8
votes
4answers
4k views

Why was spice trade so profitable in the 15th century?

During the 16th century, Portuguese captured Melaka to dominate the lucrative spice trade; other city states such as Aceh, Banten, Brunei and Pegu also sprung up by exporting and trading spices. ...
12
votes
2answers
966 views

The value of spice trade during the age of exploration?

One of the initial motivations for the Europeans in sending exploration voyages was to find cheap spices. To be worth such expensive and risky mission, spices must have been worth a lot and must have ...
75
votes
9answers
14k views

Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

The TV show Sherlock prompted an interesting question about the historical role of women during the United Kingdom's road to women's suffrage. In the episode "The Abominable Bride" (set in Victorian ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How did British queens get power over kings despite a male-dominant society?

I am not a history guy. But, from what I have collected from movies, TV shows and people, I see that old British society was male-dominant and there were female rights issues too. But, I also see some ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

What was the actual cause of the disaster for the Royal Navy’s battlecruisers in the Battle of Jutland?

During the Battle of Jutland (31 May 1916), the battlecruisers Invincible, Queen Mary, and Indefatigable exploded with only a few survivors; Lion was almost lost in a similar manner. This provoked the ...
3
votes
0answers
49 views

Is there a record of the times the nuclear brief case or it's russian counterpart have ever been actually opened?

So, it's a pretty simple question. When, and how many times has the nuclear brief-case or it's Russian counterpart ever been opened? Are there records of such things? Obviously, they've never been ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How harmful was the Tea Act of 1773 to the American colonies?

The Tea Act of 1773 was passed by the Parliament to rescue the East India Company. However, I read somewhere that it would have actually made tea cheaper everywhere in the Empire1. By this argument, ...
11
votes
3answers
856 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

How do numbered names work in history?

How do numbered names work, e.g. the "II" in William II? How come there are several people named William II? How come William II is also William III and William IV? What is the official name of this ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

What was the role of Konstantin Rokossovsky during WW1?

The Wikipedia article is very poor in this subject: On joining the Kargopolsky 5th Dragoon Regiment, Rokossovsky soon showed himself a talented soldier and leader; he ended the war with the rank ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Were the English behind the creation of Belgium? [duplicate]

The other day I read an article in a printed newspaper which explained that the British had a tradition of trying to break any continental power (links to recent news is not a coincidence). Among the ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there any documentation that indicates the Aztecs were as violent as they are made out?

The iconography of the Aztecs lead us to believe that they were an especially blood-thirsty culture. But consider the scenario where there was some major catastrophe in the USA, reducing the ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Was *Green Eggs and Ham* really banned in China from 1965–1991?

The Wikipedia article on Green Eggs and Ham states that the children's book was banned in China in 1965 for its "portrayal of early Marxism", and that the ban was lifted in 1991. The citations for ...
8
votes
6answers
387 views

Has a book ever caused the ousting of a dictator?

The new book, The Man Without a Face, by Masha Gessen is at least partially intended to humanize Russian leader Vladimir Putin in hopes that it will eliminate the power he appreciates by maintaining a ...
4
votes
4answers
665 views

Why was William III of England referred to as the British-Batavian Nassau?

While reading through the book Medallic illustrations of the history of Great Britain and Ireland to the death of George II vol. I, I came across this interesting description. My question is why ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

How influential was the Jewish Boycot Against Nazi Germany?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_boycott_of_German_goods While I understand that germans probably needed jewish traders, there are many other traders out there beside jews. So how could a small ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What led to the creation of Belgium?

Why was Belgium created as opposed to grouping the Fracophone Walloons and the Dutch-Speaking Flemish with their respective linguistically similar neighbor countries; France and the Netherlands?
7
votes
2answers
354 views

What is the role of towers in Romanesque architecture?

I'm currently reading some books about romanesque architecture. I would like to know the roles of towers that many religious buildings have. I have some guesses, so I would like you to tell me if ...
8
votes
2answers
943 views

Why did the Italians (and to some extent Jewish & Irish) dominate organized crime in the US in the 20th century?

Immigrants of a great many nationalities came to American shores, so why was it the Italians who reached such elaborate levels of criminal organization? (The Jewish & Irish seem to have come in ...
14
votes
3answers
550 views

Why were the Normans such good builders?

The Normans are a bunch of Vikings that settled in northern France, and within a century they were Christians speaking French. By 1066 they had become very experienced at fighting wars between ...
3
votes
3answers
254 views

South China Sea Territorial Dispute and US Colonial Legacy

In recent years, the South China Sea has become somewhat important from a geo-political standpoint. China is building military bases, among many other things, and the US has been speaking about ...
20
votes
2answers
334 views

When did the use of fabricated speeches in historical works go out of fashion?

In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides includes a number of made up speeches based upon "what was called for in each situation". While this is frowned upon in modern histories, it seems ...
14
votes
2answers
601 views

What do historians do when there are no sources?

Historians rapidly come up against absence sources: the documentary record of the past is by its nature fragmentary, selective, partial and obtuse. What strategies do historians use when there are ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Pre-Roman structures in Northern Europe

Do we have any surviving remnants or written accounts of pre-Roman buildings in Northern Europe?
-1
votes
2answers
72 views

Are historians required to memorize or be knowledgeable of every significant event in history? [on hold]

Undergraduate history students are usually required to complete different courses spanning from ancient Egypt to the Cold War. But given the vastness of history, it is impossible to memorize and keep ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

Was anyone a notable participant in both the American Revolution and the Latin American Wars of Independence (as a liberator)?

