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28

Snow removal takes a lot of effort. It was easier to switch out wheeled carriages for sleighs. Sleighs work better with more snow, so that according to this article: in the 18th and 19th centuries, "snow was never a threat" to road travel, "but rather it was an asset." The more densely packed snow became, the better. Some municipalities even had ...


23

Abe Lincoln did fight a duel in 1842. He was blamed by James Shields for an editorial. He chose extremely large broadswords, to improve his reach. I have heard that he joked at the choice of weapons "How about cow dung at 50 paces?" I personally haven't heard the cannon joke, but he might have used it as well. Since Lincoln was challenged by Shields ...


12

They were paid a regular salary and given an "expense account" of sorts. At least, the higher ranking representatives of the United States were. While this was probably not a very adequate amount, American ministers were definitely not expected to pay for everything out of their own pockets. Early United States ambassadors were paid around $2,500, while ...


11

Short Answer Roughly speaking, in the early decades after 1867: ~7% became educators ~16% became public servants ~25% became corporate employees the rest became unemployed or farmers Overview Most of them actually did not do particularly well. After the Meiji Restoration, the samurai became the new shizoku class and initially received stipends from ...


10

An important aspect that seems to be neglected in many of the answers here is that while technical aspects cannot be completely dismissed, they are secondary to other concerns. To be specific, the primary weapon of heavy cavalry is its momentum, while heavy infantry (among which musketeers from 18th century onward are counted) relies on its discipline in ...


10

It appears so. See The Unreformed House of Commons: Parliamentary Representation before 1832 (1903), by Edward Porritt, for a discussion on this. On page 357-358: "It was in this period when, as the North correspondence shows, a nomination to a seat fetched from two thousand five hundred to three thousand pounds, that seats were first advertised for ...


10

First, according to the 1860 Census, there were 3,526,195 free men, aged 20-39 in the states that would not secede. 3,475,987 of these men were white. Second, according to the National Parks Service, 2,672,341 men enlisted in the Union Army, 2,489,836 of which were white. Around 67.8% of enlisted soliders were between the ages of 20-39. To estimate ...


8

Tyler Durden's comment does a great job with the first two parts of your question. This answer addresses when playgrounds began to look like the things we have today. Short Answer: The modern American playground was championed by progressives in the 1880s-1890s; the most common playground equipment was all invented by the 1920s; and New Deal money made ...


8

I would say all those possibilities you listed are correct. Trade could be paid in paper money, which could then be redeemed for metal and shipped home. But even in the early 1800s, trade could be conducted on credit. Of course, under normal trading conditions, credit earned from exports was credit that could then be used to pay for imports of other goods ...


8

The young woman quoted likely misunderstood the real reason the windows were kept shut: to keep the mills humid. This was explained to me on a recent visit to Lowell, but I found a few published sources that match what the tour guides told me. Here's one: Work conditions in the mills were poor. To provide the humidity necessary to keep the threads from ...


8

The percentage of Americans traveling overseas doubled between 1860 and 1900, but overseas tourism was still very rare at the end of the century (only .16% of the population per annum). Americans in 2009 were around 10 times as likely to visit Europe as were Americans in 1900. The Historical Statistics of the United States records how many Americans were ...


7

It seems the key word I should've been looking for is "Christian Slavery". E.g. this NYT article says: Southern Christians believed that the Bible imposed on masters a host of obligations to their slaves. Most fundamentally, masters were to view slaves as fully members of their own households and as fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. Therefore, as ...


7

There wasn't really any standardised design, as you can see from the variations in the images already shown. This is in part because many barracks would be just repurposed other buildings, and of course building styles would vary over time and space as well. You'd get to see thus the same variety as in any other type of building, but likely with a tendency ...


7

Historians like Dunning and Phillip are writing half a century before the cliometric revolution in economic history, which has completely changed how we view this question. Fogel and Engerman's 1974 "Time on the Cross" was quite influential in showing how profitable slavery was for those who practiced it. In particular, plantations were more efficient ...


7

It seems to me that the Democratic Party was not named per se. Instead, it gradually settled upon its present name more or less between 1824 and 1844. As is well known, the original Republican Party largely collapsed into personality-centric factions after 1824. The resulting fledgling parties, however, continued to profess membership in the old Republican ...


