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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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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168 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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825 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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79 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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1k views

Why did Jefferson have to 'Stretch the Constitutional Breaking Point' for the Louisiana Purchase?

Because the U.S. Constitution did not explicitly grant the president the power to purchase territory, when the 'Now or Never' moment came to purchase the Louisiana territory, he had 'stretched ...
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404 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 ...
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270 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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87 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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72 views

Did Thomas Paine really give up book royalties?

I heard on a podcast the claim that Thomas Paine apparently gave up on his book rights so that his writings would circulate more widely. However, I tried to find sources for this claim but was unable ...
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2k 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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121 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. ...
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166 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 ...
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107 views

Has Puerto Rico experienced less privileges and autonomy than other US territories?

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated US territory. The US won the island from Spain in the Spanish-American War along with the Philippines and Guam, so it is also referred to as a colonial possession, ...
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360 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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579 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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765 views

Why did the US not move to crush the Haitian Revolt after the 1804 massacre?

Understandably, the European nations were embroiled in the Napoleonic wars. But the American Revolutionary War had been over for almost 20 years by then. A large part of their population too, were ...
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286 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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515 views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and ...
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675 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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224 views

When did covered wagons disappear from America?

Throughout 19th century Americans migrated west to settle land and most such trips were on foot and on covered wagons. With the arrival of trains the wagons stopped, but my guess is that not everyone ...
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3answers
602 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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1k 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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190 views

What happened in Calcutta in 1961?

I was watching a clip of the American flag being raised in Havana for the embassy re-opening since closing in 1961. There were some retired Marines there who were there when the flag was taken down. ...
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216 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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290 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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175 views

Did the increase of slavery in the US bring an end to indentured servitude?

In the development of the New World, indentured servitude was quite common for passage across the Atlantic. Did the increase in slavery in America, especially in Virginia and other similar ...
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196 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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332 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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What is the death toll attributed to US internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII?

We know that Spanish internment camps in Cuba at the start of 20th century were pretty horrific in terms of death toll. What was the death toll attributed to US internment camps for ...
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575 views

Did women suffer from alcoholism as much as men in 19th century America?

What was the general view on women drinking alcohol (and becoming intoxicated) during the 19th century in the US and did they become alcoholics in about the same extent to which men did?
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317 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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158 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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208 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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363 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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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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92 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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585 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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136 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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162 views

A counterpoint/corrections list to “A Peoples' History of the United States”

I'm very interested in reading Howard Zinn's "A Peoples' History of the United States". I've heard it's a more honest of American history than most textbooks are. The strongest criticisms I've seen ...
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130 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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133 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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256 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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358 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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264 views

What were common reasons people attended executions in mid 1930s.?

In The Green Mile movie (1999) the main character is a guardian in jail and performs death penalty executions. One can see that on such executions some external people come to watch (as "external" I ...
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81 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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103 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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149 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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57 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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356 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?
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227 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 ...