Anyone who had suggested in 1931 that by 1961 the most important parts of the British Empire would be independent and that by 1991 Britain would be merely a medium-weight European state, would have been regarded as, at best, a fool and, at worst, a traitor. The monarch, politicians, churches, the education system and mass media, all contributed to the myth of the Empire. Under the terms of the peace settlement in 1919 more areas of the globe were painted pink, the colour traditionally used to indicate British territory. Officially, this was done on the authority of the League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations, and these areas were not colonies but mandated territories. In Africa, Britain took over German East Africa, calling it Tanganyika (now part of Tanzania), Togo and German South West Africa (Namibia). Britain created Iraq and Transjordan (Jordan) from Arab lands which had been part of the Turkish Empire. Both were indirectly under British control. Britain virtually controlled the strategically important Egypt and oil-rich Iran. Palestine became a British mandate.
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