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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192 views

When did the cats versus dogs rivalry begin in the US?

In the US people that own pets seem to be pegged as either dog people, or cat people. This cultural phenomenon is so prevalent that Hollywood even made a movie about it. My question is, when did this ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

When was federal sovereign immunity in the U.S. established?

Lawsuits against the federal government can be dismissed under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. For example, Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama was recently dismissed (Appeals court dismisses ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Why doesn't Russia maintain significant numbers of Aircraft carriers?

The United States has 11 aircraft carriers in total. Russia has only one. We saw in the past that the USSR also didn't put much importance on constructing aircraft carriers and putting them into ...
3
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2answers
249 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
350 views

What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?

After Lincoln was elected president 11 states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What circumstances surrounding this secession led to the first battle of the war, and ...
4
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1answer
68 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Why did the United States enter World War I?

The topic of World War I came up last night with a few strangers, at a bar, of course. One seemingly knowledgeable gentleman, who happened to have Howard Zinn's A Peoples' History of the United States ...
10
votes
1answer
178 views

Were mattress labels inspired by public outcry?

If you're an American consumer, you likely know the "mattress tag", labels attached to mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals, and pet beds, which often begin "This tag may not be removed under penalty ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What factors enabled the New York Journal to survive the yellow journalism wars?

The height of yellow journalism was a battle waged between the Joseph Pulitzer owned New York World, and the William Hearst owned New York Journal. However, even though these two papers boasted large ...
6
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1answer
180 views

Where is the location shown in this picture on a modern day map?

This image from this site is named Traffic Jam at the New York Entrance of the Holland Tunnel. New York City, 1920s As I understand, this is at Manhattan end of Holland Tunnel. I've tried, without ...
8
votes
4answers
349 views

Is there any evidence to support the claim that the US Strategic Defense Initiative played any significant role in undermining the USSR?

I have been reading Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, and one of the things that stuck me was a quote by Soviet hydrogen bomb creator Andrei Sakharov who was released from political imprisonment ...
5
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
189 views

How Did The US Justice System Lose Sight of Intent?

In the USA all that seems to matter is the letter of the law. This example demonstrates how a US law is being used for things it was never intended. The British Justice System places a huge emphasis ...
3
votes
2answers
217 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?
22
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

What was the American policy on colonisation and why?

What was the official policy of the USA on colonisation? How well did America follow it officially and non-officially? What were the reasons behind it?
15
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2answers
184 views

When did it become acceptable to campaign for yourself for US President?

I am fascinated by the stark differences between election mechanics/strategies/policies of the early United States when compared to today. In the early days of the US, it was seen as "ungentlemanly" ...
9
votes
3answers
146 views

Were there any political checks on the U.S. executive during their covert support of the military junta of Pinochet?

U.S. secretary of state Kissinger- with the support of the executive- actively supported the overthrow of Chilean president Allende in favor of the military dictatorship of Pinochet. After the fact, ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

United States Incarceration Rate

How many people were sentenced to prison in 2011 in the United States? This statistic is hard to come by online. The only measured incarceration rate I've come across is the amount of people ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Were labor shortages ever a problem for the railroads in the Old West?

Many different rail lines were build in the western United States from the 1850s onwards. Was construction ever delayed/canceled due to difficulty in finding workers, or due to workers leaving the ...
-1
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1answer
3k views

Who were some famous Vietnam War Hawks and Doves?

Who were some famous people who opposed/supported the Vietnam War?
6
votes
1answer
145 views

During the American Civil War, could you send mail to someone across the border?

Before the Civil War, there was mail service between all the different states. During the war, could you still send a letter from, say New York to Georgia, or did the post office shut down services ...
9
votes
2answers
393 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?
10
votes
1answer
133 views

Is there evidence that working for the Pony Express was dangerous, or not dangerous?

So I was thinking about what it was like working for the Pony Express and I am wondering was it an extremely dangerous job? I'm thinking that given the success of the Pony Express it must not have ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

Did non-Indians go into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma)?

From 1854 to 1907 there was a territory reserved for American Indians (aptly named "Indian Territory") in what is now the state of Oklahoma. How exclusive was this territory? Did non-Indians go ...
4
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Did Native Americans sabotage telegraph lines running through their territory?

In the 1800s in the Western US, there were a number of telegraph lines running through territory mostly inhabited by Indians. Did they ever sabotage the lines?
2
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What factors led to the US government issuing nutrition guidelines in 1916?

This timeline from the Washington Post says that the United States Department of Agriculture issued its first food guidelines in 1916 for children, and then did one in 1920 for adults. My question is, ...
4
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

Why was the area now known as Liberia chosen as the location for repatriation of African slaves in the US?

The American Colonization Society thought that colonizing Africa for the purpose of returning US slaves to Africa was the solution to slavery problems. Why, and how, did they come to decide that the ...
5
votes
1answer
407 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
116 views

Did Johnny Appleseed actually exist? [closed]

According to Wikipedia, his real name was John Chapman. Is this true?
16
votes
3answers
421 views

Has there ever been a serious effort to reform the US Electoral College system?

There seems to be widespread feeling that the US Electoral College distorts the will of the people in presidential elections. Of course, that ability was part of the reason that our founding fathers ...
11
votes
3answers
899 views

Did anyone warn about the potential for stock market crashes in 1929, and if so why were their warnings ignored?

I can't seem to find information about economists, or others, warning about the overheated stock market of the 1920s in the US that would culminate in the stock market crashing on Black Thursday, ...
10
votes
5answers
614 views

Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?

If there is anything in my mind that has been particularly pronounced about American historical interests it has been an overriding interest in the military aspects of history. This can be viewed in ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the Cold War still going on? [closed]

Do any historians consider the Cold War, or Cold War II, to be going on? I'm asking because some features of the Cold War still exist, such as an antagonism between Russia and the Western world, and ...
4
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
341 views

Has the United States ever been formally condemned by the United Nations?

Presumably, due to its veto power, the United States has never been condemned by the UN Security Council, but has it has it ever been formally condemned by another UN governing body, like the General ...
6
votes
1answer
295 views

History of baseball and cricket

Recently I started reading a very interesting comic about high school baseball. I found that baseball shares so many similarities with Cricket. So I tried to look for some information regarding the ...
8
votes
4answers
334 views

Did the USA win the counter insurgency war in the Vietnam war?

What happened in the aftermath of the Tet offensive to the Viet Cong? Was it actually broken or did it just incorporate into the North Viet Nam army? Edit: I am fully aware that the USA lost the ...
4
votes
4answers
253 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: ...
8
votes
3answers
570 views

How did New York become the financial hub of America?

Why did New York become the financial hub of America, rather than one of the other big cities?
1
vote
1answer
122 views

When the United States Congress passes an amendment, how are its votes counted?

For a constitutional amendment to pass in the United States Congress, must the two-thirds vote include those present only (i.e., abstentions count against) or those present and voting (i.e., ...
20
votes
1answer
953 views

How beneficial were war bonds to the US during WWII

I've been watching classic cartoon shorts from Disney and Warner Brothers. So many devoted time to encouraging Americans to buy war bonds. Did money collected from war bonds amount to a significant ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

What institutional precursors enabled labor unions to emerge in the United States?

What institutions and/or organizations existed in the United States before the structured and recognizable labor unions formed as a visible sign of organizations to come? How did these predecessor ...