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Special districts (also known as special service districts, special district governments, limited purpose entities, or special-purpose districts) are independent, special-purpose governmental units that exist separately from local governments such as county, municipal, and township governments, with substantial administrative and fiscal independence. Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The petitioners, 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are deceased, filed suits in Federal District Courts in their home States, claiming that respondent state officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have marriages lawfully .
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The British Empire was composed of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the. Planning Special Events. The Government of the District of Columbia provides essential municipal services in support of special events to ensure events occurring on public space in the District of Columbia are conducted in a manner that protects public health and safety. Coordinating the city’s public safety planning efforts for events. A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by local datingescortusa.com the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or counties, several municipalities, subdivisions of municipalities, school district, or political district.
The British Empire was composed of the dominions , colonies , protectorates , mandates , and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.
As a result, its constitutional , legal , linguistic , and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, it was described as " the empire on which the sun never sets ", as the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories. During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal and Spain pioneered European exploration of the globe, and in the process established large overseas empires.
Envious of the great wealth these empires generated,  England, France , and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia. A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England Britain , following the Act of Union with Scotland the dominant colonial power in North America. Britain became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company 's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in The American War of Independence resulted in Britain losing some of its oldest and most populous colonies in North America by British attention then turned towards Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.
After the defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars — , Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century and expanded its imperial holdings. The period of relative peace — during which the British Empire became the global hegemon was later described as " Pax Britannica " "British Peace".
Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it effectively controlled the economies of many regions , such as Asia and Latin America. By the start of the 20th century, Germany and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead. Military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War , during which Britain relied heavily on its empire.
The conflict placed enormous strain on its military, financial, and manpower resources. Although the empire achieved its largest territorial extent immediately after World War I, Britain was no longer the world's pre-eminent industrial or military power.
Despite the final victory of Britain and its allies, the damage to British prestige helped to accelerate the decline of the empire. India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement, in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire. The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline as a global power, and the transfer of Hong Kong to China in marked for many the end of the British Empire.
After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations , a free association of independent states. The foundations of the British Empire were laid when England and Scotland were separate kingdoms. Cabot led another voyage to the Americas the following year but nothing was ever heard of his ships again.
No further attempts to establish English colonies in the Americas were made until well into the reign of Queen Elizabeth I , during the last decades of the 16th century. This effort was rebuffed and later, as the Anglo-Spanish Wars intensified, Elizabeth I gave her blessing to further privateering raids against Spanish ports in the Americas and shipping that was returning across the Atlantic, laden with treasure from the New World.
By this time, Spain had become the dominant power in the Americas and was exploring the Pacific Ocean, Portugal had established trading posts and forts from the coasts of Africa and Brazil to China, and France had begun to settle the Saint Lawrence River area, later to become New France.
Although England tended to trail behind Portugal, Spain, and France in establishing overseas colonies, it established its first overseas colony in 16th century Ireland by settling it with Protestants from England drawing on precedents dating back to the Norman invasion of Ireland in In , Elizabeth I granted a patent to Humphrey Gilbert for discovery and overseas exploration.
On this occasion, he formally claimed the harbour of the island of Newfoundland, although no settlers were left behind. Gilbert did not survive the return journey to England and was succeeded by his half-brother, Walter Raleigh , who was granted his own patent by Elizabeth in Later that year, Raleigh founded the Roanoke Colony on the coast of present-day North Carolina , but lack of supplies caused the colony to fail. Now at peace with its main rival, English attention shifted from preying on other nations' colonial infrastructures to the business of establishing its own overseas colonies.
This period, until the loss of the Thirteen Colonies after the American War of Independence towards the end of the 18th century, has been referred to by some historians as the "First British Empire".
The Caribbean initially provided England's most important and lucrative colonies,  but not before several attempts at colonisation failed. An attempt to establish a colony in Guiana in lasted only two years and failed in its main objective to find gold deposits. Kitts , Barbados and Nevis This led to hostilities with the United Dutch Provinces —a series of Anglo-Dutch Wars —which would eventually strengthen England's position in the Americas at the expense of the Dutch. England's first permanent settlement in the Americas was founded in in Jamestown , led by Captain John Smith and managed by the Virginia Company.
Bermuda was settled and claimed by England as a result of the shipwreck of the Virginia Company's flagship , and in was turned over to the newly formed Somers Isles Company. The Province of Carolina was founded in The American colonies were less financially successful than those of the Caribbean, but had large areas of good agricultural land and attracted far larger numbers of English emigrants who preferred their temperate climates.
Forts and trading posts established by the HBC were frequently the subject of attacks by the French, who had established their own fur trading colony in adjacent New France. Two years later, the Royal African Company was inaugurated, receiving from King Charles a monopoly of the trade to supply slaves to the British colonies of the Caribbean.
Until the abolition of its slave trade in , Britain transported a third of all slaves shipped across the Atlantic—3. For the transported, harsh and unhygienic conditions on the slaving ships and poor diets meant that the average mortality rate during the Middle Passage was one in seven. At the end of the 16th century, England and the Netherlands began to challenge Portugal's monopoly of trade with Asia, forming private joint-stock companies to finance the voyages—the English, later British, East India Company and the Dutch East India Company , chartered in and respectively.
The primary aim of these companies was to tap into the lucrative spice trade , an effort focused mainly on two regions: the East Indies archipelago , and an important hub in the trade network, India. There, they competed for trade supremacy with Portugal and with each other. Hostilities ceased after the Glorious Revolution of when the Dutch William of Orange ascended the English throne, bringing peace between the Netherlands and England.
