Dominion

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The term Dominion is historically applied to those member countries that became independent firstly within the British Empire and retain the British monarch as head of state as member states of the British Commonwealth. A Dominion does not need to have the word included in its official name. The monarch is represented by a Governor-General.

Here is a list of the Dominions that informally established the British Commonwealth at the 1926 Imperial Conference, and had their status confirmed under the terms of the Statute of Westminster, 1931;

  • Canada (Became a Dominion in 1867).
  • Newfoundland (Became a Dominion in 1907. Reverted to colonial administration in 1934, and united with Canada in 1949).
  • South Africa (Became a Dominion in 1910. It withdrew from the British Commonwealth to become a republic in 1961. Returned to its membership of the British Commonwealth in 1994.

The British Commonwealth has had its membership increased since 1947,when India and Pakistan became independent.

These countries became independent after 1947. Some of them still remain Dominions include the following countries;

  • Pakistan (Became a Dominion in 1947 and became the first 'Islamic Republic' in 1956. It withdrew from the British Commonwealth in 1972 and returned to its membership of the British Commonwealth in 1989.
  • Ceylon (Became a Dominion in 1948 and became a republic in 1972 under the name of Sri Lanka.
  • Ghana (Became a Dominion in 1957 and became a republic in 1960).
  • Nigeria (Became a Dominion in 1960 and became a republic in 1963).
  • Sierra Leone (Became a Dominion in 1961 and became a republic in 1971).
  • Tanganyika (Became a Dominion in 1961 and a republic in 1962. It was united with Zanzibar in 1964 to form a new country called Tanzania.
  • Jamaica (Became a Dominion in 1962).
  • Uganda (Became a Dominion in 1962 and became a republic in 1963, however, a new constitution was not adopted until 1967).
  • Kenya (Became a Dominion in 1963 and became a republic in 1964).
  • Malta (Became a Dominion in 1964 and became a republic in 1974).
  • Gambia (Became a Dominion in 1965 and became a republic in 1970).
  • Guyana (Became a Dominion in 1966 and became a republic in 1970).
  • Mauritius (Became a Dominion in 1968 and became a republic in 1992).
  • Fiji (Became a Dominion in 1970. It was proclaimed a republic, albeit, outside the British Commonwealth in 1987 by Sitiveni Rabuka. It returned to its membership of the British Commonwealth in 1997).
  • Bahamas (Became a Dominion in 1973).
  • Grenada (Became a Dominion in 1974).
  • Tuvalu (Became a Dominion in 1978).
  • Belize (Became a Dominion in 1981).