For questions about interactions between sovereign states.

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94
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9answers
8k views

Why was France granted an equal status among victors of World War II?

How is it that France emerged from World War II with a similar status as the U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, and China in terms of possession of a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, ...
47
votes
10answers
15k views

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong but not Gibraltar?

Why was Britain willing to return Hong Kong to China, but not Gibraltar to Spain? Was it because Gibraltar has more strategic value than Hong Kong?
26
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6answers
58k views

Why did Italy abandon its alliance with Germany in WW1 and join the Allied side?

Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. Why did Italy do this? ...
25
votes
7answers
9k views

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

England (and its succeeding states) were at war with France for close to 1000 years. First it was over land, then they competed over religion, then they competed over colonies. For much of that time, ...
21
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3answers
4k views

Why was the Aztec Empire known as an Empire?

Wikipedia defines an Empire as following: The term "empire" does not have a precise definition, but is generally applied to political entities that are considered to be especially large by the ...
21
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5answers
5k views

Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?

It was virtually impossible for citizens of the Soviet Union to move or travel abroad. Only some ethnic minorities (e.g. Jewish) with family members abroad could move out, although with great ...
20
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3answers
2k views

Why didn't the participants of the Korean War also fight in the Vietnam War?

In the Korean war from 1950 to 1953, a lot of countries including the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Australia, and even Colombia, the Philippines and Ethiopia participated in the war under the U.N. ...
20
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5answers
6k views

Why didn't China assist in the Vietnam War like they did in Korea?

In the Korean War (1950 - 1953), China sent in about 1 million troops fairly quickly and actually fought the American and UN forces. In the Vietnam War (1950's - 1975), the only Chinese assistance I ...
18
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1answer
1k views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
17
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3answers
452 views

Has a foreign power ever sought to compel another country to abide by international law by means of that country's internal judiciary?

Suppose there are two countries which have a treaty or convention between them. One country thinks the other has infringed upon it. Have there been any instances where the first country filed a suit ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Have Germany and Poland ever signed a peace treaty after WWII?

I met a shocking (for me) information, that Germany and Poland have not signed a peace treaty after the World War II. Because I could not believe this, I performed some research. In the Potsdam ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What was unreasonable about Austria's ultimatum to Serbia?

There are actually three questions. First Question: It is often stated, especially in English-speaking media, that the terms of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia 1914 were unreasonable. Sometimes the ...
13
votes
2answers
401 views

How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?

Several years back Turkey barred some French companies to participate in one of its arms procurement tender. Turkey doesn't allow French military air-crafts or ships to pass its territorial space. ...
13
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1answer
206 views

Did the Roundheads/Commonwealth of England receive any ideological sympathy abroad?

Were any of the various republican ideas or factions in the time of the English Civil War/Commonwealth of England given any support by people elsewhere in Europe? I know the rest of Europe was busy ...
13
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3answers
362 views

Did the Muslims of Granada expect their Christian conquerors to keep their promised terms?

The Treaty of Granada which surrendered Granada, the last Muslim-controlled area in medieval Spain, to King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile seemed to be quite generous, magnanimous ...
12
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7answers
3k views

Has any country won a war, but lost a non-trivial portion of its territory?

Has any country won a war, but lost a non-trivial amount of its territory? For example, 10% or 20%. It doesn't matter whether this country still exists or not.
12
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3answers
5k views

Why is China a member of the UN Security Council?

The United Nations was formed at the end of world war II, to maintain peace throughout the world. Within the structure of UN, Security Council is ranked above all. There were only five permanent ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Why was France given such a lenient peace after Napoleon was defeated?

For two decades revolutionary France had attacked and conquered many nations in Europe. Millions were killed. But when the allies finally defeated France, the peace was very lenient. France didn't ...
10
votes
3answers
957 views

When passports/border checks became widespread?

I was reading the Wikipedia on passports, and there were numerous important dates in passport history, but I didn't find any date when passports became widely used documents for travelling. I see ...
10
votes
1answer
940 views

What was Poland's involvement in Vietnam War?

So far I've found a few stories about Poland's involvement in Vietnam War: historycy.org (in Polish) Operation Marigold Multinational UN peacekeeping force International Commission of Control and ...
10
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2answers
306 views

Why did countries declare exclusive economic zones of up to 200 nautical miles?

Today coastal countries own the surrounding marine waters stretching 200 nautical miles from their shoreline in terms of exclusive rights of exploiting its resources (their exclusive economic zone (...
9
votes
1answer
793 views

Why did the Ming Dynasty Treasure Fleet Voyages end?

Have we come to know more reasons, on why the Treasure Fleet Voyages of the Ming Dynasty ceased, other than eunuch-to-civil power shift? Wikipedia says However, in 1433, the voyages ceased and ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long?

It is quite interesting to observe that for millennia, two neighbouring countries, ethnically, linguistically, racially diverse (and for some time religiously as well) were able to co-exist for ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany after WW2?

These areas have always been German, in fact Pomerania and Brandenburg were both part of Prussia since the 1700's. Why did the Soviet Union do this, and how did the victorious powers justify taking ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Did Russia declare war on Germany before its invasion of that country on August 7, 1914?

I was looking through some lists of war declarations from the first World War and I did not see any declaration of war by Russia on Germany or Prussia. The Russian army did invade Prussia on August 7, ...
8
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4answers
4k views

Before entering WW II, why was the US so against Japanese aggression in China but did nothing about Germany in Europe?

