At Heaven's Command
The British Empire is the largest empire to have existed in the history of the world. At its height, at the end of the 19th century, the British Empire comprised about 20% of the world’s population and about 22% of its land. Britain had colonies in every corner of the world - America, Africa, Asia and Oceania – thereby inspiring the phrase, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”
It is customary to divide the development of the British Empire into different stages, the first based on economy, the second on expansionist ideology justified by religion and evolutionist theory.