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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3
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3answers
405 views

Why did America not know about Soviet espionage in manhattan project

I was watching PBS documentary Behind Closed doors. According to that documentary Churchill and Roosevelt were not really sure if Stalin really understood about 'the new kind of weapon' when they ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

What was the American response to the Sino-Soviet border conflict? [closed]

In 1969, detente with either the PRC or USSR lay in the future. All three countries were hostile towards one another. Was the USA pleased its two rivals were tearing lumps out of each other, or were ...
28
votes
7answers
14k views

When and how did the USA and the UK become allies?

So, you may remember that the United States and Great Britain had a minor spat in 1776, which shall we say, did not put them on the friendliest of terms. In 1812, while Britain was focused on its war ...
11
votes
6answers
14k views

Why have officers in the U.S. army tended to “top out” at the level of Major?

In the U.S. army, something like 75%-80% of newly-commissioned Second Lieutenants are promoted to First Lieutenant (around age 25), perhaps 75%-80% of First Lieutenants are promoted to Captain (ages ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

How historically accurate was the movie “Charlie Wilson's War”? [closed]

I am watching, and really enjoying, the movie, "Charlie Wilson's War". How historically accurate is this movie? Did Charlie Wilson play as big as role as is portrayed? Is the movie accurate ...
5
votes
1answer
137 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
votes
1answer
402 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
295 views

Why didn't Henry A. Wallace become President in 1945?

Henry A. Wallace was Roosevelt's vice-president during WWII. Shortly before Roosevelt's death (82 days) following a slow decline in health, the Conservative wing of the Democratic Party started an ...
6
votes
1answer
258 views

Why did the Italians (and to some extent Jewish & Irish) dominate organized crime in the US in the 20th century?

Immigrants of a great many nationalities came to American shores, so why was it the Italians who reached such elaborate levels of criminal organization? (The Jewish & Irish seem to have come in ...
10
votes
1answer
183 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
207 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
586 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
228 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? ...
12
votes
2answers
839 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?
25
votes
2answers
5k 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
239 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
1k 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
54 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
208 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
708 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
83 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
282 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
315 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
132 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
20k 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
236 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
145 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
33 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
140 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
524 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
268 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
244 views
3
votes
0answers
82 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
186 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
365 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
183 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
89 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
124 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
726 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
113 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
158 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
595 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
67 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
200 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
72 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
249 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
706 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 ...