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.

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When was the british rail strike when the workers fought by following the regulations?

I once heard about a strike in british railways. The workers decided to follow strictly the law regulations and that created chaos and that's how they proved the law was wrong. I can't find any ...
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298 views

Did the United States ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? [closed]

Did the United States (particularly in the 20th century) ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? Are there instances where the U.S. said that if Country X doesn't meet ...
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2k views

Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
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149 views

What was Poland's involvement in Vietnam War?

So far I've found a few stories about Poland's involvement in Vietnam War: Operation Marigold Multinational UN peacekeeping force International Commission of Control and Supervision Unfortunately ...
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242 views

Why did Egypt forbid entry of Israeli ships into the Suez canal in 1956?

In 1956, as a response to withdrawal of American aid for the High Aswan dam, Nasser nationalized the Suez canal giving freedom of transit through it to all countries except Israel. Why did they do ...
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182 views

Why did former Yugoslav republics dispute the legal successor of Yugoslavia?

In Wikipedia's article for Yugoslavia: One of the seven successor states was also known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) until 2003. The FRY aspired to be a sole legal successor to ...
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140 views

Did the break up of AT & T in 1984 lead to technological innovation?

Are there examples of technologies developed since 1984 that would not have been likely to be developed had the Bell system stayed intact rather than being broken up by the US government? UPDT: To ...
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71 views

Were members of Soviet Republican Communist Parties also members of the CPSU?

I know that each Soviet Republic X had its own Communist Party of X. Question is: were members of these parties also members of the CPSU? I am interested here only in the formal side of things - I'd ...
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94 views

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? [duplicate]

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? Expansionist policies don't count although use of debt as a justification would be interesting.
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316 views

What is the best way to describe the form of Japanese government during the years before and during world war 2?

Prior to the great depression, how much political power did the military, the emperor, and the prime minister of Japan have? Is it a form of monarchy, or does it resemble a military dictatorship? Did ...
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117 views

Nationalisation during wartime in the West: With or without compensation?

I was just reading about the forerunner to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraftworks, who designed and manufactured the legendary ME/BF-109 fighter). Apparently the owner, Herr Otto, was ...
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387 views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
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75 views

First eastbound transcontinental flight departed from…?

On Feb. 8th, 1912, the first eastbound US transcontinental flight landed in Jacksonville, FL. After several Google searches, I can't find anything that says where the flight departed from. So where ...
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159 views

Pre-1950s views of West European Socialist parties on the welfare state

The eminent Robert Paxton writes in a recent article, somewhat in passing: Continental European Marxists opposed piecemeal welfare measures as likely to dilute worker militancy without changing ...
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121 views

When was the last time period where one could travel by steam powered locomotive across the United States today?

I'm not sure that it is possible to travel the United States from coast to coast by one single steam powered train today, or that there are enough connected routes that a steam locomotive could run ...
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422 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 ...
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85 views

Were NC, IL, and VA's latest concurrent constitutions' effective dates coincidental?

The latest Constitutions of North Carolina, Illinois, and Virginia all became effective on the same day (July 1, 1971). Was this coincidental, or was there some coordination going on? If so, why did ...
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176 views

Is there support for the theory that the 1918 influenza resulted from churning up microbe-laden French soil?

Margaret MacMillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 contains the following: In the first years of the peace, fresh afflictions fell on European society: the influenza epidemic ...
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136 views

Is there any evidence of Edward VIII trying to influence the UK Government?

Edward VIII was King of the UK, however he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorced woman. Someone told me that the "real reason" was that he was trying to influence the UK government and/or ...
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100 views

What family or other connection bound Chiang Kaishek and Cai Yuanpei, two ideological opposites?

Politically, Nationalist China's Chiang Kaishek must be considered a "strange bedfellow with Cai Yuanpei. Chiang was a disciplined, narrow-minded conservative of the type one might expect from a ...
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130 views

Countries which banned Ferdinand the bull?

Background The book "The Story of Ferdinand " is a short illustrated children's story featuring a bull who would not be provoked by a matador. When it was published in 1936, it was widely interpreted ...
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132 views

What were the factors that caused debtors' prison to disappear in most parts of the world in the 20th century?

Debtors' prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. As recently as the mid 19th century, it was a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Debtors' prison started to ...
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190 views

Why was the movement for Austro-German unity less successful than that of Italian unity? [closed]

Primarily, I am looking at the differences between say, the movements for German unity and that of Italian nationalists. The record shows that the people of Austria had accepted without much ...
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937 views

Did the Nazis regard chemical warfare as inhumane and “Jewish”?

