Questions tagged [british-empire]

For questions regarding the overseas empire established by Britain, beginning with England's overseas colonies and trading posts in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and reaching a quarter of the Earth's land surface by 1922. Domestic British questions should be directed as United-Kingdom, Britain, England, Scotland, Wales, or Ireland depending on the subject.

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At their respective peaks, did the United States or the British Empire have more global power and influence?

These two superpowers had influence over significant portions of the world (more directly in the case of the British Empire than in the United States), but with over a century between their peaks, ...
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Why did the British Empire try to criminalize cannabis in India three times when they had good experience with its taxation?

The British Empire passed a taxation act on cannabis in India in 1798, apparently for the well-being of the natives. What the most likely motivation behind the taxation act is, I don't know. In 1838, ...
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Was there something in Lord Palmerston's career that made him associated with temporary appointments becoming permanent?

While researching the quote "nothing more permanent than something temporary", I stumbled upon this quote from the "Royal United Service Institution Journal" from 1888: I fear ...
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Would a commissioned officer in the Royal Navy during the mid-late 18th century ever sail on a vessel other than a man-o-war, ship of the line, etc?

As someone who does not exactly understand how naval commissions worked in the 18th century, I am curious to know if there might have ever been an occasion where a commissioned officer (such as a ...
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Does the idea of white Europeans being the “true Aryans” come from the British India? [closed]

I have recently had a conversation with a man from India over the Internet and he told me this interesting claim. He said that "Aryan" meant "noble" in Sanskrit, and the British, ...
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How many British and British affiliated Indians lost their lives in the Indian freedom struggle?

There is a lot of material on how many Indians lost their lives, killed or missing in the British colonial era. But how many people affiliated to the East India Company and later, the British Empire ...
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What is this Victorian era British Uniform? Royal Horse Artillery?

Please can anyone confirm whether the photo shows a uniform of a Corporal in the R.H.A.(Royal Horse Artillery) of the British Army in about the 1870s? An ancestor of mine was in the R.H.A in the 1870s ...
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Did German aircraft operate off Lebanon in 1941?

During the Syro-Lebanon War in 1941, French forces fought British forces both on the ground, in the air and at sea. French airplanes attacked the British fleet multiple times. But according to Roald ...
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Did the US's push to dissolve the imperial preference become an underlying reason for the collapse of the British empire

Here are some articles (history.state.gov and umich.edu) talking about the US push to dissolve the imperial preference system. In the conferences that occurred during WW2 the US told Britain ...
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Where can I find more information on the Federated Malay States V.F.? [closed]

badge has a crown on top with a shield in the middle. slider on back on front reads Federated Malay States V.F. I was wondering if anyone knows much about the badge as I have not found out much about ...
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Where can I obtain the full “British Statistical Blue Books” of British colonies in Africa?

I'm a poli sci grad student looking to access the full British statistical blue books which catalog statistics for British colonies. Does anyone know where I can obtain access to them, preferably free ...
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Why didn't Justice Robert Jackson just finish his 2-year law degree, when he already completed his first year?

Philip Halpern. Stanford Law Review, Dec., 1955, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Dec 1955), pp. 3-8. JSTOR. p 3. Robert Jackson was born February I3, 1892, on a small farm near Spring Creek in Warren County, ...
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In Indian census, were the children of a Thug recorded as “Yet to Be Thug”?

I read (can't remember where at the moment) that in a population census (probably around 1911) the child of a thug used to be recorded as "yet to be thug" in profession column in India. ...
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Who used to present the Indian Order of Merit?

I was reading about the Indian Order of Merit, and the Battle of Saragarhi in particular. All of the martyred soldiers were, for instance, conferred with the highest gallantry award for natives of ...
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Can you identify these military tunes (17th-century)?

Would anyone happen to know the names of two historic tunes (fifth and drum) in the Revolutionary War? I linked the descriptions below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPbn_uipW10&loop=0&start=...
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When did $10,000 banknotes become available to the public in the British colonies of South East Asia?

