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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

38
votes
5answers
5k views

When did the Romans finally acknowledge that they were living in an empire?

The Romans, during the time of the Republic, were a famously anti-monarchical society. There are plenty of stories of Roman politicians gaining favor by refusing crowns, or condemning kings, etc. As ...
23
votes
5answers
659 views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
23
votes
3answers
720 views

Why was language not used to establish dominance throughout England 1066 AD–1360s CE?

Why didn’t the Normans enforce the use of their native tongue throughout the whole of England after William the Conqueror (of Normandy) became king of England? During William’s reign as king he ...
20
votes
2answers
490 views

When was the term “Nationality” first came into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? By ethnicity?

When was the term "Nationality" first came into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? When we refer to Ancient Civilizations, did they consider themselves a nation in the modern ...
15
votes
4answers
875 views

Do most of today's democratic nations with two-party system exhibit a civil war in recent past?

I was thinking about the two-party system in USA and comparing it to mostly multi-party systems in Europe and was wondering, if this national state of democracy is mainly caused by political decisions ...
11
votes
2answers
193 views

Are there instances where collective farming has actually brought benefit to the population

I was reading a few articles about population growth and famines and thereby discovered that some of the recent famines where caused by government policies, among which I read at least twice (USSR and ...
10
votes
5answers
602 views

Were the (early 17th C) arrivers/colonists to North America (USA) outcasts from European societies?

I have heard that early pilgrims for 'the new world' (North America / USA) left because they were indigent and had no support in their homelands. I have also heard that some were criminals or ...
10
votes
2answers
234 views

Was the concept of religious freedom in the early United States applied to native American faiths?

When the nascent United States was drafting and adopting its supreme laws, some references to religions were made. For example, in the Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law respecting an ...
9
votes
3answers
320 views

Is there a definition of history separate from the definition of politics?

I encountered a problem to define something as "history", namely the determination of legal status of Kosovo. The action is so recent, I would say it more belongs to "politics". For my impression ...
9
votes
1answer
133 views

How different were Labour and Conservative party lines on race immigration and empire in around 1962?

Though obviously I want responses to focus on concrete answers and evidence for the title question, I am ultimately interested in how likely it would have been for the 1962 Commonwealth Immigration ...
9
votes
1answer
208 views

What historical situation is comparable to what Europe is currently facing?

I know that this question might get closed, but I will try it, nevertheless. The reason why I am so interested in broad comparisons of historical situations with current ones, is because I believe ...
9
votes
1answer
191 views

To what extent was Prohibition supported by the American public?

I read an answer here that said the prohibition was imposed on cities against their will. A bit of research on Google seem to say that it was pushed through because people didn't realize even wine ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the counterarguments to calling German nazism a right-wing movement?

I notice that the media routinely refer to Hitler's politics as "extreme right-wing". "extreme right-wing" and "neo-nazi" have become practically a synonym. Is this accurate? The obvious "but" is ...
8
votes
4answers
461 views

Chronology of Political Party Alignment with “Left” and “Right”

I once heard it said that U.S. political parties (Republicans and Democrats) have both spent the last century becoming increasingly liberal, such that 21st century Republicans now hold the same ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

When did the Great Purge start?

In what month of what year did the Great Purge begin in the Soviet Union? Wikipedia's individual page says it it started in 1934, but if I Google search for "Great Purge" and "1934," nothing much ...
8
votes
1answer
148 views

Monarchies with built-in rotation

I have read that rotation among nine hereditary rulers of provinces determines who is King of Malaysia during a given 5-year term. This seems to stand out from related practices e.g. over the history ...
7
votes
2answers
23k views

What is the truth behind this speech by (Lord Macaulay)?

Was this speech was delivered by Macaulay in British parliament? Got many articles saying that this speech was not delivered by Macaulay. Is it true? What are the facts behind this speech? I have ...
7
votes
2answers
729 views

What are the “ancient liberties” of the City of London?

I recently learned that three clauses of the Magna Carta are still part of UK law — the liberties of the English Church, the privileges of the City of London, and the right to trial by jury. I think ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Were British parliamentary seats really advertised in newspapers?

I have this vague recollection of reading about actual ads in newspapers selling seats in the British parliament (18th or 19th century pocket/rotten boroughs) Did they actually have ads in ...
7
votes
2answers
493 views

Is the USA Congress explicitly patterned after the British Parliament?

I have always presumed this to be the case. They have a similar form: two chambers, the lower representing "all the people" and the upper representing, very roughly speaking, "institutional forces" ...
7
votes
2answers
120 views

Did technical managers have to join the Nazi party?

In the Soviet Union a person who was rising in technical management (say, becoming the director of a plant) was usually expected to join the Communist Party as a pre-requisite of getting the job. I ...
7
votes
1answer
236 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
1answer
265 views

Argentina's involvement with the League of Nations

Argentina was a founding member of the League of Nations. However, Argentina left in 1921 when an Argentine resolution was rejected. Why, and through what procedure (if any), was Argentina allowed to ...
7
votes
3answers
131 views

What evidence is there that English Political divisions from the 1600s are replicated in American politics today?

