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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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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178 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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133 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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115 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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117 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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728 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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147 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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560 views

What races did Americans classify people into during the 1800s?

I know that in different eras people have had different schemes for categorizing the people of the world by race, or disposing of such schemes altogether. What racial categories did people commonly ...
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170 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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260 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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131 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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261 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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186 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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147 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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228 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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74 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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212 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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344 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
272 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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556 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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3answers
480 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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522 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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372 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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385 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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267 views

What precipitated the rise of social safety nets in the United States?

In the United States we received changes in the social safety net over the past century with the big changes coming in the form of social security and medicaid/medicate as well as other programs. The ...
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447 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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164 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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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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154 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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248 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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255 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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326 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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249 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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143 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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189 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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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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76 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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515 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 ...
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1answer
123 views

Why are lower court jurists, judges, and supreme court jurists, justices?

I cannot find any information explaining why judges that sit on a Supreme Court are referred to as "justices," and judges that sit on a lower court are "judges." Everything I've found seems to ...
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99 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 ...
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210 views

What differences led to Technicolor becoming the dominant color filming technology in Hollywood?

Apparently another technology, Kinemacolor, was invented first in the UK, but it never caught on in Hollywood. Kinemacolor was expensive, and had some other glitches involved, but the fact that it was ...
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324 views

Recommended Reading 19th Century US Settler Daily Life?

At the time of this writing, I am riding in the comfort of an air conditioned minivan, traveling through the deserts of Arizona and California along I-10. I began to think about 19th century settlers ...
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69 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 ...
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116 views

How did opinions of France and Britain affect American foreign policy up to 1820?

I'm doing some research on this topic for my American Studies class, and I'm having a little trouble with this. I would appreciate a brief overview of this, or possibly some primary sources for me ...
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96 views

Pre-1901/1902 US Presidential Protection

I've spent a little while looking around online about the origins of US Presidential protection - while it has become apparent that the US Secret Service became officially responsible for Presidential ...
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127 views

What was done to prevent electoral fraud in Texas following the controversial 1948 election?

In his second attempt at the Senate in 1948, Lyndon Johnson narrowly defeated Coke Stevenson in the Democratic primary when a box with 202 votes, largely in favour of LBJ, was found late in the ...
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49 views

Past US invovlement in Iran and Iraq

If I remember correctly that the U.S did switch sides between sides supporting both Iraq and Iran at some point due to some sort of Cold War Reason. So my question is did the U.S. back empowerment of ...
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330 views

Symbol on utility pole in photograph from 1906

I happened to notice this symbol: on a utility pole in a photograph from 1906. What's the meaning of that symbol?