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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First US police officer killed in the line of duty

Who was the first US police officer killed in the line of duty? When and where did it take place? By US police officer, I mean any active-duty police officer working for any force in the US ...
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443 views

Was the attack on Pearl Harbor totally unexpected?

According to "British Intelligence in the Second World War: Security and Counter-Intelligence", by Francis Harry Hinsley and C.A.G. Simkins, Tricycle, a British double agent, complained that the FBI ...
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325 views

Why did the US, Britain, France, Denmark and Sweden vote against the UN resolution that condemned Nazism and SS glorification?

Why did some Western countries, including the US, Britain, France, Denmark and Sweden vote against UN resolution 61/147 that condemned Nazism and SS glorification?
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676 views

How did the USS Reprisal sink?

USS Reprisal was the first ship of what was to become the United States Navy. Wikipedia says: On September 14, 1777, Reprisal left France, for the United States. About October 1, Reprisal was ...
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271 views

During World War II, in the U.S., were diapers available?

As is well known, during World War II many consumer goods became difficult to find and with regard to the situation in the United States, after some searches, I observed that, among others: U.S. ...
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133 views

How have changes in taxation affected philanthropy in the US?

Every so often, I see a newspaper article which states that the wealthiest people in my country make less substantial contributions to philanthropy (relative to their wealth) than do their American ...
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300 views

Was there anything like African American architecture style or symbolic in the beginning of 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to North or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, previously ...
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2answers
174 views

What were the first “Big Banks” in the United States?

The large financial institutions of the world have dominated the news cycle for the past few years, and it got me thinking, what were the first large banks in the US? I am interested in hearing about ...
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538 views

What were the factors that led to stagflation in the United States during the 1970s?

Economics teaches that faster economic growth leads to higher inflation and slower economic growth leads to lower inflation. In the 1970s, United States suffered high inflation and slow economic ...
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291 views

Did Andrew Jackson kill Dickinson fairly according to the customs of duels at the time?

Recently I read about Charles Dickinson, and his death on a duel with Andrew Jackson (then a general, later a US President). According to this link, Jackson killed him in a breach of dueling etiquette ...
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130 views

When did Harvard give its last entrance exam?

I saw this article pointing out how different college admissions used to be, pre World War II. Entrance exams are still used around the world today but it seems like no American universities give out ...
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191 views

Were there interstate tariffs before the US Constitution (1789)?

I've heard many times that the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution was (in part) designed to end tariffs between the thirteen states. Now that I'm trying to learn about those tariffs, I'm having a ...
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360 views

What steps did President Herbert Hoover take to reduce unemployment during the Great Depression?

I am mainly trying to remember the name that was given to the jobs that he created that were rendered 'worthless', and paid a very low wage. Such examples were scaring away pigeons and selling apples. ...
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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 ...
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119 views

Did James Monroe and James Madison ever disagree? [closed]

I can't seem to find anything that they did butt heads about. Did they ever have any public disagreements that were recorded by history?
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129 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 ...
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779 views

What is the meaning behind Thomas Nast's political cartoon “Compromise--Indeed!”?

I'm struggling even with this explaination here: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/harp/0127.html Who is holding the gun? That website explains: Dominating this picture is the ...
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1answer
150 views

Was there ever a single train that ran straight from San Francisco to New York City, or any that ran truly from coast to coast?

Though the first Transcontinental Railroad was finished in 1869, the Overland Route seems to have only taken passengers between San Francisco and Council Bluffs, Iowa / Omaha, Nebraska via the ...
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204 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 ...
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138 views

Did the break up of AT & T in 1984 lead to technological innovation?

Are there examples of technologies developed since 1984 that would not have been likely to be developed had the Bell system stayed intact rather than being broken up by the US government? UPDT: To ...
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274 views

Why did the the US House of Representatives stop reading George Washington's farewell address on his birthday?

In January 1862, during the American Civil War, thousands of Philadelphia residents signed a petition requesting the Congress to commemorate the 130th anniversary of Washington's birth by reading ...
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187 views

What coin denominations were used in the US before Dollars and Cents?

In Thomas Jefferson's proposal for a decimal currency, he describes the status quo as: The [cent] will differ little from the copper of the four Eastern States, which is 1/108 of a dollar; still ...
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154 views

Where were the Mormons going?

From what I've heard, when the Mormons left Illinois in 1846 they hadn't decided where exactly they were going to settle. Did they have some choices they were looking at? Did they have a route they ...
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379 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 ...
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75 views

First eastbound transcontinental flight departed from…?

