Social history is a methodological approach to history that focuses on examining what the 'ordinary' people in a given time and place were doing. It is strongly influenced by the mindset and techniques of sociology and often makes heavy use of quantitative methods to make statements about groups of ...

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Is there any evidence that WW2 pilots lead a swinger's lifestyle to ensure that their friends would take care of their family if they died? [closed]

Cracked.com referenced this interview where author Christopher Ryan claims that: “World War II fighter pilots had the highest fatality rates of any division of the military. When they were back ...
3
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1answer
109 views

When did civilians in Europe gain access to breech-loaded firearms?

I know European militaries started adopting breech-loaded firearms around the 1840s with the Prussians adopting the Dreyse needle gun. My question is about the civilians. When did the breech-loaded ...
6
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2answers
196 views

Who introduced Yoga to the West?

Yoga has been accepted as a way of life by so many people around the world irrespective of the religion and country. There is world wide promotion for Yoga and June 21 is going to be celebrate as ...
4
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1answer
81 views

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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3answers
402 views

Did people use to marry much younger during the last millennium?

I've frequently heard it stated that "people used to marry at much younger ages" historically. Recently, these kinds of statements have tended to show up in sociological discussions about young ...
6
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2answers
616 views

When did husbands & wives start sharing bedrooms?

In a lot of period movies the husband & wife are shown to be retiring to different bedrooms at night. e.g. most movies about 1800's Britain or even pre WW-II. Or even War & Peace or Pride ...
6
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1answer
95 views

Which was the earliest book of names for naming babies?

Nowadays one finds books and online websites that help you to name babies. What are the earliest instances of these? I would assume that these would be in Europe, China or the Middle East, but if ...
15
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1answer
652 views

Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year?

During the New Years, the Japanese have a curious custom where they perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. This has produced some stunning sights on youtube But there's nothing particularly festive or New ...
6
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2answers
225 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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5answers
403 views

Is there a field of study which attempts to document historic experiences of ordinary individuals?

One of my interests is attempting to understand what human experiences were like for individuals in the past. I want to learn about their day-to-day lives, their fears, their aspirations and what ...
3
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2answers
229 views

How did people categorize each other in the middle ages, how did racism work? [closed]

I'm interested in the european high middle ages, about the 12th-13th century. I'm trying to understand how people sorted each other. Nowadays, some overlapping categories people use would be: ...
4
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1answer
249 views

What were common reasons people attended executions in mid 1930s.?

In The Green Mile movie (1999) the main character is a guardian in jail and performs death penalty executions. One can see that on such executions some external people come to watch (as "external" I ...
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2answers
312 views

Was hitchhiking common in Ancient Rome?

I am writing a story about a soldier who survived from an ambush and he hide several days.then he walked to a village, While he is on the way(walking on a road) he saw a caravan ... so my question is ...
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6answers
3k views

When and why did having long hair become associated with women, and short hair with men?

It's obvious that having short or long hair is an identity sign for men and women respectively, more or less worldwide. I wonder why something like this happened, though. Maybe it was a way to ...
7
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3answers
307 views

How was the current month and day disseminated to the townspeople of Medieval Europe?

How was the current month and day disseminated to the townspeople of the Medieval Europe? I'm quite sure that personal calendars weren't a thing back then... but I could be wrong... If they had a ...
9
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1answer
306 views

How voluntary was Sati during the Mughal era?

So the ritual of sati (where a women must throw herself onto the funeral pyre of her dead husband) was widely practiced throughout South Asia in the Ancient era and Middle Ages. In the Mughal era, ...
3
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0answers
55 views

How was privacy considered prior to the 20th century? [closed]

People seem to have become increasingly more concerned in the 20th century about privacy and their personal information. It's also been the time when people in many countries have had the opportunity ...
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2answers
1k views

Why did families in 6th century Mecca send their babies to be raised in the desert?

Biographies of Muhammad mentions that in his early childhood he was looked after by a wet-nurse Halimah, from a few days after his birth until he was 4. It seems customary for Meccan families to do ...
4
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1answer
646 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 ...
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2answers
254 views

Were children often renamed in late Saxon England?

In Bernard Cornwall's The Last Kingdom the protagonist is renamed at age 10 or so after his brother, aged 16+, is killed by Danes. The protagonist is an Alderman's second son in Northumberland and is ...
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5answers
445 views

When and why did marriage become about love? [closed]

In ancient times, marriage was an institution among the wealthy, arranged entirely by parents as part of their political and economic strategy. Many cultures saw love as an impediment to marriage, ...
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1answer
3k views

When did challenging to a duel cease to be a practice in English culture?

In the Aubrey Maturin series of novels, there are at least two scenes where the protagonists are challenged to a duel: Post-Captain - Aubrey and Maturin about Aubrey's reputation with the Admiralty ...
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7answers
4k views

What is the earliest reference to “space aliens”?

If we go back sufficiently far in human history we will most likely see that any descriptions of (supposed) "aliens" are described solely in religious terms. So in the distant past, any weird or ...
9
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1answer
307 views

When and why did smiling at strangers and in photos become customary in the United States?

