14
votes
8answers
6k views

When did the Holy Roman Empire collapse?

In the 1500's, the Holy Roman Empire was a relatively powerful country. By the mid 1800's, it seemed to be superseded by in importance by its states. When did the unified "Holy Roman Empire" really ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

How heavily were the British taxing their American colonies?

The British levied several taxes on the American Colonists (13), which were at least part of the reason for the American Revolution. Were the British taxing the 13 colonies for more money than was ...
13
votes
2answers
884 views

What decides who goes in the front rank in a line infantry formation?

In an infantry formation, the front ranks seems to have much higher chance of being killed because they are exposed to the enemy front. This thread explains how soldiers are arranged in Roman ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How long would it take to travel from the United Kingdom to America in 1890?

For a short story I plan to write, I was wondering how long it would take individuals to travel from the United Kingdom to America in 1890.
13
votes
2answers
392 views

How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?

Several years back Turkey barred some French companies to participate in one of its arms procurement tender. Turkey doesn't allow French military air-crafts or ships to pass its territorial space. ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Did WWII Delay Indian Independence?

During WWII, Gandhi said that Indians should adopt a compromising attitude towards the British due to the stresses of war. Did this prolong the (near) inactivity of the Indian National Movement? Or ...
12
votes
7answers
596 views

Is there any country(former colony) in the world that obtained independence and then again tried to join its colonist ruler?

Is there any country(former colony) in the world that fought for/obtained independence and then again tried to join its colonist ruler? I guess an African country did so. Can anyone tell me?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why were there “hussars” all across Europe?

From what I read, hussars are originally a cavalry forces in Medieval Hungary. But then it became a class of light cavalry that were in service in many European nations, and during the Napoleonic wars:...
11
votes
3answers
820 views

Why did Russia inherit the USSR status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto power?

Russian Federation was certainly the biggest component after the collapse of USSR. However, I don't quite understand why the very valuable geopolitical position as a permanent member of UN Security ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

“More Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War”?

True or false? This is claimed by Andrew Roberts in The Storm of War. Quote: As more Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War, it is unsurprising that ...
11
votes
1answer
731 views

What are the origins of sizing a squad in modern foot drill?

I recently came across this question "What decides who goes in the front rank in a line infantry formation?" and while trying to form an answer to it I realised I was making the assumption that the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the “Katyusha” scene from Deer Hunter historically accurate?

In the movie Deer Hunter we can see Russian-Americans sing the song "Katyusha" during a wedding. One can clearly see that this song fits well into the movie's themes (the groom on this wedding is ...
11
votes
4answers
665 views

Is there any evidence to support the claim that the US Strategic Defense Initiative played any significant role in undermining the USSR?

I have been reading Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, and one of the things that stuck me was a quote by Soviet hydrogen bomb creator Andrei Sakharov who was released from political imprisonment ...
11
votes
1answer
297 views

Soviet reaction to Battle of the Denmark Strait

At the time of the Battle of the Denmark Strait - 1941-05-24 - Soviets were still officially friendly with Germany. I wonder what the reaction to the battle was, e.g., Did they send an official ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Jefferson really say this quote about patriotism?

Who said this quote? Patriotism is not a short frenzied burst of emotion, but the long and steady dedication of a lifetime. I've seen some sources claiming it was Thomas Jefferson and others ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How come Incas believed that the Spanish were the incarnation of their “thunder god”?

I have recently been studying Francisco Pizarro and his domination over the Incas. I watched a clip called "Guns, Germs, and Steel". It was quite interesting, how Pizarro dominated the Incas with only ...
10
votes
1answer
199 views

Republican thought in the Middle Ages

I wonder if there were any books written in the Middle Ages that argued the case for a republic versus a monarchy. On the opposite side we can find Dante's De Monarchia (and probably many others) who ...
10
votes
6answers
982 views

How to explain the Khalkhin Gol outcome in view of Soviet weakness and Japanese strength at that time?

Conventional wisdom says that the USSR was very weak in 1939/40/41, in large part due to the purges of the 1930s, ideological interference in the armed forces, and lack of equipment, preparation and ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Was Cossack cavalry ineffective relative to other troops?

I know that some people in Europe very much admire Russian Cossack cavalry and think it is very effective. But in Russia there was a proverb that one hussar is equal to two cossacks, one dragoon is ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Did war chariots ever actually have blades on the wheel hubs?

Several movies depict Greek and Roman war chariots with sharp, sword like blades protruding from the hub in the centre of the wheels. Was such a design just theatre on the part of the movies or is ...
9
votes
1answer
776 views

Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?

I recently stumbled upon an article in the now-defunct lit mag Black Table in which the author establishes the un-cited claim that Hitler had designs on making Lincoln, Nebraska the new headquarters ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the Olympics make the Star Spangled Banner the US national anthem?

A long, long time ago, I remember watching a TV miniseries about the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896. One of the amusing substories I remember involved the USA's National Anthem and the ...
9
votes
1answer
486 views

Why were Morocco and Tunisia made a French protectorate, but Algeria annexed as part of France?

