Questions tagged [britain]

An island in North-Western Europe. Questions with this tag should refer to the history of the island of Great Britain, such as the relationship between the historical states of Britain. A separate tag exists for questions on history of the modern polity known as the United Kingdom.

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9
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1answer
306 views

What would a Roman education include in the years 77 - 85?

In the year 77 Gnaeus Julius Agricola under Vespasian was made consul and governor of Britannia, among a series of military campaigns into north and west Britain he also pushed for various civil and ...
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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 ...
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278 views

Which town or village in Britain lost the greatest percentage of men in WWI due to “Pals Battalions”?

The British decision to create "Pals Battalions" of men from a single town or village led to unanticipated disasters when Pals battalions ran into heavy resistance, with large numbers of men from a ...
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How did American colonial rights and conditions compare to those within the British Isles?

A major point of contention between American colonists and British administrators was that the American colonists, being the descendants of Englishmen, allegedly should have been entitled to ...
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Why didn’t Britain use its vast navy to get past trench warfare?

Before the start of World War I there was a large arms race between Britain and Germany and although Britain didn’t come out with the largest army – they had by far the largest navy in the world. This ...
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Were sailing ships of the line understaffed with gunnery crews so that there were not enough for 2 broadsides?

Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2? If it matters for ...
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342 views

In Studying the peoples of pre-Roman Britain, what are our primary reference sources?

Where do we get our information on the people's of pre-Roman Britain?
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Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
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202 views

Were the Germans quoting Hamlet to describe their existential struggle in the Great War?

To illustrate how the Great War came to be viewed increasingly by Germans as an existential struggle, Max Hastings, in his Catastrophe: 1914: Europe Goes to War (p. 542), describes how The words sein ...
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601 views

Looking for info on an (epicly) failed British Special Forces mission

A couple of years back I read a Wikipedia article about a UK special forces mission. After a series of bad decisions, most of the crew got killed. I would like to be able to give these events as an ...
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733 views

How, where and when did Lily Pettigrew die?

Lily Pettigrew (born Lilian Pettigrew, on 25 Feb 1870, in Portsmouth in the UK) was a famous artist's model in turn-of-the-century London, alongside her equally famous sisters Hetty and Rose. She is ...
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How many tons of bombs were dropped on Britain between 1940 July 10 and September 7?

1940, July 10 to September 7, was the part of the Battle of Britain before the Blitz. In other words, it was the part where the Luftwaffe primarily focused on airfields, factories, and if I'm not ...
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Did Anglo-Saxons make use of large-scale, non-military Roman ruins?

There are plenty of examples of the Anglo-Saxons using Roman ruins as part of their defensive and domestic architecture (i.e. Alfred building burhs that incorporated some Roman walls and roads). I am ...
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What was the alcoholic beverage of choice for British soldiers during WW2?

The British army has throughout history plied soldiers with rum and grog to boost morale and quiet dissent. Did this policy continue into WW2, and if so, what was the drink supplied by the state?
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530 views

Why did the price of eggs in Britain increase much more than for other basic foods during WWI?

At the beginning of WWI, Britain was only about 40% self-sufficient in food, a major problem given the tonnage of ships sunk by German submarines. Unsurprisingly, food prices rose. In First World War ...
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Anti-Semitism and Edmund Burke

Are there any historical references to Edmund Burkes' views on anti-Semitism? His works specifically deal with the British governance, and legal systems' that could guide the UK through the turbulent ...
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260 views

What do we know culturally about Cheddar Man?

There's a lot of press today about a new DNA study of Cheddar Man, who lived about 9,000 years ago in what's now the English county of Somerset. They concentrated on the genes for hair, skin, and eye ...
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692 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...
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338 views

British way in construction of AFV

Why have British tanks not changed very much? The USA have moved from the VSS, VVSS, HVSS (Lee and Sherman) suspensions to the torsion bar suspension (T26 and Patton family), USSR - from twin bogies (...
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600 views

What are the top 5 bloodiest battles in terms of British casualties?

I have done a bit of research and it seems the Somme, Towton and maybe Bannockburn are up there? Any more to throw into the mix? Great site by the way!
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How did the Crimean war change British society?

Background: My summer reading goal is to get a handle on Europe from 1850-1914, with a strong focus on the British Empire, and within that a focus on England. So far, I've seen multiple historians ...
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709 views

When did the Saxons settle Britain?

In approximately what year did the Germanic tribe of the Saxons invade and settle the island of Britain? Apparently they had not yet arrived when Julius Caesar visited Britain in 44 B.C.; neither ...
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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 ...
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891 views

What does a slitterman do?

On my Great-Uncle's Naval Entry Form, it says: Occupation upon entry: Slitterman (paper) I found this article, which says a slitterman is: A representative for the Travellers Aid Society Can ...
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Why didn't the Trafalgar Way messengers sail up the English Channel?

The dispatches from the British fleet at the battle of Trafalgar were brought by ship to Falmouth. From there, messengers rode by horse over land to the Admiralty in London, following a route known as ...
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174 views

In early WW2, how much of the merchant marine was American?

WW2, before the US entered, ran from 1939 Sep 01 to 1941 Dec 07. During this time, a lot of merchant vessels sailed in convoy to Britain. I am wondering, of all the people who crewed those vessels, ...
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206 views

When was the british rail strike when the workers fought by following the regulations?

