The British Empire once infamously covered a quarter of the globe.
One way to write about the history of the world is through the history of empires built up by conquest.
Historians in the 20th and 21st centuries often write about them as aberrations, doomed to fall, yet they’ve actually formed the most common and cohesive political structure for centuries, far more common than modern nation states.
In this sequence of empires, Britain was just one of the more recent.
The famed expression once applied to the British empire “upon which the sun never sets”, was first used to describe the Spanish empire to Charles I of Spain (1512-1556).
While the sun now does set on the British empire (and increasingly earlier during the Winter months), in terms of British conquests, the country still covers the globe.
Here’s a map of all the countries Britain has invaded (pink).
And the ones we haven’t invaded… yet (purple).
The following countries have escaped Britain’s pink tentacles.