For questions regarding the overseas empire established by Britain, beginning with England's overseas colonies and trading posts in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and reaching a quarter of the Earth's land surface by 1922. Domestic British questions should be directed as United-Kingdom, ...

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545 views

Why hire Hessian troops?

During the American Independence War the British army made use of mercenaries hired from various German state (About 30,000 German soldiers fought for the British during the American Revolutionary ...
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4answers
299 views

Why did the Government of India Act create separate electorates for the depressed classes?

The Communal Award, in 1932, conceded to the demands of B.R. Ambedkar and the ilk to have separate electorates for depressed classes. But Gandhji held fast unto death to undo this. So, Poona Pact ...
6
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2answers
359 views

Scaffoldings on Taj Mahal?

I recently came across this picture (removed now, look at wiki article instead), saying that it is a scaffolding erected during WW2 over Taj Mahal to protect it from Japanese Air Force. Even the ...
0
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0answers
36 views

What was Ghulam Ahmad's relationship with the British authorities in India?

An answer on Islam.SE claims, Ghulam Ahmad came out at a time when the British were trying to take over India, and they needed someone to stop the Muslims from fighting, and so bribed this man to ...
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0answers
43 views

Who was jailed along with Wajid Ali Shah?

It is a known fact that when Nawab Wazid Ali Shah was arrested in 1856 he was taken to Alipore Jail (Calcutta). Some of his Vazirs (Ministers) were also with him in jail. Can someone throw some light ...
7
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2answers
224 views

Nationhood of Bhutan and Nepal in Indian subcontinent

During the period around Independence, India, under Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's programme to unite the subcontinent, was getting Princely states to accede to Union of India. There were around 570 ...
6
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1answer
158 views

What class / type of ship was the “Dragon” from Rotterdam c. 1732?

I am attempting to determine the class, size, features, history of the British ship "Dragon" c. 1732 that was known to arrive in Philadelphia on September 30, 1732 with 173 men, women and children ...
7
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1answer
272 views

How large were the East India Company armed forces?

The British East India Company maintained an armed force large and competent enough to subdue and control Mughal India, but just how large was it? How comparable was it to contemporary national ...
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7answers
8k views

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong but not Gibraltar?

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong to China, but not Gibraltar to Spain? Was it because Gibraltar has more strategic value than Hong Kong?
5
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1answer
77 views

Did the British government oppose racial segregation in South Africa from 1815-1931?

In South Africa, the Afrikaners' political movements, including the National Party, took the lead in extending segregation in the first half of the 20th-century. Anglo-Africans were less enthusiastic ...
5
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2answers
181 views

Where is the Nemesis?

Where is the Nemesis today? Is it simply 'lost at sea', at a museum somewhere, or more likely (as it was an EIC vessel), was it sold for scrap? I did a brief search (of the web), but couldnt find ...
4
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2answers
160 views

WW1 artillery defense testing

At the battle of the Somme the British bombarded the Germans for seven days. They fired over 1.5 million shells. But most of these shells were shrapnel shells. These shells failed to cut and ...
0
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2answers
154 views

What was the official policy of British administration about the integration of Indian Princely States in 1947?

What direction was given in Indian Independence Act, 1947 about the political integration of Princely States during the partition of India? What policy was introduced by the British authority about ...
3
votes
2answers
224 views

Were there a British 'Négritude' movement?

Did a movement similar to Négritude exist in the UK or amongst Anglo-Saxon Africans? Were there British equivalents of French West Africa's Léopold Sédar Senghor, Alioune Diop, or Aimé Césaire - ...
2
votes
3answers
268 views

What was the impetus behind the British Empire's acquisition of what is now Canada?

What led the British to Canada as part of a plan to colonise North America? There are no good natural resources in Canada and, from what I can see, there was no point in getting a military ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How many Britons lived in India during the British Raj (1858 - 1947)?

How many Britons lived (not just visited shortly) in India during the British Raj (1858 - 1947)? There might be two answers, both of them interesting: The amount of Britons in India over time - ...
9
votes
1answer
146 views

How different were Labour and Conservative party lines on race immigration and empire in around 1962?

Though obviously I want responses to focus on concrete answers and evidence for the title question, I am ultimately interested in how likely it would have been for the 1962 Commonwealth Immigration ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

Did the British Army burn any capitals other than Washington?

It has been written that the British invasion of Washington, and the burning of the Capitol, White House, and other public buildings, was in retaliation for American raids in Canada which caused the ...
0
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1answer
3k views

When did Sri Lanka and Myanmar separate from India? [closed]

Sri Lanka and Myanmar were a part of British India. Sri Lanka is culturally similar to India. Then why did these countries separate?
15
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3answers
2k views

How did the British Navy pass orders to its fleet before radio?

During the 18th and 19th century, the British Navy had ships all over the world, and communicating with them had to be difficult. After all, the Battle of New Orleans happened after the British had ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Why did East India Company accept Government of India Act 1858?

In 1858, British parliament passed Government of India Act which contained provisions of liquidation of the company and transference of assets, governance to British crown. The act was going to kill ...
10
votes
2answers
945 views

Purpose of Guinea in British monetary history

I read about Guinea itself, how it was made, but I don't really understand why would anybody keep a money worth 5% more than an existing denomination like Pound. I can accept the 1/20 and 1/12 ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Why didn't the Great Awakening spread to the Spanish Colonies?

Since I have begun paying more attention to early South and Latin American history it made me wonder about the extent of the religious movement in the British Colonies that we call the Great ...
8
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2answers
453 views

What was the nominal strength of a company in a British Regiment during the American war of Independence?

