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

8
votes
4answers
654 views

Chronology of Political Party Alignment with “Left” and “Right”

I once heard it said that U.S. political parties (Republicans and Democrats) have both spent the last century becoming increasingly liberal, such that 21st century Republicans now hold the same left-...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Before entering WW II, why was the US so against Japanese aggression in China but did nothing about Germany in Europe?

The US was very vocal against Japanese aggression in China in the 1930's and early 1940's but said nothing against German aggression in Europe. The US finally placed an embargo on sending oil and ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Who introduced Yoga to the West?

Yoga has been accepted as a way of life by so many people around the world irrespective of the religion and country. There is world wide promotion for Yoga and June 21 is going to be celebrate as ...
8
votes
3answers
824 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
265 views

Suffragettes vs. Einstein

A long time ago -- either when I was in school, or via some documentary -- I learned that Einstein had to face a public immigration hearing in 1933 [edit: probably it was a naturalization hearing in ...
8
votes
2answers
366 views

Why didn't Stalin use force to bring Tito into line?

In 1956 and 1968, the Soviets invaded Eastern European countries because they had deviated from Moscow's model. Why didn't they do this to Tito? His independent inclinations are usually explained by ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

GDP per capita of major combatants before and after WWII?

Perhaps this is difficult to measure and maybe not even a good metric for anything meaningful, but what was the GDP and GDP per capita for nations around the world immediately before World War II? ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How were dogs used in WW1

I know that dogs were used in WW1. I know that they weren’t vital, but didn’t play a reasonable role in helping the soldiers in the trenches. However, there is one thing that confuses me: How were ...
8
votes
3answers
629 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?
8
votes
2answers
601 views

What are the scholarly opinions on the idea of the “European Civil War”?

On Wikipedia, I ran into an article talking about World War I to World War II and some of the adjacent wars before WWI as being a "European Civil War" or a "Second Thirty Years War". What is the ...
8
votes
2answers
767 views

What were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders during the Second Sino-Japanese war?

Just as it is often said that Operation Barbarossa is Hitler's biggest strategic blunder (either the whole thing, its timing or execution), what were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders in ...
8
votes
1answer
267 views

1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic - Experience

From the spring of 1918 to the early months of 1919, the Spanish flu pandemic ravaged the world, killing an estimated 50 million to 100 million people. It came in three waves, with the last wave ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

Was it worthwhile for Britain to side with the USA in the Canada-Alaska border dispute?

In 1903 the Canada-Alaska border dispute was decided by a tribunal of 3 American members, 2 Canadian members, and 1 British member. The British member sided with the Americans with the stated goal of ...
8
votes
1answer
702 views

How did the Falasha make contact with Jews outside Ethiopia?

I just read a book about an expedition to Ethiopia, The Last of Free Africa, published 1928. The author Gordon MacCreagh writes: An astounding fact which should be of absorbing interest to Jews ...
8
votes
2answers
148 views

How did the Chinese help Khrushchev?

I read this in the source cited in this answer Initially the Soviet assistance in China’s nuclear programme was limited to the civil nuclear energy field. However, Moscow’s attitude shifted in ...
8
votes
2answers
704 views

Did Franco really ask “Why? Are they going somewhere?”

The story goes that Franco on his deathbed in 1975 hears the noise of a crowd outside and asks what it is. And is told: "The people of Spain have come to say goodbye" Franco replies: "Why? ...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

Destruction of iconic structures in wars of the 20th century and later

I was thinking about this question I just asked, and I wonder whether the potential destruction of such an iconic building is even a realistic fear. Has there been any incident of deliberate ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the current U.S. monetary standard? [closed]

Despite my greatest efforts, I could not find any information about what standard the U.S. is using at this time. Apparently, we used to be on a gold standard. What about now? Do we even have a ...
7
votes
4answers
924 views

Why didn’t Britain use its vast navy to get past trench warfare?

Before the start of World War I there was a large arms race between Britain and Germany and although Britain didn’t come out with the largest army – they had by far the largest navy in the world. This ...
7
votes
5answers
23k views

What was Finland's position in World War Two? [closed]

What was Finland's position in World War Two? Apparently, they were fighting against the Soviet Union, but not as Nazi Germany's ally. Are there reasons for this, and were they actually on Germany's ...
7
votes
2answers
434 views

Could you help me identify this photograph that was taken shortly after World War 2?

Could you help me identify this photograph? All I know is that it was taken shortly after World War 2.
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
7
votes
3answers
427 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
436 views

Cover Art of “Álbum de la Revolución Cubana”

On the cover of the famous "Álbum de la Revolución Cubana": Who is the person whose face is painted in the top-right corner? What is his importance? Is the cover (where we see Fidel Castro actively ...
7
votes
1answer
443 views

Who was in charge of the Barysaw massacre (20 October 1941)?

I'm looking for information about the Barysaw Massacre of 20 October 1941. Who performed it and who was in charge of this operation?
7
votes
2answers
655 views

How high was the morale of non-Soviet Warsaw Pact states' armies and governments in the '80s?

