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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66 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 ...
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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 ...
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153 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 ...
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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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147 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 ...
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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 ...
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184 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 ...
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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 (...
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161 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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113 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 ...
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323 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 ...
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307 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 ...
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75 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 ...
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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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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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157 views

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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136 views

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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284 views

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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76 views

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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156 views

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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301 views

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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177 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 ...
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226 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 ...
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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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332 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 ...
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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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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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464 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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257 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.
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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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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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630 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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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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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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206 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 ...
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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 book against Britain published in 1941: The propaganda book claims ...
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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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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 ...
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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,...