How were these organised into Divisions, Grand Divisions or battalions?
0
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1answer
4k views

What does Spivak mean by “epistemic violence” in her paper “can the subaltern speak”? [closed]

What does G. Spivak mean by epistemic violence in her essay "Can the subaltern speak"? Does she mean that intellectuals in Europe and first world countries are prolonging and fixing the ...
3
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2answers
130 views

Did the Glaswegian tobacco lords help precipitate the American war of independence?

I am in Glasgow for the first time tonight and reading up on the history. Tobacco lords cannily hooked their west coast planters on cheap credit before gutting them with low prices - very reminiscent ...
2
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3answers
544 views

How did British queens get power over kings despite a male-dominant society?

I am not a history guy. But, from what I have collected from movies, TV shows and people, I see that old British society was male-dominant and there were female rights issues too. But, I also see some ...
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3answers
568 views

What were the main reasons that the Industrial Revolution happened in Great Britain? [duplicate]

What were the main reasons that the Industrial Revolution happened in Great Britain? I know there were at least a few other European countries with some of the same advantages that Great Britain had ...
3
votes
2answers
572 views

Why did Spain trade Florida to the British in exchagne for Havana?

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. wikipedia Why did Spain trade Florida ...
2
votes
2answers
413 views

Were the borders of British India deliberately poorly demarcated?

In India (at least), the British authorities demarcated its borders in a very poor way. For example: Siachen was neither given to Pakistan nor to India. Aksai Chin was not demarcated; they ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Is Maxwell really owner of Maxwell's Equations?

Maxwell's equations are four equations known to Maxwell; but it seems to me that they are GFAM's (Gauss-Faraday-Ampere-Maxwell's) Equations. Why are they then called only Maxwell's Equations!?
6
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1answer
184 views

Who started trams in Delhi?

This TOI article says ' trams started operating in Delhi on March 6, 1908, at the behest of Lord Hardinge.' But Lord Hardinge became Viceroy of India in 1910. And it was Lord Minto who was the ...
6
votes
3answers
609 views

Effect of propaganda during the American War of Independence

In what way did propaganda play a part in the solidifying of American identity in the American War of Independence, and how was propaganda used by the British at home to generate support for the war? ...
2
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0answers
38 views

Security of war documents/letters during revolutionary war?

I was wondering the security of such documents. Documents like letters written by the British generals to each other communicating about their next battle tactic against the Americans. See this link: ...
16
votes
1answer
338 views

In 19th century India, pre and post Raj, did any private British citizens actually own land in India?

I've never been able to clarify this question. From what I can tell, the land that the British occupied in India was either "owned" (if this is the right term) by the Company during the time of its ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

What are the immediate legal effects of rendering a royal branch illegitimate?

I recently came across this video which claims that Edward IV was probably illegitimate, effectively rendering the branch leading to the Windsors also illegitimate. That's quite a bold statement to ...
4
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3answers
4k views

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?
6
votes
4answers
696 views

What were the key differences between United States' and Indian revolutions?

The Thirteen Colonies and Indian subcontinent were two of the most significant colonies of the British Empire, yet the former was able to gain independence via a rebellion relatively early on, whilst ...
16
votes
1answer
644 views

What was used instead of toilet paper in the US and the UK prior to 1900?

I read in this Wikipedia article that toilet paper came to be available only around 1920. On the other hand, this article says bidets were never popular in the UK and the US. Moreover, colonies of ...
8
votes
2answers
348 views

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution?

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution? Put another way: Was the Industrial Revolution the single key over-riding factor to its ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Why did the French concede Mosul to British Iraq?

Blogger Andrew Sullivan writing about Syria today notes: Syria as we now know it was created by one Brit, Mark Sykes, and one Frenchman, Francois Georges-Picot in 1920. Originally, it included a ...
6
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1answer
167 views

Does anyone have a concrete example of the British Empire using revolution to gain control over foreign resources, governments?

I can't remember where I read this but in multiple sources I've read the saying that the "The British Empire could unfurl the winds of revolution" to achieve control over foreign resources, ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

Looking at the history of Ghana relative to many post-colonial African states, it appears to be quite a successful and stable nation-state, both politically and economically, compared to many other ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

In the British empire, what was the difference between a Governor General and a Viceroy?

In the many colonies of the British empire, it seems that the rulers of some were known as Governors General and others were officially titled as Viceroys. Was there a practical distinction between ...
4
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1answer
117 views
3
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1answer
395 views

What compelled Benjamin Disraeli to label 1857 revolt as a “National Revolt”?

It is still debated whether the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in British India was just a soldiers' mutiny or a National revolt for the independence. But in July 1857, in House of Commons, Benjamin ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

British colony in Berlin

Yesterday's [23rd May 2013's] IHT had this interesting historical news clip in its 100, 75, 50 years ago section. It refers to a British colony in Berlin in 1913 of which Mr. J. W. Louth was ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

What role did British cartoonists play in the early 1800?

Can anybody explain the historical context and the reasons for which the comic below, preserved to the British Museum, was painted? What is its meaning? Why is Napoleon so little? And, more ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Who was Charles Kingston O'Mahony?

I've read his book The Viceroys of Ireland and am trying to find out more about him. The book was published in 1912 and I can't find any more information about him. I was able to dig up references to ...
9
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4answers
573 views

What is this strange uniform?

Colonel John Tiltman wears a very strange uniform in this picture, dated 1919. The original webpage where I saw the picture is http://www.colossus-computer.com/colossus1.html.