8
votes
4answers
1k views

Did the Chinese Develop Steam Engines Prior to the 17th Century?

I vaguely remember seeing a documentary on the history channel that was discussion on ancient Chinese technology. The basic theme of the program was that China developed many industrial technologies ...
6
votes
2answers
554 views

Did non-Indians go into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma)?

From 1854 to 1907 there was a territory reserved for American Indians (aptly named "Indian Territory") in what is now the state of Oklahoma. How exclusive was this territory? Did non-Indians go ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How was the modern geographic boundary between Europe and Asia decided?

Wikipedia puts the boundary as: The modern definition of Europe delimits it from Asia at the Aegean Sea, the Dardanelles-Sea of Marmora-Bosporus, the Black Sea, along the watershed of the Greater ...
6
votes
4answers
391 views

How would Eastern European emigres have traveled across Eastern Europe to Warsaw in the early 20thC?

I was looking back at my grandmother's voyage to America, she made the trip from Zbaraz in the Ukraine through Warsaw and then on to Gdanks and through steerage class to the New York. I know she took ...
6
votes
1answer
331 views

Did American Indians disrupt railroads in their regions?

In the Old West, many railroads went through Indian-occupied areas. Are there any documented instances of the Indians ever sabotaging the railroads? Please provide dates and circumstances where ...
7
votes
1answer
335 views

Did Native Americans sabotage telegraph lines running through their territory?

In the 1800s in the Western US, there were a number of telegraph lines running through territory mostly inhabited by Indians. Did they ever sabotage the lines?
4
votes
1answer
527 views

Where did the railroad companies find workers to build the rails?

In the building of the various transcontinental railroads in the western US during the late 1800s, how did the railroad companies find workers? I suppose I'm looking for an answer like "They paid a ...
15
votes
1answer
288 views

When did the cats versus dogs rivalry begin in the US?

In the US people that own pets seem to be pegged as either dog people, or cat people. This cultural phenomenon is so prevalent that Hollywood even made a movie about it. My question is, when did this ...
3
votes
3answers
295 views

How Likely Was a French Alliance with Italy or Japan in World War I?

My World History class is re-enacting World War I and I have been assigned France. I'm looking for countries who allied with France or were potential allies. Please help if you know any good alliances ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Was Brown v Board of Education the only major decision that changed educational choice in America?

Brown v Board of Education was the landmark Supreme Court case in America that was supposed to allow more educational choice for all Americans, basically stopping segregational policies and on a legal ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Who was the first head of government to support same-sex marriage?

Earlier today, Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage. He told ABC News: "...for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

What differences led to Technicolor becoming the dominant color filming technology in Hollywood?

Apparently another technology, Kinemacolor, was invented first in the UK, but it never caught on in Hollywood. Kinemacolor was expensive, and had some other glitches involved, but the fact that it was ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

What factors led to the rise of political parties in the United States?

I know that at the time the Constitution was drafted partisan political parties did not exist, not in the way that we conceive of them today, and George Washington did not have a political party. ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the oldest road in the world that has been in continuous use?

My suspicions are that a road in Rome, Italy, likely has a strong claim, or perhaps a road in Egypt. It just needs to be a road that has been in continuous use for traffic, whether it was some form of ...
7
votes
3answers
724 views

How did people receive news before the advent of the newspaper?

I am specifically interested in the period right before the beginning of the newspaper era (which I'm broadly defining as the 18th century) so let's say 1600-1700. Was there a phenomenon like our ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

What factors enabled the New York Journal to survive the yellow journalism wars?

The height of yellow journalism was a battle waged between the Joseph Pulitzer owned New York World, and the William Hearst owned New York Journal. However, even though these two papers boasted large ...
10
votes
1answer
292 views

Why was the area now known as Liberia chosen as the location for repatriation of African slaves in the US?

The American Colonization Society thought that colonizing Africa for the purpose of returning US slaves to Africa was the solution to slavery problems. Why, and how, did they come to decide that the ...
10
votes
1answer
286 views

Why did the states that were born out of the Louisiana purchase adopt a common law system, and not a civil law system?

The French system of laws is a civil law system that is based upon the Napoleonic Code, and further back the Justinian Code. The legal system in Louisiana is now bijuridicial retaining some of the ...
6
votes
3answers
988 views

How did corn become the most produced crop in the world?

This article has corn listed as the most important crop produced in the world. For some reason I feel like rice, or wheat is the more logical choice. So what were the conditions, and events, that led ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What factors led to the US government issuing nutrition guidelines in 1916?

This timeline from the Washington Post says that the United States Department of Agriculture issued its first food guidelines in 1916 for children, and then did one in 1920 for adults. My question is, ...
6
votes
13answers
3k views

What is the oldest movie theater in the US that has been in continuous use as a movie theater?

It appears from Wikipedia that the oldest theater in continuous use is in Denmark, but since so much of the film industry is dominated by Hollywood, I was wondering what is the oldest movie theater in ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

Who were some famous Vietnam War Hawks and Doves?

Who were some famous people who opposed/supported the Vietnam War?
4
votes
1answer
285 views

How was food produced in Europe/Germany prior to the industrial revolution?

I'd appreciate any pointer to books or other medias that cover the production of food prior to the industrial revolution (with the regional focus being in Europe or even more narrowly in ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Where were the Mormons going?

From what I've heard, when the Mormons left Illinois in 1846 they hadn't decided where exactly they were going to settle. Did they have some choices they were looking at? Did they have a route they ...
-2
votes
1answer
147 views

Did Johnny Appleseed actually exist? [closed]

According to Wikipedia, his real name was John Chapman. Is this true?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Languages spoken by Josephus?