On Feb. 8th, 1912, the first eastbound US transcontinental flight landed in Jacksonville, FL. After several Google searches, I can't find anything that says where the flight departed from. So where ...
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231 views

Was there really a labor shortage in the USA until 1970?

After watching several video lectures made by Richard D. Wolff I noticed he frequently draws historical events as evidence to base his arguments on. One thing he mentions frequently (in several ...
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85 views

Were NC, IL, and VA's latest concurrent constitutions' effective dates coincidental?

The latest Constitutions of North Carolina, Illinois, and Virginia all became effective on the same day (July 1, 1971). Was this coincidental, or was there some coordination going on? If so, why did ...
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1k views

What is the definitive biography of James Madison?

I'm in the early stages of a project whereby I want to read a biography of each US President. Can you point me towards the best such biography on James Madison? I'd like something that covers his ...
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39 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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351 views

What made Washington DC “dominate” politics in the USA?

Through history what role did Washington, DC play to become important and influence the US political system, and did it change its influence with time?
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4answers
279 views

Does US law permit spending taxpayers' money to support foreign political parties?

Here is a video, showing a number of Russian opposition activists visiting U.S. embassy before Russian presidential elections: ...
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582 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? ...
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400 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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517 views

Did Great Britain benefit economically from the loss of America?

I have been told by many acquaintances that the loss of the thirteen colonies actually BENEFITED the UK. Their claim is that the UK no longer had to pay for the colonies' defence and administration ...
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545 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 ...
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998 views

Did Ted Kennedy turn to the Soviet Union for help winning an election?

Reading an interesting article in Forbes, I was dumbfounded by the idea that Ted Kennedy might have sought out Yuri Andropov's help to run for president against Ronald Reagan in 1984. A relevant ...
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512 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 ...
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2answers
203 views

Have there been gay riots in the US?

I was wondering has there ever been uprisings in the history of the US that were for gay rights or started by gay people?
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3answers
2k views

Evolution of United States' world role? [closed]

This is a pretty big and general question, but I'm interested to hear some opinions from fellow StackExchangians: Over the 20th century, how did the United States evolve into being a world ...
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3answers
163 views

Has the U.S. Navy ever commissioned the building of a warship overseas?

Many foreign navies have commissioned foreign shipyards to build warships and submarines for them. Most recently, Russia purchased to amphibious dock landing ships from France (that sale is currently ...
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254 views

Did liberalism in the USA degenerate into something more totalitarian than liberal? [closed]

I'm not US resident, so that's a real question rather than pre-election discussion. Where I live liberalism never seriously changed meaning in public debate (yet) - it is still more or less faithul ...
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252 views

Why did Thomas Jefferson almost lose the 1800 presidential election to Aaron Burr?

As the question asks, why did Thomas Jefferson struggle to win the 1800 presidential election against somebody like Aaron Burr? I would think that, even in his time, Jefferson would have been ...
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1answer
273 views

Has anyone ever been punished for Project MK-ULTRA?

So I've been looking into what MK-ULTRA is, and recently a scary question has came to mind. That question being, has anyone been punished for the events of MK-ULTRA? By punished, I don't mean a slap ...
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1answer
334 views

Did the Great Society programs ameliorate poverty or exacerbate it?

Once time ago Martin Luther King Jr., in his "I Have a Dream" speech, said: We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of ...
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264 views

Did any of the US States ever attempt to secede, aside from American Civil War times?

Reading about the non-governmental organizations in support of the Texas secession movement, I've started to think if there were any States where such movements achieved something more. My questions ...
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1answer
150 views

When did USA start to help developing countries?

In 2006, the United States government gave $23.53 billion in overseas development assistance. When did these programs start?
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193 views

Why did Michigan abolish capital punishment so early?

The US state of Michigan abolished the death penalty in 1846, and according to Wikipedia, was the first English-speaking government in the world to do so; the death penalty has not been reinstated ...
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1answer
2k views

How did the “Forty Niners” get to California in 1849?

How did the "Forty Niners" get to California in 1849? In 1849, the Panama Canal would not have been built for over 50 years, meaning that ships from the U.S. east coast would have had to sail all the ...
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78 views

President proposes bills: provenance

The President of the United States sends proposed bills to members of Congress, that they may introduce the bills on his behalf. There's no provision for this in the Constitution (AFAICT). What was ...
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534 views

Where did the railroad companies find workers to build the rails?

In the building of the various transcontinental railroads in the western US during the late 1800s, how did the railroad companies find workers? I suppose I'm looking for an answer like "They paid a ...