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, ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

13
votes
4answers
4k views

How does the amount of equipment carried by various historical infantries compare?

I've heard many statements amount the weight of supplies and munition carried by soldiers of various historical forces. In particular, I've heard many comments about the amount that the British ...
15
votes
1answer
236 views

Was there a social stigma for British born/living in India prior to WW2/Indian independence?

My father (1926 - 2007) always said he was born and raised in England until immigrating to Australia in 1947 after being discharged from the army. I have now found out through his army records that ...
17
votes
2answers
905 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
920 views

How long would it take to travel from England to western Africa in the late 1890's?

I am trying to do some research for a book I am planning to write, and I would like to know how long it would take for a troop transport ship to travel from England to the Gold Coast region of Africa. ...
6
votes
3answers
143 views

To what extent is the independence of India a result of Indian Independence Movement?

India received independence from the British Empire in 1947. It had a long history of independence movement, stretching from 19th century, but it had gained a massive support only from 1910-1920. The ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

How did WWII change the GDPs of the great empires of the world?

According to wikipedia some of the greatest European empires seemed to peak in GDP in 1938. I assume that it was WWII that caused declines in the GDPs of these empires. If this indeed the case, then ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Was there a policy of preemptive attack on foreign fleets in the British Empire?

I heard many times that the British Empire had an official policy to attack anyone who was close to having a great flotilla able to challenge their sea dominance. I cannot find any sources about who ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Where can I find history of Pune or `Peshwa's`? [closed]

Where can I find the history of pune or Peshwa's? Links on Wikipedia are not enough, Please explain or paste link in answers. To be more descriptive : 1. Who were peshwas ? 2. When did they exist? ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

What would my 2x Great Grandfather and his unit in the British Army have been doing in South Africa between 1900-1902?

Question 2 relating to my 2x Great Grandfather: My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records. Which I have ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

What would my 2x Great Grandfather and his unit in the British Army have been doing in India between 1891-1897?

Question 1 relating to my 2x Great Grandfather: My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records. Which I have ...
9
votes
0answers
121 views

Whig party identification in the House of Lords

After the Whigs became subsumed into the Liberal party, did the label survive in the House of Lords? As of today, the longest serving current peer began his tenure during the Second World War. It ...
9
votes
2answers
515 views

Did the Ottoman Empire lose some control over Egypt during the Crimean War?

What were the effects of the Crimean War on the relationship between the British and Ottoman empires? Did they lose partial control over Egypt?
3
votes
1answer
283 views
4
votes
2answers
290 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How heavily were the British taxing their American colonies?

The British levied several taxes on the American Colonists (13), which were at least part of the reason for the American Revolution. Were the British taxing the 13 colonies for more money than was ...
44
votes
7answers
12k 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?
4
votes
4answers
841 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
14
votes
6answers
1k views

When did the British monarch become an emperor?

When did the British monarch become an Emperor? I know that Queen Victoria became Empress of India, that there is an order of the British Empire, but is there such a thing as a British Emperor?
5
votes
0answers
149 views

How much tax revenue did the British Empire receive from its colonies in a given year?

I have heard that India at least was quite profitable for the United Kingdom. However, I do not know of any exact numbers for the annual tax revenue of the colonies in any given year. This book on the ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the end of the British Raj in India create an economic loss for Britain?

I know the economic downturn of the World War and the victory of the Labour Party played some role in Britain deciding to quit India. Did GB have any serious economic implications because of this? ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

British royal titles for regions not in Britain

Royal titles for the British aristocracy seem to be associated with regions within Britain, particularly England; such as the Duke of Cambridge or the Princess of York. Were there ever royal titles ...
4
votes
4answers
518 views

What were the causes of the “Dardenelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
0
votes
1answer
10k views

Why were Sri Lanka and Myanmar separated from India under the British Empire? [closed]

Historically, the British integrated their holdings in India into the British Raj. Sri Lanka and Myanmar were also part of the British Empire in India. Sri Lanka is moreover culturally similar to ...
4
votes
0answers
128 views

When did the use of “Contact!” by soldiers emerge?

I was recently watching a World War One docudrama-esque show (Our World War (BBC)) and, while patrolling and fighting to control Trones Wood some British troops unexpectedly encounter the German ...
14
votes
8answers
16k views

Why did Canada, Australia and New Zealand separate from the UK?

I asked this question in various places on the Web. I haven't received a clear answer. The USA separated from the UK because the people felt that they were not British, and they weren't. Weren't ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Britain send convicts to Canada during the colonial era?

During the colonial era before the American War of Independence, Britain sent convicts to its North American colonies which eventually became the USA, but did Britain also send convicts to those ...
45
votes
3answers
25k views

Why did Canada not join the American Revolution?

America declared independence from Britain and fought a war of independence. Several states joined the fight, however, Canada remained British. Why did the American rebellion and war of independence ...
7
votes
2answers
340 views

Why did the British “Indian” army come disproportionately from particular regions?

During World War II, the British field several armies that included Indians, but the most "Indian" of these, was the 14th Army, in which 8 of 13 divisions were predominantly "Indian." Of the ...
15
votes
2answers
515 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

What were the reasons that the British colonies in North America rebelled but not others?

I know more about the American War of Independence than about other British colonies, but I have begun to wonder why was it just America. The British had colonies in other places but there doesn't ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

What were the major strategies/ideas Britain exerted against Indian Independence movement?

The first flames of freedom were lighted in the 1857 revolt in India. After that in 1900s, the movements became stronger and spread over the country. There was diverse political, economic, military, ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Why did the Dutch, French & British acquire minor colonies in South America?

We know that South America was partitioned between Spain and Portugal in the early days of empire when Spain and Portugal were the major powers. Later, in the 19th century, when Spain and Portugal ...
8
votes
3answers
797 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
581 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
707 views

Why did the British not introduce the sterling in India?

The question is about the adoption of currency during imperialist rule. Why did the British persist with the local currency, the rupee? What impediments did the British face in implementing the ...
9
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
524 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
73 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

World War 1 Indian propaganda posters

In World War 1, because war broke out between the triple entente and the central powers (and they happened to have a lot of foreign colonies), the allies made posters to recruit soldiers from all ...
11
votes
3answers
914 views

Did WWII Delay Indian Independence?

During WWII, Gandhi said that Indians should adopt a compromising attitude towards the British due to the stresses of war. Did this prolong the (near) inactivity of the Indian National Movement? Or ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Did any of the 50 Destroyers swapped for bases with Great Britain in 1940 sink any Axis military vessels?

In 1940 the United States traded fifty mothballed WW1 Destroyers to England in exchange for land rights in areas of the British Empire. Were any of those fifty ships credited with sinking an Axis ...
7
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
173 views

Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
8
votes
1answer
818 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 ...