Does anyone with any relevant expertise know the general mood of the armies during the time? Is there documentation of any concerns from high ranking Soviet military officers, or of their Warsaw Pact ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the significance of “Flappers” in American history?

The Flapper image of the 1920's American history of cosmetics seems to transform the cultural image of the feminine. However, I cannot piece together exactly how this change came about. I read about ...
7
votes
1answer
691 views

Why did the Italians (and to some extent Jewish & Irish) dominate organized crime in the US in the 20th century?

Immigrants of a great many nationalities came to American shores, so why was it the Italians who reached such elaborate levels of criminal organization? (The Jewish & Irish seem to have come in ...
7
votes
1answer
283 views

Identifying a ship in Sydney Harbour

I am trying to identify the ship in this picture in order to date the photograph. The writing on the back says it is "Aquatania" (sic) but when I search for that name on the internet the Aquitania has ...
7
votes
1answer
156 views

Is taking away decorations of traitors a normal modus operandi?

In the USSR, people convicted of treason were routinely stripped of their State decorations, even when they were honestly earned before the treason (e.g., Власов, Добробабин, Берия). The sentence also ...
7
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
501 views

Why didn't Ronald Reagan become Republican candidate for the President of the USA in 1976?

I'd really like to know, how did it happen that Ronald Reagan lost the Republican Party presidential primaries in 1976, against Gerald Ford. It's easier for me to understand that he could fail in the ...
7
votes
1answer
229 views

What aternative locations were considered for the United Nations?

When reading up on the United Nations on wikipedia, I noticed that Navy Island near Niagara falls was being considered at the time of the groups creation for it's location. I'm wondering what ...
7
votes
1answer
154 views

What did Central America export in the early 20th century other than coffee and bananas?

Coffee and bananas dominated the Central American economy after the turn of the century, accounting for 75% of the region's exports in 1930. Central America became very dependent on the fortune of ...
7
votes
3answers
422 views

Why the difference of opinion about the disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose

A year back, Harvard professor Sugata Bose released a biography of the Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose which claimed to lay all speculation regarding his death to rest. However, last week, a veteran ...
7
votes
1answer
409 views

Argentina's involvement with the League of Nations

Argentina was a founding member of the League of Nations. However, Argentina left in 1921 when an Argentine resolution was rejected. Why, and through what procedure (if any), was Argentina allowed to ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

What was the procedure for prosecuting criminals in England between the World Wars?

I'm doing some research on court procedures during the '20's and '30's in England. I understand that at that time there was a Director of Public Prosecutions, and some of the resources I have found ...
7
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
455 views

Why were Austria-Hungary's Slavic minorities put into multinational states?

From the perspective of the post-Cold War generation that saw Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia break up over ethnic squabbles (peacefully in the case of the former, acrimoniously in the case of the ...
6
votes
2answers
756 views

Were natural resources a primary reason for invading Romania during the middle ages-present?

When I was in school in Romania I remember my history teacher saying that historically Romania has seen a lot of invaders (referring mainly from the middle ages-present) because it used to have a lot ...
6
votes
1answer
939 views

Why was health insurance not included in the Social Security Act of 1935?

The United States has spent much of the last two decades, for instance, arguing about how best to reform the odd public-private health insurance scheme that grew up around Franklin Roosevelt’s ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

Did Engels and Welles ever call for the extermination of Basques and Serbs?

Someone in some scribble in a matter-of-fact way made this assertion. Is it based on fact? Here's the original quote (in Russian) and its googletrans + my light fixing: Фридрих Энгельс упоминал о ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did the attempts to keep Africa colonized after World War II fail?

After World War II, though the Attlee-led British government decided to give freedom to India, they held on to much of Africa. But why did this attempt at colonization fail? Wikipedia explains that ...
6
votes
2answers
665 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
418 views

Do photos of Wernher von Braun and Neil Armstrong exist? Have they ever met?

A quick google search for the term "Korolev and Gagarin" reveals many photos of the two together - surprisingly, as Korolev's identity was kept strictly secret up to his death. When searching for "...
6
votes
2answers
435 views

What was the reaction of Western Communist Parties to Kruschev's 1956 speech denouncing Stalin?

I am also curious about the reactions of left-leaning intellectuals (aka "fellow-travellers").
6
votes
1answer
244 views

In Montgomery, Alabama, how common was it to be arrested for sitting in the incorrect section of the bus?

Rosa Parks' arrest, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, is the most famous case, while Claudette Colvin is often listed as the first. (Sometimes she is listed as first, other times as the first ...
6
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

What is / are the specific reason(s) for Vyacheslav Molotov's fall from grace with Joseph Stalin?

From the 1930's through World War 2, Vyacheslav Molotov seemed to be the face of the Soviet Union in most diplomatic circles. Sometime after the war he lost favor with Stalin. Some reports say to the ...
6
votes
2answers
459 views

Was there anything like African American architecture style or symbolic in the beginning of 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to North or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, previously ...