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62

Despite common misconception, both Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, via the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, respectively. London was under no legal obligation to return them to China. However, most of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong actually consists of the New Territories. That was ...


34

British policy on the continent has traditionally been to maintain the balance of power (this is also really a general European thing). This amounted to shifting alliances all over the continent. Though France and Britain are "traditional" enemies (as neighbours were wont to be in Europe), they certainly hadn't been at war for anywhere near "close to 1000 ...


33

The answers to 1, 2 are very simple. The Soviet Union presented itself as a "communist paradise." That is, a country where life was better than in capitalist countries. This was the main justification for communist power and social order. People traveling abroad could immediately see that this was not the case. When this had become evident to a sufficient ...


25

The attitude in the early 19 century was somewhat different. No one considered these wars as wars "against France", I mean against the French people. These were the wars against Napoleon, and earlier the wars against the revolutionary government. So there was no notion that "France should be punished". Many French emigres were on the coalition side. It is ...


23

I agree with much of Semaphore's answer, which shows that actually Britain and France were not in a state of perpetual war. But I think your question really relates to "What changed?" so I'll try to answer that. Firstly, the end of the Napoleonic era. The Battle of Waterloo and following months were the end of the Napoleonic wars, and the end of the "Big" ...


21

Everyone learnt from the Korean War and wished to avoid a repeat of a bloody direct Chinese-American fighting. At the onset of the escalated American involvement in 1965, Beijing made it clear where the Chinese line in the sand is: [I]f the Americans went beyond the bombing of the North and used ground forces to invade North Vietnam, China would have to ...


17

Gibraltar was defensible, but Hong Kong was not. In the 1990s, the distance from the UK would have made Hong Hong impossible to defend. Also, Hong Kong is primarily occupied by Chinese, unlike Gibraltar, which is occupied by UK citizens, many of whom are soldiers. Gibraltar is a fortress, and it is relatively close to the UK and hence easily suppliable. ...


13

Yes. Tsar Nicholas II issued a manifesto on 19 July (i.e. 1 August, New Style) which is considered Russia's declaration of war against Germany. Made in response to the German notice, it was read to a crowd from the balcony of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg at 3 p.m. the next day. I can't locate the original text, but here's a translated excerpt: ...


11

Short answer: points 4-6 were unreasonable to the point of being unacceptable, because they gave Vienna so much power over Serbia that it amounted to a forfeiture of Serbian independence. This isn't unique to the time period or Serbia. Countries generally are not happy to subjugate themselves to a hated enemy. Whether they could afford to resist is another ...


11

Legalities Modern India evolved out of the transitionary Dominion of India, which was created from territories of the British Raj. It is important to note that neither Bhutan nor Nepal were princely states under British India. In Nepal's case, the Himalayan kingdom successfully negotiated a Treaty of Friendship in 1923, in which Britain recognised Nepalese ...


11

As the commenters have stated, there are several reasons "Persia" isn't one empire, but a succession of empires controlling the same area, more or less in the period. Rome under the Republic and Empire was a single continuous government. The various Persian governments tended to get knocked around in head to head competition with Mediterranean powers. ...


11

As answered in comments, the authorities were afraid of their populations defecting en masse (as indeed happened when the borders were thrown open in the GDR and Hungary in the early 1990s, so their fears weren't unfounded) Yes, to a degree. Travel wasn't as easy by far as it was in the west, but it was possible. Yes, some. But those were mostly related to ...


10

Realpolitik: American foreign policy under Washington, Adams, and Jefferson was aimed at threading the needle between England and France, avoiding European entanglements. Getting involved in Haiti would have angered at least one of them. Better to sit back and let the European empires expend their own resources. Also, intervention would have been ...


10

First of all, Carthage did not fall in the First or Second Punic Wars. The Carthaginians were defeated twice, and compelled to surrender to particularly harsh terms the second time, but the City of Carthage itself was not conquered. Keep in mind that Carthage was not some run of the mill city-state, but rather the capital of a far flung maritime empire. ...


9

This is still a mystery. It was probably a combination of several factors, though. The government's focus shifted. Coincidentally or not, after 1433 the Oirat Mongols emerged as a serious threat. Their chieftain, Toγan, united Mongolia under the figurehead Taisun Khan in 1434. Oirat power grew further under his son, Esen. He incorporated neighbouring ...


