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60

I'm not sure there is any direct evidence that it was strategically a bad idea. Strategically it made sense to attack the Soviet Union while they were weak and unprepared for war. Hitler knew that as he made progress on the Western front that Stalin grew more and more nervous every day about the growing power of Nazi Germany. What must be remembered is that ...


49

Because Russia had been at war with Britain for most of the preceding two decades. One of Russia's problems in owning Alaska was defending it against it being used as a British route to invade Russia (militarily insane - but that's politics) - remember Canada was British at the time. By selling it to America they installed one of Britain's adversaries in ...


36

The Phoney War (Sitzkrieg, Drôle de Guerre, etc.) seems destined to remain one of the great mysteries of history. It is difficult to comprehend now, after the fact, how such an astonishing combination of missed opportunities, wishful thinking, and indecisiveness on the part of not just one, but two great powers, could have carried on for more than half a ...


36

Because no one in their right minds would think Britain should use a weapon of mass destruction on Argentina over the Falklands, what with its 1600 population. Even then the well documented concept of a nuclear taboo was in effect. No one regarded nuclear bombs as normal bombs, and therefore no one wanted to use it so casually. The Falkland Islands were not, ...


33

By this time, Germany controlled the entire European peninsula, and it was very hard to see the Allied forces coming back from that. Hitler told one of his generals in June 1940 that the victories in western Europe "finally freed his hands for his important real task: the showdown with Bolshevism" [from here]. Reasons to attack the Soviet Union ...


21

Germany always wanted to attack and defeat Soviet Russia. There is an ideological battle between fascism and communism. Germany really thought that Russia was the enemy of the world. Some Germans believed, such was the evil of communism, that when they started the eastern front, the English would come over to their side to fight communism rather than ...


21

While Queen may refer to both Queen regent (sovereign) or Queen consort, the King has always been the sovereign. There are historical reasons for this hierarchy --in a long line of English monarchs you will find more Kings than you would find Queens. In fact, if you do not recognize Matilda's and Lady Jane's claim to the throne of England then Queen Mary I ...


18

There were actually TWO endings to the War of 1812. The first, and "official" ending, was the signing of the peace Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1814, which would have made a nice Christmas present. It called for a cessation of hostilities, the exchange of lands and prisoners, and the appointment of a joint commission to study U.S. Canadian boundary issues. ...


16

Several historians/economists hold several factors responsible. I know two works that discuss this in great depth: The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith. Nation, State and the Industrial Revolution: The Visible Hand, Lars Magnusson. Personally, I believe the following factors played a crucial role: Wars: Britain's isolation from continental Europe meant ...


15

It was a slow process but it did begin with trade, most notably Southern cotton. This was followed by grain from the growing Mid-West. As the US became more industrialized, trade in other areas increased. In the interest of keeping trade going and avoiding being entangled in the war, the British were careful to avoid taking sides in the Civil War and ...


15

Churchill was not Prime Minister when the MRP was announced or when it went into effect. He wasn't even in the government at all. He was in Parliament, but mostly an exile due to his bellicose views. It was the war that forced the Conservative government to take him in, and he didn't become Prime Minister until after France was invaded, well after the ...


13

It was not a factor - both the UK and Argentina had signed the Antarctic Treaty, placing all territorial claims south of 60 degrees in abeyance indefinitely. The full text of the original treaty I am not aware of either nation having expressed a wish to go back on that treaty, and it was signed over 20 years before the Falklands War.


13

In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote, "there is something very absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island." The United States, Canada, and Australia (New Zealand to a lesser extent), were all countries of continental size, far away from England. As such, they naturally wanted to have their own destinies. Scotland, Wales, and ...


13

The first attempt at unification was sparked by succession disputes, after Margaret of Scotland died in 1290. This lead to a series of conflicts, spanning from 1296 to 1357, known today as the Wars of Scottish Independence. Scotland retained its status as an independent nation after the end of the wars. The claim of Mary, Queen of Scots to the English ...