This post makes the claim that American political divisions today have their roots in English political divisions from the 1600's. For example: East Anglians, the core of the Parliamentarian ...
6
votes
4answers
438 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
470 views

Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party (of the US) arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, ...
6
votes
3answers
242 views

Has any US President served in a government position with a foreign nation before or after their presidency?

Has a person elected to the US Presidency ever held a government position in a nation besides the United States? I think any government-related role would be an interesting answer. I think the ...
6
votes
1answer
615 views

Why was health insurance not included in the Social Security Act of 1935?

The United States has spent much of the last two decades, for instance, arguing about how best to reform the odd public-private health insurance scheme that grew up around Franklin Roosevelt’s ...
6
votes
3answers
205 views

Natural born citizen

From what I understand, the so-called "birther movement" in the US asserts that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president of the USA because he allegedly wasn't born in the US and therefore is not ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

When did private fighting become a capital offense in Japan?

In "Might Makes Right: Just war and just warfare in early medieval Japan", Karl Friday mentions that bushi (warriors) who violated decrees banning fighting were exiled or imprisoned under pre-Edo ...
6
votes
1answer
206 views

Why didn't Ronald Reagan become Republican candidate for the President of the USA in 1976?

I'd really like to know, how did it happen that Ronald Reagan lost the Republican Party presidential primaries in 1976, against Gerald Ford. It's easier for me to understand that he could fail in the ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

What led to election violence in Kenya in 2007?

What were the historical circumstances that led to the violence in 2007? Do any of those circumstances still exist today, and if so, is there a possibility for the violence to happen again?
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Who stood for the Roman consulship in absentia?

I'm trying to find precedents for Caesar's request in 50 BC to stand for the consulship in absentia (i.e. without returning to Rome as a private citizen), which was ultimately refused by the Senate. ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

If the nazi is a far-right party, why is it socialist? [closed]

The Nazi party stands for National Socialist German Workers' Party ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party), which sounds like a name for a communist party, why is it considered a far-right party? ...
5
votes
3answers
198 views

Did Nikita Krushchev's support of Stalin's purges play a part in his removal from office?

As far as I can tell Krushchev was removed from office because of his erratic policies, and specifically their failures, but did his role in Stalin's purges also play a part in his removal?
5
votes
3answers
198 views

Why were the Merovingians so reviled?

I'm interested in the state of the Frankish kingdom at the time of the Merovingian peak, before they were deposed. I have heard hints of lavish lifestyle, but I take this to be much the same way ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

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. ...
5
votes
3answers
146 views

Why did the offices of Shogun and Emperor never merge?

The position of Emperor of Japan was, as I understand it, strictly hereditary, due to the necessity that the Emperor 'descend' from Amaterasu. Thus, the Shogun was not eligible to be Emperor, and ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

What was the official attitude to Cromwell after the Glorious Revolution?

Under the restored Stuarts, obviously, Cromwell was vilified. Actually, his exhumed head was publicly displayed on a pike for more than 20 years during their rule (wikipedia devotes a separate article ...
5
votes
1answer
866 views

Why did Charles V divide his holdings as he did?

Even as monarchs go, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was one lucky individual. He inherited Austria and the job of Holy Roman Emperor, as well as the Netherlands (including Belgium) through his father, ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Did the American Founders Debate on the Relative Size of the Government?

It seems to me that the concern with the size of government, specifically that it's too large and therefore complex, is a relatively modern concern in American politics. I would assume that given the ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

How big was the percentage of white people in the USA who were not against granting the blacks equal rights?

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). ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

Were members of Soviet Republican Communist Parties also members of the CPSU?

I know that each Soviet Republic X had its own Communist Party of X. Question is: were members of these parties also members of the CPSU? I am interested here only in the formal side of things - I'd ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Pre-1950s views of West European Socialist parties on the welfare state

The eminent Robert Paxton writes in a recent article, somewhat in passing: Continental European Marxists opposed piecemeal welfare measures as likely to dilute worker militancy without changing ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

Who were the candidates in the consular elections for 80 BC in Rome?

Wikipedia describes the political process of 80 BC thus: Near the end of 81 BC, Sulla, true to his traditionalist sentiments, resigned his dictatorship, disbanded his legions and re-established ...
5
votes
2answers
262 views

Why wasn't Federal Republic of Central America a stable country?

I read the Wiki page and an another good source of information of the Federal Republic of Central America (sometimes referred as United States of Central America). I see the process how it fell apart, ...
5
votes
0answers
112 views

Were there any other systems which resemble the complex election procedure for the doge of Venice

I was fascinated by a passage in Thomas F. Madden's Venice: a New History describing the complex process used to elect the doge of Venice. This process is explained briefly here: Wikipedia: Doge of ...
5
votes
0answers
89 views

What scholarly positions exist evaluating Thatcher's competence and the desirability of her government's policies? [closed]

I am aware of a variety of normative accounts of the desirability of Thatcher's politics in the social domain; and of the broad opinions regarding her competence (generally highly competent, poll tax ...
4
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

Why is Toledo not the capital of Spain anymore? [closed]

A few hundred years ago Toledo was the capital of Spain. Back then, Madrid was a small town with a relatively small number of citizens. What is the reason that Toledo is not the capital anymore?