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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1 answer
221 views

Is there any evidence to support the claim that Richard Burton told John Speke he would return home via Jerusalem after their Nile Quest?

The book "Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Great Victorian Adventure" by Tim Jeal contradicts with every other books I read regarding the dispute between Richard Burton ...
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What laws governed the Punjab under British rule during the Board of Administration between 1849 and 1853?

Given that the Indian Penal Code wasn't introduced until 1860 and then later the Punjab Laws Act of 1872 I am trying to gain a better understanding of the laws governing the Punjab under British rule ...
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What role did Elizabeth II play in actions of the British Empire during her reign? [closed]

Much of the critical commentary on Elizabeth II's legacy following her death has concerned actions of the British state in its colonies during her reign. An historically significant number of these ...
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Why did it take over 100 years for Britain to begin seriously colonising America?

After the New World was discovered, it didn't take long for Spain, and relatively soon after, Portugal, to begin permanent colonisation there. It took over 100 years after the New World's discovery ...
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Is this uniform is from India or Burma in the 1800's?

Is this an Indian Brigade? Possibly RSF in India or Burma?
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After the First Opium war, Why didn't Britain demand large amounts of territory from China?

The first Opium war was a total British victory. With such a total British victory, and with the expansionist ideals that existed in Britain, forcing China into an unconditional surrender seemed to be ...
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How many times in history has a government completely "moulded to its own shape the physical character of the people"? [closed]

Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet published the book "Travels in China" in 1804. In it he made poignant but quite accurate assessments about then China. I am Chinese and I am reading this book ...
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1 answer
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Which part of Japanese air forces fought in Burma and how much was destroyed?

My current understanding of WW2 involving Japan is that US forces destroyed the brunt of Japanese air and naval forces in the Pacific. I know however that land battles occurred on large scale in Burma ...
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Why did Sørlle weep at the ending of "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing?

The news about scientists have found Endurance prompts me to ask this question otherwise I have always seen it as some minor details that few people will have interest in. I think it is safe to say &...
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How exactly did the government work with very large empires? [closed]

In planning my fictional worlds, I have come to wonder how exactly large empires worked, the main question being, how did they manage to keep control over such a large space in a manner that allowed ...
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How colonialism have been done right (benevolently)? [closed]

The British Empire (& Europeans, Arabs etc.) colonised many countries but the colonial experience, advertised as a "westernizing the backward people for their own good" masked the ...
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How could temporary surrender of self-government help Newfoundland with its debts?

According to Wikipedia, Newfoundland had accumulated a significant amount of debt by building a railway across the island, which was completed in the 1890s, and by raising its own regiment during ...
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What were Lord Macartney's original words about Chinese under the Qianlong Emperor's brutal regime in 18th century?

This is a follow-up question of Where can I find modern account of Macartney Embassy to China (1792–1794)? After Lord Macartney returned from his mission to the Qianlong Emperor, he made a poignant ...
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Where can I find modern account of Macartney Embassy to China (1792–1794)?

Macartney Embassy was the first British diplomatic mission to China. It was such an important but little-known event. I read quite some Chinese materials but not many English materials. The wiki ...
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Is there mutual significance in the year 1807, so far as abolition of the slave trade in Britain and the United States is concerned?

I have just read an article in the autumn edition of The Historian (British publication of the Historical Association) by Professor John Coffey of the University of Leicester on The secret diaries of ...
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How much did King George III of Britain weigh?

I cannot, for the life of me, find out how much King George III of Britain weighs. I would like to know his physical stature, as I am making a rhythmic poem with my class.
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2 votes
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Can you identify this dress uniform (Lucknow, India, around 1911)?

My husband’s grandmother, born illegitimate, did not know her father. She was told that this is him. She was conceived in India in November 1911. I would like to identify the dress uniform. I know it’...
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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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4 votes
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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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
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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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