In which time period was the British empire at its largest ?
During what is known as the Victorian era (1837 - 1901), so called because of the reign of Queen Victoria, the British empire had its largest time of expansion. In 1839, Aden, a seaport city in Yemen, was successfully annexed. This annexation led the way to an invasion of Afghanistan. New Zealand was added to the list of acquisitions in 1840. Later in 1842, the empire increased its holdings by adding Hong Kong and Malaya to its list of occupied territories. The annexation of the Fiji Islands took place in 1870. Shortly after annexing Fiji, many lesser islands in the Pacific served to increase her majesty’s empire. Further landholdings in Asia took place with the 1877 establishment of the Indian Empire. Within less than 5 years, in 1880, Burma was also annexed. The final territory was added by way of a 99-year lease. That area was the New Territories surrounding Hong Kong.