In the US, in my experience, it's customary to smile when meeting a stranger. Even in an interaction as casual as passing someone in the street without a word, a smile is normal and expected. In ...
3
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2answers
129 views

post slavery segregation outside of the US

Other than the USA did any other countries practice a codified form of segregation after abolishing slavery?
3
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2answers
251 views

Why women in English-speaking world commonly assume husband's family name after marriage, but women in China do not? [closed]

In English-speaking world, it is a common practice that women assume their husband's family name after marriage. This seems to be a practice that somewhat reflect patrilineality. In contrast, ...
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1answer
358 views

How did women's roles and rights change during the early Republican period in China?

How did attitudes towards women and their role within the family unit and greater society change under the Chinese Republican government? What rights did they gain? Did they generally benefit from the ...
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2answers
128 views

How was Chinese Communism connected to the New Culture Movement?

Looking for ways that the New Culture Movement was associated with Chinese Communism or the Chinese Communist Party.
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2answers
248 views

Historical, academic explanations for the near-universal second-class citizenship of women?

I just heard on the news that, in 70 countries, girls face risks by simply going to school and being girls. How did women come to be second-class citizens throughout the world? Are there any ...
8
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2answers
243 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
439 views

When did the English and Americans realize that vegetables were healthy?

I've recently come across two quotes in very unrelated sources implying that for centuries, the English and their colonial offspring did not appreciate the role of vegetables in a healthy diet. From ...
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1answer
301 views

How did ululation originate and spread?

Ulu or Ululation is the sound produced by throated "OOO' sound combined with moving the tongue rapidly sideways. This is done only by women (I think). Its done in Bengal (India), Morroco (Africa) and ...
7
votes
2answers
337 views

How prominent were taverns in medieval Europe?

Taverns as defined as a 'commercial establishment in the business of selling alcohol'. I'm aware that taverns existed in some parts of Europe during the late medieval period, but I don't know quite ...
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1answer
95 views

Did the ancient Chinese use an ink covered finger to sign documents?

I saw some film that in imperial China, Chinese who doesn't know read and write often push his/her finger in ink then apply it in the document instead of signing. Is that true in history? Because I ...
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1answer
233 views

How were little children dressed in medieval times? [closed]

So I wonder how did people dress their children for simple things in medieval times. What kind of clothes? Were there real clothes (pants/shirts) for (normal/poor) children? Or were some random ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Jewish Slave Owners in the United States

David Duke has a video on YouTube about Jewish participation in various slave trades in Western history. At the 7:40 mark he states: In the pre-Civil War United States 2% of white gentile ...
1
vote
1answer
310 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. ...
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5answers
185 views

Was literacy ever used as a tool to oppress the population by higher social classes? [closed]

In this question, one of the answers stated that Actually, states can interact well enough with their subjects in the villages without widespread literacy. It helps to have someone literate who ...
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2answers
145 views

What factors contributed to Korea's Modernization? [closed]

The only thing I can really come up with is the Japanese Occupation. Horrible as it was, it helped the Korean economy and growth greatly. But I cannot find anything else to attribute to its ...
5
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1answer
147 views

What was the typical range of travel of a Pennsylvanian resident for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century Pennsylvania?

How much traveling did a typical Pennsylvanian resident do for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century (1775-1825) Pennsylvania and what was the 'typical' range (in miles) from their home ...
5
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1answer
646 views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
2
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2answers
171 views

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas?

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas? Yule is in part a set of secular and religious observances of a festival, arising out of pagan Germanic cultures. Christmas is in part ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

Did civilian cold war bunkers plan for inclusion of family pets?

At the height of the Cold War, total extermination was considered a possibility. In which case any beloved domestic pets like dogs and cats would presumably die unless included in the civilian bunker ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Were new forms of communication and media usually condemned similar to how television/video games are now?

Im sure anyone who is reading this has read atleast an article, blog, books condemning the use of Television and Video games as harmful to children, the behavior of teenagers, intelligence of adults, ...
4
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1answer
425 views

When did waving become a part of human interaction?

When did waving to others to say hello or goodbye first enter the historical record as part of a culturally accepted form of human interaction?
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0answers
69 views

What were the cultures of peasants in China during the Hundred Schools period (600-221BCE)?

During the Hundred Schools period (600-221 BCE) Chinese cultures changed significantly as ideas were contested amongst the ruling elite. What do we know of peasant cultures in China during this ...
0
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1answer
230 views

What are modern theoretical approaches towards history? [closed]

There were/are different ways to describe history and what the most important forces are behind history. some say "history is the result of great men", some "history can be only understood under the ...
8
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3answers
2k views

During the U.S. Prohibition, how did they get away with drinking alcohol?

I have heard about countless stories talking about people drinking during the Prohibition. How was this possible? How did they get away with drinking alcohol without getting caught?
6
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2answers
212 views

Did the fairy craze overlap the UFO one?

One theory goes that cultural interest in technologic UFOs* derived from the same paranormal sensibilities as fairies and elves of previous centuries; and as such when one waxed in interest ...
5
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1answer
84 views

Why did meat and dairy drop out of the working people in Britain's diet during the industrial enclosures period?

During the industrial enclosures period (1750-1832) meats and dairy dropped out of the diet of working people in Britain. This change was regional (oatmeal regions maintained milk consumption, bread ...