-2
votes
0answers
8 views

Hong Kong and Macau are to China as Singapore is to…?

From Wikipedia: Some of them want the current SAR to become a sovereign city-state like Singapore, also a former crown colony of the British Empire. From what I understand, Hong Kong used to be part ...
3
votes
1answer
22 views

Why does the Gregorian calendar start where it does?

The way a calendar is organized is very dependent on celestial events. A month is about the length of time the moon revolves around the earth and a year is the time the earth revolves around the sun. ...
7
votes
2answers
137 views

Why did monarchy become common practice after the fall of Rome?

Why did the government of most nations after the fall of Rome and the beginning of medieval age turn to monarchy? Before the fall of Rome most nations seem to be organized after different model and ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

How long would a letter take to arrive in England from America in 1890?

As part of my story, a letter is sent from England to America in 1890. I was wondering if there was a way to work out how long it would take and perhaps the cost of writing and sending letters.
2
votes
1answer
62 views

How long would it take to travel from the United Kingdom to America in 1890?

For a short story I plan to write, I was wondering how long it would take individuals to travel from the United Kingdom to America in 1890.
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Origins of knife and fork language etiquette

There is an etiquette of placing knife and fork on a plate while resting or after finishing. For example this cheat-sheet (there are a lot of texts and images like this on the web): I found this ...
4
votes
3answers
121 views

How did the ancient Chinese coordinate armies of tens and hundreds of thousands?

According to what I've read, during the Warring States period and also later during the Three Kingdoms period there were armies of the magnitude of (a few) hundred thousands. How could they ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

What is the explanation of the flag of Prague?

Wikipedia's flag for Prague shows red and yellow. I already think that the red comes from flag of Bohemia and yellow from flag of Habsburgs. But that is just a hypothesis.
4
votes
3answers
106 views

The greek 'daktylos'

Does anyone know of a source regarding which finger 'daktylos' refers to (in regards to greek measurments) - the thumb / middle finger / etc.
8
votes
3answers
418 views

What was Finland's role in the siege of Leningrad?

My understanding was that Finland was not really pro Nazi Germany, but merely wanted to recover the lands lost to the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939-40. That is, "the enemy of my enemy is my ...
7
votes
6answers
568 views

When did formal social dance fall out of favor in the US?

Up until about the 1950s, one can see instances of social dance (especially ballroom) dominating the social scene. This includes instances such as the tennis court scene with Humphrey Bogart and ...
-1
votes
0answers
22 views

For any given English writing, what is the probability that an author studied some Latin? [on hold]

Premise 1: I ask this question only for writing in English, published by an author in Canada, Oceania, UK, or the US. By the 1960s, Latin education had already been reduced and superseded (per this ...
5
votes
2answers
76 views

How to determine the date of a kaleidoscope?

I am an amateur collector old kaleidoscopes. I am not an expert on this and would really appreciate some input from experts if this kaleidoscope is from the Victorian era. How could I tell? What ...
5
votes
3answers
104 views

Why did overestimated coins led to inflation and well-estimated coins to deflation?

It is said in Debt, the first 5,000 years by David Graeber (chapter 4, note 2) that when the value of metal coins represented exactly their weight, the result was deflation. The author says that when ...
8
votes
4answers
499 views

How and why did trade unions in America become influenced by organised crime, but unions in Britain didn't?

There is plenty of organised crime in Britain, and there always has been. People have slandered the unions in Britain with almost every foul name under the sun, but one thing I have never heard is ...
7
votes
2answers
134 views

Origin of the Subdivisons of Hell/Heaven

Isra and Mi'raj is the name of the journey of the prophet Muhammad, where he witnessed heaven and hell, describing their structure as well as the punishment and rewards that lay beyond. Hell and ...
7
votes
3answers
656 views

Why was cricket's popularity in USA a casualty of Civil War?

"Cricket was by far the biggest sport [in the USA] in this period," Tim Lockley, an expert in American history at Warwick University, told the Guardian in 1999. "Then the civil war started in 1861, ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

How can I understand this anecdote from “Letters of Obscure Men”? [on hold]

This is a story from Letters of Obscure Men NICOLAUS CAPRIMULGIUS BACCALAUREUS TO MASTER ORTUIN GRATIUS. Many greetings, with deep respect to your excellence, as is my duty in writing to your ...
4
votes
4answers
147 views

What is the historical name(s) for area between Syria and Mesopotamia?

Apologies if this is "really" a geographical question, but I suspect it must have been addressed by scholars of the past millenium of Middle Eastern history, not least because it is so central to a ...
12
votes
8answers
11k views

Why did Canada, Australia and New Zealand separate from the UK?

I asked this question in various places on the Web. I haven't received a clear answer. The USA separated from the UK because the people felt that they were not British, and they weren't. Weren't ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Britain send convicts to Canada during the colonial era?

During the colonial era before the American War of Independence, Britain sent convicts to its North American colonies which eventually became the USA, but did Britain also send convicts to those ...
44
votes
10answers
18k views

Why were Indians not mass converted to Islam/Christianity?

India was ruled by Muslims from around 12 century to 1857 and then by British till 1947 but India still have a large number of Hindus. Countries like Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaysia now have Islam as ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

When did the practice of formally “declaring war” cease and why?

Here's a detailed description of ambassador Neville Henderson being received by the foreign ministry in Berlin in 1939. Perhaps the most famous example. He came in looking very serious, shook ...
8
votes
3answers
433 views

How and why did the Cavalry lance temporarily fall out of favour during the 16-18th centuries?