The US was very vocal against Japanese aggression in China in the 1930's and early 1940's but said nothing against German aggression in Europe. The US finally placed an embargo on sending oil and ...
8
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2answers
678 views

How did Germany claim self-defense in WW1?

WW1 broke out after a series of ultimatums and warnings against each other. However, I understand that every power claimed that the other powers were acting against its interests, and it was ...
8
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3answers
869 views

Nationhood of Bhutan and Nepal in Indian subcontinent

During the period around Independence, India, under Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's programme to unite the subcontinent, was getting Princely states to accede to Union of India. There were around 570 ...
8
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4answers
600 views

Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
8
votes
1answer
448 views

What was the reaction to English monarchs using the title “King of France”?

After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to legalize their claims ...
7
votes
4answers
770 views

What was the first supranational organization?

The European Union is the only organization at the moment that exhibits a high level of integration amongst its member nation states, but is it the world's first supranational type organization? Are ...
7
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4answers
4k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
7
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3answers
346 views

Why did the Erdoğan government like to worsen Turkey's relationship with Israel? [closed]

Turkey has long been an ally of Israel. Turkey bought a lot of military products from Israel. If Turkey hates Israel, they could have handled the situation much differently. Israel was in the process ...
7
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1answer
354 views

What are the earliest examples in history where one state/people stepped in to rescue another?

I started wondering about this after watching yet another World War II movie where the European people are freed by Mother Russia and Uncle Sam and also helped in their recovery. What are the ...
7
votes
2answers
285 views

Chiang's allies were “a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully” but which was which?

It is said that Chiang Kai-shek complained bitterly about his allies Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (the latter admittedly not at war with Japan till the very end). But when he ...
7
votes
1answer
428 views

Why did Austria cede Venetia at the end of the Third Italian War of Independence?

Looking at the wikipedia articles, they seemed to be winning (the Battle of Custoza and the naval battle of Lissa), and the war against Prussia was already finished. So why did it still cede Venetia ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Why did the Allies let Hitler break the Treaty of Versailles?

I was reading about what led up to ww2 and I noticed that Hitler broke several of the agreements in the Treaty of Versailles such as getting a army of more than 100000 men. I was wondering why the ...
6
votes
1answer
323 views

In the Palestine Partition Plan, why was Jaffa allocated to the Arab state?

I'm reading through the document, "The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem, Part II" by the United Nations. Under the provisions of the Palestine Resolution, they note that Palestine was ...
6
votes
2answers
496 views

What was the final result for France after the Napoleonic wars?

What I'd like to know is if the final outcome of the wars was ultimately beneficial for France. In territorial terms. Did it manage to keep some territorial gains? If the question isn't clear be ...
6
votes
0answers
162 views

Why have some territorial annexations been rejected by the international community? [closed]

The annexation of Kuwait by Iraq, the annexation of the Golan Heights by Israel, and the annexation of Crimea by Russia are examples of recent territorial annexations that have been rejected by the ...
5
votes
3answers
856 views

Why did the US not move to crush the Haitian Revolt after the 1804 massacre?

Understandably, the European nations were embroiled in the Napoleonic wars. But the American Revolutionary War had been over for almost 20 years by then. A large part of their population too, were ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Could Polish people who didn't live in Poland get Polish citizenship after Poland's revival in 1918?

Before and during WWI, people of Polish origin held either Russian, Austrian or German passports. I am pretty sure none of the official documents mentioned ethnicity at all, the system of separate ...
5
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1answer
441 views

Why did the original Carthage never become a Roman city?

Carthage fell to the might of Rome, I think it was, three times in total. They were completely defeated and accepted some pretty horrible terms of surrender. And yet they maintained their self ...
4
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5answers
1k views

Why Canada failed to emerge as a Great Power like UK or France? [closed]

What factors prevented Canada to become a Great Power like UK or France?
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Why haven't Russia and Japan signed a peace treaty after WW2?

I have read that Russia and Japan, which had been fighting long before World War I, are still at war, at least technically, since they have not signed a peace treaty at the conclusion of World War II. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did Spain trade Florida to the British in exchange for Havana?

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. wikipedia Why did Spain trade Florida to ...
4
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2answers
278 views

Did Mete Khan and Hsiung-nu serve the Chinese Emperor?

I was reading Nicolae Jorga's "History of Ottoman Empire vol. 1" and he gave an information that, Mete Khan who freed Hsiung-nu people from the rule of Yue-chi, was a servant of Chinese Emperor. But ...
4
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1answer
211 views

Who owns the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone after the 1991 Gulf War?

According to Wikipedia, the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone was created in 1922 by the British-controlled Iraq and the Sultanate of Nejd (the predecessor of Saudi Arabia). The same article continues: As ...
4
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1answer
159 views

How did opinions of France and Britain affect American foreign policy up to 1820?

I'm doing some research on this topic for my American Studies class, and I'm having a little trouble with this. I would appreciate a brief overview of this, or possibly some primary sources for me ...
4
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2answers
204 views

Has the USA offered aid to every sovereign nation? [closed]

My history teacher said that the USA has offered aid to every other sovereign nation that has existed the same time at us. He defines aid as being humanitarian, economical, or militaristic. Is this ...