12
votes
3answers
2k views

How did the British Navy pass orders to its fleet before radio?

During the 18th and 19th century, the British Navy had ships all over the world, and communicating with them had to be difficult. After all, the Battle of New Orleans happened after the British had ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Did Goebbels really say “Truth is the enemy of the state”? If so, when?

One of the most famous so-called quotation attributed to Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels is: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

Was the Kara-Khanid Khanate founded by Karluks or Uyghurs?

I've seen both the Karluks and the Uyghurs referred as the founders of the Kara-Khanid Khanate (sometimes in the same source). Is there a consensus about the matter or am I missing something?
4
votes
2answers
547 views

What was the most accurate map of the world before artificial satellites?

How accurate were the maps before the invention of artificial satellites? What was the most accurate map of the Earth before satellites?
8
votes
5answers
477 views

Did anyone in ancient times want to abolish slavery?

Did anyone in ancient times (let's say, up to 500 AD) want to abolish slavery, or even acknowledge the possibility that society could somehow work without it? I remember hearing once that Aristotle ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Is there any information about Soshandukht or her father?

This is mentioned on Wiki's page about the Sassanid dynasty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasanian_Empire Yazdegerd I's successor was his son Bahram V (421–438), one of the most well-known Sassanid ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

What is the death toll attributed to US internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII?

We know that Spanish internment camps in Cuba at the start of 20th century were pretty horrific in terms of death toll. What was the death toll attributed to US internment camps for ...
30
votes
15answers
8k views

Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?

Putting aside their reasons for wanting to do so and all the emotional responses they would provoke, was the secession of states from the Union to eventually form the Confederacy an illegal act in ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

How did the Scottish lowlands get their Gaelic name?

According to the Wiki page the Gaelic name for the Scottish Lowlands can be translated as, "the place of the foreigner". I'm wondering which foreigners they are referring to. Also, if this actually ...
-1
votes
2answers
61 views

What type of people were most likely to be suspected of witchcraft in Salem?

One of theories out there for the cause of the Witch Trial is that economic jealousy motivates the poor to accuse the rich. This seems very contradictory to what is said in books on The Witch ...
1
vote
5answers
122 views

Was literacy ever used as a tool to oppress the population by higher social classes? [on hold]

In this question, one of the answers stated that Actually, states can interact well enough with their subjects in the villages without widespread literacy. It helps to have someone literate who ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Was Angkor wat built on top of water?

I was watching a National Geographic Documentary. In that, it said that Angkor Wat was built on top of water. It was also told that it used to be an ancient observatory. Is this true? I searched all ...
8
votes
4answers
365 views

Have wartime conditions traditionally decreased or increased consensual sexual activity in the young? [on hold]

In joshbirk's Answer to the question Hogwarts: So why aren't the kids doing it? he claims that wartime atmosphere would decrease sexual activity in the students: Towards the end of the series / ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

Did Viet Nam suffer a famine any time during the 1980s? And if not, how close was it to famine?

Wikipedia claims that In 1988, Vietnam suffered a famine that afflicted millions. But its only citation is this 1988 NYT article that mentions "famine fears". A 2002 Economist article states ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Are there any information about history of Malta under Roman rule? [on hold]

I'm interested in Maltese history during Roman reign, especially in the Republican times, but can't find any information... Can you help me, please? Malta as part of the Roman Republic, 218 - 30 B.C.
9
votes
2answers
624 views

What happened to the French gold at Martinique during WW2

I am curious as to what happened to the gold stored on the island of Martinique by the French during WW2, I know that the French controlling the island switched sides a few times, and that there were ...
3
votes
3answers
319 views

Why did America not know about Soviet espionage in manhattan project

I was watching PBS documentary Behind Closed doors. According to that documentary Churchill and Roosevelt were not really sure if Stalin really understood about 'the new kind of weapon' when they ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

What happened to the wealth of the Rothschild banking family? [on hold]

The Rothschild family was possibly the richest banking family in human history. Given the power of compounding over time and the large principal sum that they start with, they should easily be the ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Did the Romans have winter uniforms?

Standard ancient Roman uniform consisted of a tunic, a cloak and sandal-type boots, resulting in a look like this. Now, this is all very well for Mediterranean climates but I really cannot fathom how ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

What was the purpose of military prefectures in Song?

The Song dynasty administrative system is really hard to understand (at least for me), and I have many questions about it. Here I'll concentrate on the military prefectures. It's well documented the ...
2
votes
0answers
97 views

Was it controversial when Parliament restricted the suffrage to the Forty Shilling Freeholders in 1430?

According to this House of Commons Library research paper, suffrage in the county constituencies was initially open to every man who was head of a household, or at least that's my understanding of the ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

What was the American response to the Sino-Soviet border conflict? [on hold]

In 1969, detente with either the PRC or USSR lay in the future. All three countries were hostile towards one another. Was the USA pleased its two rivals were tearing lumps out of each other, or were ...
27
votes
7answers
10k views

When and how did the USA and the UK become allies?

So, you may remember that the United States and Great Britain had a minor spat in 1776, which shall we say, did not put them on the friendliest of terms. In 1812, while Britain was focused on its war ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the earliest archaeological evidence of silk presence in Ancient Rome?

And are there any archaeological data about silk in pre-Imperial Rome?
7
votes
2answers
120 views

How historical are early Chinese (Shang dynasty and earlier) dynastic records?

Early Chinese dynastic records look like actual history in some places (in particular the exact dating of reigns, back to and including the Yellow Emperor). Elsewhere, there is clearly a lot of myth ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Where was the ruling seat of East Francia located under Henry the Fowler?

