a dominion from 1966 to 1970 and the Co-operative Republic of Guyana thereafter.[71]

Malta was a dominion from 1964 to 1974.[72]

Foreign relations

Initially, the Foreign Office of the 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 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 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 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 British military action against 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, adopted at the 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 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 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 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). 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 embassy status in 1943.

From Dominions to Commonwealth realms

The prime ministers of Britain and the four major Dominions at the 1944 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference. Left to right: William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada); Jan Smuts (South Africa); Winston Churchill (UK); Peter Fraser (New Zealand); John Curtin (Australia).

Initially, 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 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 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[73] and backdated the adoption to the start of the war in September 1939.

The Dominions Office merged with the India Office as the Commonwealth Relations Office upon the independence of India and Pakistan in August 1947. The last country officially made a Dominion was Ceylon in 1948. The term "Dominion" fell out of general use thereafter. Ireland ceased to be a member of the Commonwealth on 18 April 1949, upon the coming into force of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. This formally signalled the end of the former dependencies' common constitutional connection to the British Crown. India also adopted a republican constitution in January 1950. Unlike many dependencies that became republics, Ireland never re-joined the Commonwealth, which agreed to accept the British monarch as head of that association of independent states.

The independence of the separate realms was emphasised after the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, when she was proclaimed not just as Queen of the United Kingdom, but also Queen of Canada, Queen of Australia, Queen of New Zealand, and of all her other "realms and territories" etc. This also reflected the change from Dominion to realm; in the proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II's new titles in 1953, the phrase "of her other Realms and Territories" replaced "Dominion" with another mediaeval French word with the same connotation, "realm" (from royaume). Thus, recently, when referring to one of those sixteen countries within the Commonwealth of Nations that share the same monarch, the phrase Commonwealth realm has come into common usage instead of Dominion to differentiate the Commonwealth nations that continue to share the monarch as head of state (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, etc.) from those that do not (India, Pakistan, South Africa, etc.). The term "Dominion" is still found in the Canadian constitution where it appears numerous times, but it is largely a vestige of the past, as the Canadian government does not actively use it (see Canada section). The term "realm" does not appear in the Canadian constitution.

The generic language of Dominion did not cease in relation to the Sovereign. It was, and is, used to describe territories in which the monarch exercises sovereignty.

Many distinctive characteristics that once pertained only to Dominions are now shared by other states in the Commonwealth, whether republics, independent realms, associated states or territories. The practice of appointing a High Commissioner instead of a diplomatic representative such as an ambassador for communication between the government of a Dominion and the British government in London continues in respect of Commonwealth realms and republics as sovereign states.