I once heard about a strike in british railways. The workers decided to follow strictly the law regulations and that created chaos and that's how they proved the law was wrong. I can't find any ...
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587 views

How was George III able to appoint William Pitt as his Prime Minister?

Today British Prime Ministers are elected by the party that forms the government, having won a majority of votes. It seems this was not always so. How we got here, however, seems to be by convention. ...
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166 views

What did the English people during the Peasants' Revolt know about the Ciompi Revolt?

The Ciompi revolt started in Florence in June 1378 and the Peasants' Revolt started in England in May 1381, just three years later. Did the news about Ciompi Revolt reach England in three years? Did ...
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2answers
162 views

How did Britain and Russia block the railway in Iran?

Karen Armstrong (2000): [...] both Britain and Russia promoted only the technology that furthered their own interests and blocked such inventions as the railway, which might have benefited the ...
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Quesnay, Adam Smith, and Pitt

I am now reading the book Decadent Societies by R.M. Adams and on pp.66-7 he writes: Quesnay's ideas, which fell on stony ground in France, showed their basic vitality when picked up by Adam ...
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During the Battle of Britain, what AA defenses were available, and where?

Regarding the Battle of Britain (1940 Jly 10 - Oct 31), I've never heard anything about the AA defenses on the ground. Surely they must have had some AA flak guns? What kind, how many, and where were ...
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Do any of the commercially produced Hinton cubes still exist?

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, British mathematician Charles Howard Hinton developed a system for visualizing the fourth dimension in his books “A New Era of Thought” and “The Fourth Dimension”. ...
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How many instances of the Writs of Assistance were there? Are there any documented instances?

I have been in general frustrated by the lack of easily available documentation surrounding the 1760 Writs of Assistance, and the Writs of Assistance as they appear today in UK legislation, as pointed ...
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When did the British gentry stop wearing wigs?

I'm researching dress in 18th century Britain. This article claims the following: "Brits stopped wearing wigs after William Pitt levied a tax on hair powder in 1795." The date seems odd to me, ...
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What were British voting qualifications in the 1770's?

I'm writing a paper about what events and ideas led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and one thing I'm using is the corruption in the English government. My evidence includes the ...
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1answer
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When did it become customary to address the King/Queen of England as Majesty?

In written sources I've read of Henry VIII's time the King is referred to as Grace (as nowadays a duke is) so it's probable that the Majesty appellation became current. But when exactly? And why?
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Why did the welfare state succeed in Bismarck's Germany but lagged in 20th-century Britain?

Otto von Bismarck pioneered the welfare state in Germany and Bismarck was/is greatly respected by Germans. Pre-World War I British Liberal Party made welfare reforms after the 1906 general election. ...
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1answer
309 views

What happened to the North Saxons? [closed]

There's an old joke to the effect of "Wessex was the kingdom of the West Saxons, Essex was the kingdom of the East Saxons, Sussex was the kingdom of the South Saxons, Middlesex was the kingdom of the ...
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1answer
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In which places of the UK did the Vikings/Scandinavians have most frequent contact or colonies?

I was in York, England and there was a museum called Jorvik Viking Centre, which spoke about the Vikings who lived there. It said that the area back then was mostly populated by the Vikings. Since ...
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1answer
451 views

What is the earliest reference to King Arthur being raised by Sir Ector?

Thomas Malory's book "Le Morte D'Arthur" is the most famous account of King Arthur's life. It begins with the story of how Arthur's father Uther Pendragon desired Igrayne, the wife of the Duke of ...
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1answer
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During WW2, did the merchant marine also return to Canada in convoys?

During WW2, a lot of cargo ships sailed in convoy to Britain. I am wondering, if they also made the return trip in convoy? If so, were such return convoys also escorted?
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235 views

How did opinions of France and Britain affect American foreign policy up to 1820?

I'm doing some research on this topic for my American Studies class, and I'm having a little trouble with this. I would appreciate a brief overview of this, or possibly some primary sources for me ...
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1answer
379 views

Did any “tanks in front” tactic exist during WW2?

I am searching for a tactic that would be in service in the British and/or French army during WW2. It would consist in placing the tank on forward position of other elements, especially in front of ...
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531 views

In what contexts did male friends kiss in Europe in the 1700s?

In Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon, there's an scene where the title character's mentor, Captain Grogan, is gunned down by French troops. As he lies dying he asks Barry to "kiss me, my boy, for we ...
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What is Street’s Jorrocks?

In the book “All Hell Let Loose” by Max Hastings, the writer mentions about the condition of British farmers during WWII: "Wiltshire farmer Arthur Street ploughed up his grassland as the government ...
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1answer
1k views

Was Celtic society promiscuous?

I have been trying to find an answer to the above question. In pre-Roman and Roman Britain were the Celtic peoples promiscuous or did they have only one married partner? Is there strong enough ...
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1answer
249 views

Did the Romans hold the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas before the invasion in 43 AD?

In this video it shows the Isle of Wight and the area around it including Southampton and Portsmouth being under Roman control beginning during Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain. However my brief ...
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1answer
279 views

How was sugar consumed by industrial revolution workers?

I seen several times the claim than sugar was an essential nutrient for industrial revolution workers (for example this blog) and even that sugar availability made possible the industrial revolution, ...
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1answer
375 views

Average height of a Roman fortlet

I'm wondering if anyone knows where someone has recorded the 'average' height of a Roman fortlet in Britain (Scotland specifically), or some information on the ranges to which they were built? I'm ...