When did $10,000 banknotes start to circulate publicly in the British colonies (colonies, crown colonies, "protected states", "protectorates") of South East Asia? The Straits ...
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How did the Boston Tea Party protest affect the British?

"The Boston Tea Party was a political protest that occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffin's Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. American colonists, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “...
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Is there a quote that expresses Mill's opposition to Indian democracy?

I heard in a talk that John Stuart Mill was in favor of democracy in his own country but against democracy in India, I read the following in a paper - Mill’s support of British imperialism may seem ...
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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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Why didn't the German population leave Dar es Salaam before the outbreak of WWII?

In the chapter 'The Beginning of the War' of his autobiography Going Solo, Roald Dahl recounts his role in stopping the German population of Dar es Salaam from fleeing to Portuguese East Africa (the ...
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During the time of the British Mandate, who opposed the term “Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine” and who if any were OK with it being called that?

During the time of the British Mandate, who in the British Government opposed the term "Hashemite Kingdom Of Palestine"? " the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine. This was the name that ...
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Why did British Gen. Frank Messervy oppose the invasion of Kashmir?

According to Wikipedia: In October 1947, Messervy had become aware of the mobilization of Pashtun tribesmen in the North-West Frontier Province for the invasion of Kashmir. The governor George ...
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Did Jinnah in 1947 or 1946 forsake his demand for Pakistan on the condition of maximum autonomy for the provinces within the united India?

Is this true that Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the All India Muslim League in 1947 or 1946 accepted the proposal for freedom for a united India if the provinces could be granted maximum autonomy within ...
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Is there evidence to suggest the British Parliament was reluctant to deal with the Nassau Pirates because they made a convenient bogeyman?

In the historic TV Series Black Sails we see a character Thomas Hamilton (circa 1706) in London acting to end piracy in Nassau: Determined to end the pirate threat in Nassau, Thomas enlisted ...
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Did most citizens of the British Empire hold racists views before the post-war period? [closed]

Racism during Imperial Britain has come back to the fore with the recent protests in the US and UK, in relation to the death of George Floyd. In particular, Churchill has been alleged as racists, and ...
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Why were slave owners even offered compensation via the 1837 Act if they'd lost the power in parliament to stop abolition in 1833?

The British government paid out £20 million to slave owners in 1837 as compensation for the loss of the slaves as business assets to the registered owners of the freed slaves. There seems to be plenty ...
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Why wasn't England/Britain officially an empire (as a form of monarchy)?

An overwhelming article does not answer my question: Why perhaps since Elizabeth I was England not officially an empire and its head of state an emperor/empress? I mean, it is said that the British ...
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What stopped the British from granting independence to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

On the Wikpedia article about the History of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands: During the independence of both India (1947) and Burma (1948), the departing British announced their intention to ...
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When did the allied “Desert Air Force” in North Africa smash Axis armour?

In the answers to this question, it is mentioned that allied air power "smashed" Axis armour in North Africa. Is there a major battle at which it occurred? Or did it happen during a longer ...
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How would the family of a soldier killed in WW1 recieve his Victoria Cross?

I am writing historical fiction (setting is British Raj) and am researching the Victoria Cross, and List of Victoria Cross recipients by campaign I know soldiers from North Indian villages were ...
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Why did Allied Command maintain passive, especially Indian units in Middle East during the years 1942 and 1943?

I have found, going through stack exchange questions, a pair of links that speak about the presence. Those links are: Statistics on the number of divisions during WWII and the deployment of a (mostly ...
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How many slaves did the British Empire free between 1700 and 1900?

Parliament's 1833 Slavery Abolition Act bought, over a six-year time period, the freedom of all slaves in the British Empire the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company, or to the ...
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Were any of Queen Victoria’s portraits widely publicised?

