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27

It is important to note that the modern Western conception of homosexuality as an essential property of a person did not exist in Antiquity: men and women might perform certain acts, but everyone was expected to marry the opposite sex and procreate. No "deeper" theories about these inclinations were entertained, at least not by most. One "was" not ...


22

I have to recommend the recent book Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying by a historian and social psychologist here, as there isn't are more objective source for understanding the mindset of those German soldiers during WWII as their own conversations: A trove of previously unpublished, transcribed conversations among German POWs—secretly recorded ...


12

The simple answer (and here I agree with @Evan Harper's comment) is deference to authority and careful planning by Nazis to hide the truth of what they were doing. Deference To Authority The most easily understood example of this it the Milgram exmperiment. This experiment was especially motivated by Holocaust trials. A summary from Milgram of the ...


8

The "Global Village" (todays metaphor for the world wide web) comes to my mind, predicted by probably most influential communication theorist Marshall McLuhan. In his book, "The Gutenberg Galaxy" (1962), he basically predicts PC, WorldWideWeb, Wikipedia, Google, social-media, e-commerce everybody uses today in the western world: “The next medium, ...


8

It was made illegal in Republican Ireland in 1937. Probably as a reaction to England broadening its laws on the subject.


7

Yes, indeed! During the Penal Law period of the 18th Century, there were laws in Northern Ireland designed to "protect Protestants against the pollution of Popery" (Akenson, 111) You might find this history of marriage in the west interesting. Marriage started as a pact between families, and was a purely secular matter following the Roman patriarchal ...


6

I'm looking at "The Good Old Days" The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders, and at the Police Battalion studies, and I'm still thinking functionalism is more explanatory than intentionalism. Ordinary Germans, including the vast majority of the Wehrmacht, shared a racialist politics and during the circumstances of the war shared a common ...


6

The gas chambers were intentionally chosen to make it easy to kill lots of people. The Germans tried shooting gypsies and disabled people (the first victims) but their soldiers wouldn't be able to do it for long. It upset them. The Nazi party needed an easier way to kill lots of people. The gas chamber was easy for their soldiers because one group of ...


6

There was an old, if rough rule of thumb (that I read in the Encyclopedia Britannica years ago) that an army could sustain only 30% casualties without breaking. At this point, the survivors would all feel a real fear of getting killed or wounded "next," instead of "that's what happened to the other guy." That's all other things being equal of course. An ...


6

As far as I know, the important change here was Christianity that spread out in Europe. The common justification to condemn homosexuality is the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah story. The dominant Christian interpretation of the story views homosexuality as the sin that caused the destruction of these cities.


5

From what I have read, the level and intensity of training influences this massively. More green troops will break easily whereas veterans will tend to fight longer and harder. Panic is another factor: the more there is, the greater the chance of an army breaking. Mercenaries when not well paid, had a tendency to break or change side -- see the Thirty ...


4

There is a difference between "control" and sovereignty. After the Battle of Hastings it was clear William had the most powerful force, so he became sovereign. When he marched to London there was noone to oppose him, so the town capitulated to him. He took hostages in London and then went around demonstrating his power. This activity which took place for ...


3

I usually don't share my family history, but here it goes: my grandfather was Waffen SS. My understanding is he wanted to be the best first and foremost. The Waffen SS was just that. Second, he actually believed what he was doing was right for Germany (I disagree). Third, as the war dragged on and many of his comrades were killed, he fought not so much for ...


3

A more "normal" ratio of military to population might be something like 1%. That ratio would imply 17,000 men for the Norman conquerers instead of 7,000. There was one other factor in the Normans' favor. In modern times, guns are a great "equalizer." Not "everyone," but a large part of the population can be taught to use a gun in a short period of time. ...


3

There may have been 1.7 million people in England, but 50% were women, who were non-combatants, so we're down to 0.8m (arguably; scaly llama exceptions apply) 33% of the remainder were over fighting age and 33% below fighting age; we're down to just over 0.2M Of the remainder, probably 95% of them had no military training (remember that Harold Godwinson ...


3

There are many many facts that would account for monogamy : Gender ratio - The gender ratio at birth is about 1:1. If there is no large scale deaths in males, then polygamy would essentially leave many men wifeless. Religion - Christianity bans adultery and polygamy. Given the dominance of Christian Europe in the last few centuries, this has probably had ...


2

Jews were (and in many placed in East Europe still are) very much hated by the population mostly because it is believed that they are guilty in killing Jesus Christ. In Russian Empire for instance there were multiple bloody anti-Jewish pogroms. The only reason why the Jews were not killed by the non-Jewish population at the time was that the state mostly ...


2

I believe division of labor is almost as old as humanity itself. Consider the following: Almost immediately we have division of labor between men and women, since only women can give birth and only women can breast feed. There would be a division of labor between the young and old, with the younger people going out hunting and the older people becoming ...


2

Unlikely. Polygamy was banned in Europe centuries before democracy, and it would have been banned for religious reasons rather than men voting to ban it to increase their chances of marriage.


2

While this question is way too broad, we have a really good example in terms of the international working class movement. EP Thompson's "Time, work-discipline and industrial capitalism" Past and Present, discusses the change from fields and craft times, including Saint Monday (the unofficial extension of the Sunday weekend forced by workers), into ...


2

As a Chinese-American, I feel that the status of such people has become more "equal" in my lifetime (which began shortly after the middle of the twentieth century). And there seems to have been a correlation that and the way that Americans looked at CHINA. When my parents came to the United States around 1950, China was considered a "backward" or "Third ...


1

This answer is more political that purely historical; it should have been a comment but I needed the extra space. I believe you are thinking in modern terms: the state-nation, where the people is sovereign and can elect its own form of government. This concept, stablished as it seems, is relatively new (Age of Enlightment, American Declaration of ...


1

From 1290 to roughly 1655 it was probably illegal to marry someone who was Jewish. But that's only because it was illegal to be Jewish. That is a special case answer to the question, mostly because I was looking for an example that didn't involve Roman Catholics.


1

Well, there is the Act of Settlement, which takes anyone who is Catholic, or married to one, out of the line of succession. It doesn't prohibit it outright though.



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