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
11
votes
5answers
695 views

Did the British Army burn any capitals other than Washington?

It has been written that the British invasion of Washington, and the burning of the Capitol, White House, and other public buildings, was in retaliation for American raids in Canada which caused the ...
11
votes
3answers
38k views

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Purpose of Guinea in British monetary history

I read about Guinea itself, how it was made, but I don't really understand why would anybody keep a money worth 5% more than an existing denomination like Pound. I can accept the 1/20 and 1/12 ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
11
votes
5answers
11k views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
34k views

In the British empire, what was the difference between a Governor General and a Viceroy?

In the many colonies of the British empire, it seems that the rulers of some were known as Governors General and others were officially titled as Viceroys. Was there a practical distinction between ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Did any of the 50 Destroyers swapped for bases with Great Britain in 1940 sink any Axis military vessels?

In 1940 the United States traded fifty mothballed WW1 Destroyers to England in exchange for land rights in areas of the British Empire. Were any of those fifty ships credited with sinking an Axis ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Maintaining the status quo throughout the British Colonies of North America

Though Nathanial Bacon himself may not have been poor, the rebellion he became a leader of in 1676 eventually proved to be evidence of the class envy that existed in the British colonies of North ...
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.
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

When did the first riots between Hindus and Muslims happen in India? [closed]

I have studied in school that the British used the Divide and Rule strategy to rule in India. But, for them to think of applying Divide and Rule, I think some sort of communal tension between Hindus ...
10
votes
1answer
734 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 ...
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. ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did Bakht Khan switch sides in Indian War of Independence 1857?

Bakht Khan was one of the key commanders of the Indian Liberation Forces fighting against the British for independence of India. From his early life, It is known that he was enlisted in British ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

What were the key differences between United States' and Indian revolutions?

The Thirteen Colonies and Indian subcontinent were two of the most significant colonies of the British Empire, yet the former was able to gain independence via a rebellion relatively early on, whilst ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
953 views

Approximately what was the short-term economic loss to Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War being lost?

Is there any research that shows what the economic impact was to the British economy stemming from the 13 Colonies obtaining independence? It could be either a narrower estimate of purely tax losses ...
10
votes
2answers
636 views

What did the Royal Sussex Regiment do in India between 1891-1897?

My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records, which I have downloaded from FindMyPast; the images can be ...
9
votes
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Why hire Hessian troops?

During the American Independence War the British army made use of mercenaries hired from various German state (About 30,000 German soldiers fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War,...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Effect of propaganda during the American War of Independence

In what way did propaganda play a part in the solidifying of American identity in the American War of Independence, and how was propaganda used by the British at home to generate support for the war? ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Britain send convicts to Canada during the colonial era?

During the colonial era before the American War of Independence, Britain sent convicts to its North American colonies which eventually became the USA, but did Britain also send convicts to those ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What was the nominal strength of a company in a British Regiment during the American war of Independence?

How were these organised into Divisions, Grand Divisions or battalions?
9
votes
2answers
852 views

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution?

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution? Put another way: Was the Industrial Revolution the single key over-riding factor to its ...
9
votes
1answer
210 views

How different were Labour and Conservative party lines on race immigration and empire in around 1962?

Though obviously I want responses to focus on concrete answers and evidence for the title question, I am ultimately interested in how likely it would have been for the 1962 Commonwealth Immigration ...
9
votes
1answer
599 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
236 views

Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the Ottoman Empire lose some control over Egypt during the Crimean War?

What were the effects of the Crimean War on the relationship between the British and Ottoman empires? Did they lose partial control over Egypt?
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
417 views

Did the British government oppose racial segregation in South Africa from 1815-1931?

In South Africa, the Afrikaners' political movements, including the National Party, took the lead in extending segregation in the first half of the 20th-century. Anglo-Africans were less enthusiastic ...
8
votes
1answer
509 views

Why did the French concede Mosul to British Iraq?

Blogger Andrew Sullivan writing about Syria today notes: Syria as we now know it was created by one Brit, Mark Sykes, and one Frenchman, Francois Georges-Picot in 1920. Originally, it included a ...
8
votes
1answer
335 views

Was Baker Island ever claimed by the United Kingdom?

The Wikipedia article and Encyclopedia Britannica article for Baker Island agree that the United States claimed Baker Island in 1857, under the Guano Islands Act. The Wikipedia article also makes an ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Which parts of the Townshend Act were repealed in 1770?

The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 and partially repealed in 1770. Which clauses were repealed at that time? I've looked around and found the original text, but I cannot find specifically what ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Sources for letters written during the Boer Wars?

For a project at my school I need to make a 'letter home' of a Canadian soldier that participated in the Second Boer War. I need to draw from primary sources and I'm not having luck finding any. Does ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Scaffoldings on Taj Mahal?

I recently came across this picture (removed now, look at wiki article instead), saying that it is a scaffolding erected during WW2 over Taj Mahal to protect it from Japanese Air Force. Even the ...
8
votes
1answer
266 views

What was Ghulam Ahmad's relationship with the British authorities in India?

An answer on Islam.SE claims, Ghulam Ahmad came out at a time when the British were trying to take over India, and they needed someone to stop the Muslims from fighting, and so bribed this man to ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
536 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
435 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?
7
votes
1answer
424 views

What would the Royal Sussex Regiment have been doing in South Africa between 1900-1902?

My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records. Which I have downloaded from FindMyPast, the images can be ...
7
votes
1answer
274 views

Who started trams in Delhi?

This TOI article says ' trams started operating in Delhi on March 6, 1908, at the behest of Lord Hardinge.' But Lord Hardinge became Viceroy of India in 1910. And it was Lord Minto who was the ...
7
votes
1answer
518 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

To what extent is the independence of India a result of Indian Independence Movement?

India received independence from the British Empire in 1947. It had a long history of independence movement, stretching from 19th century, but it had gained a massive support only from 1910-1920. The ...
7
votes
1answer
196 views

Security of war documents/letters during revolutionary war?

I was wondering the security of such documents. Documents like letters written by the British generals to each other communicating about their next battle tactic against the Americans. See this link. ...
7
votes
1answer
265 views

Was there a policy of preemptive attack on foreign fleets in the British Empire?

I heard many times that the British Empire had an official policy to attack anyone who was close to having a great flotilla able to challenge their sea dominance. I cannot find any sources about who ...
7
votes
4answers
285 views

Does anyone have a concrete example of the British Empire using revolution to gain control over foreign resources, governments?

I can't remember where I read this but in multiple sources I've read the saying that the "The British Empire could unfurl the winds of revolution" to achieve control over foreign resources, ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...