Background The Article „Lingering between Tradition and Innovation: Photographic Portraits of Empress Dowager Cixi“ (link) describes how Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty was advised to have ...
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Was there intermixing between Brits and Hong Kongers during Britain's control of the territory?

When Britain took control of Hong Kong at the end of the First Opium War did British Europeans stay and intermix (intermix=make new humans)?
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What do we know about the squadron that evacuated Moore's force after Corunna?

Upon being appointed commander of British forces in Iberia, and Napoleon's subsequent invasion with Le Grande Armee, Sir John Moore's retreated to a defensive position near the port of Corunna, in ...
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Did other British colonies at the time have seats in parliament [duplicate]

I know the American colonies didn’t have a seat, but what about the other British colonies. Did some have it. Like Australia, and the places in Africa.
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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 did a young George Washington sign a document admitting to assassinating a French military officer?

On May 28, 1754, a young Lt. Colonel named George Washington ambushed a French force at Jumonville Glen with assistance from a Iroquois leader named Tanacharison. One of the casualties was the French ...
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Had there been instances of national states banning harmful imports before the mid-19th C Opium Wars?

Background To my current understanding, James Matheson in his »The British trade with China« argued that China might have originally had the right to refuse trading with Britain, but that they lost ...
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Would Victorian era British soldiers wear their short sword bayonets while wearing uniform when off duty?

In depictions of the Victorian era we often see lower ranks of soldiers wearing uniform when off duty in pubs or frequenting fairs, or just milling about as extras in the background etc. My question ...
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Before 1 July 1997, could British Nationals (Overseas) born in Hong Kong acquire British citizenship?

I'm asking just about people born in HK who were just BN(O), weren't British citizens, and had no other citizenship or nationality. Is this Reddit comment right? Andalucia1453. 10 points 14 hours ...
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What uniform is Alexander Duncan McLennan wearing?

I am trying to identify this uniform. It’s a photo of my great grandfather Alexander Duncan McLennan 1861 - 1919. He was born in Glasgow in 1861 so was Scottish. The only record I can find of an A ...
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Gregorian dating in the Julian time period?

William Penn wrote about his friend and my 9th great grandfather, Cuthbert Hayhurst, dying in 1682. I have seen the letter in Penn's writing. How is it that he dated the death in 1682 when the ...
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Could British India have realistically allied with both Afghanistan and the Punjab?

In his book The Return of a King, historian William Dalrymple is strongly critical of British policy toward Afghanistan prior to the disastrous invasion of 1839. He implies, quoting the British envoy ...
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Why didn't Delhi became part of Pakistan?

I have read about Pakistan Movement (PM), about the Partition of India between the two and I want to know why Delhi didn't became part of Pakistan (in contrast to Edirne of the Ottoman Empire which ...
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Why is 26th January India's Republic Day?

I read on Wikipedia that 26 January celebrated as India's Republic Day because it is on this day in the year 1929 that the Indian National Congress proclaimed the declaration of independence as ...
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Can you identify this British Army uniform, worn in India circa 1920?

This is my grandfather, John P Lockton, and he was based at Raniket in North India. My grandmother died in 1925 while giving birth to my twin uncles; both survived! My mother was only 5 years old at ...
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Did the British screw Lee Kuan Yew over by withdrawing their naval presence earlier than intended?

This Reddit comment alleges Singapore, remember, gained its independence from Malaysia, not Britain outright, and the British even screwed Lee Kuan-yew over by pulling out their naval presence ...
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Why weren't the New Territories ceded to the British instead of leased in 1898?

Note New Territories is abbreviated to NT. Here's an overview of the UK's acquisition of HK - The handover of Hong Kong was in 1997 so it's safe to discuss the PRC's land policy in Hong Kong. But ...
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How did early colonial Australia deal with its gender imbalance?

Australia was a penal colony, so since there are more male criminals than female, it stands to reason that Australia would have a large gender imbalance with more men than women. Indeed, Wikipedia's ...

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