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61

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 ...


33

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 ...


23

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 ...


22

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" ...


16

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. ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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

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 ...


4

The US very often offers aid, in cases of disaster as mentioned by Oldcat, but also to countries that are having economic or security issues. As pointed out by Semaphore the answer to the question is: No, not all countries that exist/ed at the same time as the US have been offered aid to I also think it's important to understand what exactly is "aid" ...


4

I think it is important to understand the environment in the rest of Europe at that time. Spain had a civil war 1936-1939 (some considering that it was a test for WW2) Italy was under control of fascism. But lets talk about more "important" countries, in England, the primer minister at the time was more inclined to negotiate rather than to attack, the ...


4

The issue with any treaty provision is what will you do if the side does violate it. Ideally, you would instantly spring to war. However, will your allies and your own people support this? Hitler was able to spin the 100000 man army and the limits on equipment into a straitjacket that wouldn't even let them defend themselves against their smallest ...


4

The Amarna letters and other associated documents indicate the existence of permanent embassies in Egypt in the 14th century BC. As a matter of practicality it has always been the practice to demand hostages among states in tension. For example, one king will send his son to be a hostage in the court of the other king. This son acts as a sort of an embassy. ...


4

The wording of the question betrays the bias of hindsight. The idea that Hitler could have been brought to heel by decisive collective action in the mid-1930s has tremendous appeal now. But at the time rigidly upholding the terms of an unworkable 20-year-old treaty would have seemed to most people to invite disaster not avert it. Breaching the treaty It ...


4

One other aspect to this discussion is water. Once the UK had returned the leased territories (as they would have had to do), all China needed to do was turn off the tap supplying water to the rest of HK. (Where do you think it came from?) It is unlikely that the rest of HK would have lasted more than a few days - no tanks (yes, I did see the pun) needed. ...



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