The United States of America is a nation-state stretching across North America between Canada and Mexico, plus Alaska in the continent's northwest, the mid-Pacific archipelago of Hawaii and several territories in the Pacific & Caribbean. Founded by European émigrés rebelling from British control in ...

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10
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1answer
153 views

When did the First Barbary War start?

I am reading about the First Barbary War from both Swedish and American perspective. I have what I believe to be a very reliable source in Swedish, and it says that the Pascha of Tripoli declared war ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Why did J. Edgar Hoover publicly deny the existence of the Mafia for so long?

According to Wikipedia, Hoover denied or ignored the existence of the Mafia as a criminal organization until the Apalachin Meeting in late 1957, when it became impossible to ignore. What good did ...
3
votes
2answers
542 views

Did the 'founding fathers' of the United States see Oliver Cromwell as a role model?

Did they like Oliver Cromwell, who founded a republic after a dispute about taxes led to the overthrow of a king, or did they see him as a usurping Caesar who destroyed a republic and became a tyrant? ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

When did abolition of property qualifications for voting begin in the USA?

I understand that voting qualifications in the USA are a state matter and this didn't all happen in one blow. But which states were the first and last to abolish property qualifications for voting? ...
11
votes
2answers
764 views

When did navies stop giving out a drink ration to their sailors?

I seem to remember that the British Navy, and the US Navy maybe, used to give out a ration of alcohol to sailors each day. When did this practice stop, and why?
24
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did the French sell Louisiana?

Why did an imperialistic country like France (at that time) sell a territory so large for so cheap? Was it an important region at the time? I heard that the port of New Orleans was particularly ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Why did textile mill owners during the industrial revolution keep their factory windows closed?

This is an excerpt from Harbinger, published in 1846 on the working conditions of mills in Lowell, MA and Manchester, NH: The atmosphere of such a room cannot of course be pure; on the contrary it ...
10
votes
2answers
621 views

Where did Southern Fried Chicken come from?

Wikipedia claims origins both in Scottish and West African cuisine. The problem I have with that is that the story I tend to see about the Scots-Irish who immigrated to North America is that they ...
7
votes
0answers
38 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

How were 19th century American diplomats paid?

I just came across this line in H.W. Brands' Andrew Jackson biography, explaining why Jackson was initially uninterested in the presidency: "The pay was good, but the expenses of the office ate up the ...
3
votes
3answers
547 views

Why did George H. W. Bush select Dan Quayle as his running mate in 1988?

I've just been revisiting some quotes from Dan Qualyle. For example: I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change. and We are ready ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

which faction 'won' elections to the continental congress?

I know there weren't modern day political parties, but what were the issues and major groupings of the three continental congresses? When the congress voted on something, were any 'party lines' ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Why were the Thirteen Colonies more successful, both economically and socially, than other colonies? [closed]

The Thirteen Colonies had an incredibly rocky start, running out of food and surrounded by Indian tribes which were not pacified until much later. Yet 200 years later, the population in the colonies ...
9
votes
1answer
297 views

Did Ben Franklin actually make any tofu?

It is well documented that Franklin was interested in tofu, which he called a sort of cheese made from beans, and he got a recipe for making it that he sent on to others. But no source that I have ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Who invented and marketed the first “clip on” headphones?

Headphone style terminology seems dodgy at best, but I'm trying to determine what company first sold this style of headphone in the US: I've seen them variously described as "on the ear," "clip on" ...
16
votes
2answers
18k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
211 views

What was the third best-selling book in the antebellum US?

I always hear that Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel in antebellum America and the second best-selling book overall. The Bible, of course, was number one. Here's an insanely detailed ...
-3
votes
1answer
137 views

What major historical event opened the door to the passage of a homesteading bill? [closed]

The Homestead Acts were a series of laws enacted in the USA, that gave the homesteader ownership of portions of various specified tracts of federally owned lands for little or no cost. The first of ...
11
votes
2answers
871 views

What were Hispanic people called in the US in the 1800s?

Today in the US, people from Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas are called by various names: Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, etc. What was the term used by Americans for such people in the 1800s? ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

annual historical series [closed]

There is an russian historical series Namedni 1961-1991 Nasha Era by Leonid Parfenov. Every episode is dedicated to a particular year (e.g. 1971). In every episode there are "events, people, phenomena ...
3
votes
0answers
115 views

What were the FBI's motives for wanting to discredit MLK?

