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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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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, ...
0
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1answer
150 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
144 views

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 ...
16
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3answers
590 views

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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0answers
66 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
205 views

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 ...
19
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1answer
5k views

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 ...
0
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0answers
126 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
66 views

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 ...
9
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
298 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 ...
2
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1answer
189 views

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.
4
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1answer
99 views

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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1answer
159 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
198 views

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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2answers
218 views

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 ...
30
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
30
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2answers
5k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
175 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
205 views

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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1answer
508 views

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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3answers
8k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
477 views

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, ...
5
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0answers
94 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
154 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
217 views

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,...
3
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
127 views

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: ...
2
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1answer
690 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
599 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 ...
16
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
280 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
393 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 ...
8
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2answers
702 views

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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3answers
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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 ...
3
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1answer
197 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
516 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
579 views

Why did the British Empire manage to conquer huge swaths of land abroad but couldn't supress nationalism within the British Isles?

The British Empire was extremely successful in the 19th century, to the point where for a few decades they were the largest empire in human history. But for some reason London never really managed to ...
10
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1answer
690 views

Who would qualify as British subject during the Victorian age of the Empire?

This has come up in another question regarding nationalism, and limiting inheritance based on whether a spouse is a British subject. My question is - was anyone in the Empire such a subject? Or was ...
6
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2answers
407 views

Racism, or Nationalism, represented in 19th century English Wills?

Lucy Monoux, 1777-1843, was the daughter of a baronet, and rich, owning at least one farm and a large house with its own land. She wrote a will in 1841 leaving ownership of most of her estate to ...
2
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1answer
113 views

What are the full names of the discoverers of the Seria oil field?

History books and the Brunei Shell Petroleum page say that the Seria oil field was jointly discovered by F.F. Marriot (British Malayan Petroleum Company) and by T.G. Cochrane (Sarawak Oilfields ...
3
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1answer
443 views

Has any country, other than Britain, given away its empire?

King Mithridates VI of Pontus started a fashion when he left his country to Rome in his will. One can argue (very weakly, but it helps this narrative ;-)) that Britain began to emerge as a country (...
8
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2answers
940 views

Why did some colonies of the British Empire have their own currencies?

For example, South Africa used the South African pound; Canada used the Canadian pound/dollar; Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia used the Malaya and British Borneo dollar. Why did they not use the ...
6
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1answer
316 views

Did the HEIC operate in the West Indies as well as the East Indies

Did the HEIC (Honorable Eeast India Company) operate in the West Indies as well as the East Indies and if so, did they face competition from other English or British chartered companies?
6
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1answer
477 views

What was the size of the British East India fleet at the end of the War of 1812?

There was a recent quote from the television show Taboo, set in 1814, that "The British East India Company has more ships than the combined fleets of all the nations of the world" I know that ...
0
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2answers
469 views

Why were Indians able to free themselves of the European Colonialists unlike South Africans? [closed]

About 8 months back, I went to South Africa. I did try to learn a bit about the country before going there. I was very much surprised to learn that 'Apartheid' was a thing/practice till Nelson Mandela'...
5
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3answers
308 views

Britain's Vietnam - the US Revolt?

When Great Britain brought its land and naval forces to the American shores to enforce its rule there, before and after the American's declaration of independence, Great Britain's motives seem clear: ...
2
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2answers
505 views

Why the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) was “the last of the old sieges”?

During the Crimean War (1853–56), Charles George Gordon took part in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55), calling it "the last of the old sieges". What made Sevastopol so "old fashioned" for a comment ...