9

France was given a lenient peace because of its importance in the European balance of power, and the fear that punishing France too much would end up giving too much power to some other European country. This was the feeling after the removal of Napoleon, who was seen as the problem, not "France." For instance, England felt that France could be a useful ...


8

Has happened many times. Russia sold Alaska to the United States and France sold them much of the Mississippi valley. One dictator of Bolivia sold a big chunk of what used to be Bolivia to Brazil for a horse.


8

I conjecture that there is one more reason. The historians you mention belong to the "Western European/North American" culture. It is a direct descendant of the Roman empire (in the cultural sense). Perhaps if you read Persian historians you obtain a different picture. And I am sure that if you read Chinese historians, you will learn a very different ...


7

In german history lessons (as I remember them) the main reasons are listed like this: Great Britain had a policy called "two force standard" for its military fleet, which means GB's fleet should be not only the strongest but as strong as the second and third. Germany increased military ship production in a way that threatened to make this policy ...


7

I find interesting that many answers just belong to "armchair generals" that point only to the military power, logistics, *1 but forget to mention the issues that could lead to a war in the first place. Remember, war is the continuation of politics.... First of all, I would point the main issue would be noticing how these issues affect the internal ...


7

Short Answer The Kidnapper is the United States/Roosevelt. The Hooligan is Britain/Churchill. The Bully was the Soviet Union/Stalin. For reference, this is the original passage from Chiang's diary: 聯合國中之四國,我為最弱,甚以弱者遇拐子、流氓與土霸為可危,也識知:人非自強,任何人亦不能為助。而國家之不求自強,則無論為敵為友,皆一汝為俎上之肉,可不戒懼? Of the four members of the United Nations, we are the weakest; it is ...


7

Mostly to supervise the enforcement of ceasefire and peace terms. Polish involvement began in 1954 as a member of the International Commission of Control, together with Canada and India. That entity was setup at the conclusion of the First Indochina War to monitor the peace agreement. It was a general failure all around, resulting in the Second Indochina ...


7

This is not directly answering your question, but you might consider the German partition during the Cold War. This is illustrative because the Germans initially had open borders. The GDR (East Germany) suffered a massive population and brain drain in the 50s and early 60s, with 3.5 million East Germans coming to the FRG (West Germany). The Communist ...


6

Forever? Every civilization makes it a priority to know who is who and keep out the unwanted people. In the Book of Judges an incident is described from 3000 years ago whereby a shibboleth is used to identify aliens. According to the Wikipedia entry on identity documents, the passports of King Henry V (15th century) were the first such documents, but various ...


6

Splitting up western Germany like that would've weakened western Germany as a counter to East Germany. Quickly after the war the allies saw the benefit of a strong West Germany against the Soviet bloc. This is why the plan to reduce Germany into a pastoral society with massive starvation was quietly abandoned and Marshall Plan aid became a thing instead. ...


6

Ridley's argument as presented above is very simplistic. Fragmentation may sometimes lead to prosperity, but only if a number of other conditions are fulfilled. To my mind, these other conditions are more important and more interesting than the number of countries in the world, which seems incidental and arbitrary. Does Ridley think more fragmentation is ...


6

Germany had declared war on Russia on 1 August, in response to Russian mobilisation; Austria followed on 6 August. (timeline; text). There was presumably no need for Russia to make their own declaration after this point.


6

Related: It's worth noting the little (apparently) known fact that the Chinese and Vietnamese held Vietnam Warr part 3* between themselves after the end of part 2 with substantial losses on both sides. (*Part 1 - with France, part 2 with USA). Significant disgreements exist to the present and various "incidents" involving deaths on both sides (mainly ...


5

Pay huge amounts of money to invade some other country where there were no Americans. Huh? You are applying 2015 morals to 1800 America. In 1804, we did not have thousands of helicopters and ships with millions of tons of fuel just lying around and trillion dollar budgets for invading random countries. In 1804, the United States Navy only had 3 ships (USS ...


5

In Poland since 1918, it's been the case that the citizenship could only be earned by descendants of Polish citizens. However, a big one-time change – which turned "almost everyone" into a citizen – came through the Polish Citizenship Act of 1920, Article 2 and 2a. On January 20th, 1920, everyone became a Polish citizen who was a resident on the new, ...



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