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
430 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
726 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
15k 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
939 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
175 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
131 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
369 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
415 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
475 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
136 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
89 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
327 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
10k 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
62 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
1k 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
532 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, ...
22
votes
9answers
29k 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
531 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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
14k 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
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
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
576 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
8k 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
590 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
293 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, ...
11
votes
3answers
586 views

Is it true that slavery was banned from discussion on the Senate and/or House floor before the American Civil War?

In one of the latter years of my undergraduate program I read/heard from one of my classes that discussing the slave trade/slavery on either the Senate and/or House floor (I forget which) was banned. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Which roman emperors were not born in Rome? [closed]

The Roman empire being a long-lived empire and over a large area is likely to have had some dynasties/emperors that were not ethnically Latin/Italian, is that in fact the case? If so which dynasties/...
-2
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there any evidence that the book of Isaiah was written before Cyrus?

The OT Prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th-century BC. Cyrus, the Emperor of Persia, lived well over one hundred years later: Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. Yet The Book of Isaiah in ...
17
votes
2answers
557 views

How many different countries could a person alive today have lived in without leaving their hometown?

For example, a centenarian who has spent her entire life in Rijeka would have lived in five: The Austro-Hungarian Empire (until 1920) The Free State of Fiume (1920-1924) Italy (1924-1947) Yugoslavia ...
10
votes
1answer
556 views

Could rōnin become a samurai again

Once the samurai lost his master he becomes a rōnin. Could he become a samurai again by acquiring another master?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any truth to the claim that freed slaves who moved to Liberia enslaved the local population?

This claim was made in a documentary I saw on youtube called 'The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia' at about 1:22, as well as on the blog BloggingWithoutMaps I can't find strong sources to back this ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Who believed the earth was flat?

Christians are sometimes mocked for having once believed the earth was flat. However, the only references I can find are Lactantius in the beginning of the 4th century, and Copernicus, who says ...
13
votes
1answer
643 views

What were the responses to Copernicus' heliocentric theory?

Popular explanations often mention that the "Catholic Church" had a problem with Copernicus and his heliocentric theory, neglecting that even a scientific disagreement at that period would likely have ...
10
votes
3answers
13k views

Is it true that Spartan soldiers fought naked?

I was watching a trailer for a movie called 300: Rise of an Empire. I noticed in this movie the Spartan soldiers from the chest and legs are naked. But recently I read in several posts here in the ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

What is “Mary's Part”?

The poem on this gravestone in RI refers to "Mary's part." What does this phrase mean?
4
votes
1answer
208 views

What did “opening day” mean in the 18th century?

I was singing the hymn Oh God Our Hope in Ages Past today in Church, and noticed something interesting. The fifth verse reads as follows: Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all who breathe ...
7
votes
1answer
172 views

What is the first verified twin study?

Today I learned that Swedish king Gustav III supposedly took two twin brothers that had been convicted for murder and had them drink three pots of coffee and tea respectively per day. He supposedly ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

How did Mike McShaffry's 'No Grownups Allowed' cause a congressional hearing? [closed]

While reading Mike McShaffry's book 'Game Coding Complete, Fourth Edition' I came upon this: Exactly seven years from the day he was hired, Mike arranged his escape and in 1997 formed his first ...
4
votes
5answers
862 views

Does History confirm that prosperity, capitalism, and some form “democracy” or representative republican form of government always go hand in hand?

Many historians, politicians and economists find a link between the economic success of a nation and its form of government. For example, the idea that the USA's form of government was responsible ...
19
votes
1answer
336 views

What happened to Soviet citizens on Finnish territory before and during winter war?

How many Soviet citizens were on Finnish territory immediately before the Winter War? Other than diplomats. I suppose there would have been trading officials, some engineering personnel etc. What ...
1
vote
2answers
12k views

What exactly is the concept (or main idea) of “The White Man's Burden” in Imperialism? [closed]

I am studying Imperialism and I am getting hang of The White Man's Burden, but then again not really. Can some one please unfold the whole idea behind it? The term comes from a poem by Rudyard ...

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