8
votes
1answer
273 views

Was the house of representatives really as rowdy a place as it is portrayed in the 2012 film Lincoln?

In the 2012 film Lincoln the House of Representatives is portrayed as being a rather rowdy and disorderly place. There are frequent interruptions of the person holding the floor, lots of booing and ...
15
votes
2answers
386 views

How did ancient empires account for slow propagation of information e.g. in their legal codes?

Mathematician Alain Connes cites a French legal rule that explicitly accounts for propagation of information at finite speeds substantially below the speed of light: There was a legal rule ...
1
vote
6answers
463 views

Did it make sense to bring along infantry to reinforce attacking cavalry before the introduction of firearms?

At the Civil War battle of Brandy Station, the attacking Union cavalry general Alfred Pleasanton brought along some 3,000 infantry to even the odds, because his cavalry was outnumbered 9,500 to 8,000 ...
6
votes
1answer
363 views

Was it widespread practice to grant freedom to slaves in early Roman Empire?

If a citizen owned a slave, he or she could free him / her. The Wikipedia article gives some reasons for doing this: Slaves were freed for a variety of reasons; for a particularly good deed toward ...
8
votes
1answer
637 views

Were there punishments in the Roman Empire for not believing in the official religion?

In popular culture Christians were being killed in the Colosseum because they did not want to accept the Emperor as a god. An example can be Quo vadis novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, who won the Nobel ...
-4
votes
2answers
906 views

Why was Jesus crucified (historically?) [closed]

Some said that He was crucified because he punched and kicked things around in the temple. Would that be plausible? Some said that He was crucified because the religious leaders were jealous of his ...
8
votes
2answers
696 views

What is the 'rank switching' done by Roman Legionnaires in HBO's 'Rome' called, and did it actually happen?

I'm talking about the formational fighting show in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJO2UfG9KcI Where did the show's creators get the source material? If so, what was it called, when did ...
-4
votes
1answer
137 views

Most significant Congressional Leaders in US History? [closed]

In all of US history, which Congressional marjority/minority leaders and speakers are considered historically important? For example, FDR and Lincoln are, for better or worse, considered historically ...
7
votes
1answer
361 views

Where does Akbar the Great's “Great” come from?

According to Wikipedia: Akbar was accorded the epithet "the Great" due to his many accomplishments, among which was his record of unbeaten military campaigns that both established and consolidated ...
5
votes
1answer
418 views

Why were Arians outnumbered on the First Council of Nicaea?

Constantine was baptized by an Arian bishop a few years after the Council of Nicaea. His sons were Arians. At least the leadership of the Visigoths that sacked Rome where Arians. That was in 410, only ...
7
votes
1answer
513 views

What was Poland's posture during the Seven Years' War?

Poland seems like the "invisible" party during the Seven Years' War Ostensibly, it was fought between France, Austria, and Russia on one side, and Prussia, plus Great Britain-Hannover on the other. ...
9
votes
1answer
403 views

How would Chess have been played in England in 1450-1600?

I'm trying to reconstruct how Chess would have been played at various points in history in England, specifically at three points: around 1450, 1530, and 1610. What rules would have been used at these ...
2
votes
3answers
840 views

How did sugar go from a luxury to a necessity in 18th century?

The only thing I came up with is slavery. This would be due to the wage differences between slave and free man. If plantations were manned by indentured labor, then wages would have been higher. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How many Axis troops fought on D-Day? [closed]

How many Axis troops fought in France, and specifically Normandy, on D-Day, I've tried many sources and they have focused primarily on the Allied Forces.
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great of Russia have such different policies toward Frederick the Great?

Elizabeth of Russia seemed to consider Frederick the Great Russia's worst enemy. She waged the Seven Years' War in order to conquer East Prussia (which she planned to exchange to Poland for territory ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did World War I victors let Germany pay reparations in German Marks and gave it the option to default via inflation?

Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was forced to make heavy war reparations to the victors of World War I. What puzzles me was that the reparations were denominated in Marks (German Currency at ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

How did Maximilien de Robespierre lose control of his Reign of Terror and die by the guillotine?

Maximilien de Robespierre was one of the best influential figures of the French Revolution and died at the young age of only 36. He started the Reign of Terror and the tool of his Terror was the ...
5
votes
1answer
422 views

What happened to the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church accumulated over the ages?

At one point in history, the Roman Catholic Church was the largest land owner in Europe. Given the power of compounding, the length of time for the compounding to take effect plus the huge principal ...
8
votes
3answers
704 views

What strategic value did Christianity hold for Constantine that made him convert to Christianity?

Christianity started off as a cult religion before becoming a major religion today. The major event that put Christianity on the road to world domination was the conversion of Emperor Constantine into ...
10
votes
4answers
14k views

How did the Catholic Pope manage to become more powerful than Kings in old Europe?

In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Pope seemed to hold more power than the European kings. This is strange because monarchs can raise armies. Pope and their bishops are not exactly military men. ...
17
votes
2answers
927 views

What was used instead of toilet paper in the US and the UK prior to 1900?

I read in this Wikipedia article that toilet paper came to be available only around 1920. On the other hand, this article says bidets were never popular in the UK and the US. Moreover, colonies of ...
-2
votes
1answer
170 views

Relative merits of oligarchy and democracy [closed]

It's being presumed in a few Q&A and discussions here that democracy is the most optimal political system. I'd like to see whether this assertion can be substantiated or refuted here. Are their ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Has there ever been litigation over a salvaged shipwreck between a European country and a former ex-colony?

International law on shipwreck salvage rights has not yet stabilised and usually requires case-by-case litigation. A common example of this is litigation between a commercial salvage company and the ...
7
votes
1answer
355 views

Battle of Xiaoting: was Shu's invasion doomed from the start?

The Battle of Xiaoting was one of the three major battles of China's Three Kingdoms period; after the kingdom of Wu invaded Jing province a few years earlier, the state of Shu amassed an army to ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the Emperor Titus die?

How did Titus die? Do we have any historical sources that are less fanciful than the Babylonian Talmud, quoted below? Are there any other records of his symptoms prior to death? According to ...
3
votes
2answers
391 views

When did the Pakistan army used tank for the first time during the 1971 Bangladesh war?

I would like to know the first recorded case of usage of tank in the Bangladesh war which took place in 1971.
8
votes
2answers
441 views

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution?

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution? Put another way: Was the Industrial Revolution the single key over-riding factor to its ...
6
votes
0answers
134 views

Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Does the cost of creating a naval fleet grow over time? [closed]

Is it harder to build a naval fleet today than two-three centuries ago? Do we spend more or less % of GDP to build the complete fleet from scratch? Do we spend more or less % of GDP per ship, or per ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Why did the communist party lose in Telangana in India's first general elections?

The communist party played a key role in ending feudalism in telangana, then lost in the first general elections against Congress. How did the party deteriorate within 1 or 2 years after the end of ...
12
votes
1answer
9k views

Is Kemal Atatürk responsible for Armenian Genocide?

There is a controversy discussed here about Atatürk's responsibility for the Armenian Genocide. However, yahoo answers says that that Atatürk actually may have ended it. I want to know about ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Why has Africa always been poor and weak compared to the rest of the world throughout history? [duplicate]

Nations waxed and waned. At one time, the Europeans were weak and behind the Muslims, then caught up while the Muslims weakened. The same cycle applied to the Chinese. But the Africans have always ...
4
votes
2answers
982 views

Stalin cultivated a “Friend of the Children” image: Why? Did other communist/socialist leaders do the same?

Part of Stalin's cult of personality was his promulgation of a "Friend of the children" image. What was the reason for this? What other communist or socialist leaders also used this tactic? (I ...
2
votes
5answers
522 views

What was the first political document that invoked the interest or betterment of humanity?

What was the first political document or speech that invoked the interest or betterment of humanity as a whole as a substantiation for an action or a move? Invocation of the betterment for a nation, ...
20
votes
9answers
26k views

Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?

Shields were considered useful in Europe until the development of full plate armor. Despite the fact that they never had anything comparable to plate armor, shield use was apparently abandoned by the ...
32
votes
4answers
5k views

How did Genghis Khan's army feed so many horses?

The average horse eats 10-20 pounds per day, according to this pet website. Considering the fact that the horses may have to eat even more because of the hard traveling they had to endure, it's likely ...
8
votes
1answer
516 views

What rules of the ancient Roman game 'Harpastum' are known?

I have heard of the ancient Roman game known as Harpastum. What rules of this games are known? I have two particular principal points of interest, how were points scored and what happened (i.e. was ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How rich were carpenters in the Roman province of Iudaea in the 1st century AD?

According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, Joseph of Nazareth (Matthew 13,55). Apparently carpenters were not among the wealthy. Be that as it may, how rich could a ...
12
votes
1answer
13k views

How did Germany rebuild so quickly after World War I?

After World War I, Germany suffered severe economic damage. Germany was asked to make horrendous war reparations, suffered hyperinflation, social chaos .... In addition, world economic conditions were ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why didn't Zheng He colonize the countries he explored like what the Europeans did to the New World? [closed]

Hundreds of years ago, China was more advanced than Europe and even the Ottomans. Why didn't China become a colonial master? Ming Dynasty Zheng He went on huge shipping expeditions and could have ...
4
votes
1answer
927 views

Why was the Ottoman empire not seen as an Arabic empire? [closed]

Here is the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire (circa 1590): Here is the propagation of Arabic culture, prior to the modern era: As you can see there is quite an overlap. However, while ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why wasn't the American civil war fought between slaves and masters?

If the American civil war is about liberating the slaves, then it might make sense to expect the war to be fought between slaves and masters. In theory, the slaves should be the ones fighting for ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is such big density of churches in medieval towns?

If we look at Old Towns of European cities, we can see that there are many churches in them. Of course, it is reasonable as religion was very important in lives of the medieval people. However, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why didn't the European Christians take back Constantinopole?

Constantinopole was the focal point for the Fourth Crusade. The Christians lost and Constantinopole went to the Ottoman Empire. Then, the European Christians became stronger and went about colonizing ...
8
votes
3answers
554 views

Was coat of arms of Afghanistan of 1928 influenced by Soviet symbols?

This is the flag of Afghanistan with a coat of arms as of 1928: As you can see, it includes a wheat wreath, red star and the sun, all elements typical for Soviet-style coats of arms. Yet the state ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Were any German cities spared by by the Allies for personal or idiosyncratic reasons?

Histories of the bombing campaign against German cities in WW2 often mention that German civilians towards the end of war were prey to fantastical rumours that such-and-such a city "is being spared" ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the last public school to desegregate in the US? And when?

What was the last public school to desegregate in the United States? What was the date of completion for that schools desegregation?
7
votes
5answers
7k views

Why did Christopher Columbus think he had arrived near Japan?

This question came to our mind as a long discussion in chat between some users over ELU including me and we thought to post the question here. Wikipedia states he thought he had arrived Japan. In ...
9
votes
1answer
561 views

Did France & Italy continue to develop and manufacture sophisticated military hardware once under German control?

Both France and Italy were designing and building advanced vehicle engines, motorcyles, aero engines and airframes through the 1930s and early 1940s. In the case of those advanced economies of ...
9
votes
1answer
280 views

What kind of crew members did ancient artillery teams consist of?

According to what I understand from Pieter's answer to the question "Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?", he said that since 2,000 years ago until now, ...

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