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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, ...

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What was the role of Midnapore town in present day West Bengal of India in the armed struggle for freedom in Bengal province of British India?

The famous extremist freedom fighter Khudiram Bose from Midnapore who was the first extremist freedom fighter in British India to be hung is quite famous. Who were all the famous extremist freedom ...
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WWI: German blockade of Britain

How come that in WWI, the Germans were able to maintain a submarine blockade of Britain when GB was clearly the dominant naval power? Did the British Empire have no subs of their own? Were they bound ...
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Did Iqbal offer funeral prayers for the killer of someone who wrote a blasphemous book?

In 1929, Ilmuddin killed a man called Rajpal for writing a blasphemous book against Muhammad. He was later hanged by the British government. According to several sources (like here), the national ...
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When did the accusations of convict stain against white Australians stop being culturally significant?

"White Australians" in the 19th and early 20th century were generally subject to a cultural belief of genetic criminality from other British settler societies, this varied from cultural claims to ...
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Was there someone popularly labeled by public as “Lord Mum”?

My teacher said in a motivational speech that there was a person (some king or duke etc) who had to make a speech/sermon after assuming his hereditary office. But when he appeared before the public he ...
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Is there any book depicting British rule in India from the eyes of British?

Frankly speaking, most of the history written from the minds of Indians depict British as the brutal enemy. I am very tired of this view, as an Indian, I wanted to know any book depicting British rule ...
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Post world war one mandates model

Pre World War One and during World War One, the game of world politics was that of direct empirical rule, whereas afterwards, the mandate model was accepted. This stated that for A type mandates there ...
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Was The Great Game a war? [closed]

I know that The Great Game was between UK & Russia and done through parts of Asia, Middle East & Europe. I was wondering if the Great Game was basically two empires trying fighting each other ...
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What portion of the finance industry was British prior to WWI?

It's sometimes stated that Britain was the financial capital of the world prior to the First World War, and that it took extraordinary war spending like that in the Great War to shift the capital to ...
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What prevented the Indian Army to wrest Kashmir from Pakistan despite the UN Security Council's resolutions of 1948-49?

In August 1947, when the British partitioned their Indian colony into two countries of India and Pakistan, the state of Kashmir was being ruled by a Hari Singh one of whose ancestor, named Gulab Singh,...
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Were there any Muslims left in the Indian side of the Punjab after the 1947 riots?

As is well-known to those acquainted with the history of the Indo-Pak subcontinent, there were large-scale riots in Punjab in 1947 when the province of the British Indian colony was partitioned along ...
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In Britain, what was the “Junior Service” in 1913?

I read a marriage notice from 1913, which noted that the father of the groom "has four sons abroad, three having served with distinction in the junior Service". (West Sussex Gazette, Thu 13 Feb 1913, ...
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Before Liberty Ships became widely available, what kind of cargo ships supplied Britain? [closed]

I would like to know what kind of cargo ships supplied Britain during the early years of WW2, before Liberty Ships became available in huge numbers. The approximate timeframe I'm interested in is 1939 ...
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Why did the French return all the Dutch Colonies to the Netherlands in Paris Treaty?

It seems to me that France helped Holland a lot in the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War. And also gave all Dutch colonies back to Holland in the 1783 Treaty of Paris? I was wondering why was that and what ...
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How profitable was India for the British Empire in the 1800s?

I recently read Imperial Twilight, an excellent history of the opium wars. The author claims several times that while the British trade with China was very lucrative, India was by contrast "...
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Name an Act still in use in Pakistan today from the Colonial Era

Can you please name a legislative Act or Bill that has been passed, in a decolonized country, preferably Pakistan, left over from the colonial era that are still in use today? Also preferably related ...
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Why did Black and Asian immigrants from the Empire not come to Britain in substantial numbers until after WW2?

The Windrush saga in the British media has thrown light on the situation of post-WW2 migrants from the British Empire - particularly the Caribbean, India and Pakistan - who came to the UK in the ...
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Was the British Army a millionaire factory in the early 20th century?

I'm reading "Kenya Diary" by Richard Meinertzhagen where he relates his experiences as a junior officer in the British army around 1902. At one point he states that during his 5 year service in East ...
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Why did these countries become republics on Independence rather than commonwealth realms?

Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles, Dominica, Vanuatu, Cyprus: was there any reason why the above countries became republics on independence whilst remaining within the Commonwealth, as opposed to the ...
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What regiments of the British East India Company were in southeastern India in the late 1790s?

I have been researching ranks and positions that existed in various regiments and civil branches of the British East India Company during the late 1790s to early 1800s. Those aren't as hard as finding ...
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Why did the colonies fight Cresap's War?

I am reading about Cresap's War. I do not fully understand why colonies within the British Empire had wars with one another. Did the British Colonies in America have independent rules, like the ...
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336 views

Did Britain look into taking California?

The Spanish colonized California in part to forestall the expansion of other empires. The territory was in danger of invasion throughout the Spanish and Mexican eras (1769-1846). Visitors and ...
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Did the East India company share holders get any compensation when the Crown took over in 1858?

If anyone has read the government of India act 1858, please tell if the East India company share holders got any compensation.
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Journeys from Gujarat in India to Dare es Salaam in what was then, Tanganyika in 1925 and 1948

I am researching a journey for a novel where my character travels from Gujarat in India to Dare es Salaam in what was then, Tanganyika. The journey happens in 1925 and then again in 1948. Does anyone ...
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Book 'reply' to 1000 years of annoying the French [closed]

The book 1000 years of annoying the French, by Stephen Clarke presents a view of the history of Anglo-French relations from the year 911 AC to 2007. It does so, as it is hinted by the title, in a ...
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Was the British Empire bigger than the combined empires of the Iberian Union in terms of claimed land area?

