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31

Theoretically, wars are still supposed to be declared. To quote the Hague Convention III of 1907: The Contracting Powers recognize that hostilities between themselves must not commence without previous and explicit warning, in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war. However, after ...


19

The answer to this question depends somewhat on the kingdom, geography, and era. The ancient Achamaemenid Empire of Persia (Iran) was arguably the first true empire in history, and spanned a sizeable amount of territory. It made use of regularly stationed outputs with stables always containing well-fed and well-rested horses, for messengers to quickly get ...


11

Usually the ruler would divide the kingdom up into smaller territorries and appoint someone to be the leader for that territory. This has historically been a pretty common practice. From the Zhou Dynasty in China to the Roman Empire we can see examples of this. In addition, when you look at medieval kingdoms in England, France, and Germany, the monarchs ...


11

You betcha! In fact, the movie was rather mild. The most famous incident in the Congress (comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives) was the caning of Senator Sumner: Walking cane used in beating Sen. Charles Sumner. Old State House Museum in Boston MA. Via Wikimedia Commons Lithograph by John L. Magee (1856). Via Wikimedia Commons On ...


10

I think the answer lies in the Chinese idea of the Mandate of Heaven. Literally the ruler was allowed to rule because heaven blessed him. This idea goes all the way back to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC). Added to this was the philosophy of Confucian Relationships. This gave a very fixed notion of who had what position in society and why. The King or Emperor ...


10

Throughout history this has proven to be a difficult task for a number of empires, including the Greeks, the Chinese, the Persians, and the Romans. The larger their territory, the more difficult it became to manage and control them. The real shortcoming was in the inability to communicate quickly and effectively. In some instances, those who needed ...


10

FDR was not the first president to come to power during a financial "panic" (aka: Recession or Depression). However, he was the first one after the advent of modern economics, and he was listening to the new economists. Economically, banning private holding of gold had the effect of propping up the US currency. Normally in hard times (and I think 1933 ...


10

First of all, I don't really buy the premise that elections were often limited to city states mainly because of logistical problems. I would rather argue that it was because the polis was the primary societal identification for most freemen in the Mediterranean lands, and therefore it was natural for the people of each city-state to want to govern their own ...


9

The official statistics about the number of federal employees (excluding army and postal service) between 1960 and 2005 are available at http://www.opm.gov/feddata/html/ExecBranch.asp. The data only shows the numbers at the end of each fiscal year (which at the time ended in June), so if we take Kennedy's presidency as lasting roughly from the start of 1961 ...


9

My answer is confined to the current structure of the United Kingdom. I recommend you watch this short five minute explanation of all the countries/territories that are governed by the United Kingdom, and the Crown. Since you are referring to "British" politics I am assuming that you are talking about the United Kingdom which comprises four separate yet ...


8

A major factor was the war of 1812. The Federalist party for a long time supported peace with Britain and war with France whereas the Democratic-Republican party had the exact opposite position. Eventually, British behavor towards the US during its war with France caused anti-British and thus anti-Federalist sentiment. Quoting the Wikipedia regarding the ...


8

The Roman Empire had the cursus publicus, which maintained an infrastructure of horses and way stations. The messenger himself was supplied by the one sending the message. It was used for transporting messages, magistrates, and some heavy goods too. Important messages typically travelled at roughly 50 miles per day.


8

In his judgment in the Tokyo war crimes tribunal, Justice Radhabinod Pal claimed that while in the west there was a convention of declaring war before the resumption of hostilities, the east did not have anything similar. He also provided a number of examples of wars that had been fought without ever declaring war, which is available in the report. So it can ...


7

I think the main reasons are: to attack surprisingly, even if the aggressor coordinates first shots with the minister, to take off the guilt from the aggressor. For example, Nazi Germany in September 1939 were counter-fighting the Gleiwitz incident, as self-defence of course, and Poland was made the aggressor, to cheat the democratic people that this is ...


7

In fact formal declaration of war in many countries brings many practical legal consequences, which may include: imposition of martial law extraordinary powers for the head of state ban on political parties and political activities as well as strikes limitation of rights of foreign nationals, especially those of the enemy state These consequences are not ...


