Questions which concern the historical management, distribution, and usage of resources; why a particular resource, or state of production, occurred in a certain way.

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3
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1answer
52 views

Evidence of Aztecs using Quetzal feathers as commodity money?

I found some webpages on the internet stating that on Aztecs barter-based economy, the remainder of value between two goods (if any) was settled with, among others, Quetzal feathers. Is there any ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

What were the factors that aided Margaret Thatcher in her victory against the trade unions when her predecessors failed?

Industrial strife has often been cited as a major reason for weakness in the British economy during the 1970s. For much of the 1970s, UK politics appeared to be a battle between the government and the ...
1
vote
3answers
430 views

How did sugar go from a luxury to a necessity in 18th century?

The only thing I came up with is slavery. This would be due to the wage differences between slave and free man. If plantations were manned by indentured labor, then wages would have been higher. ...
5
votes
2answers
754 views

How rich were carpenters in the Roman province of Iudaea in the 1st century AD?

According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, Joseph of Nazareth (Matthew 13,55). Apparently carpenters were not among the wealthy. Be that as it may, how rich could a ...
-2
votes
1answer
105 views

Relative merits of oligarchy and democracy [closed]

It's being presumed in a few Q&A and discussions here that democracy is the most optimal political system. I'd like to see whether this assertion can be substantiated or refuted here. Are their ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Does the cost of creating a naval fleet grow over time? [closed]

Is it harder to build a naval fleet today than two-three centuries ago? Do we spend more or less % of GDP to build the complete fleet from scratch? Do we spend more or less % of GDP per ship, or per ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What was the reason for inflation in Britain after the Black Death?

According to the Wikipedia article Ordinance of Labourers 1349 During this outbreak [of Black Death], an estimated 30-40% of the population died. The decline in population left surviving workers ...
4
votes
1answer
229 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
votes
2answers
271 views

Why did pastorial people from central Asia migrate to Europe?

Alans, Huns, Magyars, Mongols. They were all pastoralists whose material culture and economic life seems more suited to the Asian steppes. Yet for some reason they migrated into the European land ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Where can I find detailed accounts of cash-less payment in medevial and ancient times?

In his book "Debt: The first 5000 Years" David Graeber writes that during most of the middle ages and antiquity coins were seldom used in day-to-day dealings, at least of the more rural population. He ...
3
votes
3answers
441 views

Based on historical experience what would happen if/when the USA/EU fell? [closed]

In this video the guy talking mentions that when empires fall. Governance tends to become more local and smallscale(warlords, feudal lords etc) because threats tend to become smallscale and local. And ...
6
votes
5answers
308 views

Is there a link between national debt/trade deficit and starting a war?

I saw in an article mentioning that there is a link between national debt and starting wars I don't recall where I've seen it mentioned to look for further references on the matter. Are there known ...
10
votes
2answers
646 views

How was beer production affected by the war during WW2?

How did the war affect beer production during World War II? This is a follow-up question to this question at Seasoned Advice, which is gathering interesting food-science answers but which are are ...
6
votes
2answers
380 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

Parable of the broken window and 1929 crisis

I've read that, in 1938, economic crisis was taking back, and that it's the war effort that finally closed the 1929 crisis. Is it not a version of the parable of the broken window ? How a war effort ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

What is so special about the location of Mexico City?

Since 1325, the area we know today as Mexico City has held some sort of cultural or historical bond. The bond is so strong that, no matter what, no matter how bad a shape the country gets, they ...
3
votes
1answer
314 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
votes
0answers
81 views

Effects of land reforms in the 20th and 21st centuries [closed]

As Wikipedia clearly shows, there have been many different land reforms in many different times and places. It seems there is enough data for research about the consequences of land reforms. I am ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

During 1790-1800, was it legal to pay workers using whiskey?

As is well known, in frontier regions whiskey was regarded as an indispensable necessity to life, health and happiness, at the point that it usually had to substute for specie as a medium of exchange: ...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

Were railroads indispensable to American economic development?

In "Railroads and American Economic Growth: Essays in Econometric History", 1964, Robert W. Fogel, the father of modern econometric history, found that railroads were not indispensable to American's ...
18
votes
4answers
213 views

How would you accurately use older British currencies when writing a story?

For writing a story set in Napoleonic Wars era, how should one use the currencies accurately? I read in novels they use currencies like shilling, pound, guinea, sovereign, four (or six-, etc) pence, ...
8
votes
0answers
261 views

How much of an impact did the Roman emperors' civil wars have on their decision to debase the coinage?

From Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell: "Civil war remained a common event, ...the economy collapsed, as successive emperors massively devalued the coinage to pay for their wars." Other sources say ...
1
vote
2answers
436 views

Was the N.E.P. of Russia successful in terms of economics?

The Soviet's New Economic Plan was indeed a successful plan in establishing a comparatively strong postwar economy for the Soviet Union, but there were many imperfections: food prices fluctuated ...
5
votes
2answers
116 views

Where can I find financial data for the first world war? [closed]

I want to analyse the first world war on the financial aspect. Here are some of my questions. Which countries borrowed money to win the war? Where were weapons manufactured? Where can I get ...
3
votes
3answers
441 views

The economic prosperity of former colonies and their demographic make up

Most former colonies are now developing or poor countries, such as many countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Some exceptions are Australia, the United States, Canada. Interestingly they are ...
6
votes
6answers
298 views

Has scholarship shown that persecuted religious minorities have tended to be financially successful?

