The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
1answer
460 views

What is the history behind the stripes on the East India Company's flag?

Having stumbled across the East India Company's flag, I couldn't help but notice the similarity to the US flag. However, I would like to know what the history of the stripes on the Company's flag ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
161 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

How many British people died due to war/trading activity in the East India Company (EIC)

Are there estimates that give an approximation of the total number of casualities per year or at least per decade (e.g. in the way Wrigley and Schofield report outmigration numbers in their Population ...
27
votes
4answers
12k views

Why did the East India Company accept the Government of India Act 1858?

In 1858, the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act which contained provisions of liquidation of the Company and transfer of assets and governance to the British Crown. The Act was ...
4
votes
1answer
303 views

Did the East India Company shareholders 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 shareholders got any compensation.
7
votes
1answer
420 views

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

Did the Honorable East India Company (HEIC) 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?
50
votes
2answers
12k views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did the British “Indian” army come disproportionately from particular regions?

During World War II, the British field several armies that included Indians, but the most "Indian" of these, was the 14th Army, in which 8 of 13 divisions were predominantly "Indian." Of the ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
250 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
126 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
72 views

Where can I find English letters written to someone's superior to commend that someone, between 1700-1900?

I'm trying to find missives written in Modern English between 1700-1900, where after Person 1 helps Person 2 with something, P2 writes P1's superior (call her P3) to commend P1. I'm hoping to read ...
-4
votes
1answer
207 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
249 views

Identifying the Soldier in this minature painting

I bought a minature painting in a wooden / gilt frame. The portrait is signed Lila Sampson. Inside the frame was another miniature painting of a man in uniform. I am trying to find out more about both ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

How long would it take to travel from England to western Africa in the late 1890's?

I am trying to do some research for a book I am planning to write, and I would like to know how long it would take for a troop transport ship to travel from England to the Gold Coast region of Africa. ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

Was Murud-Janjira independent until it became part of India?

I read up on Murud-Janjira, a fort off the coast of mainland India. It appears that the Siddis managed to hold onto the fort despite Dutch, Maratha, and British East India Company attacks. In the ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

Why weren't the New Territories ceded to the British?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
226 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What happened to the British convicts transported to America after the American Revolution?

From the early 1600s until the American Revolution of 1776, the British colonies in North America received transported British criminals for, what I have read, a term of 6 to 14 years. I have read (...
6
votes
3answers
864 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 ...
39
votes
4answers
9k 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 book against Britain published in 1941: The propaganda book claims ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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 ?
31
votes
10answers
18k views

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

Despite having the same disease susceptibility and technological inferiority against the Europeans, it seems that Native Americans have much more surviving descendants in Latin America compared to ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

Looking at the history of Ghana relative to many post-colonial African states, it appears to be quite a successful and stable nation-state, both politically and economically, compared to many other ...
24
votes
3answers
22k views

Why did Mozambique join the British Commonwealth?

In short, the Commonwealth originated in the British Empire, as an association of Britain and its former colonies. Why did Mozambique (a former Portuguese colony) join?
25
votes
5answers
10k views

Why did the Dutch, French & British acquire minor colonies in South America?

We know that South America was partitioned between Spain and Portugal in the early days of empire when Spain and Portugal were the major powers. Later, in the 19th century, when Spain and Portugal ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What is this strange uniform?

Colonel John Tiltman wears a very strange uniform in this picture, dated 1919. The original webpage where I saw the picture is http://www.colossus-computer.com/colossus1.html.
-6
votes
1answer
125 views

Does the phrase “The empire on which the sun never sets” predate knowledge that the world is round? [closed]

I always assumed that this phrase was coined for the British Empire in relatively modern history, and therefore refers to there being British territories in every time zone. However, the Wikipedia ...
10
votes
3answers
966 views

What class / type of ship was the “Dragon” from Rotterdam c. 1732?

I am attempting to determine the class, size, features, history of the British ship "Dragon" c. 1732 that was known to arrive in Philadelphia on September 30, 1732 with 173 men, women and children ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Ports with ships in the commercial Halifax trade, late 18th Century

Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded by the British in 1749; I am interested in the commercial trade during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792 thru 1798, which is the period of the First Coalition. The ...
3
votes
1answer
368 views

How large were Victorian British military forces?

I was wondering roughly how many people were members of military services in Britain during the later Victorian era, and had no luck finding any information on the subject online, apart from the ...
4
votes
2answers
386 views

In WWI, How were the Germans able to maintain a submarine 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
318 views

When did tea become “a thing” in England?

Tea was certainly available to the aristocracy from at least the mid 18th century, but the concept of "tea" (as in tea break, afternoon tea, high tea, etc.) didn't become prominent until its adoption ...
6
votes
2answers
683 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 ...
61
votes
8answers
30k views

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong but not Gibraltar?

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong to China, but not Gibraltar to Spain? Was it because Gibraltar has more strategic value than Hong Kong?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Where is the Nemesis?

Where is the Nemesis today? Is it simply 'lost at sea', at a museum somewhere, or more likely (as it was an EIC vessel), was it sold for scrap? I did a brief search (of the web), but couldnt find it. ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views
3
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What were the causes of the “Dardanelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...