Political history is the history of: political events, politicians, political bodies, political movements and anything else related to politics. Questions on topic will be related to the significance, evolution, or veracity of things of historical consequence related to politics.

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How did the Princeps Senatus get nominated?

In Republican Rome, the princeps senatus (~head of the senate) is supposed to be nominated by the censors, who are elected every 5 years for 1 and a half year. What happens if the censors disagree on ...
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Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, pretty early ...
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2answers
593 views

When was the last time (if ever) an elector was faithless in US presidential elections?

With regards to the ongoing US presidential elections, I just read this on electoral-vote.com: Could There Be Faithless Electors? Presidential electors are supposed to vote for the person who ...
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1answer
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Were Korean and Tibetan rulers ever styled as 'sons of heaven'?

Chinese dynasts adopted the term "Son of Heaven" or "Son of [the god] Tian" (天子) during the early Zhou period around the turn of the 1st millennium BCE, and continued using it until the overthrow of ...
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Did Kim Jong-Il wrest away power (rather than inherit it) from Kim Il-Sung in a power struggle?

I know little about North Korean history, but their official narrative and what I had also believed is that - long story short - Kim Jong-Il basically just inherited his dictatorial powers from his ...
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Did Andrew Jackson think the earth was flat?

You will occasionally see references to the possibility that Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. One source for this claim is a well-respected history of the period by Edward Pessen: ...
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Was there a constitutional mechanism to overturn the election of Adolf Hitler?

In March 1933 Hitler received 44 % of the votes during the elections and became relatively fast a dictator. Were there any constitutional or other legal mechanisms in place through which this ...
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When was the last time there were border controls, customs, or border patrols inside what is now the contiguous US?

Reading about the complexities of Europe has made me wonder about when American (internal) borders were less porous. Also, were the borders between the 13 colonies completely open? Or did they at ...
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3answers
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Why did the Federalist Party collapse?

The Federalist Party in the United States was a significant political force during the early years of the United States' history. Wikipedia doesn't really cite reasons why the party declined and ...
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645 views

Why has there only been one dynasty in the history of Japan?

I'm kinda surprised that there's been only one dynasty (Yamato) in Japan up until now, unlike China with one group wiping out another group and starting a new dynasty constantly. Looking at ...
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0answers
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What was the contemporary popular opinion of the Anglo-Irish Treaty?

After the Irish War of Independence (also known as The [Black and] Tan War), the Irish and British signed a treaty in 1921, which created the Irish Free State and started the process of gradual ...
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How do we compare historical empires on these statistics?

I see three criteria here: I'm wondering which historical empire was the most long lived, largest, most populous, and represented the largest percentage of world population. Who controlled the ...
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2answers
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Why does Northern Ireland not include the counties Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan?

Did not the entire province of Ulster vote to stay in the Union? If so, why was it partitioned? Esepecially Donegal which relied heavily on Belfast for its economy, I don't see a good reason why ...
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Why were Sri Lanka and Myanmar separated from India under the British Empire? [closed]

Historically, the British integrated their holdings in India into the British Raj. Sri Lanka and Myanmar were also part of the British Empire in India. Sri Lanka is moreover culturally similar to ...
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84 views

Were there any abolitionists imprisoned for being critical of the Congress or the President during the American Civil War?

It's been said that some 14K civilians were imprisoned without trial and that some 300 newspapers were temporarily shut down by the executive branch over the course of the Civil War. I'm wondering if ...
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1answer
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Why did Thomas Hendricks win the majority of Horace Greeley's electoral votes in 1872?

In researching my answer to Can electors "flip the ticket?", I re-examined the results of the election of 1872. As stated in that answer, 1872 was an interesting election, not for the result (Grant ...
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2answers
246 views

Why didn't Nixon erase the smoking gun?

Given that President Nixon was bold enough to erase 18 minutes of the "Nixon tapes" before turning them over to the Watergate investigators, why didn't he also erase the "smoking gun," the ...
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2answers
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Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?

The House of Representatives originally did not pass the 13th Amendment, and on January 1, 1865 it was reconsidered and passed. Evidently, the House first voted that day on whether to reconsider the ...
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1answer
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What were the key factors to the fall of domestic socialism in the USA?

During the late 1800s, and early 1900s the United States saw the rise of trade union membership, the coming and going of the populist party, and watched the progressive era come to institute reforms ...
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3answers
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Why did monarchy become common practice after the fall of Rome?

Why did the government of most nations after the fall of Rome and the beginning of medieval age turn to monarchy? Before the fall of Rome most nations seem to be organized after different model and ...
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0answers
150 views

How many citizens were in each of century of the Roman electoral system?

The Centuriate assembly (Comicia centuriata) was arguably the most important assembly of the Roman republic. It was in charge of electing consuls, praetors and censors, of voting laws, declaring war ...
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2answers
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What factors prevented the legality of secession being pursued via the courts prior to the outbreak of the Civil War?

I've seen references to Lincoln's political maneuvering to prevent the question of secession from being brought to the supreme court in the days preceding the conflict, presumably for fear a ruling ...
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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 ...
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416 views

What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...
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Was George Wallace's American Independent party (1968) “the same party” as Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat party (1948)?