See also


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  2. ^ Hillmer, Norman (2001). "Commonwealth". Toronto: Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. ...the Dominions (a term applied to Canada in 1867 and used from 1907 to 1948 to describe the empire's other self-governing members)
  3. ^ a b Mohr, Thomas (2013). "The Statute of Westminster, 1931: An Irish Perspective" (PDF). Law and History Review. 31 (04): 749–791: fn.25. doi:10.1017/S073824801300045X. ISSN 0738-2480. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  4. ^ Cyprus (Annexation) Order in Council, 1914, dated 5 November 1914.
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  6. ^ "Parliamentary questions, Hansard, 5 November 1934". 5 November 1934. Archived from the original on 13 July 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  7. ^ Roberts, J. M., The Penguin History of the World (London: Penguin Books, 1995, ISBN 0-14-015495-7), p. 777
  8. ^ League of Nations (1924). "The Covenant of the League of Nations". Article 1: The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  9. ^ James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-19-922842-3), p. 243
  10. ^ "Dominion" Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Youth Encyclopedia of Canada (based on Canadian Encyclopedia). Historica Foundation of Canada, 2008. Accessed 20 June 2008. "The word "Dominion" is the official status of Canada. ... The term is little used today."
  11. ^ National Health Service Act 2006 (c. 41), sch. 22
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  13. ^ Link to the New South Wales Constitution Act 1855, on the Web site of the National Archives of Australia: Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Link to the Victoria Constitution Act 1855, on the Web site of the National Archives of Australia: Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Link to the Constitution Act 1855 (SA), on the Web site of the National Archives of Australia: Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Link to the Constitution Act 185 (Tasmania), on the Web site of the National Archives of Australia: Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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  18. ^ The "Northern Territory of New South Wales" was physically separated from the main part of NSW. In 1863, the bulk of it was transferred to South Australia, except for a small area that became part of Queensland. See: Letters Patent annexing the Northern Territory to South Australia, 1863 Archived 1 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. In 1911, the Commonwealth of Australia agreed to assume responsibility for administration of the Northern Territory, which was regarded by the government of South Australia as a financial Archived 31 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine. The NT did not receive responsible government until 1978.
  19. ^ Link to the Constitution Act 1890, which established self-government in Western Australia:
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  23. ^ a b Forsey, Eugene (1990). "How Canadians Govern Themselves". Archived from the original on 11 February 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2007.
  24. ^ Buckley, F. H. (2014). The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America. Encounter Books. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  25. ^ F. R. Scott (January 1944). "The End of Dominion Status". The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 38 (1): 34–49. doi:10.2307/2192530. JSTOR 2192530.
  26. ^ 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
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  28. ^ a b J. E. Hodgetts. 2004. "Dominion". Oxford Companion to Canadian History, Gerald Hallowell, ed. (ISBN 0-19-541559-0), at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) - p. 183: "Ironically, defenders of the title dominion who see signs of creeping republicanism in such changes can take comfort in the knowledge that the Constitution Act, 1982, retains the title and requires a constitutional amendment to alter it."
  29. ^ Forsey, Eugene A., in Marsh, James H., ed. 1988. "Dominion Archived 4 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine" The Canadian Encyclopedia. Hurtig Publishers: Toronto.
  30. ^ a b "National Flag of Canada Day: How Did You Do?". Department of Canadian Heritage. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2008. The issue of our country's legal title was one of the few points on which our constitution is not entirely homemade. The Fathers of Confederation wanted to call the country "the Kingdom of Canada". However the British government was afraid of offending the Americans so it insisted on the Fathers finding another title. The term "Dominion" was drawn from Psalm 72. In the realms of political terminology, the term dominion can be directly attributed to the Fathers of Confederation and it is one of the very few, distinctively Canadian contributions in this area. It remains our country's official title.
  31. ^ Sotomayor, William Fernando. "Newfoundland Act". Archived from the original on 24 February 2011.
  32. ^ s:Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1961
  33. ^ "Archives". Republic of Rumi. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  34. ^ B. Hunter (ed), The Stateman's Year Book 1996-1997, Macmillan Press Ltd, pp. 130-156
  35. ^ Order in Council of the UK Privy Council, 6 June 1859, establishing responsible government in Queensland. See Australian Government's "Documenting a Democracy" website at this webpage: Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Constitution Act 1890 (UK), which came into effect as the Constitution of Western Australia when proclaimed in WA on 21 October 1890, and establishing responsible government in WA from that date; Australian Government's "Documenting a Democracy" website: Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ D. Smith, Head of State, MaCleay Press 2005, p. 18
  38. ^ Scott, Frank R. (January 1944). "The End of Dominion Status". The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 38 (1): 34–49. doi:10.2307/2192530. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013.
  39. ^ "The Prince of Wales 2001 Royal Visit: April 25 - April 30; Test Your Royal Skills". Department of Canadian Heritage. 2001. Archived from the original on 11 July 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2008. As dictated by the British North America Act, 1867, the title is Dominion of Canada. The term is a uniquely Canadian one, implying independence and not colonial status, and was developed as a tribute to the Monarchical principle at the time of Confederation.
  40. ^ "How Canadians Govern Themselves" (PDF). PDF. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2008. Forsey, Eugene (2005). How Canadians Govern Themselves (6th ed.). Ottawa: Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. ISBN 0-662-39689-8. The two small points on which our constitution is not entirely homemade are, first, the legal title of our country, "Dominion," and, second, the provisions for breaking a deadlock between the Senate and the House of Commons.
  41. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004), A History of India (Fourth ed.), Routledge, pp. 279–281
  42. ^ "The Commonwealth of India Bill 1925". Constituent assembly debates & India. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
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  45. ^ Indian Independence Act 1947, "An Act to make provision for the setting up in India of two independent Dominions, to substitute other provisions for certain provisions of the Government of India Act 1935, which apply outside those Dominions, and to provide for other matters consequential on or connected with the setting up of those Dominions" passed by the U.K. parliament 18 July 1947."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  48. ^ On 7 December 1922 (the day after the establishment of the Irish Free State) the Parliament resolved to make the following address to the King so as to opt out of the Irish Free State: "MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senators and Commons of Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, having learnt of the passing of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, being the Act of Parliament for the ratification of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, do, by this humble Address, pray your Majesty that the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland". Source: Northern Ireland Parliamentary Report, 7 December 1922 Archived 19 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine and Anglo-Irish Treaty, sections 11, 12.
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  51. ^ The Statesman's Year Book
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  62. ^ "For the first three years of its independence, Nigeria was a dominion. As a result, its head of state was Queen Elizabeth II ..." Hill, J.N.C. (2012). Nigeria Since Independence: Forever Fragile?. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 146, note 22. ISBN 978-1-349-33471-1.
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  68. ^ "In 1971 Siaka Stevens embarked on the process to transform Sierra Leone from a Dominion to a Republic." Berewa, Solomon E. (2011). A New Perspective on Governance, Leadership, Conflict and Nation Building in Sierra Leone. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4678-8886-8.
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  73. ^ 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: Archived 16 July 2005 at the Wayback Machine.