7

In the ancient world, democracy or oligarchical republics existed only in city-states because it was unfeasible to conduct elections in a large country and potentially could lead to a civil war between the cities. In China there were no city-states, therefore elections were just not technically possible.


7

The only thing resembling a "check" on pro-Pinochet activities in Chile was an investigation into U.S. intelligence activities in the 1960s and 1970s by the bi-partisan (but Democrat-led) Church Committee. These included the activities in Chile, but also Democratic initiatives (under Kennedy and Johnson) in the 1960s. The driving force was not foreign ...


7

Prohibition required a constitutional amendment, because the Federal government does not have the power to regulate intra-state commerce. The majority of states and many localities had already banned the sale of alcohol. The progressive and women's suffrage movements saw banning alcohol as a way to improve living conditions for women and children and reduce ...


7

Climate Change and Natural Disasters A strong factor in the dissolution of states, which can be observed all across history, is environmental change and disasters. A few caveats: I can't think of any examples in which environmental factors have brought about the direct and extremely rapid demise of a state (although local polities have certainly been ...


6

There is a book that was written titled "The Pinochet File" by investigative reporter Peter Kornbluth. In this book, he uses actual audio recordings and declassified files to confirm that the US did indeed fund various groups in Chile to assist with the coup that took place on September 11, 1973. However, there is nothing to indicate that the US Government ...


6

According to this government site, illiteracy has been shrinking almost steadily from 1870 on (with one little hiccup between 1947 and 1950). According to Wikipedia, the US had a very high literacy rate in 1870, and this was during the creation of a national public school system. With increasing school availability and legal requirements to attend, it ...


6

I would guess that Mantineia's reputation comes from this story in Herodotus: "Their late calamities now induced the Cyrenaeans to send to Delphi and inquire of the god what form of government they had best set up to secure themselves prosperity. The Pythoness answered by recommending them to fetch an arbitrator from Mantinea in Arcadia. "Accordingly they ...


6

The third book of Aristotle's Politics is focused on citizenship and its merits, and from early on it provides enlightening information about the benefits of citizenship: [Aristot. Pol. 3.1274b] But a state is a composite thing, in the same sense as any other of the things that are wholes but consist of many parts; it is therefore clear that we must ...


6

There are too many examples of this kind. Secession of the USA from Great Britain American civil war Civil war in Russia in 1918-1922, particularly, secessions of Ukraine, Georgia and other territories. Dessolution of the USSR, particularly secessions of the Baltic republics, as well as Russian SFSR itself. Secession of Chechen republic from Russia. ...


6

Primarily I think the mentality of the revolutionaries in each situation is the biggest deciding factor of what happens afterward. The US's forefathers had very clear goals with very clear intentions. Many of them were not just intelligent, but practical. As well as being rather lucky. The forefathers of the US and much of it's post-revolution population ...


5

I think that the short answer to your question is: No. The Empire survived very well for about 400 years (let's say from the death of Augustus in 14 CE to circa 400 when the so-called migration of the peoples began to be felt in the Empire) with the same communications structure. Ancient states required much less centralized decision making than modern ...


5

I believe this was to make the local State laws, that were a hodgepodge of enactments on a State level, more uniform and to bring the enforcement into the Federal realm. This was especially easy since the Temperance Movements had become politically powerful in the early 20th Century and in the election of 1917 the pro-Prohibitionists finally had a majority ...


5

It is a politically charged issue and it really depends on the economic and political side of the fence you're on (T.E.D gave the Keynesian view). As someone who's libertarian on most financial/economic policies, I see it as detrimental and that we're still feeling the negative effects of it today. As Alan Greenspan put it in Gold and Economic Freedom... ...


5

I don't remember much of an outcry but I do recall that some of the labelling laws did come about due to health issues. Mattresses and blankets were often carriers of diseases especially in crowded urban areas, and in some of the history books about the time I read the labelling laws were often pointed more towards public safety. If you think of this as an ...


5

There is a provision in the Constitution for the President to propose bills to Congress. From Article II, Section 3 (emphasis mine): He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; While every President has had the ...



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