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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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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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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What was the role of Indian princes and aristocratic landowners under British colonial rule?

I am currently reading Ludwig von Mises' Human Action and find it rewarding in various ways. For instance, von Mises points out the following about volunteers' roles even around autocratic rulers: ...
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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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When did the use of “Contact!” by soldiers emerge?

I was recently watching a World War One docudrama-esque show (Our World War (BBC)) and, while patrolling and fighting to control Trones Wood, some British troops unexpectedly encounter the German ...
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1answer
186 views

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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157 views

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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1answer
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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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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 hanged is quite famous. Who were all the famous extremist freedom ...
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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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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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169 views

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 weren't the Faroe Islands ever conquered by Britain?

Here are the Faroe Islands: According to the history I read, they've always been under Denmark's control except in the middle of WWII. Why weren't these ever conquered by Britain? They seem close ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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What impact does colonial legacy have on current US presence in the South China Sea dispute?

In recent years, the South China Sea has become somewhat important from a geo-political standpoint. China is building military bases, among many other things, and the US has been speaking about ...
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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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1answer
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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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Was there anyone involved in the negotiations of New Territories (Hong Kong) lease still alive at the time of the negotiations of its return to China?

As well explained by this answer, I know the usual confusion among the previous cession in perpetuity of Hong Kong versus the lease of the neighboring New Territories. For all effects, China got the ...
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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?
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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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Why was Calcutta a node in the opium smuggling network prior to the Opium Wars in China?

As per Wikipedia's History of Kolkata page: After the territorial conquest of Bengal in 1757, the British East India Company pursued a monopoly on production and export of opium from India. The ...
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Why did the British take Hong Kong instead of any other of the later treaty ports?

The aftermath of the first Opium War declared that Hong Kong and the island of Kowloon should be ceded to the UK as a port for refitting ships and storing cargo. It also meant there was easy access ...
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Why did United Kingdom not keep the colonies after Napoleon's defeat?

During the Napoleonic Wars the British occupied some French, Dutch and Danish colonies mainly in the Caribbean like: Dutch Surinam, Danish West Indies, French Martinique. I have 2 questions: Why ...
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What were the main causes of successful take over of India by Britain?

The East India Company ruled an entire country of huge size for 101 years (1757–1858). During this time they did almost everything they wanted to do and won almost every battle in India. What was ...
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How large were the East India Company armed forces?

The British East India Company maintained an armed force large and competent enough to subdue and control Mughal India, but just how large was it? How comparable was it to contemporary national ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Why did Nepal and Bhutan not become a part of India like other princely states when colonial rule ended?

During the period around Independence, India, under Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's program to unite the subcontinent, was getting Princely states to accede to Union of India. There were around 570 ...
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1answer
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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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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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