It seems safe to assume that Bavaria wasn't an option as Arnulf the Bad controlled this area throughout Henry's reign. The only possible candidates that I can find are Memleben (where Henry died) or ...
6
votes
0answers
51 views

How were the Venera Probe missions received/presented in the western world during the space race?

I can find barely any historical documentation on this subject. If you know anything about its development, please chip in as well. I'm writing a paper on the missions and putting them into ...
5
votes
3answers
134 views

Why did the offices of Shogun and Emperor never merge?

The position of Emperor of Japan was, as I understand it, strictly hereditary, due to the necessity that the Emperor 'descend' from Amaterasu. Thus, the Shogun was not eligible to be Emperor, and ...
-1
votes
0answers
45 views

A good book on chinese history? [on hold]

I can't make up my mind. I'm looking for a book that would cover all or most of Chinese history. Considering the scope of the subject I don't know if it is possible to cover the subject with a ...
10
votes
6answers
9k views

Why have officers in the U.S. army tended to “top out” at the level of Major?

In the U.S. army, something like 75%-80% of newly-commissioned Second Lieutenants are promoted to First Lieutenant (around age 25), perhaps 75%-80% of First Lieutenants are promoted to Captain (ages ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

When did the California Driving Test stop testing for parallel parking? [on hold]

It used to be that to get a driver's license in California, you needed to be able to parallel park in the driving test. This is no longer true. When did this change happen? I have not been able to ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How would slaves have addressed their masters in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Rome, slaves addressed their masters as Dominus or Domina (male or female, respectively). Would the slaves (or servants) of Ancient Greece have used a similar title, or would they have ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Is every major culture in the same year?

In the Western world the current year is 2014, which is the number of years since the birth of the Christian messiah. Given that Christianity is not the dominant religion in every part of the world, I ...
10
votes
2answers
157 views

In the USSR, what if any was the formal, ideological response to the Cultural Revolution in China?

How did the USSR parse and explain an ostensibly uber-communist movement which was dedicated to overthrowing the leadership of the country's communist party? Did they see this as 'Trostkyism', or some ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Are there non-russian sources related to how Rurikid Dynasty became rulers of Russia?

Most of the information - at least as taught in Russia - related to how Rurik Dynasty became rulers of Rus is based on "Повѣсть времяньныхъ лѣтъ" ("Tale of Bygone Years", aka "Primary Chronicle"). Is ...
-1
votes
1answer
26 views

What is the dynasty of Lord Rama- Are they related to Puru Dynasty? [on hold]

As per my knowledge, the dynasty of Pandavas/Kauravs are "Puru". Similarly, what is the dynasty of Lord Rama? Are they related in any way?
26
votes
8answers
2k views

What was the purpose of Nazi extermination camps?

Why did they spend money and effort to build the infrastructure and organization, collect, transport and house the prisoners while execution on the spot would presumably be easier and less costly? I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Was the anti-slavery characteristic of the US Civil War unique in global history? [on hold]

For most of human history, slavery was an integral part of a lot of societies. From ancient Greece to China, through Africa and the Middle East, slavery was part of everyday life, and accepted by all ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

How historically accurate was the movie “Charlie Wilson's War”? [on hold]

I am watching, and really enjoying, the movie, "Charlie Wilson's War". How historically accurate is this movie? Did Charlie Wilson play as big as role as is portrayed? Is the movie accurate ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What is the oldest excavated/discovered piece of silk textile made for clothing or writing?

Chu manuscript dating back to circa 300 B.C., middle of the Warring States era. Mawangdui robe's dating back to ~ 200..150 B.C., beginning of the Western Han. Do you know any older examples of ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What was Muhammad's religion before becoming a Muslim prophet?

According to this question, the predominant religion in Arabia before Islam was some kind of polytheism. While according to Muhammad's Wikipedia page, According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why were Albanians the only nation in the Balkans who converted to Islam during the Ottoman occupation?

The Ottoman Empire conquered the Balkans and occupied it for half a millennium. They managed to convert most of the Albanians to Islam, however, all the other nations in the area remained Christian. ...
-2
votes
2answers
40 views

What factors contributed to Korea's Modernization? [on hold]

The only thing I can really come up with is the Japanese Occupation. Horrible as it was, it helped the Korean economy and growth greatly. But I cannot find anything else to attribute to its ...
2
votes
0answers
23 views

Dimensions and parts of Fort Douglas, Winnipeg Canada

I am having troubles estimating the dimensions of Fort Douglas that WAS in Winnipeg Canada. Fort Douglas (from what I understand, correct me if I'm wrong) was the stage of the battle of Seven Oaks. I ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

Before the use of Anno Domini dating (BCE/CE), how were years numbered?

Currently we use Anno Domini (A.D.) year numbering, sometimes secularized as "BCE" (Before Common Era) or "CE" (Common Era). What was the prevailing method of dating years in Western culture before ...
2
votes
2answers
273 views

Why is literacy difficult? [on hold]

This question continues from Literacy in the classical world It seems that literacy rates for populations prior to mass education becoming prevalent were estimated to be 20% or lower. However, it can ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

What is the difference between Mughals and Afghanis? [on hold]

I was reading India history. There is a description that Babur battled with Ibraham Lodhi ,and finally he won. As per my knowledge Babur is basically Mughal, and his native was Afghanistan. Similarly, ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the skull and crossbones on the Nazi uniform represent?

I was watching The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, and I saw this skull and crossbones on this Nazi's cap. Why is it there? (That is, what does this represent?)
-1
votes
1answer
54 views

Morse code is a ternary human-optimised code, is there a binary, non-machine optimised code? [on hold]

http://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/34067/is-morse-code-without-spaces-uniquely-decipherable Discusses how Morse code isn't very clear without the third (usually) unseen element, the space. Is ...

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