Questions tagged [united-kingdom]

Formally known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland these questions relate to the history of events that have happened in the countries that make up the United Kingdom; such as England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and various territories; or the United Kingdom's dealings with other sovereign nations around the world.

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4answers
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Why was the British army so short of rifles after Dunkirk?

After the battle of Dunkirk, the U.S. shipped something like 500,000 rifles to Britain. This compares to about 400,000 Allied troops at the port (counting captured French), 338,226 actually rescued, ...
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1answer
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Did British WWII generals have a choice which uniform to wear?

Could the generals of the British army choose what kind of uniform to wear? I am mainly asking because Bernard Montgomery is very often photographed in a battle dress even in very official events like ...
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When has and hasn't the UK Parliament's legal sovereignty been subordinate to the electorate's political sovereignty? [closed]

An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution was first published in 1885, but I quote the 1915 8 edn. p. 250 of this transcribed online PDF. Here's scan of original. Please don't ...
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What did Dicey in 1889 mean by “electoral body”?

An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution was first published in 1885, but I quote pp 264-265 from 1915 8 edn. p. 250 of this transcribed online PDF. I marked in red p. 428 in this ...
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1answer
173 views

Was there a contemporary understanding that 1706 was an exceptionally poor year?

This relates to the numerous (British) news items which seem to have overnight turned the present virus-induced economic downturn into a 'historic downturn'. While there are opinion-based aspects that ...
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What was the British version of the Enigma machine?

While the Germans were using the Enigma machine, what were the British using to encrypt their messages and was it ever broken?
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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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Why did the British have so few destroyers going into World War II?

In September, 1940, Britain traded a number of its New World naval base sites for 50 "overaged' (old) destroyers in the so-called "Destroyer Deal." That doesn't seem like a large number of destroyers, ...
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1answer
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Did the British and the French build the Suez Canal?

How is it that British officials and French engineers were responsible for the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869? This was before Egypt became a protectorate of the British Empire in 1914.
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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Why is Britain the only country called “perfidious”?

The UK is designated as Perfidious Albion, allegedly, because of its duplicity in diplomatic affairs during its imperial times. Why did only the UK receive this derogatory designation? Didn't all ...
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Why didn't France and the UK invade Germany in September 1939?

On September 3rd 1939, when UK and France declared war on Germany, both ordinary Polish people and government officials became enthusiastic. There were spontaneous demonstrations of support for the ...
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What was the military strength of the participants in the Falklands conflict?

The Wikipedia entry for Falklands War does not specify the strength of the belligerents, i.e., the size of the military of each size. Are there details of the military size of the two countries at ...
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Why didn't Britain's nuclear weapons deter Argentina from invading the Falklands?

The United Kingdom has nuclear weapons. All the [major] political parties support this policy. A common justification heard is that they are a deterrent against foreign aggression. For example: UK ...
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Why did Argentina invade the Falklands when they did, rather than wait for the pending sale of the UK aircraft carriers to complete first?

At the time of the Argentinian invasion, the UK was in the process of selling its aircraft carrier and reducing its naval capacity. If Argentina had waited a short time, it would have been much harder ...
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2answers
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What will be the regnal number of the next Queen Mary in the UK?

The crown of the UK is a union of the crowns of England and Scotland. (And maybe Ireland too but that's not relevant to this question.) This means that the current Queen is "Queen Elizabeth II" for ...
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3answers
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Why wasn't Iran colonized by any country?

Why wasn't Iran colonized by any country, especially by British empire?
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3answers
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Why does Northern Ireland not include the counties Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan?

Did not the entire province of Ulster vote to stay in the Union? If so, why was it partitioned? Esepecially Donegal which relied heavily on Belfast for its economy, I don't see a good reason why they'...
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3answers
424 views

Did the Allies ever seriously contemplate a “Northern Intervention” in Russia during World War II?

Late in World War I, Britain and America conducted a Northern Intervention around the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel to try to prevent the occupation of northern Russia by either the Germans ...
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6answers
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Is there a reason for a Queen's husband not to be referred to as King?

While watching the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II events going on recently, I noticed that the Queen's husband is referred to as 'Prince'-- not 'King'. Upon researching further, I found that ...
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What type of magazine was “Classic CD”?

This question concerns very recent history, I apologize if it is too recent. I recently saw an episode of the British comedy series Keeping Up Appearances from the early 1990's. In it, one of the ...
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1answer
661 views

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2?

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2? It seems like that would be uncomfortable, if not dangerous, while you are experiencing high-Gs and low oxygen. However, the above movie includes ...
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What was the significance of the BEF moving into the gap between German forces in First Battle of the Marne?

The German troops fighting in the Battle of the Marne were exhausted and their commanders seemed to communicate very little. After the Marne they retreated to the river Aisne and more or less began ...
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Has Britain's 1940 invasion of Iceland been downplayed by historians?

On the face of it Operation Fork (Britain's invasion of Iceland in 1940) wasn't so terribly different from Germany's territorial landgrabs in 1939 and 1940. Britain and her allies will have ...
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1answer
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How many British prisoners of war were taken by the Wehrmacht and how many died?

