100

Despite common misconception, both Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, via the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, respectively. London was under no legal obligation to return them to China. However, most of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong actually consists of the New Territories. That was ...


75

Short answer George Washington relied on the translation of a mercenary he knew well and who had previously acted as his translator, Jacob Van Braam, and did not think he was signing a document in which (the French later claimed) he admitted assassinating a French military officer. Further, the claim that the officer killed had been on a diplomatic mission, ...


65

It seems to be the painting Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English, a painting by the Russian artist Vasily Vereshchagin c. 1884 According to the annotation on Wikipedia: It anachronistically depicts the events of 1857 with soldiers wearing (then current) uniforms of the late 19th century. The "photograph" originally appeared in a 1941 ...


63

To safeguard legal system and rule of law While it may sound strange to us, slavery was considered as something usual and almost natural for a long time during human history. This is especially true considering Blacks, who were deemed to be less intelligent, primitive and savage, and had to be "under care" of White Christians. As we could see from this ...


62

tl;dr Sea control is good. Sea denial is not that much worse. Sinking an enemy ship at the cost of significant damage to your own is less desirable than keeping your enemy holed up in port (where his ships do little to no harm and your own ships stay undamaged). As basically all naval strategy questions, this one puts too much emphasis on "defeating ...


58

Lord Wynford, though speaking in opposition, illustrated the reasons in the House of Lords, on Tuesday, June 25th 1833, why a payment was being considered and what arguments such a payment should be based on. I've quoted from that below, but the arguments he makes are: the crime of slavery has been a crime committed by everyone so everyone should pay for it;...


51

That's an interesting question. When India first gained independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947 it was as The Dominion of India, with King George VI as king and Head of State. India became a sovereign democratic republic when the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950. This repealed the Indian Independence Act, and removed ...


46

There have been several stages in the history of Canadian independence. Canada became a self-governing dominion within the British empire on 1 July 1867 when the British North America Act was passed by the UK Parliament. The Statute of Westminster, passed by the UK Parliament in 1931, acknowledged Canada as co-equal with the United Kingdom within the ...


43

Because it didn't have a choice: it had neither the will to defy the British Government, nor the ability to do so. Remember corporations are not people; its shareholders and directors were. In this case, most of them were British, owning properties and with aspirations in Britain. That alone made resisting a duly constituted Act of Parliament by force ...


39

I think you are missing the true pattern of that map. Note that it shows a higher percentage of natives in Canada than it does in the US, and shows the same lower percentage of natives in the USA as in a geographically contiguous area of South America (1% or less). If anything, the real pattern there is that areas in the subtropics (but not subartic) have ...


38

There are a good number of reasons why the British were able to do so, and in fact rule over India effectively for over a century. Disunity among Indian princely states. India was more a collection of warring princely states, at loggerheads with each other. The British sucessfully used this to play off one state against another. Add to it there was no ...


38

Richard Meinertzhagen is known to be a serious liar. Refer to his Wikipedia article: for example, he stole numerous biological samples and presented them as his own in Europe. That said, the Meinertzhagens were a wealthy family and there's no reason to presume the army salary was Richard's sole source of income. According to The Meinertzhagen Mystery by ...


31

Loyalists who lived in the 13 colonies fled to Canada because Canada was part of the British Empire. In Canada they could still be British. If they stayed in the colonies they would be traitors to the King. When their cause was defeated, about 15% of the Loyalists (65,000–70,000 people) fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or ...


30

I find it interesting that many answers belong to "armchair generals", that point only to the military power, and logistics,¹ but forget to mention the issues that could lead to a war in the first place. Remember, war is the continuation of politics.... First of all, I would point the main issue would be noticing how these issues affect the internal ...


28

The sun has not yet set on the British Empire, and is unlikely to for the near future. This question was extensively covered by xkcd. Britain [still owns] 14 overseas territories, [which are] direct descendants of the empire. These 14 territories are: Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; ...


