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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68
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21answers
11k 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did Britain not purchase Alaska when Russia had it up for sale?

One thing that comes up often when discussing "what-ifs" with family or friends is why the British government never nabbed Alaska when Russia had placed it up for sale and made it into Canada's fourth ...
17
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a reason for a Queen's husband not to be referred too 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

When and how did the USA and the UK become allies?

So, 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
227 views

Colonisation of India: Which regions of the United Kingdom did colonial personnel come from?

I'm a linguist doing research on the emergence of new dialects of English spoken in former colonies, especially India. These new dialects have two major influences: (1) Interference from the mother ...
13
votes
3answers
253 views

Were British fears of Russia using Afghanistan as a staging post for an invasion of India unfounded?

I know that "The Great Game" was originally concerned with Russian-British competition in Central Asia, but my question is was this competition and British fear founded on anything? My understanding ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
370 views

Was Antarctica a factor in the Falklands war?

Were Argentina's and the UK's Antarctic territorial claims significant in the Falklands War?
10
votes
2answers
542 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

What were the factors that aided Margaret Thatcher in her victory against the trade unions when her predecessors failed?

Industrial strife has often been cited as a major reason for weakness in the British economy during the 1970s. For much of the 1970s, UK politics appeared to be a battle between the government and the ...
10
votes
3answers
293 views

Was it ever illegal for two people of different religions to marry in the UK?

Was it ever illegal for 2 people of different religions (e.g. Catholic & Anglican) to marry in the UK? I'm refering only to "civil marriage". I'm sure, even now, that the Catholic church may not ...
9
votes
3answers
745 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
397 views

Why is Finland represented as a Soviet satellite in this 1947 cartoon?

The cartoon is a British one. I found it at http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/05/28/secretwar/ but without any specific attribution.
8
votes
3answers
340 views

Why did the kingdoms of Scotland and England merge?

I'm from the states, so I'm not so sharp on the history of various European monarchs. Having been told as a child that my ancestors emigrated from Scotland, I've always had an interest in the country. ...
8
votes
3answers
422 views

Is the USA Congress explicitly patterned after the British Parliament?

I have always presumed this to be the case. They have a similar form: two chambers, the lower representing "all the people" and the upper representing, very roughly speaking, "institutional forces" ...
8
votes
2answers
230 views

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
votes
2answers
182 views

Why the six hour gap between British and French declarations of war?

In Britain the story (and the audio) of the events of 3rd September 1939 are so well known and Neville Chamberlain's moving broadcast so cherished that the it's strange that the French declaration of ...
6
votes
3answers
183 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
761 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there any evidence of Edward VIII trying to influence the UK Government?

Edward VIII was King of the UK, however he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorced woman. Someone told me that the "real reason" was that he was trying to influence the UK government and/or ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Did Edward VIII's abdication follow constitutional procedures?

Edward VIII abdicated the English throne after discussion with his Prime Minister. Edward informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with ...
5
votes
0answers
83 views

What scholarly positions exist evaluating Thatcher's competence and the desirability of her government's policies? [closed]

I am aware of a variety of normative accounts of the desirability of Thatcher's politics in the social domain; and of the broad opinions regarding her competence (generally highly competent, poll tax ...
4
votes
2answers
213 views

What factors led to the 30% devaluation of pound sterling in 1949?

In 1949, Britain devalued the pound sterling by 30%. This was a major world economic event given that the pound was and still is one of the major currencies in the world. In fact, 9 other countries ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Financial ramifications of peerages created since the 19th century

I once (quite naively) thought that those who were awarded titles of nobility in olden times would henceforth life charmed lives in their splendid houses, etc.: until I noticed e.g. in several ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Why are lower court jurists, judges, and supreme court jurists, justices?

I cannot find any information explaining why judges that sit on a Supreme Court are referred to as "justices," and judges that sit on a lower court are "judges." Everything I've found seems to ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What differences led to Technicolor becoming the dominant color filming technology in Hollywood?

Apparently another technology, Kinemacolor, was invented first in the UK, but it never caught on in Hollywood. Kinemacolor was expensive, and had some other glitches involved, but the fact that it was ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Has the UK ever used the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to enter an embassy without approval?

The Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 allows the UK to remove the diplomatic status of any place. Has the UK already used this act to enter an embassy/consulate/etc? They recently threatened ...
3
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
254 views

UK involvement in Yugoslavia during WW2

What was the role and the level of involvement of the United Kingdom in Yugoslavia during the World War II ?
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Is there any speech dialogue on record on Palestine independence day given by the Great Britain Prime minister?

Is there any speech dialogue on record on Palestine independence day on 1988 given by the Great Britain Prime minister? I know that Great Britain was once a proud supporter of Palestine.
2
votes
1answer
192 views

What were the animals on the Coat of Arms of Edward IV of England?

(Asked after reading this answer in SciFi&Fantasy SE): I think that whole Stark (York) and Lanister (Lancaster) feud is reference to War of Roses. Both houses descended from house Plantagenet ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How come the British did not notify the Poles about the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol?

I have just read this answer and would like to know if there is a known reason why the British did not inform the Poles. Or is the whole thing wrong?
2
votes
0answers
38 views

What is the approximate value of treasure seized by privateers from 1567 to 1720?

What is the approximate value for the treasure seized by Spanish privateers from English ships between 1567 and 1720? For example, "Attacks by the Anglo-Dutch axis over the period 1567 to 1720 seized ...
1
vote
3answers
335 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

Great Britain's role in Islamic Iran

Before the World War Iran was a colony of Great Britain. I am sure that the Islamization of today's Iran is the result of Great Britain's policy on Iran before the World War. However, no data has been ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

UK Tories vs Whigs in the 19th century: broad political classification? [closed]

I realise that it's hard providing a direct parallel to today, but is it roughly fair to say that the Tories were analogous to modern conservatives and the Whigs were closer to modern progressives? ...
1
vote
2answers
294 views

Do more Britons than Americans profess Christianity?

If so, why? And if not, when was it not the case that a greater percentage of Americans believe in Christianity than Britons? And what caused the subsequent divergence? Definitions. (For the ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

How many tons of diamonds did European colonies take from Africa? [closed]

Last night I watched a movie & it said a London Diamond Company in 60s had more than 3 tons of diamonds. Are those all from Africa? What is the total amount of diamonds that Europeans took from ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Nicknames of M36 Gun Motor Carriage

During World War 2 and Korean War United States Army used tank destroyer M36 (90mm Gun Motor Carriage M36). British soldiers gave one of nicknames to it, "Jackson", after general Thomas Jonathan ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

First Royalty in Scotland?

The standard answer is Kenneth Macalpine as far as I can see with lesser kings before him, I assume between Scotland and England this where out modern/current Royals come from, I was trying to ...