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI had a vendetta against Martin Luther King, Jr. They wiretapped him, threatened to expose his sexual misconduct, accused him of Communist sympathies, and even went so far as to ...
4
votes
1answer
393 views

What degree of choice did slaves have over their sexual autonomy?

What degree of choice did chattel slaves in the United States of America1have over their sexual autonomy? Was this codified in any law? 1. Assuming scope is the USA, given the source of the Roots TV ...
10
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
232 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Spain not participate in World War I?

Spain was losing influence in America for the previous 100 years, and there was a recent Spanish-American war. So how could have Spain remained neutral? Why could Spain not find a place in the ...
3
votes
0answers
79 views

When did it become openly known that Wilson supported the Balfour Declaration?

According to this source he agreed with the declaration about one month before it was published. ...
3
votes
0answers
165 views

What races are being depicted in this American WWII cartoon?

No racial intolerance - it causes dangerous disunity. We're all Americans! The cartoon, recently publicised by this tweet, has seven children dancing around a US flag. The child in the yellow ...
10
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
348 views

When did the majority of Americans stop living on farms? [closed]

I know defining a farm is tricky. I will, of course, take any definition available. If I could pick, I would say that if there is one person working full-time outside of a household, that household is ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Abraham Lincoln have a duel with cannons? [closed]

When you where challenged to a duel or challenged someone to a duel, it was the person that was challenged that chose the weapon. Once someone challenged Lincoln To a duel and he said " how about ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

Did the USSR invite other astronauts of Apollo 11 besides Armstrong?

Sometime after the return of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong visited the USSR. I wonder why he was alone? Weren't the other astronauts invited or they refused to visit? Was it because Armstrong was an ...
8
votes
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?
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Was there continuity in the political elite between the Confederation Congress and the US Congress?

I mean the Congress under the Articles of Confederation from 1781 to 1789. Did the Constitutional system sweep aside the former class of politicians who made a poor job of government under the ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

When did the US adopt a special way of folding the flag?

In the US, there's a proper way to fold the flag. From what I can tell, there is no equivalent method in the UK. When did the US adopt this special method for folding the flag?
10
votes
5answers
632 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Shantyboat communities on the upper Mississippi River Valley

Does anyone have links or resources beyond books they can direct me to that directly deal with shantyboat communities along the banks of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri? I'm ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan? [closed]

Why did the United States drop two nuclear bombs on the Japanese mainland? It appeared that Japan was ready to surrender.
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Voting enfranchisement in the USA in the 18th century

It is frequently asserted that when the US constitution was ratified in 1788, it was a very progressive piece of legislation because it gave everyone the right to vote, making the US the first modern ...
3
votes
4answers
534 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
votes
1answer
62 views

How did Americans adopt processed and off-site butchered meat for domestic consumption in their food supply?

Meats supplied for domestic consumption through the US supermarket system are either processed or pre-cut. This contrasts with other food cultures where meat is supplied as whole animals, or ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

What was the estimated population of the Mississippi Valley before contact with European?

According to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel (p. 211), the Mississippi Valley used to contain populous Indian societies: When we in the United States think of the most populous New World ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Framers and Criminal Voting Rights

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, who can and cannot vote was left up to the states. Despite leaving it up to the states to decide, did any of the Framers view that criminals, either in ...
11
votes
2answers
206 views

Were US exports in the early 1800s paid for with metal or with paper?

In the early 1800s, when people in the US exported goods to Europe, how were those goods paid for? What did the buyers actually send back on ships crossing the Atlantic to pay for the goods? I can ...
6
votes
1answer
625 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Where can I find annual population estimates for each US state, from 1865-1899?

For 1900 onwards, the US Census Bureau has population estimates for each US state, for each year. There are also decennial censal counts for 1860, 1870, 1880, etc. But where can I find population ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Did the U.S Constitution revoke or merely amend the the Articles of Confederation?

This may seem like a silly question, but I only ask because of a U.S. Supreme Court case that actually cited the Articles of Confederation. After the civil war, there is this case called ...
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Which forts did the British keep in the Northwest Territory after the American Revolution?

At the end of the American Revolution, Britain ceded the Northwest Territory to the US as one of the terms of the Treaty of Paris. I stumbled across a very interesting statement on Wikipedia that ...
4
votes
2answers
487 views

Spanish-American war from Spain's perspective?

What did the Spanish-American war look like from Spain's perspective? Did the general population support the war? What were the reasons why Spain lost, was the general public aware of these reasons ...