Canada (Canadian French: [kanadɑ]) is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government. The country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and officially bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.

A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7 (formerly G8), the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Canada Day

Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world, attended by Canadians living abroad.

Colonial Athletic Association

The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division I whose full-time members are located in East Coast states from Maine to South Carolina. Most of its members are public universities, and the conference is headquartered in Richmond. The CAA was historically a Southern conference until the addition of four schools in the Northeast (of five that joined from rival conference America East) after the turn of the 21st century, which added balance to the conference.

The CAA was founded in 1979 as the ECAC South basketball league. It was renamed the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985 when it added championships in other sports (although a number of members maintain ECAC affiliation in some sports). As of 2006, it organizes championships in 21 men's and women's sports. The addition of Northeastern University in 2005 gave the conference the NCAA minimum of six football programs needed to sponsor football. For the 2007 football season, all of the Atlantic 10 Conference's football programs joined the CAA football conference, as agreed upon in May 2005.

Colony of Virginia

The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was the first enduring English colony in North America, following failed proprietary attempts at settlement on Newfoundland by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, and the subsequent further south Roanoke Island (modern eastern North Carolina) by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 1580s.

The founder of the new colony was the Virginia Company, with the first two settlements in Jamestown on the north bank of the James River and Popham Colony on the Kennebec River in modern-day Maine, both in 1607. The Popham colony quickly failed due to a famine, disease, and conflict with local Native American tribes in the first two years. Jamestown occupied land belonging to the Powhatan Confederacy, and was also at the brink of failure before the arrival of a new group of settlers and supplies by ship in 1610. Tobacco became Virginia's first profitable export, the production of which had a significant impact on the society and settlement patterns.

In 1624, the Virginia Company's charter was revoked by King James I, and the Virginia colony was transferred to royal authority as a crown colony. After the English Civil War in the 1640s and 50s, the Virginia colony was nicknamed "The Old Dominion" by King Charles II for its perceived loyalty to the English monarchy during the era of the Protectorate and Commonwealth of England.From 1619 to 1775/1776, the colonial legislature of Virginia was the General Assembly, which governed in conjunction with a colonial governor. Jamestown on the James River remained the capital of the Virginia colony until 1699; from 1699 until its dissolution the capital was in Williamsburg. The colony experienced its first major political turmoil with Bacon's Rebellion of 1676.

After declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1775, before the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted, the Virginia colony became the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the original thirteen states of the United States, adopting as its official slogan "The Old Dominion". The entire modern states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, and portions of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania were later created from the territory encompassed, or claimed by, the colony of Virginia at the time of further American independence in July 1776.

Dominion (Star Trek)

In the Star Trek universe, the Dominion is an interstellar state and military superpower from the Gamma Quadrant, composed of hundreds of dominated alien species. The Dominion is commanded by Changelings/The Founders, a race of shapeshifters responsible for both the creation of the Dominion and all strategic decisions undertaken throughout its history. The Dominion is administered by the Vorta, clones specifically genetically engineered by the Founders to act as field commanders, administrators, scientists and diplomats. The Jem'Hadar, also engineered by the Founders, are the military arm of the Dominion and one of the most powerful military forces in the galaxy during the Dominion's height.

The Dominion first appeared in Season 2, episode 26 "The Jem'Hadar" of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and unsuccessfully waged war on the United Federation of Planets after silently annexing Cardassia in the Alpha Quadrant.

Dominion of India

India was an independent dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations with King George VI as the head of state between gaining independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947 and the proclamation of a republic on 26 January 1950. It was created by the Indian Independence Act 1947 and was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India in 1950.The King was represented by the Governor-General of India. However, the Governor-General was not designated Viceroy, as had been customary under the British Raj. The office of Viceroy was abolished on independence. Two governors-general held office between independence and India's transformation into a republic: Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1947–48) and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1948–50). Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister of India throughout.

