5
votes
4answers
402 views

Which historical figures are remembered for actions contradictory to their intentions?

Some historical figures are remembered for their actions (Alexander of Macedon, Napoleon), while others are remembered for their intent (Charles de Gaulle). Which historical figures are remembered for ...
15
votes
5answers
732 views

What made Alexander great?

Historians have titled Alexander III of Macedon "the Great". In a very short period of time he conquered one of the largest empires in ancient history and was undefeated in battle. What I'd like to ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars

I would like to know which kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars on both sides, there is not wery much information around.
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Reception of Acemoglu-Robinson 'extractive institutions' thesis?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson believe that a great deal about the economic, social, and political life of a country can be explained by the quality of political institutions, especially the degree ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did the United States enter World War I?

The topic of World War I came up last night with a few strangers, at a bar, of course. One seemingly knowledgeable gentleman, who happened to have Howard Zinn's A Peoples' History of the United States ...
2
votes
1answer
890 views

What is the secret behind the economic success of ROC(Taiwan)?

Even though the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) is not a member of the United Nations, it has been economically successful. What is the secret behind the economic success of it then?
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Can the Queen of England fire the prime minister of Australia?

My Australian friend says yes. I'm not so sure, considering the monarchy collects no taxes from England, much less a country in the commonwealth. What's the verdict? Can she say "you're fired" and ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Are there any existing foreign language teaching texts from the Ancient Near East?

The various cultures of the Ancient Near East spoke a wide array of languages and we know that there was plenty of communication between cultures. We even have a language like Akkadian that served as ...
27
votes
13answers
2k views

Have fair-skinned peoples ever been the lower/oppressed class?

In many societies around the globe today we see that the darker skinned peoples are generally of a lower social status than the fair skinned peoples of the same area, or that fair skin is considered ...
6
votes
2answers
699 views

When was the African National Congress added to the US terror list?

In 2008, the ANC was removed from the US terror list. From BBC: US President George W Bush has signed a bill removing Nelson Mandela and South African leaders from the US terror watch list, ...
8
votes
3answers
315 views

Why did Ieyasu Tokugawa oppose Hideyoshi's plan for expansion?

When Hideyoshi wanted to invade Korea, the Tokugawa clan noticeably stayed out of the conflict. What were the reasons for them doing so?
8
votes
1answer
470 views

Extent of the Roman empire after Trajan?

It is generally acknowledged that the Roman Empire reached its geographical zenith during Trajan's reign. Listening to the highly interesting History of Rome podcast I didn't notice any major ...
6
votes
2answers
302 views

At what point did mapmaking begin to accurately reflect what we now know about the earth?

Looking at maps through the ages, it is apparent that maps have become closer and closer to representing the locations and shapes of the Earth's features with increasing accuracy over the centuries. ...
6
votes
3answers
269 views

What is the origin of the English Ship Building Philosophy?

I was reading an article on the Vasa the ship built under command of King Gustav Adolf, the ship sank during its launch on August 10, 1628. Part if the article mentions that the ship was somehow ...
10
votes
1answer
238 views

Were mattress labels inspired by public outcry?

If you're an American consumer, you likely know the "mattress tag", labels attached to mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals, and pet beds, which often begin "This tag may not be removed under penalty ...
7
votes
2answers
206 views

Was residual animism partially responsible for Hitler's rise?

Although Miller had never bothered to think about it, it was once out of these and other oceans of pine and beech that the old Germanic tribes had swarmed to be checked by Caesar at the Rhine. ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How much faster were the printing presses than hand writing?

How many times faster were the printing presses, which gave Europe an advantage over other continents in term of access to knowledge, compared to copying of books by hand?
18
votes
6answers
1k views

How accurately could ancient astronomers find latitude and longitude?

In classical times (let's say 200 BC to 400 AD), how accurately could a Greek/Roman/Babylonian/etc. astronomer determine their location on the earth by coordinates like latitude/longitude? Could they ...
7
votes
3answers
394 views

Why the difference of opinion about the disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose

A year back, Harvard professor Sugata Bose released a biography of the Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose which claimed to lay all speculation regarding his death to rest. However, last week, a veteran ...
14
votes
7answers
9k views

Why did Nazi soldiers do Hitler's bidding?

The atrocities committed by Nazi soldiers during World War II are well known. I'd like to know what motivated those soldiers to do Hitler's bidding. Were they brainwashed? Did they believe they were ...
15
votes
14answers
7k views

Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?

The European Union has virtually no skyscrapers except the newly built 'The Shard' in London. There are also a series of newly-built state-funded skyscrapers in Moscow. On the other hand if you look ...
3
votes
7answers
738 views

What went wrong with India's scientific development as a society?

India had been among the "leaders" in scientific research spanning Mathematics, Medicine, Chemistry and others. ...
13
votes
1answer
952 views

Was there a bronze age in the Americas?

One of the answers to What are the factors that caused the new world civilizations to be less technologically advanced than the old world? made an interesting statement: in terms of metalworking, ...
13
votes
1answer
360 views

Who first combined the lateen and square sails that led to the carrack?

In the middle ages the square sail was used in the Atlantic cogs, whereas in the Mediterranean the lateen sail was used due to its more flexible use. The combination of both sails into one ship ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Any notable battles fought with steel vs. bronze weapons?

