The empire on which the sun never sets

The empire on which the sun never sets

::"This article is about the history the use of this phrase. For more general information see empire, imperialism and articles on the various historical entities discussed."

The phrase "The Empire on which the sun never sets" ( _es. El imperio en el que nunca se pone el sol Fact|date=August 2008) is used to describe an empire of such a large extent that, at any one time, at least part of its territory is in daylight.

The phrase was first used to describe the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, and originated with a remark made by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (Charles I of Spain). As emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and king of Spain Charles had an enormous empire which included many territories in Europe and vast territories in the Americas.

The phrase gained added resonance during the reign of Charles's son, King Philip II of Spain. The Philippines were obtained by Spain in 1565 together with other Pacific islands. When King Henry of Portugal died, Philip II was recognised as King of Portugal in 1581, resulting in a personal union of the crowns. He now reigned over all his father's possessions, except the Holy Roman Empire, and the Portuguese Empire which included territories in South America, Africa and Asia as well as many islands. This Iberian (Spanish and Portuguese) empire was maintained until 1640, while Philip IV was king, when Portugal again reverted to a Portuguese royal dynasty, the House of Braganza.

The phrase was also occasionally applied to various other imperial entities, such as the French and Russian empires during the 18th and 19th centuries. Fact|date=August 2008

In the 19th century, especially during the Victorian era, the phrase regained its old resonance when it became popular to apply it to the British Empire, a time when British world maps showed the empire in red or pink to vividly highlight British imperial power spanning the globe. The 19th-century politician Lord Salisbury complained that the £1.5 million spent on colonial defence by Britain in 1861 merely enabled the nation "to furnish an agreeable variety of stations to our soldiers, and to indulge in the sentiment that the sun never sets on our Empire". A Sri Lankan news source credits Colvin R. de Silva with coining the response: "That's because God does not trust the British in the dark". [ [ "Peter`s denial: Tiger by the tale"] . Sri Lanka News. Sunday, 13 March 2005. The quip has also been ascribed to Princeton professor Duncan Spaeth and others.] ,

From the mid-19th century, the phrase can be found applied to Anglophone culture, explicitly including America as well as Britain, for example in a speech by Alexander Campbell in 1852. ["To Britain and America God has granted the possession of the new world; and because the sun never sets upon our religion, our language and our arts..." [ Speeches of Alexander Campbell] .] It subsequently was applied specifically to the American sphere of influence; an early example is an article of 1897 which "boasted" that "the sun never sets on Uncle Sam" [Cited by [ Kaitlyn Kaiser] ] . One recent textbook expanded: "Today ... the sun never sets on American territory, properties owned by the U.S. government and its citizens, American armed forces abroad, or countries that conduct their affairs within limits largely defined by American power." [The Reader's Companion to American History ] Although the United States no longer has any possessions further west than Guam or east than the Virgin Islands, it currently has military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Diego Garcia and many other countries. The phrase issometimes used critically with the implication of American imperialism, as in the title of Joseph Gerson's book, "The Sun Never Sets: Confronting the Network of Foreign U.S. Military Bases". But it can also be intended positively, for example in acknowledging the world-wide scope of American commercial power. [E.g. [,9171,882911-2,00.html Time Magazine] referring to Ginn & Co. publishing, or an [ internet reference] to Dow Chemicals.]


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