The party that nominated George Wallace for president in 1968 (the American Independent Party) seems very similar to the State's Rights Democratic Party (aka. Dixiecrat) that nominated Strom Thurmond ...
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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 ...
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Did John F. Kennedy know about his judicial nominee's racism?

[Source:] On June 20, 1961, Cox was nominated by President John F. Kennedy to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi created by 75 Stat. 80. [...] ...
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Looking for quote about workhouses

I recall someone (may MP at the time) said something like. No one that is in real need should be discouraged from using a workhouse due to its standard of housing and food, but on one that is ...
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What is the difference between Taino and Puerto Rican?

I have heard a lot of Puerto Rican's call themselves Latino or Hispanic. However, after watching this video, I am a bit confused about what they say. Can anyone confirm why different Puerto Rican ...
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301 views

How did the central government of the United States finance itself under the Articles of Confederation?

The Congress of the Confederation couldn't levy taxes. State governments were the ones with the power to control commerce with other states and nations even. It also has the power to levy tax. If ...
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126 views

How heavy was the taxation in Ming China?

I often read that the Ming dynasty taxed heavily, and that this is one of the reasons it failed. For example, this says that: "Corruptive officials levied heavy taxes on peasants, triggering ...
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3answers
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Why could China keep most of the lands it conquered after 17th century but European powers could not?

If we look at the map of Ming dynasty, we see a much smaller China. Most of the northern and western part of today's China was conquered during Qing dynasty. In contrast, many European powers have ...
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Colonies in Machiavelli's age

In Chapter 3 of the Prince Machiavelli offers this advice to the prince who would hold a newly acquired territory: [T]o send colonies to one or two places, which may be as keys to that state, ...
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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). ...
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1answer
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Why did The Crown give assent to Apartheid legislation during the 1950s?

Why did The Crown give assent to Apartheid legislation during the 1950s? For example, the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, Act No 49 of 1953 was assented to by the crown. The relevant law in ...
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201 views

How did the Alien and Sedition acts pass?

The Alien and Sedition acts, passed in 1798, are said to have been an attempt by the Federalist Party to suppress opposition. In Chapter 74 Section 2, the law seems to put restrictions on freedom of ...
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377 views

Why was Japan not colonized? [closed]

Why was Japan NOT colonised by any of the European countries when practically all of the Asian countries were being colonised by a European nation? Why did no army even clash against the Japanese ...
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0answers
131 views

When did democracy become popular? [closed]

After the Greek and Rome, democracy died out. So when have this system become popular? Which country were the first to adopt it after Rome? And how did it become so widely used?
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2answers
296 views

Why weren't Baden, Würtemberg and Bavaria independent states ever restored? [closed]

The southern german states of Baden, Würtemberg and Bavaria were independent states until 1871. Their historical background is quite different from the northern Germany which was dominated by Prussia ...
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4answers
446 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 ...
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How can the impact of moving the Brazilian capital be analyzed? [closed]

Around 50 years ago Brasília became the capital of Brazil. The distances between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro - where the biggest part of the population live - from Brasília are big enough to have ...
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5answers
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What factors led to the rise of political parties in the United States?

I know that at the time the Constitution was drafted partisan political parties did not exist, not in the way that we conceive of them today, and George Washington did not have a political party. ...
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1answer
286 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 ...
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Why are the USA and Canada's states border so straight?

Many states within the USA and Canada have straight lines as a border, completely ignoring natural borders like mountains or rivers. Many American states and Canadian provinces are just ...
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1answer
218 views

Soviet reaction to Battle of the Denmark Strait

At the time of the Battle of the Denmark Strait - 1941-05-24 - Soviets were still officially friendly with Germany. I wonder what the reaction to the battle was, e.g., Did they send an official ...
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1answer
171 views

What were Aurangzeb Alamgir's motives for reversing much of the religious tolerance in the Mughal Empire?

Aurangzeb Alamgir's great-grandfather Akbar the Great (1556-1606) was famous for being religious tolerant, for abolishing the jizya tax, and attempting to end the ritual of Sati (where a wife must ...
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What preparations went into the Tehran Conference of 1943?

The Tehran Conference during World War 2 was a hugely important meeting, and perhaps more importantly, a hugely dangerous proposition. Having all those leaders together in one place risked utter ...
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In Great Britain, did the Liberal Unionists and Conservatives ever compete for the same seats in elections?

The Liberal Unionists fought elections against the Liberals. Did Liberal Unionists ever stand in the same seats as Conservatives too, or did they have a pact right from the beginning?
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Why did the Government of India Act create separate electorates for the depressed classes?

The Communal Award, in 1932, conceded to the demands of B.R. Ambedkar and the ilk to have separate electorates for depressed classes. But Gandhji held fast unto death to undo this. So, Poona Pact ...
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1answer
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What were John Profumo's responsibilities as the Secretary of State for War in Macmillan's government?

Although I've found that "Profumo's responsibility was the Army, and his principal preoccupation was helping to recruit and establish a regular volunteer Army after the abolition of conscription" (The ...