Dominion of New England

The Dominion of New England in America (1686–89) was an administrative union of English colonies covering New England and the Mid-Atlantic Colonies (except for the Colony of Pennsylvania). Its political structure represented centralized control similar to the model used by the Spanish monarchy through the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The dominion was unacceptable to most colonists because they deeply resented being stripped of their rights and having their colonial charters revoked. Governor Sir Edmund Andros tried to make legal and structural changes, but most of these were undone and the Dominion was overthrown as soon as word was received that King James II had left the throne in England. One notable change was the introduction of the Church of England into Massachusetts, whose Puritan leaders had previously refused to allow it any sort of foothold.

The Dominion encompassed a very large area from the Delaware River in the south to Penobscot Bay in the north, composed of the Province of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut Colony, Province of New York, and Province of New Jersey, plus a small portion of Maine. It was too large for a single governor to manage. Governor Andros was highly unpopular and was seen as a threat by most political factions. News of the Glorious Revolution in England reached Boston in 1689, and the Puritans launched the 1689 Boston revolt against Andros, arresting him and his officers.

Leisler's Rebellion in New York deposed the dominion's lieutenant governor Francis Nicholson. After these events, the colonies that had been assembled into the dominion reverted to their previous forms of government, although some governed formally without a charter. New charters were eventually issued by the new joint rulers William III of England and Queen Mary II.

Dominion of New Zealand

The Dominion of New Zealand (Māori: Te Tominiana o Aotearoa) was the historical successor to the Colony of New Zealand. It was a constitutional monarchy with a high level of self-government within the British Empire.

New Zealand became a separate British Crown colony in 1841 and received responsible government with the Constitution Act in 1852. New Zealand chose not to take part in Australian Federation and became the Dominion of New Zealand on 26 September 1907, Dominion Day, by proclamation of King Edward VII. Dominion status was a public mark of the political independence that had evolved over half a century through responsible government.

Just under one million people lived in New Zealand in 1907 and cities such as Auckland and Wellington were growing rapidly. The Dominion of New Zealand allowed the British Government to shape its foreign policy, and it followed Britain into the First World War. The 1923 and 1926 Imperial Conferences decided that New Zealand should be allowed to negotiate its own political treaties, and the first commercial treaty was ratified in 1928 with Japan. When the Second World War broke out in 1939 the New Zealand Government made its own decision to enter the war.

In the post-war period, the term Dominion has fallen into disuse. Full independence was granted with the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and adopted by the New Zealand Parliament in 1947. However, the 1907 royal proclamation of Dominion status has never been revoked and remains in force today.

Dominion of Newfoundland

Newfoundland was a British dominion from 1907 to 1949. The dominion, situated in northeastern North America along the Atlantic coast, comprised the island of Newfoundland as well as Labrador on the continental mainland. Before attaining dominion status, Newfoundland was a British colony, self-governing from 1855.

Newfoundland was one of the original "dominions" within the meaning of the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and accordingly enjoyed a constitutional status equivalent to the other dominions at the time. In 1934, Newfoundland became the only dominion to give up its self-governing status, ending 79 years of self-government.This episode came about due to a crisis in Newfoundland's public finances in 1932. Newfoundland had accumulated a significant amount of debt by building a railway across the island (completed in the 1890s) and by raising its own regiment for the First World War. In November 1932 the government warned that Newfoundland would default on payments on the public debt. The British government quickly established the Newfoundland Royal Commission to inquire into and report on the position. The Commission's report, published in October 1933, recommended that Newfoundland give up its system of self-government temporarily and allow the United Kingdom to administer the dominion through an appointed commission.The Newfoundland parliament accepted this recommendation and presented a petition to the King asking for the suspension of the constitution and the appointment of commissioners to administer the government until the country became self-supporting again. To enable compliance with this request, the United Kingdom Parliament passed the Newfoundland Act 1933, and on 16 February 1934, the UK government appointed six commissioners, three from Newfoundland and three from the UK, with the Governor as chairman. The dominion would never become self-governing again. The system of a six-member Commission of Government continued to govern Newfoundland until it joined Canada in 1949 to become Canada's tenth province.

