Hot answers tagged

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 ...


16

It's probably because Ganson--one of the handful of Democrats who voted for the 13th Amendment--was on the fence about this Amendment himself. Voting not to reconsider the bill is similar to voting "present" in order to duck a difficult issue. First, Ganson voted against the 13th Amendment the first time the House considered it. He was widely expected to ...


14

No, not even close. Alan T Nolan lists this as one of the components of the Lost Cause Myth in his essay "The Anatomy of the Myth", collected in the book The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History (ed by Gary Gallagher and Nolan). McPherson says in Battle Cry that slavery was more firmly entrenched in 1860 than it had been in 1820. By 1860 the ...


13

It was somewhat more complicated. According to Wikipedia France conquered Madagaskar in 1895 and sent the royal family into exile on Réunion Island and to Algeria. (Wikipedia, "Madagaskar", chapter French Colonization). After this an uprising started against the French rule. So this prince was apparently executed as a rebel. Some more detail and ...


12

The reason there are errors you can't reconcile is that this is not painted from life. This is a lady of 1850. After this the hoop skirts only get bigger. This is a gentleman of 1855, who wears trousers and a frock coat. The people you see here are from decades earlier. The gentlemen wear swallowtail coats with breeches and stockings. The women wear the ...


12

I don't know about London to Nottingham in particular, but the fastest mail was transported on dedicated mail coaches. These saw improvements in speed thanks to better roads... The following is from Her Majesty's Mails, William Lewins, (London, 1865), pg 145 Most of the post-roads were macadamized before the year 1820, and it was then that the ...


11

In terms of access, breech-loaders were available to civilians from the beginning. In fact, prior to their mid-19th century adoption by the European national armies, the development of breech loading firearms were primarily sponsored by civilian needs. Specifically, for sporting, i.e. hunting. Experiments into the development of breech-loaders continued ...


11

Realpolitik: American foreign policy under Washington, Adams, and Jefferson was aimed at threading the needle between England and France, avoiding European entanglements. Getting involved in Haiti would have angered at least one of them. Better to sit back and let the European empires expend their own resources. Also, intervention would have been ...


11

The White House, which had been occupied for only 14 years at this point, had been richly furnished with sofas, writing tables, commodes, card tables, and beds by Jefferson. The Madisons "inherited" these furnishings, and brought in their own personal possessions. So most of what was burned or looted (like the small medicine cabinet pictured below) was ...


10

They looked in England, but nothing came of it. During the Greek War of Independence, a commission investigated Cornwall, England for descendants of the Palaiologan dynasty. Supposedly, a certain Theodore Palaiologos of Pesaro in Italy died there in 1636. The Ferdinando Palaiologos mentioned in the question was one of his sons, and he died at Barbados on 3 ...


9

Quite possibly for procedural reasons. There are a lot of little nits about parliamentary procedures that encourage weird things like this. For instance, under the older Roberts Rules of Order extant at the time, a motion to reconsider could only be made by someone who voted on the prevailing side in the previous vote. So if there's a chance the vote might ...


9

Initially, Japanese observers thought the Taiping Rebellion was a nationalist revolt by Ming China loyalists. This perception was encouraged by for instance the rebel slogan "Destroy Manchuria, Revive Han China (滅満興漢)". Thus, Japan believed the rebellion to be an attempt by the subjugated Han Chinese natives to free themselves form their Manchurian ...


8

There seem to be two major lines of reasoning here, both conjecture, because apparently Congress never explained itself. Arizona's state historian Thomas Edwin Farish wrote: For some reason, to this day unexplained, the greater portion of the land in this Arizona county [Pah Ute County] was ceded to the State of Nevada. The first line of reasoning ...


8

Until 1871, Germany wasn't "Germany." It was a collection of (often) warring German-speaking states like Prussia, Bavaria, etc. Austria, which was occupied elsewhere, never did join. The thing that unified the "Germans" was their common distrust of the French, even though some German states liked France more than others. Essentially, uniting to defeat and ...


8

Bookshops were certainly becoming more common in Victorian England. In fact, the entire printed world exploded in the 19th century. Most of it was concentrated in London, which by 1860 housed 812 booksellers, of whom 211 were also publishers.1 Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, was home to another 120 booksellers, with 30 also publishing. In contrast, the ...


7

I wasn't able to find an actual location-of-origin census, which would be definitive. What I did find was two major drivers for German immigration to Texas. The first was Adelsverin, which was an organized attempt to form a "New Germany" in the Republic of Texas, starting in 1842. The founders of the society seem to be from all over Germany. The most famous ...


7

This is a picture of King Louis XVIII of France. The coat he is wearing closely resembles that of the Gendarmes de la Maison militaire du Roi during the First Restoration (red cloth, horizontal lace and black velvet on the chest, etc.) As for why the lace and epaulets appear silver rather than the regulation gold, this is perhaps an affectation of the king, ...


7

The decline of wagon trains in the United States started in 1869, with the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, and wagon trains as a way of migrating essentially ended in the 1890s. Covered wagons, on the other hand, stuck around for a long time. The covered wagon of the migrations evolved from freight wagons such as the Conestoga, and ...


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 ...


6

There is a very good article written in 1999 discussing in detail the pros and cons of Kosminski as a suspect. The article is very long, so I have included a few excerpts from casebook.org: In assessing the status of Kosminski as a suspect we are left with this to judge its strength. Sir Robert Anderson, whose main case seems to rest upon the ...


6

There is a terrific site, Legends Of America. It goes into pretty good detail about the history of the Old West, including noted people and vices. In its discussion about the real Gem Saloon of Deadwood, South Dakota, owned and operated by Al Swearengen (made famous in HBO's Deadwood), it mentions that In the front of the theater were a bar and many ...


6

"Early-to-middle 19s century" is a bad time interval for this question, because it is evident that dramatic changes occured DURING this period, with the introduction of trains. It is not surprising that the speed of delivery depended on the destination. Within (greater) London it was possible to exchange several messages in one day. For delivery times to ...


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

A "boat crimper" is synonymous with a "boot crimper" - a person who specializes in manufacturing and repairing boots. The process of crimping is used to make leather conform to shapes that can't be created with folding, and involves stretching wet leather over a form with clamps or pliers. You can get an idea of what is involved here. A good example of the ...


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 ...


5

Pay huge amounts of money to invade some other country where there were no Americans. Huh? You are applying 2015 morals to 1800 America. In 1804, we did not have thousands of helicopters and ships with millions of tons of fuel just lying around and trillion dollar budgets for invading random countries. In 1804, the United States Navy only had 3 ships (USS ...


5

The reason for the re-emergence of the ram in the mid-1800s is essentially a technological one. The introduction of the nautical steam engine gave ships a reliable source of power and the ability to move in any direction, and the introduction of armor-plating gave them greater weight (and therefore momentum), structural strength and protection. During the ...


4

There were four main methods of supplying troops during the Napoleonic period; (1) The individual soldiers would be issued with rations that they carried in their knapsack. Enough for about two weeks. This was often in the form of biscuits. (2) Cattle or other animals were herded along and slaughtered along the way but these increased the grazing ...


4

Not being a native speaker of English, my interpretation might not be correct, but this is a quote from "Narrative of the expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan"; "The Japanese officials took especial interest, on the occasion of their frequent visits to the ships in the inspection of the armament, and were often gratified with the ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible