13
votes
1answer
397 views

What happened to all the french guillotines?

Quoting Wikipedia: "The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

How unfavorable were the terms of Germany's “surrender” in WW1?

The First World War ended when an armistice was signed between the Germans and the Allies. At that point, while Germany had no realistic hopes of winning the war, they had no enemies within their ...
4
votes
1answer
435 views

Is there a Greek myth of Poseidon “dating” his daughter in the form of a dolphin? [closed]

On Saturday Night Live, there was a skit in which Greek god Poseidon said that he took the form of a dolphin and raped his daughter. Do we have literary or other evidence for such a myth? It might ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...
12
votes
3answers
736 views

How did former Spanish colonies in the Americas become so fragmented?

If we only consider countries that are connected by land, there are 16 Spanish speaking countries in the Americas, totaling 11,301,072 km2 in area. That's only slightly larger than Canada (9,984,670 ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Who discovered cancer in mummies?

Who was it that was responsible for the discovery that there are mummies found with cancer as the stated cause of death? And which Pharaoh or Pharaohs was it found in?
7
votes
1answer
177 views

What is the source of the error regarding the origin of the number zero?

What is the source of the historical error that the zero was from the Middle East and not where it is really from, namely India?
10
votes
5answers
363 views

Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
2
votes
2answers
499 views

Did JFK win the presidential election by fraud? [closed]

Based on sources such as Chicago Tribune, Encyclopedia Britannica, Slate Magazine and many other books, it is said that JFK's father played a significant part in making him president. In the book, "If ...
2
votes
2answers
306 views

Best books on the politics behind WWII [closed]

What are the best books on the politics leading up to and during World War 2? Thanks Edit: Just wanted to add that I just realized that reading biographies of the people involved with the politics ...
37
votes
6answers
3k views

Which came first: polytheism or monotheism?

It seems a common position that monotheism tends to evolve out of polytheism. Wikipedia offers a few historical examples of this. However, many polytheistic religions seem to have monotheistic ...
13
votes
2answers
232 views

How did Quebec transition from French Law to English Law?

When Britain conquered Quebec at the end of the Seven Years War, Quebec began a transition between French law and English law. How did that transition occur?
9
votes
3answers
152 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
313 views

What is the most widely accepted theory on the ancient “Sea Peoples”?

There are many theories as to who they are the wiki has SIX. What is the most widely accepted theory on who the ancient Sea Peoples are?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How did Alexander III of Macedon get the title “the Great”?

Alexander III of Macedon is referred to as Alexander "the great", but who gave him this title? At what point in history was he acknowledged as such and why is he considered so great?
22
votes
3answers
837 views

What was the status of Arab Christians during the crusades?

Did Arab Christians take an active role in the crusades in the Holy Land or at any point on their trip to the Holy Land. Or were they victims of the crusaders? Did the crusaders typically ...
5
votes
2answers
971 views

What effect did tanks have on warfare strategies upon their introduction?

After the introduction of the tank in WW1, what effect did their introduction have on how battles were carried out, and strategies were formulated?
11
votes
1answer
305 views

What were the original casualty projections for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

I remember hearing several times that the bombs dropped on Japan were a lot deadlier than expected. What were the original projections for casualties for both and how much less than the actual ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Tarim Mummies origins and theories separating fact from fiction

Is there any conclusive evidence of where the Tarim Mummies originate from? What were these "westerners" doing in China? The theories I have heard are that they are the fore bearers of the Kazaks or ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization?

Which country is recognized or documented as having the first prominent civilization? After reading so many articles, I couldn't determine which country should be acknowledged as having the oldest ...
8
votes
1answer
127 views

What Factors Contributed to the Success of Certain “Long March” Strategies?

In the middle of the 100 years' War, France's Bertrand du Guesclin reportedly used "countermarch" tactics successfully against the English. Another example was General National Greene's "March to the ...
17
votes
2answers
461 views

What were the demographics and economics of South-East Asian islands around year 1400?

Background: Prior to the arrival of the Europeans on the scene, the island chains in South-East Asia, specifically in the area of today's Indonesia, Philippines and neighbouring states, housed a ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

What was the religion of the Arabic people before conversion to Islam?

What was the dominant religion of the Arabic people when Prophet Muhammed started the Islamic religion?
14
votes
3answers
359 views

What was Libya's form of direct democracy (Jamahiria) like in practice?

I've been following the recent events in Libya and I learned about the Green Book, which outlines Gaddafi's vision for a democratic socialism. Published in 1975, it proposed a form of direct democracy ...
11
votes
3answers
603 views

In what way and to what extent did the USSR exert influence on Mongolia?

I am asking this in relation to a comment by @Wladimir Palant on my answer to another thread. In his comment, Wladimir compared Mongolia to the Warsaw Pact countries in being heavily influenced by the ...
6
votes
1answer
180 views

What was the purpose for Kaiser Wilhelm's visit to Jerusalem?

What was Kaiser Wilhelm's (and it seems his forebearers) stated reason or purpose for their custom of visiting Jerusalem? Also, why where the anarchists trying to kill him?
26
votes
3answers
2k views

What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria?

Of course we'll never know for sure, but do historians have some reasonable ideas about what knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Serapeum of Alexandria, when it was destroyed by the Decree ...
13
votes
2answers
141 views

In the French Republican calendar: were Quintidis holidays?

I did some research on the French Republican calendar and found some contradictory information on weekly (or decadian?) holidays. Wikipedia (and most other articles I found) mention: The ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

When and where was salt as valuable as gold?

I have often heard that gold and salt were sometimes considered of equal value. When and where did that occur?
10
votes
1answer
203 views

How accurate and detailed were geographical maps created and updated by the Romans?

Knowledge is power, and having superior geographical knowledge vs. your imperialistic enemies and competitors was probably a big advantage in the middle ages. Some specific examples would be knowledge ...
14
votes
4answers
745 views

Do most of today's democratic nations with two-party system exhibit a civil war in recent past?

I was thinking about the two-party system in USA and comparing it to mostly multi-party systems in Europe and was wondering, if this national state of democracy is mainly caused by political decisions ...
9
votes
2answers
900 views

What happened to the S.A. (Sturmabteilung; “Stormtroopers”) after The Night of the Long Knives?

I'm reading The Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany by Warren B. Marris, Jr. (Nelson-Hall, Chicago), 1982 for an eassay. It outlines the power that the Sturmabteilung (abbreviated S.A., trans ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Why did China shut itself out of the world in the 15th century?

After a period of maritime explorations (see Zheng He) in the early 15th century, the Ming Dynasty started shutting the Middle Kingdom out of the rest of the world. This of course continued with the ...
10
votes
3answers
516 views

What factors contributed to Jews moving out of the Middle East?

History shows that the Jews started moving out of the Middle East in the 1000s? Until then there were no major Jewish centers outside the Middle East (Babylon, Egypt, etc.) except for Rome. By the ...
9
votes
4answers
820 views

Why was Africa never really colonized? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery? When the British colonized the Americas and Australia, they made sure to move normal civilians ...
13
votes
5answers
931 views

Why did Jews not immigrate to the Muslim world?

Throughout most of history, Jews lived significantly better in the Muslim countries than in Christian ones. Moreover, after the expulsion from Spain, many Spanish Jews moved to the Muslim world (from ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What was Lenin's major criticism of or differences with Marx?

I'm interested in what specific differences in Lenin's writing might address what he perceived to be the shortcomings of Marx's work. Wikipedia is weak on this topic.
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Why did Ford pardon Nixon?

Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon for the crimes he committed during his presidency was quite an unpopular and controversial move. Why did he make this decision?
29
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are many African nations poor?

Many African countries are currently in the bottom parts of socioeconomic rankings like GDP per capita, life expectancy, literacy, HDI, etc. Some of them possess a decent amount of natural resources ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the life expectancy in Medieval Britain?

I'm working on doing background research for one of my novels and I'm looking for roughly how old a male in the peasant class would've lived around 5th or 6th century Britain.
7
votes
1answer
84 views

What was the procedure for prosecuting criminals in England between the World Wars?

I'm doing some research on court procedures during the '20's and '30's in England. I understand that at that time there was a Director of Public Prosecutions, and some of the resources I have found ...
10
votes
3answers
415 views

To what degree has the historical effectiveness of Non-Violent resistance movements been impacted by parallel violent resistance movements?

Martin Luther King had Malcolm X. Gandhi had Bhagat Singh. I've lately been involved in a pretty radical movement in which there are many people arguing against the movement being only ...
11
votes
2answers
274 views

Was Theodoric the Great killed by Justinian?

In a recent Medieval History class my professor made a statement that Theodoric the Great after he signed up with Byzantines was killed on the orders of Justinian I so the Byzantines could take over ...
10
votes
3answers
312 views

Was it ever illegal for two people of different religions to marry in the UK?

Was it ever illegal for 2 people of different religions (e.g. Catholic & Anglican) to marry in the UK? I'm refering only to "civil marriage". I'm sure, even now, that the Catholic church may not ...
3
votes
2answers
394 views

What is the basis for the claims that the word “Israel” means “Exiled for their sins”?

Joseph Davidovits claims that the word "iisii-r-iar", "ysrỉar" or however you want to transcribe it, which appears on the Merneptah Stele, is an Egyptian phrase meaning "those who are exiled for their ...
-5
votes
1answer
127 views

Noah Versus Utnapishtim

There are two Great Flood legends: one in the Bible involving Noah, and one in Sumerian mythology. Multiple civilizations and cultures have a flood legend, so does that add historical credence to the ...
12
votes
4answers
244 views

Why were the Prague Spring leaders treated more leniently than Nagy and his colleagues?

Following the Warsaw Pact's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia the lead Czech reformer Alexander Dubček was dismissed and given a lowly job with the forestry commission. A decade or so earlier, the ...
10
votes
2answers
405 views

Why did the Monitor and Merrimac (aka Virginia) have such radically different designs?

This is something that's always baffled me. You have one ship that appears to sit just above the water with one little canon on a turret (the Monitor) and a second that sits high and is brimming with ...
11
votes
2answers
599 views

What were the operating principles of Japan's MITI during the 1950s and 60s?

Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) guided Japan's economy through two decades of unprecedented economic growth. MITI was the primary instrument of Japan's industrial policy, ...
15
votes
1answer
155 views

In which document was the exact course of the northern part of the German-Polish border decided?

While researching the answer to "How was Germany's border decided?", I didn't manage to find any documents which would precisely describe the borders between Germany and Poland between the points 53° ...

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