What languages did Josephus speak? He lived in the land of Israel during the first century CE. He wrote in Greek (so he obviously knew that), but did he know Hebrew, Aramaic, or Latin?
16
votes
3answers
577 views

Why were the British so reluctant to allow Jewish migration to Palestine?

Not sure this is the correct forum to ask this, but i'm currently reading 'Exodus' by Leon Uris, and i'm curious as to why the British were so reluctant in letting jewish people in Palestine. This ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Who ruled India when the Abbasid ruler Harun al-Rashid was the Caliph of Baghdad?

Who ruled India when the 5th Abbasid ruler Harun Al-Rashid was the Caliph of Baghdad? How many rulers were there in Indian subcontinent? Which areas did they rule?
15
votes
1answer
501 views

Did the Germans have a team equivalent to the one from Bletchey Park in the UK during WWII?

There is a lot of information about the British code breakers at Bletchey Park and the work they did for cryptography, computing and the war effort. Still, I haven't heard a lot about a German ...
12
votes
4answers
565 views

What role did the space race play in reducing the nuclear threat during the 1960s?

Today I visited again the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, a space flight history museum, and noticed for the first time the claim that part of John F. Kennedy's motivation for pushing for a ...
9
votes
0answers
182 views

What was done to improve the safety of jousts after the death of Henry II?

While jousting in a tournament to celebrate his daughter's marriage in 1559, France's Henry II received a splinter in the eye, and died not long afterwards. According to Wikipedia, this marked the ...
6
votes
1answer
587 views

What races did Americans classify people into during the 1800s?

I know that in different eras people have had different schemes for categorizing the people of the world by race, or disposing of such schemes altogether. What racial categories did people commonly ...
4
votes
1answer
773 views

Was “Death Traps” by Belton Y. Cooper historically accurate?

Was the WW2 memoir "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper historically accurate?
22
votes
7answers
4k views

Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan? [closed]

Why did the United States drop two nuclear bombs on the Japanese mainland? It appeared that Japan was ready to surrender.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How did the Chinese Self-Criticism work in practice?

During the Maoist era often "enemies" were put through "self-criticisms" where they needed to note where they were in error and how they strayed from the party. I've seen multiple records of this in ...
5
votes
2answers
320 views

Is there a majority viewpoint for the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization?

This article on the end of the ancient Egyptian civilization posits four different points at which the civilization ended: Is it the definitive end of native Egyptian rule (at least until the 20th ...
25
votes
2answers
5k views

How did Europeans first acquire gunpowder?

I know that gunpowder was first invented in China around the 10th century, and it seems that gunpowder likely made its way to Europe via the "Silk Road." However, there doesn't seem to be a ton of ...
46
votes
9answers
2k views

History of scientific regression

Throughout history, humans have made many subtle and many substantial scientific advancements. Humans have explored, examined, learned, applied and at times seemingly "forgotten" and/or were unable ...
8
votes
1answer
141 views

Is there a study about what would have happened if Khmer Rouge remained in power in Cambodia? [closed]

The Khmer Rouge killed about 25% of the Cambodian people. They become aware that only an external force could change the power structure, and this happened with the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. If they ...
14
votes
3answers
712 views

If modern human existed for hundreds of thousands years why was writing invented only some 7000-9000 years ago?

Linguistic studies indicate that human languages were not that different from modern languages 6000 and 7000 years ago. They had distinguishable sounds, vowels, consonants, syllables, roots and stems ...
10
votes
3answers
548 views

What Was the State of German Tank Design In Between the World Wars?

I am reading about the Spanish Civil War in a book by Antony Beevor entitled "The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939". According to Beevor while the nationalists were able to control ...
12
votes
2answers
816 views

When did navies stop giving out a drink ration to their sailors?

I seem to remember that the British Navy, and the US Navy maybe, used to give out a ration of alcohol to sailors each day. When did this practice stop, and why?
6
votes
2answers
283 views

Information about the empire of King Dahir of India?

I am trying to find some information about the empire of King Dahir of India. For example, how much area did his empire constitute and where was it generally located? If anyone could also provide a ...
5
votes
2answers
546 views

Where can I find the history of military uniforms?

Is there any web resource that talk about the history and evolution of military uniforms? For example, development, history and evolution of uniforms of various Muslim, European, Asian, Indian ...
21
votes
6answers
3k views

Why did Hitler not concentrate more on North Africa?

The Germans knew that oil would be crucial to the war and that they would likely need to capture new sources for the war effort. The main oil-producing regions at the time that might be captured were ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Tolstoy's view of history

Tolstoy's view of history as propounded in his book "War and Peace" is that the forces that shape historical events are infinitely many and unknowable. He posits that a leader is in no ways more ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the latest publications demolishing the Aryan invasion/migration theory?

Recent findings in archaelogy and related fields have led scholars to replace "invasion" with "migration" in the "Aryan invasion" theory. E.g. Romila Thapar in this edition of The Penguin History of ...
12
votes
2answers
418 views

What can be considered to be the single most important reason for the decline of muslim Golden Age?

In the middle ages, Muslims established some powerful empires. They conquered vast land and shown considerable advancement in arts, science and culture. There were lots of Muslim philosophers and ...
5
votes
1answer
199 views

Was the “Mot Pulk” formation simply a propaganda ploy?

The "Mot Pulk" was a motorized formation used by the Germans during World War II. Based on when it was introduced (after heavy defeats in the USSR) and the vague descriptions that I've found, it ...
28
votes
5answers
10k views

How did Nazi Germany finance itself during WW2?

How did Nazi Germany finance itself during the war? They produced a large amount of war material during 1939-1945, but how was this production financed? What were Germany's revenue streams that ...

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