40
votes
4answers
1k views

How accurate or supported is Jared Diamond's “Guns, Germs, and Steel”?

Jared Diamond wrote a fascinating book that purports to explain, in a very broad way, the development of civilization. It has several explanations for the development of Eurasian civilization rather ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

What might be the “Blue Storm Republic” mentioned by a Chinese history of Europe?

Today, when I read a book about the history of Europe ,when it comes to the European Union, it described as the following words "Main governing bodies of EU include:The Council of the European ...
16
votes
3answers
17k views

Does the number of legs in the air of a horse statue indicate how its rider died?

I have heard that the number of legs a horse has in the air in a statue indicates how the rider died. According to what I have understood: 2 legs in the air: rider died in battle 1 leg in the air: ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Qing Dynasty in China considered Feudalistic?

From my understanding of the Qing Dynasty (and a few more dyansties before it as well), the Empire (under the Emperor) owned all land. Power and responsibilities were delegated to state elected ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What form of home address did Romans use?

Were the buildings in an ancient Roman city numbered, named or something else? How would they tell each other where they lived? Were the numbers painted on the walls? Did they have apartment numbers? ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Did Reagan really conspire to drop oil prices?

Wikipedia says that Ronald Reagan persuaded Saudi Arabia to rise oil production so to drop the prices and make pressure on the Soviet economy. I encountered such claim in many other sources as well. ...
7
votes
2answers
280 views

What did the Catholic Church do to promote human rights of non-christians from 1500s to mid 1900s?

Clarifications: When I say Church, I mean anybody who recognises the authority of the Pope over him. Also, I am referring to efforts on a mass scale, that is papal bulls, formal policies etc. I am not ...
7
votes
2answers
436 views

What was the maximum percent of the Soviet territory that was under Nazi control?

What was the percent of the Soviet territory that was under Nazi control at maximum extent?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Who was the last US president who did not start a war?

Who was the last US president who did not start a war?
4
votes
2answers
324 views

Breakdown of casualty causes in American Civil War

What was the general breakdown of casualties per their cause during American Civil War? E.g. bullets vs. artillery vs. edged weapons vs. disease vs. natural death. Did that breakdown change in ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is national identity important? [closed]

In school curriculum in several countries, students learn national history in a very detailed manner, in addition to the collective world history. One reason for this is to promote the formation of ...
3
votes
0answers
156 views

What's the name of the (false) assumption that people in past ages were less able to reason? [closed]

In arguments involving past decisions or tradition, people frequently blow off the claims of tradition by using the (false) assumption that people in days gone by, or even in ancient civilizations, ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

What other countries besides the US participated in keeping African slaves?

The question is pretty much in the title, but I am really seeking countries which kept slaves around the same time the US did, and where it was just as prominent in said country as it was in the US.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Was the Zimmerman Telegram a ruse on the US or a way of Germany to incite Mexico to declare war on the US?

Prior to America's entry into WWI the Zimmerman Telegram was one incident that helped push America to declare war against Germany and join the Allies, while Mexico never fought against the US was this ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

What were the reasons for the Renaissance / scientific revolution in Europe?

One of the common reasons given for the Renaissance and the subsequent scientific revolution is the rediscovery of classical works by scholars in Europe and the social change that the study of those ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Did WW1 produce a “Baby Boom” like demographic effect in USA or elsewhere?

When WW2 American veterans returned home in 1945, one of the well known effects was the demographic one known as "Baby Boom" - a sharp spike in birth rate from 1946 till 1957 or 1964, depending on ...
3
votes
1answer
656 views

Were there biological weapons used in WW1?

WW1 was, among other things, the first war where chemical weapons were used on massive scale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I However, I never heard of any mention of ...
15
votes
1answer
33k views

What was the economic impact of WW1 on USA's economy?

It's well known that WW2 had a greatly positive impact on American economy. Up to the point of certain historians being sure that, if not for WW2, FDR would have had a major economic problems on his ...
11
votes
1answer
792 views

What was the first successful mass tank battle of WW1?

What was the first big scale (over 50 tanks used) battle with the use of tanks in WW1? Please note that the typical examples don't constitute good answer: Battle of Flers-Courcelette (Somme) was ...
9
votes
1answer
569 views

Were the animals used for gladiatorial combat in Rome trained?

Were the animals used for gladiatorial combat in Rome 100% wild, or were they trained in any way (either for entertainment purposes like today's circus animals, or for fighting like fighting dogs are ...
14
votes
5answers
677 views

What was the first battle in history fought by vast-majority-% “distance-shooting” non-mechanized force?

Historically, armies usually had a balance between warriors with projectile weapons (bows/guns) and close combat edged weapons (sword/pike/axe etc...). This was necessary because ranged weapons of ...
7
votes
3answers
364 views

Were there historical examples of “citizen's arrest” concept in history independent of British common law?

I know that the concept of "citizen's arrest" in USA originated from British common law. It seems that in a lot of countries listed in Wiki are ones that have the same origin of that law, since they ...
6
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
510 views

When and how did classic “Italian” cuisine come to be?

Most people can recognize "Italian" food. Pasta, tomatoes, basil, etc. But many of the plants used in Italian food, didn't actually originate in Italy. Or even anywhere in the Old World. The ...
6
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the Macedonian naming dispute really about?

I was reading the wikipedia article on Macedonia naming dispute. As a reasonable human being, I can't believe that just by debating how a territory should be called, these people hindered economic and ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Why didn't North American tribes use bog iron?