In this interview with Neal Stephenson, talking about the historical basis for his Baroque Cycle series of novels, he makes the remark that ... persecuted religious minorities, if they’re not ...
5
votes
3answers
246 views

How did shells, bones, and other trinkets work as currency?

One often hears stories about civilised and pre-civilised societies using shells, bones, and other trinkets as currency. How exactly did this system work? Taking the example of shells, did they have ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How has Chinese GDP as a percentage of world GDP changed over time and why?

I've heard it's 33% during the Qing dinasty. 4% during cultural revolution. Now it's climbing up steadily to 11%. Where can I see the table of those actually tracking those numbers? What were the ...
1
vote
2answers
928 views

What was Lenin's “New Economic Policy” and what complications did it have?

I have recently read an article on Lenin's New Economic Policy, and I was wondering if there were two sides to the story. What were some of the complications of this policy? In addition to this, was ...
10
votes
5answers
499 views

What was the worst economic crisis of all times?

I am interested in reading about the worst economic crisis of all times. By that I mean the largest reduction in GDP over a period of at least a year. The economic crisis should not have been caused ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Inflation After Executive Order 6102 (FDR Leaving GoldStandard)

I'm looking at this image which implies that the US leaving the Gold Standard started revival after the Great Depression. I'm thinking that it could all be explained with rapid inflation due to the ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

What were some of the complications of Marshall Plan?

What were some of the complications that were revolved around the Marshall Plan? Were the Soviets involved in any way?
6
votes
1answer
237 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline

I am writing a blog post about knowledge banning, either by state censorship or by self-imposed censorship, like the US Comics Code Authority of the 20th century. My focus is moral censorship, ...
3
votes
3answers
340 views

Effects of deliberately creating inflation to eliminate domestic debt [closed]

T.E.D. commented on this answer: Sometimes (particularly in developing countries) they literally are printing more money. In the USA typically we increase the money supply to make up for some kind ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

What are the social preconditions for division of labour, when compared in different emerging civilizations?

I would like to know if historians/economists/sociologists agree on the preconditions required for division of labour in ancient and/or earlier societies. Are there any common preconditions and ...
2
votes
1answer
712 views

What is the secret behind the economic success of ROC(Taiwan)?

Even though the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) is not a member of the United Nations, it has been economically successful. What is the secret behind the economic success of it then?
12
votes
1answer
207 views

How did the existence of the Alps impact the development of Switzerland?

Can anyone tell me what was the role of Alps and Alpine region in Swiss development of Switzerland?
10
votes
2answers
151 views

Buying/Renting/Leasing houses during history?

I was wondering about something. After the last financial crisis, many people have talked about not buying a house, but renting one, and they made it sound like a "new" idea. So what was it like ...
10
votes
2answers
315 views

Approximately what was the short-term economic loss to Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War being lost?

Is there any research that shows what the economic impact was to the British economy stemming from the 13 Colonies obtaining independence? It could be either a narrower estimate of purely tax losses ...
11
votes
2answers
677 views

What were the operating principles of Japan's MITI during the 1950s and 60s?

Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) guided Japan's economy through two decades of unprecedented economic growth. MITI was the primary instrument of Japan's industrial policy, ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

What were the first “Big Banks” in the United States?

The large financial institutions of the world have dominated the news cycle for the past few years, and it got me thinking, what were the first large banks in the US? I am interested in hearing about ...
5
votes
1answer
90 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.
17
votes
2answers
865 views

Has mercantilism ever been successful?

Mercantilism, which includes protectionism, industrial policy, capital controls, and other distortions to trade, is generally viewed by economists today as unsound economic policy. An overwhelming ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Alexander Hamilton considered the father of modern banking?

I've been hearing the phrase recently that Alexander Hamilton is considered the "father of modern banking", but haven't really come up with any explanation or definition that I can really understand ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Where did the Romans store their cash?

In the era before banking was invented, where did wealthy Romans store their cash? The emperor probably could store it somewhere in the imperial palace thanks to the Praetorian guard, but what about ...
17
votes
1answer
335 views

What were tally sticks?

What were tally sticks, and how was it that they they worked for the economy? I understand that they were a form of currency and were of fixed value based on the notches, but how did they work as a ...
9
votes
7answers
362 views

First evidence of intercontinental or cross-cultural trade?

Probably this happened several times and maybe even failed and broke up in different regions. What hints and proofs do we have of the earliest succesful intercontinental trade relations? I assume ...
4
votes
1answer
619 views

What is the purpose of the bridge to the Russkiy island? [closed]

Russky bridge is a bridge to a sparsely populated Russky island in the Far East whose construction started in 2008 and completed in 2012. It is the world's largest cable-stayed bridge, the 1104 m long ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

How easy one could start an artel in USSR after WW2 1945-1956?

During 1956-1960 all artels (cooperative enterprises) were nationalized in USSR. It was a large amount of artels. How easy was it to organize an artel before that, in the post-war period of ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

What surface area per person is required for hunter-gatherers?

I am sure I have read it somewhere, but I can't figure out in which book anymore (I think Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works) Most of human (pre-)history (and evolution) has happened in a foraging ...