For questions spanning a significant proportion of the 20th century. Questions focused on the latter decades should consider using the contemporary-histroy tag. Individual tags exist for specific decades.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
2answers
90 views

How were the prime ministers of Japan selected during the Taisho era?

During the Taisho era in Japan, how was the Prime Minister selected? Were they appointed by the Emperor? elected by the Diet? chosen by the Privy Council? I'm finding lots of information on how ...
2
votes
2answers
254 views

Was George Wallace's American Independent party (1968) “the same party” as Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat party (1948)?

The party that nominated George Wallace for president in 1968 (the American Independent Party) seems very similar to the State's Rights Democratic Party (aka. Dixiecrat) that nominated Strom Thurmond ...
7
votes
1answer
182 views

What land did Polish nationalists claim in 1914?

In the early 20th century, Poland was separated between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany. However clear border of the "country" did not exist. When the country was finally re-created after the ...
-4
votes
1answer
81 views

How successful was Bismarck in winning support for his domestic policies in the years 1878 to 1890? [closed]

Going through a few made up questions from my history teacher concerning German history during the "Quest for Political Stability" period and saw this little number come up and could really do with ...
124
votes
29answers
72k views

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 attacked Russia. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad... and it's also ...
4
votes
2answers
289 views

Why was there a reference to the Battle of Hastings in Harper Lee's novel?

I am unfamiliar with details of European history; how is the Battle of Hastings relevant to the historical background in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird? Chapter 1, Paragraph 4: Being ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Australian Immigration 1945-present

I have been wondering for a while and have always wanted to know about Australia's immigration history, my main question being: Why has Australia accepted many migrants from 1945 to the present ...
5
votes
5answers
576 views

Where, exactly, was the “Sudetenland?”

In an early version of my earlier Skoda Works question, I placed the works in the "Sudetenland." A European protested that they were 250 kms. away from the Sudetes mountains, which he considered the ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Looking for the 20th century painters on this t-shirt

I bought this t-shirt for a friend who is really into arts, but actually I don't know all the painters that are pictured on this shirt. Clock-wise, I recognize: René Magritte Edvard Munch Salvador ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

How does Upton Sinclair's The Jungle contribute to Historiography?

I know Upton Sinclair was not a Historian, however his work The Jungle has had a significant impact on how society views industry standards, regulations, government agency's, etcetera. There are broad ...
-2
votes
1answer
143 views

Was it true that Nelson Mandela refused to renounce violence while in Prison?

I got this comment from an article on Mandela: Most white South Africans rejoin that Nelson Mandela had no reason to seek revenge on anyone, nor any basis for extending forgiveness to his ...
17
votes
4answers
685 views

What were the factors that caused the world to move away from the Gold Standard in the 20th century?

For most of the world's history for thousands of years, gold was used as the medium of exchange for money. The world gradually moved off the gold standard in the 20th century. What were the factors ...
8
votes
3answers
626 views

How many people were affected by the Golodomor [Famine-Genocide in Ukraine]

How many people were affected during the famine? Are there any sources for Soviet records on the Golodomor?
2
votes
2answers
192 views

When did people start believing aliens are abducting cows?

I think all of us must have seen the following scene in a film, or read it in a book: It is night, and there are cows standing in a field. All of a sudden, a flying saucer appears, and starts to beam ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

Why were the some “New Deal” programs cancelled in the beginning of WWII?

I was reading a textbook on U.S and the time period of WWII. I have read that the New Deal programs like Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, National Youth Administration. The ...
24
votes
6answers
27k views

Why did so many Italians emigrate to Argentina?

On 13th of March, 2013, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became new pope of Catholic Church. He was born and raised in Argentina with Italian origins. There are more than 24 ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Is the person in this “Yellow Peril” NZ cartoon Maori?

In this anti-Asian 1907 NZ cartoon, is the person being entangled by the octopus in this cartoon meant to be Maori? The clothing and long hair suggest it's not a white New Zealander (pakeha), but ...
3
votes
0answers
115 views

How many people did Al Capone cause to die? [closed]

How many deaths was Al Capone responsible for? Including people killed by his order or as part of gang wars he started? (Looking for an estimate within an order of magnitude).
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Why was the British University Grants Committee abolished in 1988?

Wikipedia says that: The UGC was wound up on 1 April 1989, with its powers transferred to a new body, the Universities Funding Council, which was directly responsible to Parliament. But it's ...
5
votes
1answer
252 views

The original Lord Haw Haw's life in exile (Ireland)

I am writing a biography about my great uncle "Capt Tom Smith" who fought in WW1, WW2 and the Spanish Civil War During recent interviews the name Norman Baillie Stewart (wiki link) keeps cropping up ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Street Team Games played by boys in Balkans of early 20th Century

In today's world, probably the most typical neighborhood game played in teams by boys in most countries is football (soccer). I would like to ask what were the team Games played by boys (let's say ...
19
votes
2answers
425 views

What is the basis for the argument that the true believers in Juche died in the N. Korean famine?

I have just read an article (in Russian) about the most recent weird news from N.Korea: women are (again) not allowed to ride bicycles. After you've finished splitting your sides with laughter, allow ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Who were the Wright brothers' competitors?