I sometimes encounter accounts that the main reason why chemical weapons were not used in WWII was because initially they were invented by a Jew Fritz Haber, and as such Hitler expressed opinion that ...
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Why did Germany attack Neutral Belgium in the first world war?

I have a basic idea about the Schieffen plan and I know that Germany attacked Belgium in the First world war. But I am slightly confused about this topic, as despite the fact that the schieffen plan ...
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352 views

What were the causes of the “Dardenelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
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956 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?
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2k views

Evolution of United States' world role? [closed]

This is a pretty big and general question, but I'm interested to hear some opinions from fellow StackExchangians: Over the 20th century, how did the United States evolve into being a world ...
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3answers
158 views

How and why did the “Green Gang” hold the balance of power in Shanghai in 1927?

The line ups were a bit unusual, to say the least. On one side, you have some thousands of Communist party workers (probably not well armed) loosely aligned with several hundred thousand workers. On ...
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128 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 ...
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148 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 ...
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107 views

Was Jawaharlal Nehru virtually a Buddhist?

At the end of this conversation (in the podcast version at 46'30") about Ashoka the Great scholar of Buddhism Richard Gombrich made this remark: The Indian flag has [Ashoka's] wheel of the dharma ...
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336 views

Did the Great Society programs ameliorate poverty or exacerbate it?

Once time ago Martin Luther King Jr., in his "I Have a Dream" speech, said: We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of ...
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786 views

Was the Bosnian Crisis the trigger to WWI and not the assassination?

I've read that Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, much to the dismay of the Serbs. Russia backed this action and was promised to have access to the Straits but were later denied. The ...
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223 views

What differences led to Technicolor becoming the dominant color filming technology in Hollywood?

Apparently another technology, Kinemacolor, was invented first in the UK, but it never caught on in Hollywood. Kinemacolor was expensive, and had some other glitches involved, but the fact that it was ...
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140 views

Why was only the Silver medal awarded for music at the 1932s Olympics?

At the 1932s Olympics, Chzechoslovakian composer Josef Suk won the Silver medal in the music category: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Suk_(composer) I'm wondering why no gold or bronze medal was ...
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119 views

Where can I find more information about this use of Yakuza against a demonstration in 1960?

This (german) article states that in 1960 Japan's President Nobosuke Kishi hired 28000 Yakuza as thugs against an anti-American demonstration. I find nothing indicating this in the wikipedia article ...
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1k views

Machine gun specs in WW1

I know that machine guns were a vital part of world war 1. I know that they were mainly used in the trenches as fixed position weapons. However, I would like some specifications about the machine gun ...
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335 views

Symbol on utility pole in photograph from 1906

I happened to notice this symbol: on a utility pole in a photograph from 1906. What's the meaning of that symbol?
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97 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 ...
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175 views

When and why China started to make a difference in the superpower arena?

China is starting to be more and more remarked on the superpowers' podium, but this surely didn't happened overnight, so what would be that decade that was very auspicious for China, and why?
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494 views

Italian History from 1870-1913: Why did Italy have such a hard time becoming a Great Power like Germany

Both Italy and Prussia-Germany were united from the years 1870-1871. Instead of small provinces, the country became united under one political leadership. Their unification received the help of France ...
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62 views

How was the transfer of personnel from British women's military services managed?

In the 1990's,the former women's services - WRNS, WRAC, and WRAF - were disbanded and women absorbed into the regular services. Whilst women still cannot serve in combat roles, they are armed and ...
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139 views

What were the FBI's motives for wanting to discredit MLK?

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI had a vendetta against Martin Luther King, Jr. They wiretapped him, threatened to expose his sexual misconduct, accused him of Communist sympathies, and even went so far as to ...
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153 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 ...
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495 views

Was there discrimination against Jewish people at the entrance exams to the most prestigious universities in the USSR?

The most prestigious universities in the USSR discriminated against Jewish applicants. Tanya Khovanova (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA) wrote: This is a special ...
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698 views

Why did George H. W. Bush select Dan Quayle as his running mate in 1988?

I've just been revisiting some quotes from Dan Qualyle. For example: I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change. and We are ready ...
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360 views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and ...
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182 views

Was it impossible for the Germans to arrange a plane to East Asia for Subhas Bose?

Bose's journey from Germany to Singapore by submarine was a well-remarked incident of World War II history. But what was the need for the Germans or the Italians to use a submarine to transfer a ...
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264 views

Which technologies/commodities were available during the 30s on USA?

This is for a RPG story, so I don't need too much accuracy, but the common stuff would be very useful :) I've already found this site: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/ but would like more ...