The Iberian Empire (1580-1640 AD), under Phillip II, a Habsburg, was a period when there was only one crown in the Iberian Peninsula. The 16th Century had been an Age of Discovery and Exploration for ...
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When was the White Feather first used as a symbol of cowardice?

During WWI in Britain (and in some British colonies), a white feather was commonly given to men who were seen as cowards for not enlisting. The idea of using a white feather comes supposedly from ...
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Was there a “European Balance of Power Strategy” for Anglo-American interests in between 1925 and 1935?

There is a meme in the US about British meddling in Europe. It says, basically, that the British didn't want a single power to dominate the continent, so it would support the second strongest power to ...
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Why didn't the British Grand Fleet force an engagement with the German Imperial Navy in WW1?

I'm watching the channel The Great War on YouTube, which documents the goings on of the First World War week by week (careful, it's addictive and there are literally hundreds of episodes). It is my ...
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2answers
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When did Canada become truly independent?

I see that Canada became independent in 1867. But someone told me it wasn't truly independent until the 1980s. Is that true? In what sense is it true? I don't see anything about it in that article or ...
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What percentage of the British Empire's economy was profits from the opium trade?

Between 1820 and 1840 the British sold a lot of Opium in China. Compared with the total size of the British Empire's economy, how big was the Opium trade? I have an old friend who maintains that even ...
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How did former slaves typically acquire a surname?

Especially male slaves, as female slaves logically would have taken the husband's name if they found one. Did male slaves that had been freed just randomly pick a surname? I'm referring to the ...
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Were British plans for India disrupted by WWII?

In a video debate, Sadhguru says (@3.57) the British would have stayed in India if World War II not happened. Is this assertion credible? Does the pre-war evidence weigh in favor of this assertion, ...
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Was Winston Churchill really responsible for the 1943 Bengal famine? [closed]

Indians think that he was the one responsible for famine. Is there any other fact that contradicts above ?
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Is the photograph “England’s Revenge in India” real, staged, or fake?

Might have an interesting puzzle for you here... This picture, titled "England's Revenge in India", appeared in a Nazi propaganda booklet against Britain published in 1941: The propaganda book ...
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Did the dramatic improvement in survival rates of scurvy in the Royal Navy significantly affect British port cities?

I've been reading about James Lind and scurvy in the Royal Navy, and how, through the efforts of Lind and others, survival rates improved dramatically after the introduction of orange/lemon juice, ...
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Was Voltaire actually present at the British Raid on Lorient in 1746, which was attended by David Hume?

Voltaire wrote a satirical account of the raid at which Hume himself was personally in attendance with General St Clair. However, it is difficult to find out if Voltaire was actually an eyewitness ...
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British Diplomat's Guide to the Balkan Races

Reportedly (from a source I cannot recall) the British had a very "interesting" guide about the Balkans. It had a sort of cheat sheet to the peoples around that area, with the stereotypical ...
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When the British left India, who authorized standstill agreements between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu?

When the British left India, Mysore (Karnataka) rulers agreed to instrument of accession by newly formed Indian government. However there were standstill agreements which are still leading to disputes,...
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What did the British Empire mean by “Free Trade” in reference to the colonies?

Background: This feels like sort of a silly question for me to be asking after reading about the Victorian Age and the British Empire for several months, but here goes. As I've read about the ...
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How have terms of English governance of Ireland been viewed in history?

The following Treaty of Mellifont, made with Hugh O'Neill, England's most hard-core opponent, is reasonably representative. Under the treaty, after the Irish lost a war, were the following key terms: ...
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Did the British East India Company operate in the West Indies? [duplicate]

This question in the Science Fiction and fantasy stack exchange asks about the British East India Company operating in the West Indies. According to Wikipedia, there were a number of East India ...
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3answers
667 views

Why did the US have a plan for the event of war against Britain in the 1920s?

By pure chance, I found out there was a Plan red for the event of war between the states and Britain. The plan was conceived in the late 20s and early 30s of the previous century. It seems the article ...
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Has the sun ever set on the British Empire? If so when?

Referring to the expression, "The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire"... Was there any period of time when this was literally true? If so, what was the first sunset on the Empire after this ceased ...
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How did Victorian British conservatives resolve the tension between valuing tradition and spreading empire?

I've started reading about British Victorian politics, and I have a question about an apparent tension in Victorian conservatism. I'd like to get a better understanding of it so I can have a framework ...
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1answer
515 views

During the Peninsula War, what British material aid was given to Spain/Portugal?

The Peninsular War saw France intervene on the Iberian Peninsula, first against Portugal, then against Spain. It lasted roughly from 1808 - 1814. I would like to know what material Britain gave to ...
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Was the Somerset Decision in 1772 in England the real underlying cause of the American Revolutionary war?

I had a discussion with a Brit the other day and naturally the topic drifted to our historic break from the UK in 1776 and I boasted of our noble fight for liberation and freedom. The Brit was amused ...
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Why did the UK allow India to be a republic rather than a democratic parliament under the British Monarch?

In the UK, there is a democratically elected prime minister but the Monarch is the Head of State, although the latter is not (directly) involved in government. Likewise, the UK could have done the ...
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How did the primary means of communication between the British government in Delhi and UK change during WW2?

During WW2, India faced a lot of violence from the side of the Japanese. During the Burma campaign, the British would have (sometimes I suppose) asked the British government what was actually going or ...
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What was the outcome of the first tank battle?

Today, April 24th, is the anniversary of the first tank battle. As noted on this Wikipedia page, it was three British tanks against three German tanks, but there is no mention of the outcome in ...