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

4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

How harmful was the Tea Act of 1773 to the American colonies?

The Tea Act of 1773 was passed by the Parliament to rescue the East India Company. However, I read somewhere that it would have actually made tea cheaper everywhere in the Empire1. By this argument, ...
3
votes
3answers
266 views

South China Sea Territorial Dispute and US Colonial Legacy

In recent years, the South China Sea has become somewhat important from a geo-political standpoint. China is building military bases, among many other things, and the US has been speaking about ...
23
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the basic structure of British Politics?

This is obviously an extremely broad (but answerable!) question, and I honestly don't know where to start and have no knowledge whatsoever about the topic. Basically I would like to know how the ...
3
votes
3answers
264 views

How did the British and French train their troops during the colonial eras?

From what I saw in movies, during many battles throughout the 1700s to early 1800s involving the French or British armies, rows of troops from both sides would fire volleys of bullets into each other ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What Were the Primary Causes of 15th to 19th Century British Chartered Companies' Failures?

A Wikipedia list suggests that the earliest deemed English chartered trade monopoly organization was The Company of Merchant Adventurers of London in 1407 and presumably most, if not nearly all, ...
4
votes
2answers
355 views

Why was Calcutta a node in the opium smuggling network prior to the Opium Wars in China?

As per Wikipedia's History of Kolkata page: After the territorial conquest of Bengal in 1757, the British East India Company pursued a monopoly on production and export of opium from India. The ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did Spain trade Florida to the British in exchange 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 to ...
19
votes
3answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

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

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 downloaded from FindMyPast, the images can be ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

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

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 downloaded from FindMyPast, the images can be ...
4
votes
2answers
345 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 Awakening;...
20
votes
4answers
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 ...
6
votes
0answers
151 views

Was the British Empire financially capable of maintaining India as a colony after WW2?

In India, it is generally accepted that Indian Independence from the British was the culmination of the 190 year long freedom struggle; from the armed conflicts of the mid-1800s to the more peaceful ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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 War,...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

What happened to the other European residents in Khartoum in 1885?

Some sources mention Gordon running into the Austrian consulate to save himself from the Mahdi, which implies that there were other Europeans in Khartoum during the siege. What happened to them?
1
vote
1answer
84 views

How would British counterfeiting efforts in the revolutionary war have inflated the American currency? [closed]

During the revolutionary war one of the British's espionage tactics was to flood the American market with counterfeit currency to cause mass runaway inflation. But how would that have worked? I don't ...
1
vote
3answers
146 views

Where were the British Forces located during Napoleon's Egypt Campaign?

During Napoleon's Campaign in Egypt 1798-1803, the British destroyed the French fleet near the Abu-Qir bay and had a fleet blockade there. Where did the men on the British fleet get supply from in all ...
47
votes
10answers
15k 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
votes
1answer
191 views

Why did the British leave Kohima and Imphal “lightly” defended in 1944?

In 1942, the answer would have been, "because Britain didn't have enough troops." They were then weak "everywhere" along the line. But by early 1944, after two years of the Burma Campaign, Britain ...
9
votes
4answers
314 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

Was Baker Island ever claimed by the United Kingdom?

The Wikipedia article and Encyclopedia Britannica article for Baker Island agree that the United States claimed Baker Island in 1857, under the Guano Islands Act. The Wikipedia article also makes an ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views
7
votes
2answers
6k 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 - ...
8
votes
3answers
872 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
513 views

Why weren't the Faroe Islands ever conquered by Britain?

Here are the Faroe Islands: According to the history I read, they've always been under Denmark's control except in the middle of WWII. Why weren't these ever conquered by Britain? They seem close ...
-2
votes
1answer
152 views

How did Britain rule Sri Lanka? [closed]

How did Britain rule Sri Lanka. Apart from the Great Rebellion, in which the British Empire brutally repressed the Kandy kingdom, there isn't a lot of info on how life was really like under foreign ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Why did Mozambique join the British Commonwealth?

In short, the Commonwealth originated in the British Empire, as an association of Britain and its former colonies. Why did Mozambique (a former Portuguese colony) join?
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
264 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
945 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
1k 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
319 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
149 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
160 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
106 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? ...
9
votes
0answers
128 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
582 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
649 views

Why does the Star of David feature on these African coins from 20th century?

Why does the Star of David feature on these African coins from 1936 and 1959?
14
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
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
228 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
2k 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
118 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
588 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
13k 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
164 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 enemy....
15
votes
8answers
21k 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 ...