12

Russia and America (the Union) were very nearly allies during the Civil War. The implied enemies were the South (Confederacy) and Great Britain. Although Russia wanted to "monetize" Alaska, she also wanted it in "friendly" hands. The (re-united) U.S. fit the bill. Great Britain did not, after having allied with France and Turkey in the Crimean war.


12

Hong Kong became British colony as a result of First Opium War, which was lost by Qing Dynasty of China to United Kingdom. It was part of agreements of Treaty of Nanking that was signed in 1842, as well as huge war reparations. What's important, original agreement established that Hong Kong becomes British for eternity, not for the exact amount of years. ...


12

Because it didn't have a choice: it had neither the will to defy the British Government, nor the ability to do so. Remember corporations are not people; its shareholders and directors were. In this case, most of them were British, owning properties and with aspirations in Britain. That alone made resisting a duly constituted Act of Parliament by force ...


11

Unfortunately, we cannot ask Hitler about that and he didn't leave any written notices about his reasons. So every answer to that question is a speculation and I've seen a number of such speculations. The official Soviet version states an ideological war between fascism and communism that prompted Hitler to attack the Soviet Union without considering ...


11

I'm going to take this a perhaps unexpected direction, Connections-style. Everything else I see in the other answers is IMHO just an effect (although RI Swamp Yankee comes close). What did England have that the rest of Europe didn't that ultimately caused it to become the first center of industrialization? Sheep. England, particularly the Scottish ...


11

There are two types of queens. A Queen Consort is the wife of a King. A Queen Regnant is a ruler in her own right, a "female king" of you will. The husband of a Queen Consort is just the King, per the above. But the husband of a Queen Regnant is a Prince Consort. "Prince" is one level below King, and the Consort's title is held at a level below the Queen's. ...


11

I remember from reading Churchill's memoirs that in September 1939 it was pretty much the consensus among western generals and politicians to take the defensive strategy. Everybody remembered costly offensives of WWI and preferred to count on the Maginot Line.


11

You firstly have to know that the major reasons her predecessors didn't win their battle against the trade unions was that they never actually had a battle. Her immediate predecessors were Labour, and hence did not battle the unions as both the Labour party and the unions were a part of the same workers movement and to some extent was made up of the same ...


10

After Soviet performance in the Winter War in Finland, it was believed that the Soviet army could be rapidly and easily defeated. The Red Army had started to undergo significant reforms based on its experiences, as well as modernizing much of its equipment, particularly tanks. While Germany was unlikely to become significantly stronger over time, the Red ...


10

The most important "paradigm shift" of the early 19th century was the Industrial Revolution. That was the harnessing of the steam, and later, internal combustion engines, for manufacturing advances that led to an "order of magnitude" gains (five to ten times) in the standard of living. The great powers of the time were also among the earliest beneficiaries ...


10

You might want to reivew the history of the NATO alliance, Charles De Gaulle, and the special relationship. In particular Immensely patriotic, de Gaulle and his supporters held the view, known as Gaullism, that France should continue to see itself as a major power and should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national ...


10

Britain's order of succession is determined by male-preference cognatic primogeniture (in the future it will be equal primogeniture). This allows a female to ascend the throne as queen regnant (queen in her own right, as opposed to being a consort to a king). Queens Elizabeth I & II and Queen Victoria are example of such queens. In their cases, there is ...


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 ...


9

"The nail that sticks out gets hammer down" While a Japanese saying, it holds true for all the super powers. Be their outside enemies, inside corruption, or just economic bad luck, the hammers are numerous indeed. Spain in particular, was cripple by mega inflation due to all the gold coming from the Indies. Portugal was assimilated into Spain and then ...


9

The secret protocol was known to the US government as early as 24 August 1939. It was passed to US diplomat Charles Bohlen by Hans von Herwath, a German diplomat. The US ambassador in Moscow Laurence Steinhardt passed that information to US secretary of state Cordell Hull on the same day. Hull immediately informed British minister of foreign affairs Edward ...



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