8
votes
1answer
921 views

Why was record keeping forbidden in Ancient Sparta?

in Ancient Sparta, record keeping and any kind of written history was forbidden by law. (src: http://history.stackexchange.com/a/5966/332 ) What was the rationale for such a law?
8
votes
2answers
293 views

Language of Franks vs later French

I am reading that before the 8-9th(10th?) century, Franks were a Germanic-speaking nation. How it is possible to explain that in later centuries their language became a totally different ...
7
votes
2answers
494 views

Why did American public opinion move away from isolationism in 1940-41?

In Lynne Olson's recent interview in the New York Times dealing with her book Those Angry Days she notes that isolationism was "finished" by late 1941 and that a "sea change" occurred in American ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What devices used computer-like programs in industrial era?

As possibly some of you remember early computers had very small human-machine interface and coding programs was done by cards like this one: or a tape like these: This invention of controlling ...
7
votes
1answer
363 views

Why Antarctica was never conquered before the advent of the modern men?

Citing wikipedia: "...the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Typical fortifications around major cities in the 18th century

I came across this map of Vienna in 1769 (the city was then capital of the Hapsburg empire), i.e. almost a century after the major siege and battle of 1683 and almost a century before final removal of ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

How big were the biggest elections during the ancient era?

According to this question - Why did non-monarchic rule meet with so little success in ancient China?, elections in the ancient era were mostly conducted in city-states, due to feasibility, logistical ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America?

Were any South or Central American nations besides Brazil involved (not necessarily officially) in either of the World Wars? If any were, I'd appreciate information on their degree of involvement.
7
votes
2answers
266 views

Was Classic Mayan civilization really so gruesome?

(I don't really know how to ask this question, so help in editing it to better fit the StackExchange format would be quite welcome.) From what I can tell, Classical Mayan civilization was ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What was the most important cause of the Second World War?

What was the most important cause of the Second World War? Obviously there was the Treaty of Versailles which played a significant part; the War Guilt Clause, Reparations, Disarmament and territorial ...
6
votes
2answers
983 views

Light cavalry in medieval western Europe?

What sorts of light cavalry were there in high (1300s) medieval western Europe (England and France)? I mean more like non ranged troops. I know that all soldiers likely owned a horse for transport, ...
6
votes
3answers
877 views

Benefits of Athenian citizenship

Besides the right to vote, were there any other advantages or benefits in being a citizen in Pericles' Athens?
6
votes
2answers
276 views

What laws of war existed before the modern international treaties and conventions?

Were there laws governing the rules of conducting war before modern (20th century) international treaties and conventions such as the Geneva conventions? For example, were there rules regarding the ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the contemporary knowledge of the theoretical history?

I have noticed, that posts here do not use in their argumentation the terminology and thoughts of the theories that attempted to make history more scientific, tried to put a base under it. I mean ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

What was more expensive to lose in a gladiatorial fight: a gladiator or a rare animal?

We know that, aside from man-to-man combat, gladiatorial fights would often pit human gladiators against wild animals. Is there any documented historical evidence that would show what was a bigger ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Mongolia split in two when they declared independence?

When Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Empire in 1911, part of it stayed under Qing control. This is the part known today as Inner Mongolia. But even before their independence, there were ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

What exactly were currours, and what were they used for?

In researching this question on Medieval light cavalry, I came across this reference to "currours" in Wikipedia, with no link: Many countries developed their own styles of light cavalry, such as ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

At which times did a mainly Jewish sovereign state control Jerusalem?

At which times in history have there been a sovereign mainly Jewish state controlling Jerusalem? The only time in history after the Babylonian exile that I can recall is during the Hasmonean dynasty. ...
5
votes
1answer
540 views

Why did Charles V divide his holdings as he did?

Even as monarchs go, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was one lucky individual. He inherited Austria and the job of Holy Roman Emperor, as well as the Netherlands (including Belgium) through his father, ...
5
votes
2answers
445 views

Did Roosevelt's New Deal lift the U.S. out of the depression or did it actually prolong the Depression and cripple American capitalism? [closed]

While the New Deal did much to lessen the worst affects of the Great Depression, its measures were not sweeping enough to restore the nation to full employment. Critics of FDR's policies, on ...
5
votes
2answers
227 views

Was there anything like African American architecture style or symbolic in the beginning of 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to North or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, previously ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

Where can I find financial data for the first world war? [closed]

I want to analyse the first world war on the financial aspect. Here are some of my questions. Which countries borrowed money to win the war? Where were weapons manufactured? Where can I get ...
5
votes
4answers
322 views

Which historical figures are remembered for actions contradictory to their intentions?

Some historical figures are remembered for their actions (Alexander of Macedon, Napoleon), while others are remembered for their intent (Charles de Gaulle). Which historical figures are remembered for ...
5
votes
3answers
120 views

literature about colonialism

I'm looking for one big, synthetic work about colonialism from 15th to 18th century. I need general history, included history of Spain, France, Portugal, Netherlands and England/Great Britain. Do you ...
5
votes
3answers
272 views

What Were the Types of Sieges?

