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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8
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3answers
542 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 ...
7
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2answers
218 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
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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 ...
1
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4answers
292 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 ...
14
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3answers
536 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
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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 ...
6
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2answers
358 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
34 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 ...
0
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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 ...
14
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2answers
1k 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 ...
10
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3answers
676 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 ...
6
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3answers
3k 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)
4
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3answers
4k views
10
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3answers
712 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 ...
38
votes
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?
6
votes
1answer
155 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
143 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
10k views

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

I asked this question in various places in the Web. I haven't received a clear answer. The USA separated from the UK because the people felt that they are not British, and they weren't. Weren't ...
7
votes
1answer
268 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
835 views

When did navies stop giving out a drink ration to their sailors?

I seem to remember that the British Navy, and the US Navy maybe, used to give out a ration of alcohol to sailors each day. When did this practice stop, and why?
17
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
409 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
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? ...
0
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Who was responsible for the partition of India?

Who was responsible for the partition of India? Did it happen due to Mohammed Ali Jinnah or Mahatma Gandhi? Or were the British of the view that the country needed to be divided?
5
votes
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
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
94 views

Cost of producing posters in world war 1

I know that a lot of posters were printed out during World War 1, but am confused by the cost for the government to produce all these, a google search normally yields some results - but this time it ...
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
264 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
493 views

Why did the British control Hong Kong over 99 years? [closed]

There is different version why British Empire took control over Hong Kong. Britain helped China to eliminate pirates in South China Sea. As a sign of appreciation China give control of Hong Kong to ...
4
votes
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
145 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
492 views

Role of Indian princes and aristocratic landowners under British colonial rule?

I am currently reading Ludwig von Mises' Human Action and find it rewarding in various ways. For instance, von Mises points out the following about volunteers' roles even around autocratic rulers: ...
5
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
347 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
803 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?
0
votes
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?
4
votes
3answers
4k views

What was the exact time of announcement of Indian independence?

Unanimously, India achieved its independence on 15th August 1947. Of course, to say the exact time would be, a bit difficult. However, what time did they begin to address the nation to announce its ...
3
votes
2answers
567 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
689 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
943 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
977 views

The British and the French built the Suez Canal?

How is it that British officials and French engineers were responsible for the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869? This was before Egypt became a protectorate of the British Empire in 1914.
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
692 views

English monarchs on the battlefield

It seems that in English 'older times' it was expected for the King or monarch to lead the armies in battle. My research suggests that this was the case in the 12th century in the civil war between ...