Dominion of Pakistan

Pakistan (Bengali: পাকিস্তান অধিরাজ্য pakistan ôdhirajyô; Urdu: مملکتِ پاکستان‎ mumlikāt-ē pākistān), also called the Dominion of Pakistan, was an independent federal dominion in South Asia that was established in 1947 as a result of the Pakistan movement, followed by the simultaneous partition of British India to create a new country called Pakistan. The dominion, which included much of modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was conceived under the two-nation theory as an independent country composed of the Muslim-majority areas of the former British India.

To begin with, it did not include the princely states of Pakistan, which acceded slowly between 1947 and 1948. Dominion status ended in 1956 with the creation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which was administratively split into West Pakistan and East Pakistan. In 1971 East Pakistan seceded from the union to become Bangladesh.

Dominion theology

Dominion theology (also known as dominionism) is a group of Christian political ideologies that seek to institute a nation governed by Christians based on their personal understandings of biblical law. Extents of rule and ways of achieving governing authority are varied. For example, dominion theology can include theonomy, but does not necessarily involve advocating Mosaic law as the basis of government. The label is applied primarily toward groups of Christians in the United States.

Prominent adherents of these ideologies are otherwise theologically diverse, including Calvinist Christian reconstructionism, Roman Catholic

Integralism, Charismatic/Pentecostal Kingdom Now theology, New Apostolic Reformation, and others. Most of the contemporary movements labeled dominion theology arose in the 1970s from religious movements asserting aspects of Christian nationalism.

Some have applied the term dominionist more broadly to the whole Christian right. This usage is controversial. There are concerns from members of these communities that this is a label being used to marginalize Christians from public discourse. Others argue this allegation can be difficult to sympathize with considering the political power already held by these groups and on account of the often verbally blatant intention of these groups to influence the political, social, financial, and cultural spectrums of society for a specific religion, often at the expense of other marginalized groups.

Irish Free State

The Irish Free State (Irish: Saorstát Éireann pronounced [ˈsˠiːɾˠ.sˠt̪ˠaːt̪ˠ ˈeːɾʲən̪ˠ]; 6 December 1922 – 29 December 1937) was a state established in 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. That treaty ended the three-year Irish War of Independence between the forces of the self-proclaimed Irish Republic, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and British Crown forces.

The Free State was established as a Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It comprised 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland. Northern Ireland, which comprised the remaining six counties, exercised its right under the Treaty to opt out of the new state. The Free State government consisted of the Governor-General, the representative of the King, and the Executive Council (cabinet), which replaced both the revolutionary Dáil Government and the Provisional Government set up under the Treaty. W. T. Cosgrave, who had led both of these governments since August 1922, became the first President of the Executive Council (prime minister). The Oireachtas or legislature consisted of Dáil Éireann (the lower house) and Seanad Éireann, also known as the Senate. Members of the Dáil were required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution of the Free State and to declare fidelity to the king. The oath was a key issue for opponents of the Treaty, who refused to take the oath and therefore did not take their seats. Pro-Treaty members, who formed Cumann na nGaedheal in 1923, held an effective majority in the Dáil from 1922 to 1927, and thereafter ruled as a minority government until 1932.

In 1931, with the passage of the Statute of Westminster, the Parliament of the United Kingdom relinquished its remaining authority to legislate for the Free State and the other dominions. This had the effect of making the dominions fully sovereign states. The Free State thus became the first internationally recognised independent Irish state.

In the first months of the Free State, the Irish Civil War was waged between the newly established National Army and the anti-Treaty IRA, who refused to recognise the state. The Civil War ended in victory for the government forces, with the anti-Treaty forces dumping their arms in May 1923. The anti-Treaty political party, Sinn Féin, refused to take its seats in the Dáil, leaving the relatively small Labour Party as the only opposition party. In 1926, when Sinn Féin president Éamon de Valera failed to have this policy reversed, he resigned from Sinn Féin and founded Fianna Fáil. Fianna Fáil entered the Dáil following the 1927 general election, and entered government after the Irish general election, 1932, when it became the largest party.

De Valera abolished the Oath of Allegiance and embarked on an economic war with the UK. In 1937 he drafted a new constitution, which was passed by a referendum in July of that year. The Free State came to an end with the coming into force of a new constitution on 29 December 1937 when the state took the name "Ireland".

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion is an amusement park located in Doswell, Virginia, 20 miles (30 km) north of Richmond and 75 miles (120 km) south of Washington, D.C.. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the 400-acre (1.6 km2) park opened to the public on May 3, 1975, and features over 60 rides, shows and attractions including 12 roller coasters and a 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park. Its name is derived from the name of its sister park, Kings Island, and the nickname for the state of Virginia, "Old Dominion."

