103 votes
Accepted

Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

Strange at it may seem, there was a movement called "anti-suffragism" in the U.S. and U.K. composed mainly of women. Their numbers were small, since this posture would have been "counterintuitive." ...
  • 103k
100 votes

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong but not Gibraltar?

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. ...
  • 96.3k
100 votes

Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

Yes, there were. And at the beginning of the women's suffrage movement, suffragettes were viewed by most women as oddities rather than heroic liberators. Basically, centuries ago, due to the ...
  • 4,696
82 votes

Why did Chamberlain remain Prime Minister of Britain until 10 May, 1940?

Didn't the British people recognize how ill-suited Chamberlain would be because of his former appeasement? No, because it's not true at all. Chamberlain may certainly be an inadequate war leader, but ...
  • 96.3k
81 votes
Accepted

Was England called England in the days of King Arthur?

No, England would not have been called "England" in the early post-Roman period. The name "England" derives from the Old English name Englaland, which means "Land of the Angles". The earliest ...
  • 76.4k
79 votes
Accepted

If the Union Jack joins the flag of England and Scotland, why does it have a different shade of blue than the Scottish flag?

In 1606, people didn't have pantone guidelines to keep colours consistent - nor did it matter. Heraldry only has a limited number of colors. Variations on blue exist but are not standard, so any blue ...
  • 4,619
75 votes
Accepted

Why was it "acceptable" for Prince Charles to marry a divorced woman, when Edward VIII had to abdicate for marrying divorcee Wallis Simpson?

It is mostly due to the differing social attitudes of the day, but the legal position was also different in 1936. The Wikipedia page is pretty clear about the social attitudes, but I'll try to explain ...
  • 76.4k
62 votes

Why were slave owners even offered compensation via the 1837 Act if they'd lost the power in parliament to stop abolition in 1833?

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 ...
  • 11k
61 votes
Accepted

Who was the most successful German spy against Great Britain in WWII, from the contemporary German perspective?

From the "contemporary German perspective", the answer is doubtless "Alaric", Juan Pujol García, known to the British as "Garbo". He was paid a total of US$340,000 and awarded the Iron Cross, second ...
  • 28.3k
58 votes
Accepted

Why were slave owners even offered compensation via the 1837 Act if they'd lost the power in parliament to stop abolition in 1833?

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 ...
  • 10.6k
57 votes
Accepted

How long would it take to cross the Channel in 1890's?

Google Books has a copy of Bradshaw's Guide from 1887. To get to Paris, they recommended one of four options: The numbers in the three rightmost columns are, respectively: approximate first-class ...
56 votes
Accepted

How likely it is that a nobleman of the eighteenth century would give written instructions to his maids?

I think the answer to the headline question is "not very, which is why everyone thought Cavendish was a bit weird" :-) But focusing on the detailed question - from his entry in the revised ...
  • 6,891
53 votes

Why was the Scout movement so successful?

Baden-Powell had been besieged in the town of Mafeking during the Second Boer War. He had formed the Mafeking Cadet Corps, which was a group of youths that supported the defending troops by carrying ...
  • 76.4k
49 votes
Accepted

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

There wasn't a lack of food in the UK, not in the sense that people weren't getting enough to eat or were suffering malnutrition. What there was is a lack of variety of food. Anything which was ...
  • 53.1k
48 votes
Accepted

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

This depends a bit on the definition of "match": modern rules 90 minutes kicking, level playfield, three referees, 11 players on each side, two nicely timbered goals, etc. Most popular accounts now ...
  • 78.5k
48 votes
Accepted

Why did life expectancy decline sharply in 16th century England?

This was primarily due to the 1557 influenza pandemic, which returned in 1558 and perhaps lingered for another year or two. This was a global pandemic and other areas of Europe were also severely hit. ...
47 votes

How confusing was British currency compared to decimal currency circa 1850?

[Another] question quotes Terry Prattchett as: "The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated." Is this a fair comparison with its ...
46 votes

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

British policy on the continent has traditionally been to maintain the balance of power (this is also really a general European thing). This amounted to shifting alliances all over the continent. ...
  • 96.3k
46 votes
Accepted

Were women the property of men prior to 1919 in the UK?

No. Slavery was abolished in 1833 in England. Prior to 1919 women were not property. Not having equal rights doesn't automatically mean slavery. Neither is a woman taking the family name of her ...
  • 17.9k
46 votes
Accepted

When and why did the use of the lifespans of royalty to limit clauses in contracts come about?

This is an attempt to escape the rule against perpetuities. No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after some life in being at the creation of the ...
  • 1,865
44 votes
Accepted

Did any British working class men have the vote before 1918?

The film said this un-extraordinary working man had the vote, my calculations show it was possible he had the vote. But the 1918 act gave "working men the vote". So one of these 2 statements must be ...
  • 96.3k
40 votes
Accepted

Why did Jodrell Bank assist the Soviet Union to collect data from their spacecraft in the mid 1960's?

SHORT ANSWER Jodrell Bank's first 'coup', tracking Sputnik 1 in 1957 (without Soviet assistance), put it in the news and helped secure funding. It also led to a congratulatory telegram from the ...
38 votes

Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

Not only were there women who opposed suffrage, there still are. For instance, here's Central Missisippi Tea Party President Janis Lane in 2012: I'm really going to set you back here. Probably the ...
38 votes
Accepted

Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

Piecing together various sources, it is clear that there was a no-passport agreement between the United Kingdom and France from 1961 until 1984 and that, even after the termination of this agreement, ...
35 votes
Accepted

What was the meaning of the following Neville Chamberlain quote?

Actually, in 1938,for most Britons, anywhere East of the Rhine was "a faraway land" of which they knew nothing. Only the rich travelled even to continental Europe; most people took their summer ...
  • 7,775
34 votes

Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

A Spanish example: Victoria Kent. Quote from the link: Kent was against giving women the right to vote immediately, arguing that, as Spanish women lacked at that moment social and political education ...
34 votes
Accepted

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

Arthur Zimmerman appears to have been trying to avoid being blamed by the German press and politicians for bringing the USA into the war. Placing your personal interests ahead of those of your country ...
  • 28.3k
34 votes

Why were the Irish exempt from conscription during WWI?

Traditionally, there had been no conscription in Ireland, at least not after the 17th century. Irish did serve in the British army, but only as volunteers. As an occupying country, Britain did not ...
  • 103k
34 votes
Accepted

Why were the Irish exempt from conscription during WWI?

Legally they were exempt because The Military Service Act (1916) applied to men "ordinarily resident in Great Britain" not men "ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom" But practically, it would ...
  • 1,061

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible