8
votes
1answer
144 views

Monarchies with built-in rotation

I have read that rotation among nine hereditary rulers of provinces determines who is King of Malaysia during a given 5-year term. This seems to stand out from related practices e.g. over the history ...
22
votes
5answers
627 views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
4
votes
0answers
38 views

Sales of books of Rousseau in Versailles

I am currently comparing the sales of books by Rousseau and Voltaire in the city of Versailles, and I noticed a very important peak in sales of books by Rousseau in 1781. I was wondering if anyone ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

How much firepower did the British navy represent in 1940?

A question was recently asked about how Britain would have defended herself against a cross-channel invasion by Hitler. A key element in the British defense would be the Royal Navy. At the beginning ...
9
votes
2answers
136 views

What was the legal status of an East German once he had reached West Germany?

Cold War histories usually state something like "any German able to reach West Germany was automatically granted West German citizenship" to explain how easy it was to go from East to West, if only ...
3
votes
3answers
154 views

How were the borders of the Holy Roman Empire established?

We all know that the Holy Roman Empire was a collection of minor Germanic states in the Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Wikipedia stated that: The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Technology and status symbols that predate language [closed]

I remember distinctly reading about peoples and cultures - in, I believe, the Caucasus - that used to knap large flakes of flint into spearheads and would use them (instead of actual tools) as status ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Why don't people without access to clean water drink beer anymore?

In the medieval ages, peasants used to drink beer instead of water because the plain water wasn't safe to drink. Why do people in countries where the water sources are polluted not do this today? Why ...
7
votes
2answers
159 views

Did King Porus's men use snake poison against Alexander's troops?

This claim comes from about.com. It references this source which doesn't claim that Porus specifically did it, merely that such a practice was common. It also cites Adrienne Mayor who claims that ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

Indian account of the Battle of the Hydaspes River

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River? If so, what are they, who authored them, and how do they differ from the Greek & Roman accounts?
6
votes
4answers
312 views

What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
41
votes
9answers
2k views

History of scientific regression

Throughout history, humans have made many subtle and many substantial scientific advancements. Humans have explored, examined, learned, applied and at times seemingly "forgotten" and/or were unable ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Did the Nazis have any unique or especially effective economic policies?

The Nazi rule in Germany is associated with (among many, many other things) a sudden and powerful economic resurgence. This is especially impressive since it happened in a country that was ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

In what ways was Canadian sovereignty in the arctic being challenged in the 1950s?

Wikipedia article on the settlement of Grise Fiord in the Canadian Arctic strongly suggests that Canada in the 1950s strove to populate its arctic territory in response to challenges to its ...
-1
votes
2answers
79 views

Is it fair to say that the USSR has technical parity over NATO on land and air over much of the cold war? [closed]

I was always under the impression that the USSR had the advantage over NATO for much of the cold war until the 80's, when the stagnating Soviet economy hurt their weapons programs whist Reagan's ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Row for powers of 10 on 1950's French typewriter keyboards

In the movie Populaire, 1950's-era French typewriter keyboards are shown with dedicated "1", "10", "100", "1...", "10...", "100...", "1M", and "10M" keys on the top row. Was there a dedicated type ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Why did Hitler not order the use of poison gas in combat?

From what I know, Hitler wanted Germans to fight, quite literally, to the last, and he wouldn't have minded terribly if every last German died fighting the enemy. So why did he never use poison gas ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

What preparations went into the Tehran Conference of 1943?

The Tehran Conference during World War 2 was a hugely important meeting, and perhaps more importantly, a hugely dangerous proposition. Having all those leaders together in one place risked utter ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages?

Is there any difference between the "Middle Ages" and the "Dark Ages"?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Link between Mary I and Bloody Mary [closed]

I've heard that Queen Mary I of England have another name that is "Bloody Mary". and there also is a folklore about the Bloody Mary which is about holding a candle in front of mirror. Is there any ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Did anyone do Yoga on the Titanic?

The eastern practice of yoga has become quite prevalent in recent years. I imagine that when the Titanic sailed, it was quite rare and exotic. However, England had (shall we say) strong ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

On Washington's Farewell Address

Here is a question from CollegeBoard's practice APUSH exam... I'm having trouble answering it. Washington's Farewell warned against the dangers of international alliances and the formation of ...
11
votes
3answers
252 views

Why did the Union army favor a “western” route to approaching Richmond during the American Civil War

Anyone can answer this question, but I am particularly interested in hearing from people with a knowledge of northern Virginia geography. For the Union, much of the focus of the Civil War was ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Shantyboat communities on the upper Mississippi River Valley

Does anyone have links or resources beyond books they can direct me to that directly deal with shantyboat communities along the banks of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri? I'm ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Did India turn down a permanent seat in the UN in 1955?

As per this article, India was offered a permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 1955 but Jawaharlal Nehru turned it down and the seat went to China. In light of the current lobbying that India ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

How similar were Finnish and Lenape slash-and-burn agriculture?

Slash-and-burn agriculture is a technique where farmers cut down woodland and burn the debris to form farmland. This farmland is usually used for a few years until it loses its fertility, then the ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What would have been the carrying capacity for 11th-13th century backpacks?

After this question was closed over at RPG Stack Exchange, I'm still left wanting a comprehensive answer. My question, again, is this: What is a realistic estimate of the weight an 11th to 13th ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a civilization that never believed in God in the ancient times?

I'm not obviously talking about small groups or individuals but about an actual civilization that never believed about the existence of a supreme essence. Is atheism just a modern concept?
8
votes
2answers
165 views

Did the Trojan Horse actually exist?

The story of the Trojan Horse is very well known in the West, but did it actually exist, and if so what was it? Although the Odyssey is mostly mythical and fantastic, we know that a few elements were ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How were fortification doors protected against fire?

Ancient and medieval fortifications are often shown to have wooden gate doors in the midst of their stone walls. Now granted, these doors are often massive and incredibly thick, but it still seems ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

What type of defenses did the Pequot use at their fort?

During the Pequot War (1634-1638), the Pequot built a fort near modern Mystic, Connecticut. This fort was overrun by the English settlers in 1637 who massacred most of the inhabitants. What type of ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

How does governance evolve?

There is a simplistic model of history that roughly goes: In the beginning people wandered the land with pointy sticks and the most masculine guy beat up all the other guys and made himself king. ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Why did the Dutch West India Company allow Quakers in the New Netherlands?

In 1657 a group of English Quakers arrived in New Amsterdam (the Dutch colonial town that became modern New York City). They were persecuted by the colonial government there for their religion. Then ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Did any European/American settlements in the Ohio Country survive the French and Indian War?

The Ohio Company was formed in 1748 to bring English settlement to the Ohio Country. At that time, the Ohio Country was largely uninhabited, as the Iroquois had driven out or exterminated the tribes ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

How did people dress at the Jesuit missions to the Hurons?

The Jesuits established a number of missions among the Huron people of what is today Ontario during the 1600s. Unlike many other proselytizing groups of that era, the Jesuits were known for ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

Were the Puritans for a State Church?

In a book titled America's Providential History it states on page 84 that The major Puritan weakness was their holding to the idea of a State Church. They saw nothing wrong with a National ...
6
votes
2answers
495 views

Can anyone identify this Union commander?

At the beginning of the first episode of the PBS documentary series about the US Civil War the narrator describes some of the main characters without giving their names. One was 'a professor from ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What were the Allies' plans for if they caught Hitler alive?

Hitler committed suicide in 1945, but I'm curious as to what would have happened to him if he hadn't. Did the Allies have any formal plans as to what they would do with Hitler if they caught him ...
11
votes
1answer
969 views

Where did the French revolutionists get their weapons?

I have learned in class that the main purpose of raiding the Bastille in 14 July 1789 was to acquire the weapons in the Bastille. There was only a few political prisoners held there. There were, on ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Why didn't Moldova unite with Romania?

Towards the collapse of the USSR, nationalism rose in Moldova. Nationalists proclaimed the linguistic and ethnic identity between Moldovans and Romanians. It seems that they strove toward unification ...
5
votes
1answer
53 views

Why did meat and dairy drop out of the working people in Britain's diet during the industrial enclosures period?

During the industrial enclosures period (1750-1832) meats and dairy dropped out of the diet of working people in Britain. This change was regional (oatmeal regions maintained milk consumption, bread ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Were women banned from entering the castle of Trakai?

According to legend, Vytautas the Great banned women from entering the Trakai Island Castle under penalty of death. I read it in Russian, it is called "The Horse of knyaz Vytautas". The plot is ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Power over the centuries: spiritual vs. political vs. economic

I recently attended a presentation on the shift in power over the centuries. The speaker argued that ... the power in the middle ages was in the churches, i.e., the priests and, thus, in the ...
8
votes
1answer
77 views

Does Little Hagia sophia still contain Greek mosaics under the plaster?

Little Hagia Sophia is a small church in Istanbul located close to the famous and large Hagia Sophia. It was built around the same time and is said to have contained very beautiful mosaics. At the ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

What was Hitler like in private?

The image of Hitler is very well-formed in the modern public imagination: stern, stoic, focused, commanding and intimidating, with a powerful oratory skill and a terrifying ability to stir up passion ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

US Army stations in France during World war 2

My grandpa served in World War 2 as a technical Sergeant for the Signal corps (414 signal company). He kept a very extensive list of everywhere he traveled and I'm trying to put together a map of all ...
4
votes
0answers
94 views

Countries which banned Ferdinand the bull?

Background The book "The Story of Ferdinand " is a short illustrated children's story featuring a bull who would not be provoked by a matador. When it was published in 1936, it was widely interpreted ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

What is the origin of these WW1 “official history” maps?

I'm looking for a source, preferably the original atlas or set of documents in facsimile, for the following WW1 maps (and their siblings): I've only found these fragments, reproduced on the Web ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

What is “the dead credit”?

I was reading the Wikipedia page for the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and this picture was featured to demonstrate the diverse society. It is propably a parody of various pictures called ...
6
votes
1answer
212 views

Why did the Lewinsky scandal have such big impact? [closed]

Probably a very trivial answer from an American point of view, but from a European perspective this is rather strange. In Europe the private life of a president is in many cases, well, private. As ...

15 30 50 per page