ALONG THE WINDING LANES OF Bandra, a coastal suburb of Mumbai with a history of Catholicism, lime-washed crosses can be found near busy intersections. They are markers of a plague that ravaged the city more than a century ago when this metropolis was still known as Bombay. Mumbai was shaped by a catastrophe it has largely forgotten.
The Long Read: The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins stirred controversy with her work on the crushing of the Mau Mau uprising. But it laid the ground for a legal case that has transformed our view of Britain’s past…
On the 2nd of September, 1752, Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar. Most of Western Europe had adopted the calendar some two centuries earlier, changing from the Julian calendar.
Included in this reform was the British Empire, including parts of what is now the United States.
The Julian calendar is still used alongside the Gregorian calendar in some parts of the world, which is the reason some countries in the east of Europe celebrate Easter and Christmas on different dates.
The disaster of the Indian mutiny in 1857 and the delays in getting news of it made people consider ways of improving contact between Europe and Asia. But when a ship canal in Suez was suggested, Lord Palmerston responded:
“For the last 15 years Her Majesty’ Government have used all the influence they possess at Constantinople and in Egypt to prevent that scheme from being carried into execution. It is an undertaking which, I believe, in point of commercial character, may be deemed to rank among the many bubble schemes that from time to time have been palmed upon gullible capitalists. I have been informed, on what I believe to be reliable authority, that it is physically impracticable, except at an expense which would be far too great to warrant any expectation of any returns. ”
It was not that he minded investors getting heir fingers burned if they ignored…
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