8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why in the world war 1 the church bell stopped until the war is over?

I was watching a movie yesterday called War Horse. In this movie they mentioned that when England joined World War I, the church bells stopped tolling until the war ended. Then, the bells started ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Luddite revolutions

I can think of examples from history where societies erupted in revolutions against elites or perceived moral corruptions. Is there any good example where the cause of a major revolution was too ...
4
votes
1answer
425 views

Why did the “Ruthenians” break up into “Belarusians” and “Ukrainians?”

The Ruthenians were a group of East Slavic people in Kievan Rus that are not what we would call "Russians" today. The term refers mainly to Belarussians and Ukrainians, the two largest groups who had ...
18
votes
3answers
820 views

Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?

In 1980 E.P.Thompson published an interesting paper called *Barbarian Invaders and Roman Collaborators *. Among other subjects he consdiers there the leakage from Rome to its enemies of technical ...
16
votes
4answers
11k views

How many lives were estimated to have been saved by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs?

**President Truman in a August 9, 1945 radio address to the American people, outlined the reasons why we dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (and later Nagasaki) I realize the tragic significance ...
10
votes
2answers
479 views

State changing its name within the United States

In 1989 there was an initiative in North Dakota to change the state's name to simply "Dakota". Is this first time an initiative was taken for a state to change its name after becoming a state within ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why didn't China try to explore or colonize the Americas? [closed]

The Ming Dynasty had, reportedly, one of the largest navies in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries, which is when the "New World" was being "discovered" by Europeans. They also had made ...
19
votes
1answer
479 views

Colonisation of India: Which regions of the United Kingdom did colonial personnel come from?

I'm a linguist doing research on the emergence of new dialects of English spoken in former colonies, especially India. These new dialects have two major influences: (1) Interference from the mother ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

When was Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians?

When reading literature about the Babylonian the destruction of Jerusalem I always wonder which year it took place. Some books says 586 B.CE. and some says 587 B.CE. Is this because one don't know? Or ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Has the USA ever taken unilateral military action?

In the post-American Revolution era, has the United States ever taken unilateral military action against another country besides during the Civil War?
5
votes
2answers
258 views

Why weren't R-4 helicopters used in the European theatre in 1944-5?

Early helicopters it seems were deployed by the American military in WW2 in the Burma and China theatres, and in the South Pacific. Their principal use would appear to have been small scale rescue ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Why did the French concede Mosul to British Iraq?

Blogger Andrew Sullivan writing about Syria today notes: Syria as we now know it was created by one Brit, Mark Sykes, and one Frenchman, Francois Georges-Picot in 1920. Originally, it included a ...
4
votes
4answers
506 views

Where, exactly, was the “Sudetenland?”

In an early version of my earlier Skoda Works question, I placed the works in the "Sudetenland." A European protested that they were 250 kms. away from the Sudetes mountains, which he considered the ...
13
votes
4answers
13k views

Does the forearm grip/handshake have a historical basis?

I was wondering where the forearm handshake came from. I found absolutely nothing in wikipedia, so I have no idea if this is really historically based or just a recent popular greeting. I was led to ...
6
votes
2answers
291 views

How/why did Plzeň become the “armourer” for Austria-Hungary?

In 1938, Nazi Germany coveted (the modern) Czech [Republic] in large part for its Skoda Works which produced something like one-quarter of the arms and ammunition used by the Third Reich. From what ...
5
votes
0answers
304 views

How much of the success of the Soviet forces in WWII can be attributed to the modernization efforts enacted by the Soviet/Bolshevik leadership? [closed]

The Bolsheviks took power in 1917 and were able to achieve significant progress in the industrialization and militarization of the country. Even to the point that Hitler said, “Had I known they had ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it true that US tracer rounds were red and VC green during Vietnam war?

Quote from American Marine diary about tracers during vietnam: 0200 hours - Heavier fire coming in. Never had seen green tracers used against us. In a way, kind of pretty to look at, red ...
9
votes
1answer
179 views

Which texts/works were lost due to the Mongol invasions of Baghdad?

Which texts/works were lost due to the Mongol invasions of Baghdad? Baghdad was a center for learning and there seems to be an immense literature loss during the sack of that city, just like the ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites?

From Mi Yodeya The Samaritans themselves claim to be descended from the original Israelite inhabitants of northern Israel. The biblical account (II Kings 17:24ff) states that they are ...
1
vote
1answer
983 views

What happened to insurance companies after the 9/11 attacks? [closed]

The insurance industry had a bad day on 9/11. Few would imagine a loss of literally everything (the office, the objects, the building and even the people). Of all possibile outcomes, this was the ...
-1
votes
1answer
257 views

What is the Truth behind Lord Macaulay speech ?(another version) [closed]

The question is regarding the speech by Lord Macaulay(?). I have asked this question earlier in here, but the speech was different from this one. From the answers of mentioned previous question,it ...
5
votes
2answers
718 views

Why was the water in roman fountains cold?

Why was the water from some aqueducts that fed the water to ancient Roman fountains(nasoni) cold?
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Where is the tomb of Gengis Khan located? [closed]

Gengis Khan the great Mongol Ruler conquered most of Eurasia. His empire extended from China to Poland. But there is a mystery where he was buried after his death.It still remains a mystery.
3
votes
0answers
159 views

Are Shi’i imams really directly related to the Prophet Muhammad?

Do written (or at least oral) records that show that the Shi’i imams are directly related to the Prophet Muhammad?
9
votes
1answer
166 views

A Rake's Progress: What is that weird hat-like thing?

In the second pane of A Rake's Progress, Tom Rakewell is wearing something that is not a wig on his head. But what is it?? (source) It's bugged me on and off for years that he seems to wearing a - ...
10
votes
3answers
584 views

Was the German Empire responsible for the advancement of German technology?