I heard that there was a person who was sponsored by the government to make the first flying airplane. The Wright brothers beat him to it and this made him really depressed and he gave up his career. ...
8
votes
3answers
784 views

Nationhood of Bhutan and Nepal in Indian subcontinent

During the period around Independence, India, under Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's programme to unite the subcontinent, was getting Princely states to accede to Union of India. There were around 570 ...
7
votes
3answers
417 views

When and what was the maximum extent of Nationalist China?

The Republic of China (1912–49) claimed a large area of land, the most notable difference compared to present-day China being the inclusion of Mongolia. However, it's my understanding that at no point ...
6
votes
1answer
202 views

Did Jiang Baili receive a sword from Emperor Meiji for graduating first of his class?

Jiang Baili was a famous Chinese military trainer who attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Some sources, including the Wikipedia article, claims that he graduated top of the class and that ...
3
votes
3answers
140 views

Why was Luodian important in the Battle of Shanghai?

In the middle of the 3-month long Battle of Shanghai, the small town of Luodian on the outskirts of Shanghai saw some of the heaviest fighting. After Japanese troops made successful amphibious ...
39
votes
11answers
14k views

Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
0
votes
1answer
150 views

What was the first regular airline service to pass low over urban areas?

These days, living in a big city, it's a complete non-event to look up into the sky and see a plane passing overhead. It happens several times every day. Therefore it's quite amazing to thing that at ...
5
votes
4answers
524 views

How did South Korea become one of the most developed nations on Earth? [closed]

What I've learnt from South Korean history (roughly, from one of my liberal arts classes) is that because of their geographical disadvantage, they were invaded by China and Japan numerous times in the ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Why were there civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia, but not in Slovenia or Macedonia?

It seems that during the breakup of Yugoslavia there were civil wars during speakers of the (then officially) same language - Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, but not, e.g., between Serbs and Slovenians. ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is Thailand considered an Axis power in WWII?

I read a Wikipedia article about military history of Thailand and it left me a taste of anti-Thai bias. It is known that Thailand in 1940 (after the fall of Paris and establishment of Vichy ...
7
votes
1answer
345 views

How was the relation between the Ottoman Empire and Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro during the Second Balkan War?

As pointed out by Tom Au in this answer to "Has there ever been a truly multi-sided war?", Turkey fought and lost to Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in the First Balkan War. However, shortly ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did JFK give approval for the CIA to encourage Diem's deposal

In 1963, weeks before his own assassination, President Kennedy gave approval for the CIA to encourage a group of South Vietnamese generals to depose President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam. The ...
33
votes
8answers
8k views

Why did Chamberlain act to appease Hitler leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?

There are accounts that British Prime Minister Chamberlain sought to appease Hitler because he just didn't want Britain involved in a war at that time. Others also argue that Chamberlain was naive and ...
15
votes
3answers
26k views

How many people in the US starved to death during the Great Depression?

I was trying to look this up earlier and could not easily find reliable information on the internet, mostly due to a new popular claim that 7 million people starved to death in the Great Depression! ...
37
votes
4answers
20k views

Did World War II-era bombs actually whistle?

In WWII-era films and newsreels, aerial bombs are often shown making a whistling sound as they fall; starting high pitched, then decreasing as the bomb approaches the Earth (example here, starting at ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What was the fate of most SS members after World War II?

What happened to most of the members of the SS after the war? Were they punished?
6
votes
3answers
604 views

Why did Churchill accept the Order of the Garter in 1953?

Churchill had refused the Order of the Garter in 1945, quipping that he couldn't accept the garter from the king after the people gave him the boot. But in 1953 he relented and accepted the honour? Is ...
32
votes
9answers
3k views

What were Hitler's religious beliefs?

Hitler is often cited as an example of an evil atheist (along with Stalin and Mao). But there are several quotes from him that seem to indicate he believed in the Christian God - and even used this to ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Why were Chinese divisions undersized?

Reading the orders of battle for the Second Sino-Japanese War, it seems that in the major battles, the Chinese side consistently fields large numbers of divisions, but not as many total troops as that ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America?

Were any South or Central American nations besides Brazil involved (not necessarily officially) in either of the World Wars? If any were, I'd appreciate information on their degree of involvement.
12
votes
3answers
7k views

What was Gandhi's post-factum view of the Partition?

Gandhi was vehemently opposed to the Partition of India and tried to avoid it. But what was his stance on it once it had happened? Did he accept it as fait accompli or did he envision some scheme for ...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

When did the practice of formally “declaring war” cease and why?

Here's a detailed description of ambassador Neville Henderson being received by the foreign ministry in Berlin in 1939. Perhaps the most famous example. He came in looking very serious, shook ...
9
votes
4answers
21k views

Why was Germany held accountable for WW1?

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the war. If the war was initially due to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by Serbian assassins, why did the Treaty of ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the reasons why the capital of Turkey is Ankara rather than Istanbul?

Turkey's predecessor state, the Ottoman Empire, had its capital in Istanbul. Are there any reasons for the capital's move when it became Turkey?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

When did aircraft carriers eclipse battleships as the “King of the seas”?

During the 19th century and into the early 20th century, battleships were the Kings of the Sea, and every naval power of note had at least one. When did they lose this title to the aircraft carrier, ...
25
votes
10answers
8k views

Why wasn't the Republic of Ireland invaded (by either side) in WW2?

Ireland was neutral in WW2, however it was never invaded (by either side). How come? Why wasn't Ireland invaded by the UK to prevent the Germans invading? Why didn't germany invade ireland? It would ...
6
votes
2answers
641 views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...