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50

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 ...


38

Good? No. Lots of them? Yes. The Americans were leaders in mass-producing large durable goods at low cost - cars, especially. This translated to mass-producing medium cruiser tanks (the M4 Sherman) almost as quick as they could roll a Buick off the assembly line. What's more, these were brand new machines, they had not spent months and months slogging ...


37

The official reason was to avoid a long and costly battle attempting to force the Japanese to surrender by invading the mainland. The Japanese were tenacious fighters and their tactics of Kamikaze suicide bombers and their courageous defense of their country in engagements such as the Battle of Okinawa, lend substantial credibility to this claim. Some such ...


34

The sale of Louisiana was a FIRE SALE for France, and specifically, its self-appointed ruler, Napoleon Bonaparte, for these reasons: 1) France had gotten "burned" with her earlier misadventures in North America. The French and Indian war cost her Canada and all of her other possessions on the east bank of the Mississippi. (She had managed to save ...


33

The question I might have asked is, "Is the U.S. a Superpower today because of World War ONE?" And that's the question I'll answer. In 1914, the U.S. probably was not the strongest country in the world (perhaps third or fourth, no weaker than fifth). By 1918, the U.S. was the strongest country in the world, with Germany, Britain, France, and Russia having ...


32

John Hancock was the President of Congress. So, as stated, he signed first and largest. In the leftmost block are the signers from Georgia. In the block immediately to the right of that one are the signers from North Carolina. The block below contains the signers from South Carolina. This pattern continues throughout with a few exceptions. Here is a ...


31

Before we get to the numbers it is important to state that the US Navy is really far and away the most capable blue-water navy in the world. The US Navy can project power over the entire planet. I'm not sure why you assert to the contrary in your question. Let's start with the US Navy force size from 1917-1923: TOTAL ACTIVE SHIPS: 342, 774, 752, 567, ...


30

There actually was an 88-minute long speech from Hitler in the Reichstag on December 11th, 1941, which was four days after the japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, where he officially declared that Germany would join Japan in the war against the USA. In this speech, he mentioned a few of his personal reasons for this decision. I think this would be an ...


28

Bill Clinton was acquitted. The senate did not reach the 2/3's majority needed to fully process his impeachment. To further break it down. Clinton was impeached by the House on two charges. The first being perjury, and the second being obstruction of justice. Following this he was acquitted by the senate. Wiki does it again!


28

The United States abandoned the gold standard on 15 August 1971. Since then it has been using fiat money, which is not backed by any commodity. It derives its value solely from government authority. This is sometimes also known as a "managed currency standard".


27

According to Arthur D. Jacobs, author of the autobiographic book "The Prison Called Hohenasperg: An American boy betrayed by his Government during World War II", by the end of the war, 11000 persons of German ancestry were interned, both immigrants and visitors. Also, under the pressure of US Government, Latin American countries arrested more than 4000 ...


26

After President Lincoln's election on the 6th of November 1860, the eleven Confederate states did not secede immediately. South Carolina, and then the remaining six states of the lower south (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas) seceded from the Union between the 20th of November and 1st of February 1861, leaving Arkansas, Tennessee, ...


26

The United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession NOTE: The Supreme Court ruling was after the Civil War Legality: The principle of legality is the legal ideal that requires all law to be clear, ascertainable and ...


24

The sale of war bonds "sterilized" the otherwise humongous U.S. debt. That is, while debt was historically large (by any standards except today's), we "owed it to ourselves" and not to foreigners. Which is to say that the money was available to be "recycled" into the U.S. economy after the war. But the main benefit was AFTER the war. The country saved ...


24

This is because the USA uses the first-past-the-post principle in all its elections rather than proportional representation like Russia uses. The effect of first-past-the-post is that only a party with a good chance of winning the most votes can ever have a shot at any representation whatsoever. Since there mathematically can be no more than two such ...


24

First of all, aircraft carriers are expensive. Russia (compared to USA) was never resource-rich enough to be able to afford the expense; neither was USSR. Second of all, Russia (or rather USSR) had no motivation. USA's main geopolitical goal is to safeguard seabourne trade routes; and to prevent strong competitors from arising and commanding great sets of ...


23

There are at least three criteria for "good" tanks: combat effectiveness, ease of production, and mechanical reliability. The Americans produced "good" tanks that excelled in the latter two categories. That's because they were the world's best producers of automobiles. To take off on U.S. civil war cavalry doctrine, American generals regarded tanks as a ...


23

This is a matter of very hot debate. It depends on what assumptions you make about what would have happened in the future. But there are two basic scenarios: The bombings saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 - 500 thousand US lives, and Japanese lives in the millions. The bombings saved US lives numbered only in the thousands, and actually cost the ...


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 ...


22

Hiroshima, the first city, was "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing[sic] effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. ...


22

They probably got away with it because it was not illegal to drink alcohol. In fact, the Prohibition outlawed only the "manufacture, sale, or transportation" of alcoholic drinks. No mention of consumption, which remained substantial (~50-80% of "normal"), was made in the Prohibition amendment. After one year from the ratification of this article the ...


20

The "impeachment" process takes place in two steps. First, a President has to be impeached in the House of Representatives. that is the equivalent of an "indictment." Then, the President is tried in the Senate, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding. It requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to remove an impeached president. President ...


20

In short: It was true until 2006. Now he can still run for president of France, but through the standard way : he can acquire French nationality through naturalization (like anyone) and run for president as a French citizen! More precisely : This article (Sorry, Bill Clinton. You can't be president of France or Ireland) explains deeply why : Clinton ...


20

The U.S. likely did not target Tokyo for the atomic bomb strikes as it was the seat of the Emperor and the location of much of the high ranking military officers. These are precisely the people you do not want to kill if you want to negotiate a surrender, as they are the people you would be negotiating with. The U.S. decided to drop the bombs onto military ...


19

As noted in the comments, this depends on what you mean by "Starting a war". Technically speaking, a war requires a formal declaration by Congress (though specific forms are subject to debate). As such, the last one started by the USA was in WW2, with declarations in 1941 (Japan/Germany/Italy) and 1942 (Romania and other Axys countries); which makes the ...


19

Personally, I suspect this is mostly an American (USA) stereotype, which chiefly originates from a couple of factors. We had a couple of large waves of East European immigration in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which brought large numbers of Poles who knew little or no English. As human beings, we tend to perceive those who have trouble ...


19

Perhaps this is a generational thing? As a Gen-X'er, I grew up hearing about things like the Bataan Death March, The Rape of Nanking, and how in general the Japanese didn't feel like adhering to the Geneva Conventions, (as dramatized in Bridge over the River Kwai, among other movies and books). When I was a kid we also had lots more Pacific Theater veterans ...


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. ...


18

Complimentary to Tom's answer, you have to ask yourself which side they'd come in on. There's nothing really useful in terms of territory they could get out of Germany or Austria-Hungary, since both were way on the other side of Europe. If they'd gone in on the other side, they could perhaps have gotten useful territory from France. However, French forces ...



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