26

He's not 100% wrong that the desire of slaveholders in the States to protect their "property" and the institution itself has been drastically underplayed by Americans in talking about their own history (and really, can you blame them?) For a good historical perspective on this, I highly recommend Slavery and the Founders, by Paul Finkelman. However, as the ...


25

The British East India Company did not set out to conquer and rule India, nor did that situation manifest itself overnight, nor by any single battle or treaty. The British built ties with stable commercial interests in India, leaving the freedom to act opportunistically in Indian politics as the Mughal Empire crumbled outmaneuvered European rivals in ...


25

"Banning harmful imports" was often done. Prime example being the satanic brew. Coffee was banned in Mecca, Italy, Contantinople/Ottoman Empire, Prussia. Similarly: tea was banned in East Frisia, were and when it was already the national drink. Like all other illict drugs today, they were thought of being too stimulating and foment free thought, and ...


24

Nothing happens at all. This is essentially a question of two parts. Part one is unstated, but important, and it is the question of who is legitimate monarch. First of all, legitimacy does not, as Tony Robinson claims, rest on blood. Legitimacy rests on being accepted as legitimate. This sounds like a tautology, and on some level it is, but on another ...


24

Legalities Modern India evolved out of the transitionary Dominion of India, which was created from territories of the British Raj. It is important to note that neither Bhutan nor Nepal were princely states under British India. In Nepal's case, the Himalayan kingdom successfully negotiated a Treaty of Friendship in 1923, in which Britain recognised Nepalese ...


22

According to Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins (I have a link to Wikipedia but have read the book multiple times), the idea for Pakistan came from Choudhary Rahmat Ali, a student studying in England who pitched the idea to Mohammed Ali Jinnah at a dinner. Choudhary Rahmat Ali is also credited with coining the name "Pakistan". Jinnah ...


21

There are few direct benefits of Commonwealth membership and some debate about its usefulness, so the question is a fair one. Mozambique gained neither trade nor aid by virtue of membership. I expect that the question would be addressed definitively in The Commonwealth Brand: Global Voice, Local Action by Victoria Te Velde (Ashgate, 2011) and in the SADC's ...


21

The Colonel was of Scottish descent and served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in WW I (according to Wikipedia). The trouser pattern in question could well exhibit the unit's (mainly green-and-blue) tartan. Also, the cape he wears appears very similar to those exhibited at the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum's web site. And as for him ...


21

Gibraltar was defensible, but Hong Kong was not. In the 1990s, the distance from the UK would have made Hong Hong impossible to defend. Also, Hong Kong is primarily occupied by Chinese, unlike Gibraltar, which is occupied by UK citizens, many of whom are soldiers. Gibraltar is a fortress, and it is relatively close to the UK and hence easily suppliable. ...


21

In British parlance the Royal Navy is The Senior Service due to having been created as a permanent establishment in Tudor times, while the Army only became permanent a few centuries later. The importance of a distinction is the need for military officers to know, at all times, who is the most senior for command purposes. Within each service officers at a ...


20

Financial Wikipedia answers: The guinea is a coin that was minted in the Kingdom of England and later in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1814. It was the first English machine-struck gold coin, originally worth one pound sterling, equal to twenty shillings; but rises in the price of gold relative to silver ...


19

Roman Infantry There were two types of Roman infantry: the light and the heavy infantry. The average heavy infantryman had a helmet, a mail coat, greaves, a shield, a spatha(broadsword), five weighted darts, and a javelin (pilum). The pilum was five to six feet long with a tip of iron, weighing nine ounces. The total weight of the pilum ranged between five ...


19

Although this question probably can't be resolved without years of comparative study, a quick indication of the answer can be done by looking at the current GDP of the countries as a reasonable measure of "stability and success". The cases are also very different between different continents and times, as colonization changed a lot during the ...


19

The British army simply didn't have enough soldiers available when the war started. Per the Wikipedia page, their total military strength was around 45,000 men, and Lord North and General Howe didn't think this was nearly enough to succeed. Toward this end, the parliament authorized the raising of 55,000 soldiers and 45,000 sailors in October of 17751. ...


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