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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38
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10answers
12k views

Why did the United Kingdom industrialize first?

What factors made the United Kingdom the first to industrialize? Was it simply the importance and benefit of its position in the global community for trade?
188
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34answers
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Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

During World War 2, Hitler was fighting a war with Great Britain, but while fighting that war, he attacked the Soviet Union. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad......
61
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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?
36
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2answers
8k views

In the “Christmas truce” of 1914 were there any football (soccer) matches between British and German troops?

British and German troops meeting in no man's land during the unofficial truce. Source: Wikipedia As the holiday season is upon us again this year, I am reminded of the 1914 Christmas truce (German: ...
24
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4answers
9k views

Why was there lack of food during WW2 in the UK?

Why was there lack of food during the WW2 in the UK? I understand the lack of food in the countries occupied by Germans, as they recruited a lot of agricultural products for their war machinery. But ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Can the assignment “Depot Battalion” in Hart's Annual Army List be linked to a specific regimental assignment?

In this question I asked about the meaning of the assignment "depot battalion" in Hart's Annual Army List, a book that lists the assignments of every British officer in the Victoria era, each year. ...
3
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1answer
618 views

During WW2, how dependent on Swedish Ball Bearings was Britain?

A slightly related question spawned this one. Sweden made a lot of ball bearings during WW2, which it exported to Britain and Germany. How many tons of ball bearings were imported from Sweden to ...
110
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10answers
23k views

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 ...
66
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13answers
29k views

Why didn't France and UK invade Germany September 3rd 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 ...
26
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4answers
12k views

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

In 1858, British parliament passed Government of India Act which contained provisions of liquidation of the company and transference of assets, governance to British crown. The act was going to kill ...
24
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6answers
6k views

What made the English the dominant power of the British Isles?

Recently, I've been searching a lot about Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. One after the other, England vassalized its neighbors and became the head of Great Britain. I can understand that ...
44
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6answers
7k views

Why did Germany officially acknowledge the contents of the Zimmerman telegram?

The Zimmerman telegram was a diplomatic message from officials in Germany to the Mexican president, sent in 1917. After being intercepted and decoded by Britain's intelligence community, its contents ...
23
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9answers
92k views

Why did Canada, Australia and New Zealand separate from the UK?

I asked this question in various places on the Web. I haven't received a clear answer. The USA separated from the UK because the people felt that they were not British, and they weren't. Weren't ...
22
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1answer
3k views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
53
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3answers
11k views

Why did Britain not purchase Alaska when Russia had it up for sale?

One thing that comes up often when discussing "what-ifs" with family or friends is why the British government never nabbed Alaska when Russia had placed it up for sale and made it into Canada's fourth ...
28
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4answers
5k views

Did Churchill and Roosevelt know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the following secret pacts between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany prior to, and during WWII. It seems that the actions of the two countries after the invasion of Poland ...
18
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5answers
3k views

When did the English and Americans realize that vegetables were healthy?

I've recently come across two quotes in very unrelated sources implying that for centuries, the English and their colonial offspring did not appreciate the role of vegetables in a healthy diet. From "...
4
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4answers
3k views

How did British queens get power over kings despite a male-dominant society?

I am not a history guy. But, from what I have collected from movies, TV shows and people, I see that old British society was male-dominant and there were female rights issues too. But, I also see some ...
4
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1answer
426 views

How come the British did not notify the Poles about the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol?

I have just read this answer and would like to know if there is a known reason why the British did not inform the Poles. Or is the whole thing wrong?
-1
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1answer
2k views

WWII: Did the entire war depend on breaking the ENIGMA cipher? [closed]

I recently watched this great historical movie called Enigma (2001) As I saw the movie, a British general claimed that the entire war was depended on breaking the Enigma cipher? Is this really a ...
17
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2answers
10k views

What is the equivalent in France of the “Victorian era”?

By Victorian era I mean the moral rigidity and the dominance of the bourgeoisie. We had the same culture in France but I can't find the proper term to phrase it. For example how would you translate "...
12
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2answers
2k views

Is the USA Congress explicitly patterned after the British Parliament?

I have always presumed this to be the case. They have a similar form: two chambers, the lower representing "all the people" and the upper representing, very roughly speaking, "institutional forces" (...
12
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4answers
659 views

Why was Northern Ireland mostly peaceful from the late 1920s to the mid 1960s?

After a bloody civil war and partition in the 1920s, Northern Ireland had about 40 years of peace. This was despite the many grievances that the Catholics had at that time. This resulted in violence ...
8
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2answers
643 views

Who thought there might be a war between the British Empire and the United States of America in the 1920s?

A naval arms race in the 1920s grew ugly enough that commentators on both sides of the Atlantic were claiming war “not unthinkable.” This quote is from a lecture by an academic called John Moser; ...
29
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
16
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3answers
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What was the meaning of the following Neville Chamberlain quote?

In 1938, during the Munich (Czech) Crisis, then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain expressed his distaste for making war preparations over "a quarrel in a faraway land between people of which ...
14
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1answer
672 views

Did anyone face consequences (charges / court-martial) for the 1914 Christmas truce in WWI?

A copy of the Daily Mail from Dec. 31, 1914 reports on the Christmas truce. Source: The Star As a follow-up to this question about impromptu football / soccer games between troops from opposite ...
13
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4answers
4k views

What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Why is the heir to the British throne called “Prince of Wales”?

The heir apparent to the British throne (England, then Great Britain, then United Kingdom) is usually conferred the title of Prince of Wales. According to Britannica and Wikipedia, this tradition ...
10
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1answer
4k views

If the UK received the highest amount of Marshall Aid, why was it broke?

After WW2, Marshall Aid was distributed across Europe to facilitate the rebuilding of countries devastated by the war. West Germany received a large amount of this, and soon had a thriving economy. ...
9
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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
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2answers
704 views

How did the US abolition of slavery affect the cotton exports?

Plantations in Southern US produced cash crops, including cotton. How was the price and output of cotton in the Southern US affected shortly after the abolition of slavery at the end of the American ...
8
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2answers
661 views

What does “Depot Battalion” mean in Hart's Annual Army List?

Copies of Hart's Annual Army List are available online, and consist of a list of all British army officers employed in a given year. Some of the listings are self-explanatory (e.g. so-and-so with ...
5
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3answers
540 views

During the 1850’s and 60’s, was the free North (and its cause in the U.S. Civil War) considered more virtuous than the slave-holding South?

During the 1850’s and 60’s, was the free North (and its cause in the U.S. Civil War) considered more virtuous than the slave-holding South? Do we find authors or politicians in the U.K. or France ...
4
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1answer
205 views

Would newspapers in 1890 London have printing presses in their offices?

For a story I'm writing, taking place in London around 1889/1890, I'd like to know if the main newspapers, like the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Chronicles, who had their offices in Fleet Street, ...