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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6
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1answer
214 views

To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese?

There's general agreement that the Japanese invasion of China benefited the CPC by interrupting the civil war, forcing the KMT to fight the Japanese instead of continuing the CPC purge, which they ...
5
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2answers
306 views

What is Adios Bruce Lee?

A co-worker of mine came in wearing a shirt with this image on it: This looks like a movie poster, but I'd never heard of that particular Bruce Lee movie, so I tried looking it up. As near as I can ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Was the painting of men's nails a rare practice in the mid-20th century?

I came across the following description of Hermann Göring after his capture in 1945 in Elizabeth Borgwardt's A New Deal for the World (On Google Books): The impression of a dissolute voluptuary - ...
5
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2answers
231 views

Why was Tsesarevich Alexei's hemophilia a state secret?

Alexei inherited hemophilia from his mother Alexandra, a condition that could be traced back to her maternal grandmother Queen Victoria. In 2009 genetic analysis determined specifically that he ...
5
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2answers
1k 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 ...
5
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1answer
295 views

During World War II, in the U.S., were diapers available?

As is well known, during World War II many consumer goods became difficult to find and with regard to the situation in the United States, after some searches, I observed that, among others: U.S. ...
5
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2answers
336 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").
5
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3answers
243 views

Did Nikita Krushchev's support of Stalin's purges play a part in his removal from office?

As far as I can tell Krushchev was removed from office because of his erratic policies, and specifically their failures, but did his role in Stalin's purges also play a part in his removal?
5
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3answers
191 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 ...
5
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2answers
528 views

What does a slitterman do?

On my Great-Uncle's Naval Entry Form, it says: Occupation upon entry: Slitterman (paper) I found this article, which says a slitterman is: A representative for the Travellers Aid Society ...
5
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1answer
159 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 ...
5
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2answers
330 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 ...
5
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4answers
414 views

Why did Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng receive different punishments for their role in the Xi'an Incident?

Having failed to persuade Chiang Kai-shek to abandon war with the communists and instead unite to fight Japan, Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng finally opted for force and captured Chiang in the Xi'an ...
5
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1answer
85 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
312 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 ...
5
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1answer
263 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 ...
5
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1answer
190 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 ...
5
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1answer
220 views

How big was the percentage of white people in the USA who were not against granting the blacks equal rights? [closed]

How big was the percentage of white people in the USA who were not against granting the blacks equal rights at the time when the blacks finally got the equality of rights (which I think was in 1964). ...
5
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2answers
152 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 ...
5
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1answer
76 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 ...
5
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1answer
99 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.
5
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
5
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1answer
118 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 ...
5
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1answer
118 views

When penicillin was initially introduced, was it effective against all gram positives?

I'm trying to investigate the history of resistance. Just how good was penicillin when it first emerged? Were there any gram positives it couldn't get?
5
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1answer
620 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 ...
5
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1answer
76 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 ...
5
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1answer
170 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 ...
5
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1answer
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 ...
5
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1answer
86 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 ...
5
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1answer
180 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 ...
5
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1answer
137 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 ...
5
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1answer
109 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 ...
5
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0answers
66 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 ...
5
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0answers
155 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 ...
5
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1answer
196 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 ...
4
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2answers
1k 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 ...
4
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
4
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3answers
369 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 ...
4
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4answers
1k 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?
4
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3answers
3k 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Machine gun specs in WW1 [closed]

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 ...
4
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3answers
162 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 ...
4
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1answer
130 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 ...
4
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1answer
174 views

Usage of German camoflage during World War II

Although most do not know this, Germans used camouflage during the war. The grey uniform was only ceremonial. However, they are pictured without the camo 99% of the time so I'd like to ask, during ...
4
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1answer
644 views

Income distribution of major combatants before and after WWII?

This question about GDP per capita of major combatants before and after WWI made me wonder how these GDPs were distributed. Do we know the Gini coefficient (or a similiar metric) for the major ...
4
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2answers
878 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 ...
4
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1answer
353 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 ...
4
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1answer
240 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 ...
4
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1answer
243 views

What were common reasons people attended executions in mid 1930s.?

In The Green Mile movie (1999) the main character is a guardian in jail and performs death penalty executions. One can see that on such executions some external people come to watch (as "external" I ...
4
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1answer
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 ...