In the late middle ages, every knight or even his retainers and squires were armed with a spear or a lance. When heavy cavalry gave way to pike squares, we still see the lance still in use among the ...
5
votes
0answers
76 views

How did this 900AD key work?

The Wikipedia Keys article shows this ancient Anglo-Viking voided key from circa 900AD: Unlike a tumbler lock which needs cuts at exact depths on the key to align its barrels, this key looks very ...
10
votes
6answers
291 views

Attempts to return the War to the South's favor after Gettysburg

With regards to the Union victory at Gettysburg being the turning point of the American Civil War: Were there any major Confederate victories after the battle of Gettysburg? Did the Confederacy ever ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Patton criticizing soldier for carrying rifle wrong [on hold]

I recently heard a story about General Patton in World War II. At one point he started berating a soldier because he wasn't carrying his rifle correctly. The soldier had the rifle resting on his ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Which Confederate State provided the most troops in the American Civil War?

Of all the states that elected to secede during the American Civil War, which one had the largest number of citizens who actually fought for the Confederacy? I would also be interested if anyone could ...
23
votes
9answers
2k views

Did archers synchronize fire? Why?

I noticed that in medieval movies and TV shows, when there is a big battle happening, groups of archers always synchronize their firing. I was wondering whether this is something that writers made up ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Where can I find more information about former German internal enclaves and exclaves?

This question is related to the question I asked previously: Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated? Most maps of pre-WWII are not detailed enough to see an ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

After the fall of Constantinople, were the Christians who lived in the Ottoman Empire treated fairly? [on hold]

In my textbook it states that the Christians who lived in the Ottoman Empire received a humanitarian treatment. They were permitted to live peacefully as normal citizens of the state. I believe there ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

King associated with the number four

Long back, in a children's magazine, I had read a trivia about a certain king, whose life had multiple associations with the number four. I cannot recollect what the associations were exactly, but ...
-4
votes
1answer
65 views

Why National Day of Mainland China (PRC) is on 1st October? [on hold]

National Day celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation. National day of most countries symbolised by the date of independence/start of the nation, while some stands for revolution (like France) / ...
9
votes
1answer
138 views

Why do Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus cite Pytheas in disbelief?

According to the wikipedia page on Germanic tribes, (direct quotation) The first news about the Germanic world are contained in the lost Pytheas work. It is believed that Pytheas travelled to ...
6
votes
3answers
510 views

Where was the Japanese surrender signed on Okinawa in June 1945?

On the 21st of June, Japanese defences on the southern fringe of Okinawa collapsed. The following day General Mitsuru Ushijima and chief of staff Isamu Chō committed suicide. Colonel Yahara was denied ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

Archers laying on their back, was it real?

I have seen a movie the Hero from 2002. I know the movie has a lot of artistic scenes, and less to do with reality. In a scene many of chinese archers laid on the ground and used a big composite ...
12
votes
1answer
910 views

How much oil was spilled by the naval combatants during WW2?

The war at sea took a huge toll during WW2. Has there been an official estimate of how much oil was spilled into the oceans during the world wide conflict?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Origin of the idea of a series of books

I've been wondering lately, do we know where the idea of releasing books that were meant to be read together (such as a trilogy or longer series) came from? It's my understanding that really old ...
22
votes
1answer
646 views

How did people react to Cavendish bananas when they first replaced the Gros Michel strain?

I was reading that the bananas we eat today (Cavendish) weren't particularly popular until the 50s, when the more popular Gros Michel variety was virtually wiped out by a nasty disease. Apparently ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

What were the names of the weapon manufacturers in France in the late 1700's

What were the names of the companies that manufactured hand weapons in France in the late 1700's and who were the most productive.
7
votes
1answer
314 views

What are the earliest examples in history where one state/people stepped in to rescue another?

I started wondering about this after watching yet another World War II movie where the European people are freed by Mother Russia and Uncle Sam and also helped in their recovery. What are the ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

In Montgomery, Alabama, how common was it to be arrested for sitting in the incorrect section of the bus?

Rosa Parks is the most famous case, while Claudette Colvin is often listed as the first. (Sometimes she is listed as first, other times as the first in 1955). Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, Mary ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

What were the traveling practices of merchants, roughly between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance?

How did salespersons of the aforementioned period(s), whether affluent merchants or peddlers, tend to travel? I'm familiar with caravansaries/caravanserais, but how did this concept translate to ...
13
votes
4answers
910 views

Why was decimal time unsuccessful?

Under the metric system (and later SI), units of weight can be related to each other based on multiples of ten (e.g. 1 metric tonne = 1,000 kg = 1,000 × 1,000 g). Likewise with length (e.g. 1 ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?

It was virtually impossible for citizens of the Soviet Union to move or travel abroad. Only some ethnic minorities (e.g. Jewish) with family members abroad could move out, although with great ...
16
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the historical background of the current Ukraine crisis?

Apparently the "Ukraine" is actually split east and west. Many people in the eastern part would prefer for their country to be part of Russia, while protesters in the western Ukraine wants something ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Are there any examples of soldiers faking their death a combat before the modern era? [on hold]

Let me give you a simple scenario, let's say two huge armies are attacking each other, thousands of soldiers are attacking, one of the armies starts to have a lot of casualties and begins to retreat ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

What was the final result for France after the Napoleonic wars?

What I'd like to know is if the final outcome of the wars was ultimately beneficial for France. In territorial terms. Did it manage to keep some territorial gains? If the question isn't clear be ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

What was the reaction to English monarchs using the title “King of France”?

After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to legalize their claims ...

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