This question is somewhat related to this one. The three maghreban countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are almost like three sisters and share everything in common culturally and historically. ...
9
votes
1answer
131 views

What autonomy did Bosnia lose when it was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908?

Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia in 1878 by forcing the Ottomans to leave after 400+ years of dominion. So I understand that Bosnia then became a territory of Austria-Hungary. In 1908, Austria-...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
9
votes
3answers
258 views

Token status of the Mughal throne

The Mughal power began to decline after death of Aurangzeb. Within 30 years of his death, Mughals lost most of their South Indian possesions. New states were established by 3 prime nobles, Sadat Ali ...
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, ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

What technological/economic factors triggered the Industrial Revolution?

In the 19th century, many things started to change. The world of 1800 would not be a shock to a person from the 15th century. But for some reason, the world of today would be an incredible shock to ...
9
votes
5answers
639 views

Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?

Does anyone know of any battles where war elephants played either a major or decisive part in the victory of whoever had them? As far as I know, they were mostly used for the fear factor and were ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How were diplomats and their staff's treated when World War II was declared?

This could be a large and varied subject so i will restrict it to the 20th century and give two instances. In Sept 39 after Poland was invaded the British diplomat in Berlin handed a note to the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How do war elephants fight?

Do they just run breaking phalanx? Do they pull their front food and then crush enemies below? What do elephants do? Or are the fighters on top of it just shoot arrows?
9
votes
1answer
284 views

Where does the concept of traffic keeping to the “right” side of the street originate?

In any nation that has cars, there are well-understood rules about how to operate them. If a road is shared by traffic going both ways, everyone will, by law and convention, stick to either the right ...
9
votes
4answers
890 views

Was Russo-Polish of 1919-1920 a war of independence?

What evidence is there to call the 1919-1920 conflict between Poland and the Soviet Union a "war of independence"? As for a definition of independence, I would say it is a full political, legal, and ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Britain send convicts to Canada during the colonial era?

During the colonial era before the American War of Independence, Britain sent convicts to its North American colonies which eventually became the USA, but did Britain also send convicts to those ...
8
votes
3answers
408 views

Why was the capital of Poland moved from Krakow to Warsaw in 1595?

This question is a follow-up to the question Why did Poland keep Warsaw as its capital instead of returning it to Krakow in the 20th century? In particular: Now as for Warsaw becoming the capital....
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Was the UN critically involved in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Is there any evidence to show that the Cuban Missile Crisis was scaled back because of the actions of UN personnel acting in their UN role? The topic came up recently about precedent for UN having ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the problems archaeologists face in deciphering Indus Valley writing?

From this link on Indus Valley writing, I came to know that: The first Indian script, developed in the Indus Valley around 2600 B.C. is still undeciphered. Thus, it is still not possible to fully ...
8
votes
1answer
612 views

How Many Members of US Congress Have Died While In Office?

As best I can tell, Leo Ryan of California is the only U.S. Member of Congress murdered while in office. He was killed by members of the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978. What I'm looking for are how ...
8
votes
2answers
349 views

Has any generation generally agreed that the next generation was better? [closed]

The tendency of each generation to look fondly on the "good old days" and to disparage the next generation is well-known. I remember reading some poem from ancient Egypt lamenting the moral failings ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany after WW2?

These areas have always been German, in fact Pomerania and Brandenburg were both part of Prussia since the 1700's. Why did the Soviet Union do this, and how did the victorious powers justify taking ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How did Aztec armor and weaponry match up to the Spaniards?

If you discount the germs and the gunpowder, how did the average Aztec warrior match up against the average Spaniard facing him? As I understand it European metallurgy was considerably more advanced, ...
8
votes
1answer
402 views

Indian account of the Battle of the Hydaspes River

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River? If so, what are they, who authored them, and how do they differ from the Greek & Roman accounts?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What were the key differences between United States' and Indian revolutions?

The Thirteen Colonies and Indian subcontinent were two of the most significant colonies of the British Empire, yet the former was able to gain independence via a rebellion relatively early on, whilst ...
7
votes
4answers
459 views

Inquiry into the nature and roots of the temporal power of the Roman Catholic Pope:

The Roman Catholic Pope is head of both the Roman Catholic Church: "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church", and a head of state: "Sovereign of the Vatican City State". Official list of Papal titles ...
7
votes
4answers
511 views

Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

In his letter to Charles V, Hernan Cortes states that "it was only necessary to threaten to return them [the natives] to their native masters in order to make them serve the Spaniards very willingly." ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Did the Vikings practice voluntary human sacrifice?

In the TV series Vikings there's a scene at the Vikings temple where a Viking warrior happily agrees to be sacrificed in exchange for the goodwill of the Norse gods for his friends and family. I was ...
7
votes
1answer
457 views

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
7
votes
2answers
400 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline [closed]

I am writing a blog post about knowledge banning, either by state censorship or by self-imposed censorship, like the US Comics Code Authority of the 20th century. My focus is moral censorship, ...
7
votes
1answer
409 views

What was the first assassination/murder recorded on film?

Was it the murder of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand?

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