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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1answer
162 views

What was used to pay taxes in Medieval England [closed]

Was coinage issued by the Kings (Queen) used to pay taxes in Medieval England? If so were these silver or gold coins or base metal ? And how did the use of tally sticks fit into the tax system
20
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4answers
12k views

What did Germany do after World War II to recover so successfully that it became more prosperous than its WW2 victors?

Germany lost in World War II. Being the loser, its economy started at a disadvantage compared to her World War II victors in the aftermath of WW2. However, Germany managed to recover more ...
15
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2answers
3k views

How wealthy was Singapore at its independence (1965)?

According to this article Is Singapore the Perfect Country for Our Times? Singapore's defining achievement is summed up in the title of its longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew's memoir, From Third ...
3
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1answer
363 views

What would be the GDP of the Roman Empire?

I understand that this particular question is hard to answer. However, do there exist any historical record to how much was the GDP of Rome at some period? If not, could you give me a speculation or a ...
5
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3answers
260 views

Did the increase of slavery in the US bring an end to indentured servitude?

In the development of the New World, indentured servitude was quite common for passage across the Atlantic. Did the increase in slavery in America, especially in Virginia and other similar ...
1
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3answers
921 views

Does the world become more prosperous when divided? [closed]

Matt Ridley in Rational Optimist says that countries are prosperous when divided due to competition among government. Countries are backward when united. According to this theory, China advanced after ...
5
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3answers
137 views

Why did overestimated coins led to inflation and well-estimated coins to deflation?

It is said in Debt, the first 5,000 years by David Graeber (chapter 4, note 2) that when the value of metal coins represented exactly their weight, the result was deflation. The author says that when ...
3
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0answers
114 views

What were the names of the weapon manufacturers in France in the late 1700's

What were the names of the companies that manufactured hand weapons in France in the late 1700's and who were the most productive.
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2answers
481 views

Why did Britain decide to issue perpetual bonds during Napoleonic era?

Background A few years ago I was a student of an economic course about loans, debts, interests, NPV etc. The trainer mentioned "The UK took a loan to fund wars against Napoleon. This has no term, and ...
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2answers
119 views

Estimating gross domestic product in ancient times

I would like to estimate, to what extent the Roman republic (or different parts of it) were "agricultural". Today, a common measure to the "agricultural-ness" of an economy is the gross domestic ...
7
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1answer
135 views

In exchange for forbidding strikes, did Napoleon guarantee high wages?

According to Wikipedia citing Frank McLynn, Napoleon, Pimlico 1998 Ch 21, p482, strikes were forbidden by Napoleon I in exchange for a guarantee by employers that wages would remain high. How did ...
2
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2answers
119 views

Paradigm change in power: from military to economic in Europe [closed]

It seems to me that the Middle-Ages/Renaissance observed a paradigm shift between the source of political power in Western Europe. Indeed, in the High Middle-Ages, Kings were ruling surrounded by ...
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0answers
144 views

What was the Nove / Millar debate, how is it important to the historiography of the Soviet Union?

The Nove / Millar debate was a debate amongst economic historians in the 1970s, where the Western understanding of Soviet economic development in the 1920 and 1930s was seriously revised. In ...
9
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1answer
210 views

How big was the IMF loan Britain received in the 1970's?

During the turbulent times of the 1970's, the United Kingdom had to ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan to meet its obligations. The National Archives state that in September 1976, a ...
22
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4answers
350 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, ...
6
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1answer
155 views

Were boycotts, divestment, and sanctions effective against apartheid?

In the 1980s there was a movement to use boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to apply pressure on the apartheid regime in South Africa. These efforts included sports boycotts, refusal of some ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Why did the Soviet Union's economy grow fast in the 1950's-1960's?

Communist economic systems self-implode. Today it has been recognized that Communism is bad for economic progress. There is no dispute that Communism makes countries poor based on what has happened in ...
3
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0answers
58 views

Employment statistics in Germany since mid-19th century [closed]

What is the most reliable source of employment statistics in Germany? I am interested in the time period starting from mid-19th century all the way to present days.
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4answers
5k views

What factors contributed to the U.S economy flourishing during the early cold war period?

Wars, cold or otherwise, are bad for economies, right? So why did American capitalism flourish during the early cold war period (shortly after World War II)? I think there are several positive ...
6
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2answers
294 views

How/why did Plzeƈ become the “armourer” for Austria-Hungary?

In 1938, Nazi Germany coveted (the modern) Czech [Republic] in large part for its Skoda Works which produced something like one-quarter of the arms and ammunition used by the Third Reich. From what ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

How long did it take to build earth dikes with low-tech tools?

Let's say you're in charge of a group of laborers anywhere from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages. Your job is to build a dike made of earth, a couple of meters high and presumably about the same width ...
7
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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 ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Credible historic description of how the daily life was for the middle-class during the financial crisis of 1929 [closed]

I am trying to find out how life could change for the middle-class today if we had a high-impact financial crisis. Please help-me / let me know if this question could be rephrased better.
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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? ...
5
votes
1answer
805 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 ...
15
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3answers
800 views

Why did the British not introduce the sterling in India?