6

There were absolutely labor crunches while building the transcontinental railroads--these roads were stretching across a vast, unpopulated (by European Americans, that is) and harsh terrain. Labor shortages were worst during the Civil War, for obvious reasons. However, I can't find evidence of any major delays in the railroads' construction. This is due in ...


6

The quote refers to two things about Lord Acton. First, he was anything but prolific as an author: He is notorious for having rising to the heights of the historical profession without actually writing a book; the only work published in book form during his lifetime was his inaugural lecture when he became Regius professor of history at ...


6

Definitely by 1844, since their platform for that year speaks of "the Democratic party of this Union." (By comparison, the platform for 1840 makes no such reference, which may imply that in that year it wasn't yet the official name.) Actually, looking further, here are the proceedings from their national convention of 1840, labeled the "National Democratic ...


6

There were electoral and administrative reasons for Lincoln to balance the ticket with a Democrat. He did legitimately fear that he might lose the election to McClellan, and Lincoln would do what it took to win. Lincoln did not much respect McClellan at this point. Furthermore, the Democrats had endorsed a peace plank at their convention. Thus Lincoln was ...


5

Yes. Wikipedia maintains a list of "Wars and Anthropogenic Disasters by Death Toll." Here are the 19th century entries, with lower and upper estimates for death toll. Taiping Rebellion (20-100 million) Napoleonic Wars (3.5-7 million) Shaka's Conquests (1.5-2 million) Du Wenxiu Rebellion (0.8-1 million) American Civil War (0.67-0.85 million) Circassian ...


5

You are not going to find these statistics. I put the evidence for this “below the fold.” Basically, crime stats experts all say that crime stats are unreliable before the mid-20th century. However, I think private trips must have been robbed at much higher rates than commercial trips for the simple reason that the vast majority of highwaymen operated in ...


5

The British Army in the 18th century was commonly seen as disciplined, regimented and harsh. Camp life was dirty and cramped with the potential for a rapid spread of disease, and punishments could be anything from a flogging to a death sentence. Yet, many men volunteered to join the army, to escape the bleak conditions of life in the cities, for a chance to ...


5

Specie Circular: The most direct and immediate effect of the Panic of 1837 was the repeal of the Specie Circular of 1836. The Specie Circular was a highly deflationary policy because it required that Western lands be purchased with specie that just wasn't available. Deflation exacerbates recessions: never good. In May 1838, the Senate repealed the Specie ...


5

At that time the trade of the United States was primarily with Britain or the Spanish main. The English trade was conducted in pounds sterling and the Spanish trade in the Spanish milled dollar. Ultimately the dollar was selected as the U.S. standard of value. The merchants themselves would have dealt primarily in bank notes, but the banks eventually would ...


5

Note that the first Congressional nominating caucus was in 1796, and was only to select a VP nominee. Thus the "King Caucus" system really only operated for POTUS candidates for 6 election cycles (1800-1820). In the USA, the presidential election is essentially a set of separate elections where every state simultaneously votes for its state's choice of ...


5

Forever? Every civilization makes it a priority to know who is who and keep out the unwanted people. In the Book of Judges an incident is described from 3000 years ago whereby a shibboleth is used to identify aliens. According to the Wikipedia entry on identity documents, the passports of King Henry V (15th century) were the first such documents, but various ...


5

I'm going to answer this question by relying on data from places like New England and New York. I think patterns in New England should be fairly similar to those in Pennsylvania, with the exception that the Appalachians and Alleghenies in PA are a more formidable barrier than the Berkshires. You can see some evidence of this in the isoclimes from the Atlas ...


5

A Russian fashion of that period is best documented in paintings of Боровиковский (active in 1790 - 1810). A Google query brings much more images.


5

When in doubt - check the Oxford English Dictionary: (Compact Edition, Vol. I, p. 1174) Crimp: 3 An agent or contractor for unloading coal ships: a contractor. Obs 1700 B. E. Dict. Cant. Crew, Crimp: one that undertakes to unload a ship of coals 1754 STRYPE Stowe's Survey: II v 319's: Any Coal Owner may employ crimps or Factors, not being lightermen ...


4

The War of 1812 had six official endings: one for at land and five for at sea. The Treaty of Ghent states: "All hostilities both by sea and land shall cease as soon as this Treaty shall have been ratified by both parties as hereinafter mentioned." The American Senate ratified the treaty on February 16th, 1815, making this the earliest defensible date for the ...



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