Travis's question got me to thinking that may be the relative infrequency of use of ironworking in the Old World was due to the fact that there was no easy availability of bog iron - which was one of ...
15
votes
4answers
291 views

Were there any well known royal dynasties that did not in some way cite religious mandate for their rule?

Most of the royal rulers in the last 2000 years seemed to be strongly relying - as one of the sources of their power - on the notion that they hold "divine rule"/"sanction of god"/"mandate of heaven" ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

What was the reason why Americas didn't take to buckwheat as a crop?

Buckwheat is a very useful crop, resulting in healthful food. It was (and is) extremely popular is Eurasia (especially Russia and China). However, despite the fact that - as per Wiki - it was one of ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there any research on specific details of ancient/medieval blacksmithing related to microelements added via plants?

I have seen the following claim a couple of times before (all in Russian popular science type sources). However, I was never able to find historical OR scientific/technology research directly backing ...
21
votes
2answers
439 views

Which war games did Napoleon practice with his generals?

I have read that Napoleon actively used to play strategy games with his generals in order to understand how they act in a range of situations. The generals also learned the same thing about each ...
11
votes
2answers
836 views

Was there actually a project by the Nazis to create supernatural monsters/weapons? [closed]

In many American sci-fi/fantasy fictional works, there's a trope about Nazis creating/attempting to create/use supernatural weapons/monsters (examples Hellboy movie, Indian Jones movie etc.) What, if ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

To what extent did Native American cultures develop metalworking for tools and weapons?

When Europeans started showing up in the New World, the native cultures were technologically far behind. Many still used stone tools: North American tribes used flint, while some Mesoamerican cultures ...
1
vote
4answers
659 views

Correlation between capitalism/democracy and communism/dictatorship?

Some people often equate capitalism with democracy and communism with dictatorship, is this necessarily true? What are good examples and counter-examples of these associations? Should kingdoms etc. ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

How did the US/South Vietnam lose the Vietnam war?

South Vietnam was helped by US. Even when the US was gone, they had a 1 million army. So why did they lose? Even without US support, South Vietnam had about the same manpower, higher technology, and ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Who captured Kaifeng from the Jin during the war between Jin and the Sung Mongol alliance?

I've heard that the Jin are the first people that used cannon to defend Kaifeng when attacked by the Mongols. However, I've also heard that one of the disputes between Kubilai Khan and Sung is that ...
11
votes
3answers
329 views

Was there any separation between hunting bow technology and weapon bows?

Was there a clear trend throughout early history (say, before 1300 for Europe) to have (or ot have) separate technologies/materials for bows and arrows for hunting purposes, and same-period ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

WWI trench tactics using shields?

Are there any records of WWI trench tactics involving shield formations similar to the example below of the ancient Testudo formation? . I imagine that it could have been successful if used to get ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

What was the significance of changing the name of “Persia” to “Iran”?

As best as I understand it, the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 was when Persia became Iran. What was the motivation for changing the name?
7
votes
2answers
568 views

Organized crime as a historical phenomenon

Is there any scholarly consensus about the origins of organized crime historically? Do movements such as the Ndrangheta have analogues in the pre-Christian or Medieval world? Or is it a relatively ...
19
votes
7answers
6k views

How Did Moscow Become the Capital/Most Important City in Russia?

Early in the past millennium, Kiev was probably the largest, most modern city in the former Soviet Union, at least until the Mongols came. One might have expected it to be the capital of the Soviet ...
9
votes
3answers
338 views

Is there evidence of extensive Viking presence in North America?

They appear to have had two long-lasting communities in Greenland, and a site has been found at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. But is there any solid evidence that the Vikings had a more ...
10
votes
2answers
281 views

How and why did Charles XII Get to Poltava?

The decisive battle of the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia was the battle of Poltava. That's located deep in the Ukraine, southeast of Kiev, between Cherkassy and Kharkov. That seems ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Are there any examples of people being able to predict the consequences of communication revolutions?

I often read predictions about future technologies from analysis companies like Gartner Group. These studies often strike me as awfully linear in their view on development. I would, therefore, like to ...
6
votes
4answers
269 views

Why and when did agriculture lose its prestige?

I do not know whether running a farm has ever been considered the most prestigious kind of work, but it is certainly nowhere near as prestigious as for example being a doctor, at least in my part of ...
11
votes
1answer
254 views

Are there examples of well known medieval battles with very little archaeological evidence?

When I was researching the history of The Battle of Kulikovo (битва на Куликовом поле), I was struck by the seemingly complete dearth of available archaeological evidence at the site of the battle ...
10
votes
3answers
796 views

Wiliam Wallace vs. Robert Bruce: Why Did One Win and One Lose?

At the battle of Falkirk in 1298, William Wallace (aka "Brave Heart") abandoned the guerrilla tactics that served him so well at Stirling Bridge, and adopted a strong, but "conventional" defensive ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did Martin Luther hate the Jews?

Some suggested that Martin Luther hated the Jews because the Jews didn't believe him. Yet, some Christians think that Martin Luther is a libertarian and state that he didn't think beliefs should be ...
-1
votes
2answers
248 views

Does prohibition of polygamy always correlate well with democracy? [closed]

There are only 2 countries in the Middle East where polygamy is illegal: Israel and Turkey. There are only 2 countries in the Middle East that are true democracies: Israel and Turkey. Lebanon is ...
19
votes
1answer
796 views

What did the Romans do for Judea?

I watched The Life of Brian and I heard this quotation: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers. Reg: Yes. Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers. Reg: All right, ...
9
votes
2answers
680 views

Switzerland's political isolation after World War II

Does anyone know what were the reasons of Switzerland's political isolation on the international scene after World War II and how did it manage to break out of isolation?

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