According to historian Stuart Laycock, Britain has invaded the majority of countries IN THE WORLD. Only 22 current states have not had the British army (or pirates, explorers, etc. sanctioned by the crown) forcibly enter their territories.
Here's the lucky list:
Central African Republic
Congo, Republic of
Sao Tome and Principe
Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/150473#ixzz2Bdh2v4wi
Basically, the British Empire has, at one point or another, touched (or slapped, bit, grabbed) 88% of the world, according to this study. This may have more to do with why people the world over love french fries (chips) than the spread of McDonald's... oh and why so many people speak English. Kinda of makes the map look like a huge game of Risk - and Great Britain as the ultimate champion.
However, it's also incredibly disturbing - look what can happen when a small group of individuals have unlimited power AND the all consuming belief in their own righteousness. We talk about a lot of other heinous crimes in world history - from dictators to warlords and perpetrators of genocide - but have any of these classic "villains" have as much of an affect as the "civilizing" forces of the British empire? Perhaps part of the disparity in their historical representation is the fact that British colonial influence is so mixed - they grabbed territories like greedy children, placing the inhabitants in 2nd class status and killing those who rebelled - and also established education, infrastructure and commerce that arguably saved millions of lives and helped countries develop into the modern nations we know today. Some interesting food for thought on your Thursday morning...