Formally known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland these questions relate to the history of events that have happened in the countries that make up the United Kingdom; such as England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and various territories; or the United Kingdom's ...

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Classic CD magazine

This question concerns very recent history, I apologize if it is too recent. I recently saw an episode of the British comedy series "Keeping Appearances" from the early 1990's. In it, one of the ...
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2answers
139 views

Were life imprisonment and mental insanity the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted in early 20th century England?

I was watching a Poirot TV movie which was set to England somewhere around 1930s, and one plot point was that the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted were that either the husband or the wife ...
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2answers
906 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 ...
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2answers
359 views

Was the Battle of Trafalgar strategically pointless?

On a tactical level, the Battle of Trafalgar is one of the most analysed naval battles in history and there are many books and papers covering the battle itself. Most of the strategic analysis covers ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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What is the equivalent in France of the “Victorian era”?

By Victorian era I mean the moral rigidity and the dominance of the bourgeoisie. We had the same culture in France but I can't find the proper term to phrase it. For example how would you translate ...
6
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3answers
543 views

Why did Churchill accept the Order of the Garter in 1953?

Churchill had refused the Order of the Garter in 1945, quipping that he couldn't accept the garter from the king after the people gave him the boot. But in 1953 he relented and accepted the honour? Is ...
116
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28answers
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Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

This has always bothered me. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad... and it's also a well known fact that every European country which tried to invade Russia has ...
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3answers
175 views

Why and how did George V give titles to his generals over lands that he did not possess?

Edward Allenby was given the title Viscount Allenby, of Megiddo and of Felixstowe in the County of Suffolk. Megiddo lies in Israel, it was outside British possessions, although it was controlled by ...
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3answers
243 views

How would a 16-17th Century European Rapier have been made?

I've done a little reading on sand and permanent casting but a rapier seems like it may be thin for that kind of manufacture. What methods and tools would have been used to make it? (Please provide ...
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8answers
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When and how did the USA and the UK become allies?

You may remember that the United States and Great Britain had a minor spat in 1776, which shall we say, did not put them on the friendliest of terms. In 1812, while Britain was focused on its war with ...
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6answers
7k views

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

England (and its succeeding states) were at war with France for close to 1000 years. First it was over land, then they competed over religion, then they competed over colonies. For much of that time, ...
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7answers
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Even though Spain and Portugal had many colonies (15th/16th C), what factors permitted UK/France to become world powers later (18th/19th C)?

Some of the first European countries to acquire colonies in the "New World" (and elsewhere) were Spain and Portugal. They "discovered America" (as the euro-centric interpretation goes), and had ...
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1answer
60 views

Where can you find online the voting records for the both Houses of the UK Parliament?

I wish to see online, for any past Bill of Parliament, in the House of Commons: which MPs (in the House of Commons) and which peers (in the House of Lords) voted in favour and in opposition. For ...
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0answers
31 views

“Black Bull” pubs in Northumberland

What's the connection between the pub name "The Black Bull" and Northumberland? It seems like every other town here has one with the name!
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4answers
6k views

Is there a reason for a Queen's husband not to be referred to as King?

While watching the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II events going on recently, I noticed that the Queen's husband is referred to as 'Prince'-- not 'King'. Upon researching further, I found that ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Which forts did the British keep in the Northwest Territory after the American Revolution?

At the end of the American Revolution, Britain ceded the Northwest Territory to the US as one of the terms of the Treaty of Paris. I stumbled across a very interesting statement on Wikipedia that ...
6
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1answer
156 views

Why was the FSSF (Devil's Brigade) multinational?

During WWII, the US and Canada formed a unit together called the First Special Service Force. But why? Especially considering that Canada fought under British leadership for nearly all other aspects ...
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7answers
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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?
7
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2answers
117 views

Did John Wesley pray because he had not been persecuted in three days?

I have read the following story many times: John Wesley was riding along a road one day when it dawned on him that three whole days had passed in which he had suffered no persecution. Not a ...
3
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1answer
135 views

Did an English company famous for its hidden purpose in the 1720s ever reveal its undertaking?

The Wikipedia article for the South Sea Company says that: "Among the many companies to go public in 1720 is - famously - one that advertised itself as 'a company for carrying out an undertaking of ...
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7answers
8k views

Why didn't Britain's nuclear weapons deter Argentina from invading the Falklands?

The United Kingdom has nuclear weapons. All the [major] political parties support this policy. A common justification heard is that they are a deterrent against foreign aggression. For example: UK ...
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4answers
843 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
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1answer
150 views

When were the “War Relief Toy Works” set up and by whom?

There are a number of toys in existence - particularly Noah's Arks - which originate from the 'War Relief Toy Works', which was based in Stoke Newington, a suburb of London, UK. A representative ...
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2answers
309 views

Where did the demand for textiles during the industrial revolution come from?