The question is about the adoption of currency during imperialist rule. Why did the British persist with the local currency, the rupee? What impediments did the British face in implementing the ...
3
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2answers
299 views

Ratio of population to military size throughout European history? [closed]

I realise that this is a fairly broad question, but I am trying to get a sense of the ratio between the total population and the size of the military that societies could support at different times ...
2
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1answer
467 views

What is the average price, in silver, for a loaf of bread through history?

I would like to build a graph for the price of a loaf of bread based on exchange of silver. My research has shown that some items or commodities have remained very consistent when priced against other ...
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2answers
661 views

Germany's “Economic Miracle” [closed]

I heard, but cannot verify, that some economists call what Hitler did for Germany's economy an "economic miracle." This claims (my emphases): Hitler's Economic MiracleThe real reason for World ...
8
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3answers
566 views

Why was the government expenditures of the Roman Empire very low compared to modern governments?

I was trying to compare the military spending of the Roman empire in the 1st century with modern military spending and how much of a burden that was to Roman people. The Wikipedia page of the ...
2
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2answers
270 views

Russian war reparations from Germany post WW2 [closed]

Is there any record of negotiations(if any), regarding war reparations from Germany to Russia following WW2, if there were reparations paid by Germany to Russia following WW2, do they have an impact ...
8
votes
2answers
398 views

Medieval farmer's metal tools

What metal woodworking tools should I expect to find in the household of a 14th century well-off peasant farmer from Hampshire? (Answering more broadly is acceptable, but it might help to give this ...
5
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2answers
200 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 ...
8
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3answers
3k 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 ...
7
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3answers
459 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: ...
7
votes
2answers
400 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline [closed]

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, ...
4
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3answers
955 views

Was the Stock Market Crash of 1929 a cause or result of the Great Depression?

Did the Stock Market Crash of 1929 effectively cause the Great Depression, or were there economic factors already in place at that time such that the Greet Depression would have happened anyway, and ...
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1answer
604 views

How did Asian Americans manage to become richer than an average American? [closed]

By "richer" I mean higher median income. Large-scale immigration of Asians to the United States began in the 19th century. In the beginning, most of them were poorer than an average American. ...
14
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2answers
2k views

How was security on the Silk Road between China and the West maintained?

From the 2nd century BC to the beginning of the 15th century the Silk Road (or more correctly roads, as there were alternative routes) was the primary trade route between China and the West. One ...
10
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2answers
392 views

The effect of the Panic of 1837 on financial/banking policy

Were there any direct or immediate financial/banking policies made because of this recession? I've read that a combination of factors helped get America out of the Panic, but it never mentioned a ...
8
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2answers
378 views

What is the largest overnight depreciation?

What is the largest overnight currency depreciation? How large, which currency and when? When examining historical records of currency depreciation, it is helpful to have a better understanding of ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How did New York become the financial hub of America?

Why did New York become the financial hub of America, rather than one of the other big cities?
5
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2answers
228 views

What is the first example of a Western government passing a sin tax?

What is the first example of a Western government passing a sin or vice tax -- that is, a tax passed primarily to discourage consumption of certain goods due to moral, not economic, concerns? ...
8
votes
1answer
384 views

Inflation Rate in Spain and Portugal during 16th century

What was the yearly/monthly inflation rate in Spain and Portugal during 16th century? Is there data for the amount of silver or gold possessed by the crowns during that period? How much did it ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Impact of the Berlin Wall to GDR

"No one has the intention of erecting a wall!" - Walter Ulbricht, June 15,1961. The Wall was erected anyway, because more than 2.6 million East Germans escaped to West Berlin or West Germany from ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

How close were the living standards of India compared to England during the medieval period?

India, China and the African continent today are mostly associated with poverty in Europe, the US and so on. Looking at India specifically, did it during the medieval era share a similar standard of ...
12
votes
3answers
678 views

What was the size of surface of a cereal crop needed per man per year during the Dark Ages in Western Europe?

If I'm a peasant during the dark ages, what surface (in meters (<- I am in advance on my time)) I need to farm to get enough cereal (for bread and brew) ? how many cereals (in kg (<- again, I'm ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Why was gold so popular and valuable back when it did not have many real world uses?

I'm talking about back when it was first starting to get discovered, like 2000 B.C. (roughly). Gold was being used for coins, jewellery and more. It was a very well known commodity and accepted ...
3
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1answer
653 views

How did Yugoslavia economically survive the Cold War

During the time of Cold War, both USA and USSR have a program to help their allied country economically. For USA, they have a policy called "Marshal Plan" which is aimed to support democratic country ...
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2answers
79 views

What is it called when a Corporation purchases the rights to something to prevent it's production, to increase profit [closed]

What is it called, when a Large Business or Corporation sees that some product, invention, or medicine will destroy or reduce the size of their market or consumer base; and they either purchase the ...