After the creation of the German Empire in 18 January 1871, there was a boom of advancement in Germany. Especially in chemistry, motors and electricity. At the same time Germany quickly grew as an ...
10
votes
2answers
754 views

When did the parole of prisoners of war become unacceptable?

Prisoners of war in earlier centuries, especially officers, could be given temporary or permanent freedom in return for various conditions: A parole. This overlaps with the modern civilian use of ...
4
votes
2answers
279 views

How good were Confederate resupply capabilities during the Gettysburg campaign?

At dinner, the other night, I discussed the battle of Gettysburg with a foreign-born friend, who observed: "The way you describe the battle of Gettysburg, if Pickett's charge had succeeded on the ...
17
votes
6answers
12k views

What factors enabled Europe to conquer almost the whole world? [closed]

As we probably all know, after ancient and medieval times European countries traveled to almost every part of the Globe. Today's heritage are, among many others, Roman law and alphabet, Gregorian ...
0
votes
1answer
232 views

What is the most important historical theme of Bronze age society [closed]

What is the most important historical theme of Bronze age society? For them of course it would have been just surviving, but as historians, when we look back at it now. What's (most likely) the ...
5
votes
2answers
431 views

Did anyone ever win a kingdom through single combat without a backing army or blood tie to the throne?

I've read of instances where historians suggest that single combat of champions has been used to preempt wholesale slaughter on the battlefield; and I think I've read instances where blood relatives ...
7
votes
2answers
557 views

Strange jeep-hold cable used during Operation Horev

The National Library of Israel has just released 100 images about Operation Horev. Two images show a jeep that holds a sort of cable attached to a balloon or something, or maybe it is just a very ...
-4
votes
1answer
239 views

What major historical event opened the door to the passage of a homesteading bill? [closed]

The Homestead Acts were a series of laws enacted in the USA, that gave the homesteader ownership of portions of various specified tracts of federally owned lands for little or no cost. The first of ...
0
votes
1answer
141 views

Historical causes of the civil wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria? [closed]

Based on historic trade and migration routes between the Mediterranean and Persia, India, and China, are the populations in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria more heterogeneous than that of their neighbors? ...
22
votes
13answers
64k views

Why didn't Alexander invade India?

Alexander conquered most parts of the Western World, but there is a great deal of controversy over his invasion of India. In BC 327 Alexander came to India, and tried to cross the Jhelum river for the ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

Are Western European countries more ethnically heterogenous than 100 years ago?

Many people claim that Western European countries get more and more ethnically diverse, i.e, that Western society is getting more and more heterogenous with regard to ethnic groups. According to ...
12
votes
3answers
442 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Did Louis XIV actually say “The State? I am the State.”? Could he have said it?

In "The French Revolution, A History" Chapter 1.1.II, Thomas Carlyle reports that Louis XIV once proclaimed: "L'État, c'est moi" - The State? I am the State (Carlyle's rendering into English) ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the Romans incorporate and rename the Greek pantheon? [closed]

I have read on occasion that they kept the pantheon out of admiration and/or to keep the peace with the newly conquered Greeks, but I have never seen any hard evidence or writings that say this in in ...
5
votes
2answers
379 views

Did the United States ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? [closed]

Did the United States (particularly in the 20th century) ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? Are there instances where the U.S. said that if Country X doesn't meet ...
7
votes
2answers
589 views

Was the enclosure responsible for the supply of factory workers in 18th and 19th Century England?

Were the enclosures of rural land responsible for the supply of workers to factories in the 18th and 19th century in England?
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Where can I find information about classical sailor culture/general nautical knowledge? [closed]

Out of strong curiosity, I would really love to know what it was like on sailing ships centuries ago. I can look up nautical terms all day, but those don't express the culture, or much of the ...
2
votes
1answer
821 views

Which nation on Earth has been under foreign rule the longest? [closed]

The Philippines was under Spanish rule for over 333 years. After the Battle of Manila Bay and the Treaty of Paris (1898), rule of the Philippines was transferred from Spain to the USA. From a brief ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Why the different jail terms for the brigatisti involved in Aldo Moro's death?

Wikipedia's summary of the sentences applied to each of the brigatisti involved in Aldo Moro's death shows a wide range of jail terms. In particular Barbara Balzerani served 21 years until 2011 while ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Did Edward VIII's abdication follow constitutional procedures?

Edward VIII abdicated the English throne after discussion with his Prime Minister. Edward informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with ...
10
votes
2answers
53k views

What is the truth behind this speech by (Lord Macaulay)?

Was this speech was delivered by Macaulay in British parliament? Got many articles saying that this speech was not delivered by Macaulay. Is it true? What are the facts behind this speech? I have ...
8
votes
1answer
679 views

How did the Falasha make contact with Jews outside Ethiopia?

I just read a book about an expedition to Ethiopia, The Last of Free Africa, published 1928. The author Gordon MacCreagh writes: An astounding fact which should be of absorbing interest to Jews ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Why was the bald eagle chosen as the national bird of the United States?

The bald eagle is a grand and beautiful bird of prey that once frequently soared majestically through the skies of the American wilderness. It is also very important in American Indian culture (See: ...
6
votes
2answers
434 views

What is “discovery” in the historical sense? How do historians today view and describe “discoveries”?

I was taught in grade school "Columbus discovered America", "Captain Cook discovered Hawaii" etc, and I imagine many of us were taught the same. Obviously the term "discovered" here is problematic: ...
6
votes
2answers
223 views

Where can I find more information on the Katyn massacre?

I want to research the Katyn massacre; I've reviewed the Memo from Beria to Stalin, proposing execution of Polish officers. Are other documents (e.g. protocols of NKVD, logistics) available? Why are ...

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