A lot of the technological developments in the early-ish industrial revolution in Britain were about increasing the rate and efficiency of textile manufacture. It's easy to find material about what ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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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? ...
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3answers
1k views

Why does the UK buy some of its major military hardware from the USA while France is self-reliant?

UK: Trident missile. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. AgustaWestland Apache Boeing E-3 Sentry. Raytheon Sentinel some other examples In contrast, France isn't nearly as reliant on USA. Why did ...
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2answers
383 views

Why did Argentina invade the Falkland when they did, rather than waiting for the pending sale of the UK aircraft carriers to complete first?

At the time of the Argentina invasion, the UK was the process of selling its aircraft carrier and reducing its naval capacity. If Argentina had waited a short time, it would have been much harder ...
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4answers
5k views

Why was there lack of food during WW2 in the UK?

Why was there lack of food during the WW2 in the UK? I understand the lack of food in the countries occupied by Germans, as they recruited a lot of agricultural products for their war machinery. But ...
11
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5answers
672 views

When did the English and Americans realize that vegetables were healthy?

I've recently come across two quotes in very unrelated sources implying that for centuries, the English and their colonial offspring did not appreciate the role of vegetables in a healthy diet. From ...
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2answers
479 views

Why does Northern Ireland not include the counties Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan?

Did not the entire province of Ulster vote to stay in the Union? If so, why was it partitioned? Esepecially Donegal which relied heavily on Belfast for its economy, I don't see a good reason why ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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Did Churchill and Roosevelt know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the following secret pacts between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany prior to, and during WWII. It seems that the actions of the two countries after the invasion of Poland ...
14
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1answer
746 views

Why is the charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations signed “HOWARD”?

Why is the charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations signed "HOWARD"? Note also that the Charter of Connecticut is likewise signed "By Writ of Privy Seal, HOWARD". But, the keeper of the ...
14
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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 ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
99 views

Looking for quote about workhouses

I recall someone (may MP at the time) said something like. No one that is in real need should be discouraged from using a workhouse due to its standard of housing and food, but on one that is ...
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2answers
370 views

Why did Britain decide to issue perpetual bonds during Napoleonic era?

Background A few years ago I was a student of an economic course about loans, debts, interests, NPV etc. The trainer mentioned "The UK took a loan to fund wars against Napoleon. This has no term, and ...
9
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1answer
186 views

How big was the IMF loan Britain received in the 1970's?

During the turbulent times of the 1970's, the United Kingdom had to ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan to meet its obligations. The National Archives state that in September 1976, a ...
6
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2answers
127 views

What type of ferry boats were used in England in the early 19th century?

In 1800-1820, what sort of ferry boats were used by the general public in England and how were they powered? In particular I am interested in ferries used to access the Isle of Wight, and also ...
3
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1answer
465 views

How were snipers used on the western front during WW2?

When the topic of snipers in WWII comes up, it's almost always about Soviet snipers and the eastern front. What about the western front? I'm specifically interested in how or if the British, American, ...
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1answer
70 views

In Great Britain, did the Liberal Unionists and Conservatives ever compete for the same seats in elections?

The Liberal Unionists fought elections against the Liberals. Did Liberal Unionists ever stand in the same seats as Conservatives too, or did they have a pact right from the beginning?
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WWII: Did the entire war depend on breaking the ENIGMA cipher? [closed]

I recently watched this great historical movie called Enigma (2001) As I saw the movie, a British general claimed that the entire war was depended on breaking the Enigma cipher? Is this really a ...
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1answer
53 views

What were John Profumo's responsibilities as the Secretary of State for War in Macmillan's government?

Although I've found that "Profumo's responsibility was the Army, and his principal preoccupation was helping to recruit and establish a regular volunteer Army after the abolition of conscription" (The ...
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1answer
104 views

The act of Settlement 1701 and succession

If the Act of Settlement 1701 did not pass, who then would have been next of kin after the death of Anne of Great Britain?
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10answers
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Why didn't France and UK invade Germany September 3rd 1939?

On September 3rd 1939, when UK and France declared war on Germany, both ordinary Polish people and government officials became enthusiastic. There were spontaneous demonstrations of support for the ...
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3answers
960 views

Can the current monarch in UK be overthrown or otherwise replaced?

Having read a few discussions regarding the Plantagenet's and ascending line of monarchy since, I became curious if another group / family had a 'more' legitimate claim to the thrown (asked and ...
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3answers
241 views

English society in the early 19th century: Was aristocracy including royal members?

I'm currently working on english social classes in the early 19th century, and wondered: was aristocracy including royal members, or only gentry + peers?
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2answers
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When did the American War of 1812 actually end?

My daughter was recently studying this in high school, and somehow I had always assumed that it had only lasted a year. Apparently it ran on for at least a couple of years, but her textbook only ...