In answering the question Was the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age violent I found out a few facts that I hadn't expected. Namely, that the early iron weapons weren't necessarily much ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Could the anti-Napoleonic forces have done better by uniting earlier before Waterloo?

During the Waterloo campaign, there were TWO Allied armies facing Napoleon, one under England's Wellington, and one under Prussia's Blucher. Napoleon first defeated Blucher at Ligny, then turned on ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

How was life in the Iron Age different from life in the Middle Ages?

Let's say you were from the Middle Ages, 1200s England or Germany, and you got thrown back in time to the Iron Age. It's still the same place, but it's 400 BC. Apart from the language, what would ...
2
votes
0answers
280 views

What is the history of the “root” user in Unix computing? [closed]

It might be more relevant to the audiences of StackOverflow, ServerFault, or Programmers, but none of their FAQs covered this type of question. What is the origin of the "root" user in Unix-like ...
16
votes
1answer
629 views

Was there any theological opposition to the lightning rod?

Apparently, there was some opposition to the lightning rod at the time of its invention because lightning was seen as "the wrath of God" and should not be controlled. I'd like to find some citations ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

When and why did Gujarat and Maharashtra separate?

Post-independence, when did these two states actually separate and what was the reason?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Was the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age violent?

In Europe, when the Bronze Age ended and the Iron Age began, was it a peaceful spread of technology, or was it a violent conquest where the newcomers were able to win by their more advanced ...
7
votes
1answer
522 views

What is the history of standing armies in India?

Specifically, the points I am looking answers to are: 1) What is the first recorded instance of a standing army in the Indian subcontinent. 2) When did it become a general practice to have standing ...
22
votes
1answer
544 views

Did Archery evolve independently on separate continents?

Is there evidence that early civilizations across the world discovered archery independently from one another (like Native Americans, Europeans and Africans)? Or can the technology be traced back to a ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are the signatures on the United States Declaration of Independence structured as they are?

When looking at the United States Declaration of Independence its easy to notice that John Hancock's signature is more prominent than the others: From my readings I know John Hancock did sign one of ...
14
votes
3answers
750 views

What do I need to know about Syria's history to understand the 2011-2012 uprising?

Syria is in the news a lot lately due to the current uprising, but it's not a country that many people know much about. It can trace its history back to the origins of civilization, and as a result ...
6
votes
4answers
495 views

What was the first supranational organization?

The European Union is the only organization at the moment that exhibits a high level of integration amongst its member nation states, but is it the world's first supranational type organization? Are ...
25
votes
10answers
19k views

What was wrong with Hitler's left hand?

So I was watching Downfall last night (good movie by the way) and I noticed that whenever Hitler walked around, the movie always showed him with his left hand behind his back and it was always kind of ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Was there ever a single train that ran straight from San Francisco to New York City, or any that ran truly from coast to coast?

Though the first Transcontinental Railroad was finished in 1869, the Overland Route seems to have only taken passengers between San Francisco and Council Bluffs, Iowa / Omaha, Nebraska via the ...
2
votes
4answers
147 views

Is there any history of a government/ruling party refusing to accept a Supreme Court order?

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) said they accept the decision. What does it mean? Do they have any other choice? How? Please explain. Speaker of the parliament refuses to disqualify PM. Earlier, ...
11
votes
1answer
574 views

What weapons were manufactured in India by the British forces which were used during world wars?

Recently I came across references to a weapon called the Bangalore Torpedo, which was used in the world wars. These weapons were made in India by the British Indian Army. I also happened to see ...
9
votes
2answers
305 views

Has anyone tried to map the Tribal Hidage

The Tribal Hidage set out the number of households living in different kingdoms and sub-kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England. Has any work been done to map this data, in particular comparing it to the ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Did anyone find gold in California before 1848?

Is there any documentation or evidence of anyone finding gold in California before the discovery at Sutter's Mill in 1848?
8
votes
1answer
859 views

When was cannabis legalized in the Netherlands?

In which date was cannabis legalized in the Netherlands? I mean the introduction of coffee shops
8
votes
1answer
443 views

Where, when and why did the practice of proxy marriage originate?

Proxy marriage is a wedding in which at least one of the lucky couple is absent, with a proxy filling in instead. It was fairly common amongst the nobility in the middle ages to engage in this ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views
7
votes
2answers
450 views

What were the six Mubarak assassination attempts?

Today there's a story about Mubarak in the hospital. He ruled Egypt since 1981 but was overthrown in 2011. Wikipedia says he survived six assassination attempts during that 30-year period, however it ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the amount of equipment carried by various historical infantries compare?

I've heard many statements amount the weight of supplies and munition carried by soldiers of various historical forces. In particular, I've heard many comments about the amount that the British ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Where did Bishop Heber meet Bhagwan Swaminarayan?

When Bishop Heber came to know about Bhagwan Swaminarayan, he wanted to have a meeting to discuss various matters. Where did this meeting take place?
10
votes
1answer
778 views

How much oil was spilled by the naval combatants during WW2?

The war at sea took a huge toll during WW2. Has there been an official estimate of how much oil was spilled into the oceans during the world wide conflict?
6
votes
1answer
116 views

How did the Mayans get cacao?

Did the Mayans have plantations of cacao trees, or did they simply gather the fruit from cacao trees in the wild?

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