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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Was the British Empire a force for good? [on hold]

Do you think the British Empire was a force for good or just an unnecessary force for dominance and greed. As I am sure you know, peoples life expectancy and health have increased substantially over ...
12
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4answers
1k views

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 ...
16
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4answers
1k views

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 ...
21
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6answers
6k 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, ...
14
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1answer
712 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 ...
12
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8answers
12k 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 ...
6
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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 ...
29
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7answers
16k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
90 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 ...
7
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2answers
228 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 ...
1
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1answer
97 views

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

Did not the entire province of Ulster vote to stay in the Union? If so, why was it partitioned? Esepecially Donnegal which relied heavily on Belfast for its economy, I don't see a good reason why ...
8
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1answer
127 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 ...
5
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2answers
85 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
282 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, ...
6
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2answers
149 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 ...
23
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6answers
7k 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 ...
0
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1answer
64 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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1answer
779 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
45 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 ...
2
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1answer
85 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?
100
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28answers
40k views

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 ...
44
votes
10answers
7k views

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
576 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
175 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
12k views

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 ...
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2answers
360 views

Which were the last castles to be besieged and fall in the United Kingdom?

Which were the last castles to be besieged and fall in the United Kingdom? I'm separating the two in case a castle was besieged unsuccessfully most recently.
39
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7answers
9k 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?
3
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1answer
191 views

How were Warrant Officers appointed to Royal Navy ships during the Age of Sail?

As I understand it, Warrant Officers got their name from the warrant issued by the Admiralty (depending on the applicant having the correct qualifications). From the descriptions I've read, these ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Why did the Allies let Hitler break the Treaty of Versailles?

I was reading about what led up to ww2 and I noticed that Hitler broke several of the agreements in the Treaty of Versailles such as getting a army of more than 100000 men. I was wondering why the ...
3
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3answers
274 views

Were Tories “Catholics” and “Whigs” Anglican?

I had one exam with the following question: About the Glorious Revolution (1688-1689), mark true (T) or False (F): In 1688, after the deposition of James II, the English parliament was divided in ...
2
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1answer
138 views

Do British peers have a special way of signing their names?

This passage in wikipedia implies that they do: Shortly before his death, Forrest was informed that the King had approved his being raised to the British peerage as Baron Forrest of Bunbury. ...
26
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? ...
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2answers
183 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 ...
0
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1answer
133 views

Could the UK have ended slavery earlier? If not, why not? [closed]

This Wikipedia timeline shows that the UK is one of the first (Please edit this if it's wrong) developed countries to abolish slavery, but could they've done so before 1843 (This Act was passed in ...
16
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1answer
943 views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
23
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7answers
6k views

Why did the United Kingdom industrialize first?

What factors made the United Kingdom the first to industrialize? Was it simply the importance and benefit of its position in the global community for trade?
6
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4answers
746 views

What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Why did meat and dairy drop out of the working people in Britain's diet during the industrial enclosures period?

During the industrial enclosures period (1750-1832) meats and dairy dropped out of the diet of working people in Britain. This change was regional (oatmeal regions maintained milk consumption, bread ...
6
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1answer
299 views

What is the origin of these WW1 “official history” maps?

I'm looking for a source, preferably the original atlas or set of documents in facsimile, for the following WW1 maps (and their siblings): I've only found these fragments, reproduced on the Web ...
19
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3answers
4k 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 ...
2
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3answers
314 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 ...
7
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1answer
207 views

Were British parliamentary seats really advertised in newspapers?

I have this vague recollection of reading about actual ads in newspapers selling seats in the British parliament (18th or 19th century pocket/rotten boroughs) Did they actually have ads in ...
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1answer
557 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 ...
9
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1answer
160 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 ...
3
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1answer
542 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 ...
4
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2answers
264 views

Is it correct to refer the Victorian Era outside of the UK?

Here in the UK, we refer to the "Victorians", or the era in which the "Victorians" reigned. I recently read an article on the BBC about a story set in the United States during the Victorian Era. ...
5
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2answers
2k 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
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2answers
372 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 ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Did King George III turn his back on John Adams and Thomas Jefferson?

After the resolution of the Revolutionary War, John Adams and (later) Thomas Jefferson were diplomatic agents in London. John Adams had been there a while and had previously met the King, apparently ...
5
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2answers
237 views

What is this stick that William III of England/Orange is holding in this portrait?

While looking at a bit of Dutch history, I saw William holding a stick in this portrait. I looked for a description of the portrait on another site and it only says: This autograph portrait is a ...