League of Legends

League of Legends (abbreviated LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and macOS. The game follows a freemium model and is supported by microtransactions, and was inspired by the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod, Defense of the Ancients.In League of Legends, players assume the role of an unseen "summoner" that controls a "champion" with unique abilities and battle against a team of other players or computer-controlled champions. The goal is usually to destroy the opposing team's "Nexus", a structure that lies at the heart of a base protected by defensive structures, although other distinct game modes exist as well. Each League of Legends match is discrete, with all champions starting off fairly weak but increases in strength by accumulating items and experience over the course of the game. The champions and setting blend a variety of elements, including high fantasy, steampunk, and Lovecraftian horror.

League of Legends was generally well received upon its release in 2009, and has since grown in popularity, with an active and expansive fanbase. By July 2012, League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of the number of hours played. In January 2014, over 67 million people played League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours. League has among the largest footprints of any game in streaming media communities on platforms such as YouTube and; it routinely ranks first in the most-watched hours. In September 2016, the company estimated that there are over 100 million active players each month. The game's popularity has led it to expand into merchandise, with toys, accessories, apparel, as well as tie-ins to other media through music videos, web series, documentaries, and books.

League of Legends has an active and widespread competitive scene. In North America and Europe, Riot Games organizes the League Championship Series (LCS), located in Los Angeles and Berlin respectively, which consists of 10 professional teams in each continent. Similar regional competitions exist in China (LPL), South Korea (LCK), Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau (LMS), and various other regions. These regional competitions culminate with the annual World Championship. The 2017 World Championship had 60 million unique viewers and a total prize pool of over US$4 million. The 2018 Mid-Season Invitational had an overall peak concurrent viewership of 19.8 million, while the finals had an average concurrent viewership of 11 million.

Name of Canada

The name of Canada has been in use since the founding of the French colony of Canada in the 16th century. The name originates from a Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata (or canada) for "settlement", "village", or "land". It is pronounced in English and [kanadɑ] in standard Quebec French. In Inuktitut, one of the official languages of the territory of Nunavut, the First Nations word (pronounced [kanata]) is used, with the Inuktitut syllabics ᑲᓇᑕ.

The first French colony of Canada, which formed one of several colonies within New France, was set up along the Saint Lawrence River and the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Later the area became two British colonies, called Upper Canada and Lower Canada until their union as the British Province of Canada in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, the name Canada was officially adopted for the new Dominion of Canada.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public research university in Norfolk, Virginia. It was established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary and is now one of the largest universities in Virginia with an enrollment of 24,670 students for the 2014-2015 academic year. Its main campus covers over 251 acres (1.02 km2) straddling the city neighborhoods of Larchmont, Highland Park, and Lambert's Point, approximately five miles (8.0 km) from Downtown Norfolk.

Old Dominion University is classified among "Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity" and provides nearly $2 billion annually to the regional economy. The university offers 168 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to over 24,000 students and is one of the nation's largest providers of online distance learning courses. Old Dominion University has approximately 124,000 alumni in all 50 states and 67 countries. Old Dominion University derives its name from one of Virginia's state nicknames, "The Old Dominion", given to the state by King Charles II of England for remaining loyal to the crown during the English Civil War.

The Dominion Post (Wellington)

The Dominion Post is a metropolitan morning newspaper published in Wellington, New Zealand, owned by the Australian Fairfax group, publishers of The Age, Melbourne, and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Weekday issues are now in tabloid format, and its Saturday edition is in broadsheet format.

Toronto–Dominion Bank

The Toronto-Dominion Bank (French: Banque Toronto-Dominion) is a Canadian multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Commonly known as TD and operating as TD Bank Group (French: Groupe Banque TD), the bank was created on February 1, 1955, through the merger of the Bank of Toronto and The Dominion Bank, which were founded in 1855 and 1869, respectively.

In 2017, according to Standard & Poor's, TD Bank Group was the largest bank in Canada by total assets, the second largest by market capitalization, a top-10 bank in North America, and the 26th largest bank in the world.The bank and its subsidiaries have over 85,000 employees and over 22 million clients worldwide. In Canada, the bank operates as TD Canada Trust and serves more than 11 million customers at over 1,150 branches. In the United States, the company operates as TD Bank (the initials are used officially for all U.S. operations). The U.S. subsidiary was created through the merger of TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank, and it serves more than 6.5 million customers with a network of more than 1,300 branches in the eastern United States.

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