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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0answers
322 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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
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5answers
360 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

What was more expensive to lose in a gladiatorial fight: a gladiator or a rare animal?

We know that, aside from man-to-man combat, gladiatorial fights would often pit human gladiators against wild animals. Is there any documented historical evidence that would show what was a bigger ...
7
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3answers
355 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
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2answers
218 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
268 views

Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...
7
votes
2answers
319 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
297 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 ...
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 ...
6
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3answers
312 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
494 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
6answers
316 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
643 views

Did Roosevelt's New Deal lift the U.S. out of the depression or did it actually prolong the Depression and cripple American capitalism? [closed]

While the New Deal did much to lessen the worst affects of the Great Depression, its measures were not sweeping enough to restore the nation to full employment. Critics of FDR's policies, on ...
6
votes
3answers
190 views

What containers were used for food prior to the industrial era?

Today, when you go shopping, most of the food are kept in plastic or paper containers (or tin can). What types of containers were used to sell, transport and keep the food before plastic ? and ...
6
votes
2answers
235 views

How/why did Plzeň 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Which have been the most and least successful Olympics in terms of economic impact?

When discussing the Olympics, politicians are always keen to stress the economic benefits that will flow to the host city. A number of commentators in the media though have suggested that the bulk of ...
6
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
279 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
2answers
182 views

Did Demosthenes complain about inflation of prices in philippics?

Did Demosthenes complain about inflation of prices in his philippics caused by Philip II of Macedon's extensive gold mining? I have heard it somewhere but I can not find any refference.
6
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0answers
57 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 ...
5
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5answers
311 views

Historical examples of energy wars

Energy sources and resources like oil and coal are vital for the survival of modern civilizations. Are there any good historical examples of wars, or low intensity armed conflicts, over the control ...
5
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2answers
143 views

Was COMECON involved in economic imperialism and if so, to what extent?

Disclaimer: I am not 100% sure if it was COMECON, it might be another Soviet apparatus. I recall reading about how the Soviet Union forced her Eastern European satellites into very lucrative and ...
5
votes
1answer
274 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
1answer
110 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
175 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
2answers
193 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
249 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?
5
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1answer
96 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
2answers
129 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Did the Nazis have any unique or especially effective economic policies?

The Nazi rule in Germany is associated with (among many, many other things) a sudden and powerful economic resurgence. This is especially impressive since it happened in a country that was ...
5
votes
3answers
232 views

Was there really a labor shortage in the USA until 1970?

After watching several video lectures made by Richard D. Wolff I noticed he frequently draws historical events as evidence to base his arguments on. One thing he mentions frequently (in several ...
5
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0answers
60 views

What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule in Anatolia?

What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule (1300-1450) in Anatolia? How was social surplus extracted from peasants, by who, with what ...
4
votes
3answers
268 views

How did an input of resources in 16th century Spain contribute to inflation?

My history book claims that the flow of Silver from the New World to Spain in the 16th century contributed to an inflation. However, that seems very unintuitive. How could gaining resources lead to a ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
193 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
827 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
158 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
842 views

World Wars and economic crises?

I don't recall where I heard in an interview or read in an article that there is a causation between economic crises and the two world wars, is there is historical truth in that? For the second war ...
4
votes
1answer
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?
4
votes
0answers
84 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
44 views

Origin of land-lottery system

A report from 1894 describes the Musha'a land tenure system in the Arab villages of Palestine: the agricultural lands of the village are considered common property, and they are divided each year ...
3
votes
3answers
159 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
4answers
595 views

Does History confirm that prosperity, capitalism, and some form “democracy” or representative republican form of government always go hand in hand?

Many historians, politicians and economists find a link between the economic success of a nation and its form of government. For example, the idea that the USA's form of government was responsible ...
3
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3answers
364 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
519 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
340 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 ...