As I understand it, there were two types of sieges. One was where the attacking army would "camp," surrounding the city, and let the defenders run out of food. An example was Ulysses S. Grant's siege ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Where is the Hindu law/instruction of Cremation?

Coming from the northern half of India, I assumed that Hindus were all cremated. In the southern half of the country, I was surprised to find many Hindu burial grounds. Subsequent searches showed many ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

What is the nature of questions that can be answered by historical sources and methods?

What is the nature of questions that can be answered by historical sources and methods? Pay attention to the qualities of sources that inspire the nature of valid historical questions. Pay ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Did the Taaffe family maintain an actual connection with Ireland during the 19th century?

The Taaffe family is rather remarkable for having held both an Irish/UK and Austrian peerage. However, it is not clear from the wiki pages whether they (for example, Count Eduard, who was Austrian ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Motivation Behind the USSR Assisting China's Nuclear Program

What motivated the USSR to assist China with the development of Nuclear Weapons? Why would the USSR want China to have this technology during the 1950s and early 1960s? What did they get out of this ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

When did people start caring for the handicapped? [closed]

Did people in the past concern themselves with the welfare of the handicapped, such as the blind and the deaf, or did they neglect them? Was e.g. the "Amnericans with Disabilities Act" a new ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

What kind of heavy horses did the Manchu use?

My friend told me that the Manchus would link 4 horses together and fight. Yufei then cut off the horses feet and won anyway. Is this true? Where can I learn about 4 horses tied together?
3
votes
0answers
50 views

What major approaches to “class” as a theoretical category do historians commonly use?

"Class" is a set of connected, but not identical, theoretical approaches to social division in human societies, including past human societies. Historians regularly make use of "class" in their ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Earliest Recorded Name in History? [duplicate]

Is there an agreed upon earliest recorded name in history? I'm guessing it would be a king, pharaoh, or other important person. By recorded I mean a name that is written somewhere like on a grave ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...
3
votes
2answers
322 views

Why is such a large percentage of Jewish population worldwide in USA

Close to 50% of all the Jews worldwide reside in USA. What were the main historical events and trends that contributed to such a distribution? A good answer should include both demographics and ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Is this true that the requirement to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged?

Is this true that the requirement to worship and to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged? I just encountered a statement that this requirement was put ...
3
votes
1answer
295 views

Is there a written history on the Sonderkommando Elbe?

I was watching a program called Dogfights where they were talking about the Sonderkommando Elbe and their tactic of ramming Messerschmitt Bf 109's into American bombers is a sort of suicide attack. ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

Was Rommel an Anti-Semite?

I've heard that he was not. Latter I've heard that he would have joined the fray if not because of political consideration. I forgot the source.
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did Germany not colonise much? [closed]

Why did Germany not become a major colonizer?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Decline of the Spanish empire?

What caused the gradual decline of the Spanish colonial empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? A post I read claimed that the Spanish overestimated their wealth, and my teacher pointed ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How come the British did not notify the Poles about the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol?

I have just read this answer and would like to know if there is a known reason why the British did not inform the Poles. Or is the whole thing wrong?
1
vote
4answers
181 views

Effects of the successful defense of the Soviet Union against Germany on the opening of the western front in WW2

I remember reading somewhere that the Allies (USA/UK) was not really keen on opening a second front to help the Soviet Union until the Soviets started to make progress in defeating Germany around ...
1
vote
1answer
370 views

What is the evidence James Laine has to show Dadoji Konddev was the father of Shivaji Bhosale [duplicate]

In the book Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India by James Laine, has the author provided any evidence for the assertion that Dadoji Kondadev was father of Shiavaji. I heard somewhere that some record ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Early instances of bacteriological warfare

Via The Straight Dope, I came across this page which claims that Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the Brits in America seriously considered distributing blankets infected with small-pox to ...
-3
votes
1answer
458 views

What is the historicity of the film “Revolution.com - USA: The Conquest of the East”? [closed]

This is a Russian version of a French film from mid-2000s "Revolution.com" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3QxDgft148 French version with Spanish subtitles: ...
-4
votes
1answer
106 views

Franklin's missing ships [closed]

I know there have been recent searches for the Erebus and Terror but I can't seem to find anything up to date on any findings. Do you suppose it utterly possible with the ongoing melting of the Arctic ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?

I'm listening to Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears and the officers on both sides seem to always exhort their men to "aim low". For instance, General John Gibbon told his 2nd Division infantry: Do ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

How did Medieval Armies survive the use of mail armor in the deserts of the Middle East?

Something that has long puzzled me is the use of full mail hauberks and the like in the Crusades. How did Crusaders and their various enemies avoid cooking inside their armor? I know many of them did ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What caused the Iranian 1979 revolution to become Islamic?

How did an initially anti-Shah revolution become an Islamic revolution? Was it because of Khomenei's return to Iran such that he seized the Iranian revolution?

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