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Ask Mapman[TM].

One hundred years ago, people used to say, "The sun never sets on the British Empire." That's because Britain maintained colonies (areas administered by another country) in nearly all of the world's 24 time zones. Indeed, British mapmakers of that era color-coded their empire in royal red.

The British were not the only colonial power with territories in remote corners of the globe. France, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands also controlled land areas far from the shores of the European continent.

Today, many of those colonies have gained independence. No longer do world maps reflect expanding splotches of British-red.

One inquiring reader wants to know who controls the world's non-independent islands.

Detra K., from Los Gatos, California, wonders about the tiny specks of land dotting world maps.

Q: Which countries control the world's islands?

A: Numerous atolls and archipelagoes remain in the hands of a few powerful countries. Even the United States, a former British colony, controls several island territories. The map (above) is color-coded so that each island group corresponds to its governing country. Most of these places are inhabited, but some of them contain more animals than people.
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Title Annotation:British Empire
Author:McMahon, Jim
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 24, 2005
Words:190
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