I've read here that 3.5% of British POW's held in Germany died. But haven't been able to find an estimate with sources of how many were taken and how many died. Here it says 170,000 were captured and ...
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2answers
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Did the western Allies and Russia try to cooperate in World War I as they did in World War II?

America's General Eisenhower referred to it as "cross-ruffing." Coincidentally or otherwise, the timing of Operation Torch came close to the Russian counterattack at Stalingrad, and Operation Husky ...
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Were British fears of Russia using Afghanistan as a staging post for an invasion of India unfounded?

I know that "The Great Game" was originally concerned with Russian-British competition in Central Asia, but my question is was this competition and British fear founded on anything? My understanding ...
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What jobs exempted one from being conscripted in the UK during World War 2? [closed]

During the Second World War, what jobs in the United Kingdom meant that their holders were exempt from being called up for military service?
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2answers
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Were life imprisonment and mental insanity the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted in early 20th century England?

I was watching a Poirot TV movie which was set to England somewhere around 1930s, and one plot point was that the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted were that either the husband or the wife ...
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2answers
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How could wells back in the day work? [closed]

One of the many things that have confused me all my life is the concept of wells. I get that somebody, long ago, discovered that there's sometimes/often water in the ground, once you dig deeply ...
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1answer
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Having had his policy judged unlawful, which Home Secretary asked to meet Lord Bingham to discuss?

I quote p 27, in the Winter 2018 Issue 13 of the Hong Kong Student Law Gazette. The tension between executive and judiciary exists in many jurisdictions practising separation of powers, and the UK ...
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1answer
144 views

When did UK working class women shift away from home birth?

In urban areas of the UK when did it become more common or usual for working class women to give birth in a hospital or maternity clinic rather than at home?
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Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

In Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy (at about the time 00:54:55) a character says: We can get a day trip to France. You don't need a passport. (He is a commoner, no diplomatic status etc, in fact a ...
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1answer
223 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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3answers
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Is there a difference between “post-medieval” and “modern”?

Is there a difference between "post-medieval" and "modern"? Many of the items in the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme mention "post-medieval or modern period" and even "post-medieval or early modern ...
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0answers
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How many instances of the Writs of Assistance were there? Are there any documented instances?

I have been in general frustrated by the lack of easily available documentation surrounding the 1760 Writs of Assistance, and the Writs of Assistance as they appear today in UK legislation, as pointed ...
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0answers
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Why are stamps put in the top-right corner of post?

I've recently been sending a few letters and one of them has not been delivered yet, and I don't think I stuck the stamp in the top-right corner of the letter. So does it matter if a stamp is not ...
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1answer
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What are the top 5 bloodiest battles in terms of British casualties?

I have done a bit of research and it seems the Somme, Towton and maybe Bannockburn are up there? Any more to throw into the mix? Great site by the way!
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0answers
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Did the British Cabinet agree, at first, to send their expeditionary force to Amiens in August 1914?

I was reading War by Timetable by A.J.P. Taylor, in which he presents his interpretation of how the elaborate timetables prepared by various governments as "contingency plans" took on a life of their ...
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What is the origin of the name of the street Kings Butts in London, and its lack of apostrophes?

I’m mainly interested in why there are no apostrophes in this name. If Butts refers to archery, then why not “King’s Butts” or “Kings’ Butts”? Are apostrophes commonly omitted in historical London ...
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10answers
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Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

The TV show Sherlock prompted an interesting question about the historical role of women during the United Kingdom's road to women's suffrage. In the episode "The Abominable Bride" (set in Victorian ...
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What is the truth behind this speech by (Lord Macaulay)?

Was this speech was delivered by Macaulay in British parliament? Got many articles saying that this speech was not delivered by Macaulay. Is it true? What are the facts behind this speech? I have ...
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1answer
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Where was the operation Market Garden UK planning headquarters?

Can someone remind me of the name of the house and country estate in southern England where much of Operation Market Garden was planned. I have even been on a course there in the 1980s, but can't ...
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1answer
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What is the earliest reference to King Arthur being raised by Sir Ector?

Thomas Malory's book "Le Morte D'Arthur" is the most famous account of King Arthur's life. It begins with the story of how Arthur's father Uther Pendragon desired Igrayne, the wife of the Duke of ...
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2answers
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What is this stick that William III of England/Orange is holding in this portrait?

While looking at a bit of Dutch history, I saw William holding a stick in this portrait. I looked for a description of the portrait on another site and it only says: This autograph portrait is a ...
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5answers
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Was Antarctica a factor in the Falklands war?

Were Argentina's and the UK's Antarctic territorial claims significant in the Falklands War?
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1answer
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Was there a bribery attempt by the UK to get the Ottomans to switch sides in World War I?

While perusing Wikipedia article on Gallipoli Campaign, I saw an intriguing statement: an attempt by the British to bribe the Ottomans to join the Allied side ... failed. Wikipedia citing an ...

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