As the American Revolution and the Latin American Wars of Independence occurred within about 30 years of each other, presumably some people with an appetite for liberating colonies participated in ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Diaries of Nicolas II

In a library of President Yeltsyn the originals of the diaries could be found. But they only cover the time until 1906. The printed editions of his diary cover his records until his last days in 1918. ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

How tight were shield walls in Saxon England?

After watching the BBC show The Last Kingdom, depicting conflicts between Saxons and Danes in the 800s AD, I was surprised by the multi-layered shield walls depicted. For example: or even: I had ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Why was Poland able to resist the Swedish invasion during the Deluge, but not during the time of Charles XII?

The Deluge, in the mid-17th century, was a particularly troubled time for Poland. The western part of the country was overrun by Sweden, and the eastern part was invaded by disgruntled Cossacks. The ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

Why did some people need to pay a bond in the 1700s in order to get married?

This is more a genealogy question than a historical event but I couldnt think of anywhere else to ask it. (I hope it not off topic) In 1787 my Great (x6) Grandfather paid a bond of £200 the ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Could you please simplify “Carrying capacity” meaning in the following paragraph?

Carrying capacity of the land increased - during spread of agricultural revolution in North America.
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Why did General Gürsel plea to forgive Adnan Menderes after overthrowing him in coup?

According to Wikipedia, General Gürsel, one of the key military personnel behind the first military coup in Turkey in 1960, plead to save the life of Adnan Menderes, the deposed prime minister. Why ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Historical examples of misunderstandings between different cultures [on hold]

I am looking for good examples of historical misunderstandings between two different cultures, for example between China and the USA. An example of what I'm looking for would for example be an ...
29
votes
9answers
22k views

Which religion was the first monotheistic one?

Which religion was the first monotheistic one? Was it Judaism or a religion which disappeared from practice?
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Baron is to Barony as Earl is to what?

A simple question really. I'm trying to find a word and my Google-fu has failed me. Baron is to Barony Duke is to Duchy Earl is to what?
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Reconstructing historic tide tables

I'm researching an event which occurred between mid-1794 and early 1796, but probably 1795; the even happened at a major English port with American shipping and a Royal Navy ship repair yard. I ...
26
votes
9answers
14k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
946 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 other....
23
votes
3answers
9k views

What were the reasons that the British colonies in North America rebelled but not others?

I know more about the American War of Independence than about other British colonies, but I have begun to wonder why was it just America. The British had colonies in other places but there doesn't ...
-6
votes
0answers
52 views

What percentage of officers (USA) in direct charge of nuclear weapons would really fire them? [on hold]

I'm assuming that USA nuclear weapons crews (ground, submarine and air) have drills where they practice releasing nuclear weapons. Probably with the hopes that the routine will make them more likely ...
-2
votes
0answers
79 views

How advanced would the ancient Egyptian empire have been if they were still around..? [on hold]

We know they were one of the most advanced civilization in history with their knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, architecture etc..If their empire still existed, would they have been more ...
8
votes
1answer
347 views

What land did Polish nationalists claim in 1914?

In the early 20th century, Poland was separated between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany. However clear border of the "country" did not exist. When the country was finally re-created after the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the basic structure of British Politics?

This is obviously an extremely broad (but answerable!) question, and I honestly don't know where to start and have no knowledge whatsoever about the topic. Basically I would like to know how the ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Naming of (strategic) hills on a map as numbers (example Hill 60)

I'm a native to the Ypres region. Here we still have hills retaining their names given during WW1: Hill 60, Hill 62, Hill 41,... I did some research on the naming of the hills. And during my research ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Terrain types and WW2 unit types disadvantage in battle [on hold]

I'm designing a ww2 board game. Unit types are infantry, tanks, artillery. I intend for each battle to take place to a specific terrain type (that would be on any front in Europe or North Africa). ...
24
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the origin of the “wheat and chessboard” legend?

The "wheat and chessboard" fable describes a geometric problem that is often quoted in stories about the invention of chess. According to Wikipedia, the main theme of the fable is: When the ...
-5
votes
0answers
77 views

Are there any Romani Holocaust witnesses? [on hold]

What are the primary sources for the Romani Holocaust? Are there any Romani Holocaust witnesses?.
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is Finland represented as a Soviet satellite in this 1947 cartoon?

The cartoon is a British one. I found it at http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/05/28/secretwar/ but without any specific attribution.
10
votes
3answers
938 views

What factors discouraged the Nazis from focusing all their forces on the Caucasus region during Operation Barbarossa?

Instead of splitting his invasion force into three groups, it appears to be more sensible to focus on taking over the Caucasus region first. At the time, Baku, a Caucasus oil metropolis accounted for ...
1
vote
3answers
451 views

Did it matter that the Red Army clung on to Stalingrad's west bank in 1942?

All histories of the Stalingrad battle emphasise the heroic defence of the west bank of the Volga by the Red Army in 1942. It implies that if the German 6th Army had just managed to oust the last ...

15 30 50 per page