A deal between the two nations left the spice trade of the East Indies archipelago to the Netherlands and the textiles industry of India to England, but textiles soon overtook spices in terms of profitability. Peace between England and the Netherlands in meant that the two countries entered the Nine Years' War as allies, but the conflict—waged in Europe and overseas between France, Spain and the Anglo-Dutch alliance—left the English a stronger colonial power than the Dutch, who were forced to devote a larger proportion of their military budget to the costly land war in Europe.
In , the Parliament of Scotland granted a charter to the Company of Scotland , which established a settlement in on the Isthmus of Panama. Besieged by neighbouring Spanish colonists of New Granada , and afflicted by malaria , the colony was abandoned two years later. The Darien scheme was a financial disaster for Scotland—a quarter of Scottish capital  was lost in the enterprise—and ended Scottish hopes of establishing its own overseas empire.
The episode had major political consequences, helping to persuade the government of Scotland of the merits of turning the personal union with England into a political and economic one. The 18th century saw the newly united Great Britain rise to be the world's dominant colonial power, with France becoming its main rival on the imperial stage.
Philip V of Spain renounced his and his descendants' claim to the French throne, and Spain lost its empire in Europe. Gibraltar became a critical naval base and allowed Britain to control the Atlantic entry and exit point to the Mediterranean.
Spain ceded the rights to the lucrative asiento permission to sell African slaves in Spanish America to Britain. In , the Spanish and British began peace talks, with the King of Spain agreeing to stop all attacks on British shipping; however, in the Treaty of Madrid Britain lost its slave-trading rights in South and Central America.
In the East Indies, British and Dutch merchants continued to compete in spices and textiles. With textiles becoming the larger trade, by , in terms of sales, the British company had overtaken the Dutch.
The signing of the Treaty of Paris of had important consequences for the future of the British Empire. In North America, France's future as a colonial power effectively ended with the recognition of British claims to Rupert's Land,  and the ceding of New France to Britain leaving a sizeable French-speaking population under British control and Louisiana to Spain. Spain ceded Florida to Britain. Along with its victory over France in India, the Seven Years' War therefore left Britain as the world's most powerful maritime power.
During the s and early s, relations between the Thirteen Colonies and Britain became increasingly strained, primarily because of resentment of the British Parliament's attempts to govern and tax American colonists without their consent. The American Revolution began with a rejection of Parliamentary authority and moves towards self-government. In response, Britain sent troops to reimpose direct rule, leading to the outbreak of war in The following year, in , the United States declared independence.
The entry of French and Spanish forces into the war tipped the military balance in the Americans' favour and after a decisive defeat at Yorktown in , Britain began negotiating peace terms.
American independence was acknowledged at the Peace of Paris in The loss of such a large portion of British America , at the time Britain's most populous overseas possession, is seen by some historians as the event defining the transition between the "first" and "second" empires,  in which Britain shifted its attention away from the Americas to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith 's Wealth of Nations , published in , had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free trade should replace the old mercantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion, dating back to the protectionism of Spain and Portugal.
The war to the south influenced British policy in Canada, where between 40, and ,  defeated Loyalists had migrated from the new United States following independence. Tensions between Britain and the United States escalated again during the Napoleonic Wars , as Britain tried to cut off American trade with France and boarded American ships to impress men into the Royal Navy. The US declared war, the War of , and invaded Canadian territory. In response, Britain invaded the US, but the pre-war boundaries were reaffirmed by the Treaty of Ghent , ensuring Canada's future would be separate from that of the United States.
Since , transportation to the American colonies had been a penalty for various offences in Britain, with approximately one thousand convicts transported per year.
In James Cook charted the eastern coast while on a scientific voyage , claimed the continent for Britain, and named it New South Wales. Indigenous Australians were considered too uncivilised to require treaties,   and colonisation brought disease and violence that together with the deliberate dispossession of land and culture were devastating to these peoples. During his voyage, Cook visited New Zealand, known to Europeans due to the voyage of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman , and claimed both the North and the South islands for the British crown in and respectively.
European settlement increased through the early decades of the 19th century, with numerous trading stations established, especially in the North. In , the New Zealand Company announced plans to buy large tracts of land and establish colonies in New Zealand. Britain was challenged again by France under Napoleon, in a struggle that, unlike previous wars, represented a contest of ideologies between the two nations.
The Napoleonic Wars were therefore ones in which Britain invested large amounts of capital and resources to win. French ports were blockaded by the Royal Navy , which won a decisive victory over a Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in Overseas colonies were attacked and occupied, including those of the Netherlands, which was annexed by Napoleon in France was finally defeated by a coalition of European armies in With the advent of the Industrial Revolution , goods produced by slavery became less important to the British economy.
With support from the British abolitionist movement, Parliament enacted the Slave Trade Act in , which abolished the slave trade in the empire. In , Sierra Leone Colony was designated an official British colony for freed slaves. The Slavery Abolition Act , passed the following year, abolished slavery in the British Empire on 1 August , finally bringing the Empire into line with the law in the UK with the exception of the territories administered by the East India Company and Ceylon, where slavery was ended in Under the Act, slaves were granted full emancipation after a period of four to six years of "apprenticeship".
Between and , a period referred to as Britain's "imperial century" by some historians,   around 10 million sq mi 26 million km 2 of territory and roughly million people were added to the British Empire. British imperial strength was underpinned by the steamship and the telegraph , new technologies invented in the second half of the 19th century, allowing it to control and defend the empire.
By , the British Empire was linked together by a network of telegraph cables, called the All Red Line. The Company's army had first joined forces with the Royal Navy during the Seven Years' War, and the two continued to co-operate in arenas outside India: the eviction of the French from Egypt ,  the capture of Java from the Netherlands , the acquisition of Penang Island , Singapore and Malacca , and the defeat of Burma