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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 ...


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".


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

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 ...


17

Oh, but it is in the Constitution - implicitly. The it "isn't anywhere in the constitution" argument is frequently popular to different groups on different topics, but in this case at least has no legal basis in jurisprudence. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court ... The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, ...


16

Yes, there were extensive rapes by American soldiers during the Second World War. During the Second World War American GIs in Europe raped around 14,000 civilian women, in England, France and Germany. There were around 3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war ... some Allied troops were punished for sexual ...


14

Attacking targets in ports is the least productive way of using your ships for at least two reasons: 1) The damage you do can be easily repaired and 2) the chances of your own ships getting "caught" or sunk are the highest. The Japanese found this out at Pearl Harbor. All but one of the ships that they sunk were raised from the sea and recycled. (Only the ...


12

Because the medical profession was opposed to it. Roosevelt's administration feared that including the universal health insurance provisions would kill the entire Social Security Act. For the sake of passing the Social Security bill, we postponed the introduction of the bill on health insurance as the opposition was so great from the American Medical ...


12

They were paid a regular salary and given an "expense account" of sorts. At least, the higher ranking representatives of the United States were. While this was probably not a very adequate amount, American ministers were definitely not expected to pay for everything out of their own pockets. Early United States ambassadors were paid around $2,500, while ...


11

This answer is for a previous version of the question The most persuasive answer to this that I have read recently can be found in "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" by Colin Woodard. It has been a few years since I read it, but if I remember correctly, he posits that different cultural patterns that were ...


11

During WWII, there was less doubt about which side the US would join. War with Japan had been anticipated for years and a strategy of waging war adopted in the 20s called War Plan Orange. With Japan's expansionist policies, and the US' territories in the pacific (Guam, Philippines, Wake) it was more a matter of when than if. The US considered Germany less ...


11

Basically it was an unenforceable law, and much of law enforcement saw no need to bother trying. There are several factors you have to consider here: Prohibition was never really that popular. In fact, its likely that a majority of the country was against it when it passed. Prohibition was particularly unpopular in large cities. The above factors meant ...


11

No. On the one side, we have Hamilton denouncing Cromwell in the Federalist Papers No. 21: Without a guaranty the assistance to be derived from the Union in repelling those domestic dangers which may sometimes threaten the existence of the State constitutions, must be renounced. Usurpation may rear its crest in each State, and trample upon the ...


10

Reprisal indeed sank in a storm, but there seems to be some dispute as to whether it was on October 1st or November 1st. This is one of the surviving contemporary reports from an "Extract of a letter from the gentleman of this place, dated at Bourdeaux, November 20, 1777".1 It is with the utmost concern that I inform you the fate of the gallant ...


10

I know the answer for the Second World War. The political parties and organizations were all pro Allies except three notable groups: German American Bund This was a Nazi organization supported by Germans in the USA. It evolved simultaneously with the NSDAP, but never got enough support to have any notable power. When the war broke out, the organization ...


10

No, Hitler had no plan for defeating the US outright. However, the Germans had been fighting against the US for quite some time in the Battle of the Atlantic, since US escorts would take convoys partway across and defend them against U-Boats. So the US neutrality was very strained already. And when the US entered the war, the Germans at once sent U-Boats ...


10

The short answer is: None at all. According to the "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet Jacobs: Female Slaves and the Law Southern rape laws embodied race-based double standards. In the antebellum period, black men accused of rape were punished with death. White men could rape or sexually abuse female slaves without fear of ...


9

The Oxford English Dictionary attests the use of cock-tail as a mixed drink from 1809 in W. Irving's Knickerbockers: They lay claim to claim to be the first inventors of those recondite beverages cock-tail, stone-fence, and sherry-cobbler. and from 1839 cocktail as a more general mixed drink in Marryat's Diary American: He frequents the bar, calls ...


9

Diving a bit deeper into this, it looks like Wallace had three big strikes against him: He was a progressive liberal, at a time when a very large and influential part of the party (the Solid South) was very conservative. So was FDR of course, but as the holder of the White House they couldn't really attack him. He was a Theosophist (sort of the era's ...


9

Short Answer Tripoli declared war against the United States on 14 May 1801. Detailed Answer At first glance this seemed like a trivial question. Surprisingly, the answer appears to be shrouded behind several contradictory dates in internet circulation. I'll try to explain why I believe those answers are incorrect below. (A) 9 January 1801 I didn't ...


8

The earliest I could find was by a John R. Norris in 1957 for a radio earpiece: There are a lot of behind-the-ear headphone/microphone combos, but that's not quite what you're asking about. The first dedicated behind-the-ear headphone I found was Simeon Schreiber's 1988 "Bone Conduction Audio Listening Device and Method": But importantly, the first patent ...


8

The Australian experiment was different because it started as a penal colony -- the convicts and their overseers were the initial seed population of new arrivals. There was no settler class already extant to offer the convicts to as indentured labour. The early years of the colony came close to ending in disaster -- amongst other things failed crops led to ...


8

I think that it will be impossible to provide the kind of data you want, but we can approximate an answer. A google search on "Decline of Christianity in Britain" will reveal multiple articles by eminent Britons that agree that Christianity is declining. Lord Carey thinks soAmericans think so. The Telegraph thinks so. The same search repeated for the USA ...


8

Because it would have been suicidal and unproductive. The bulk of the German U-boat fleet barely had enough range for operations in North America at all. They did things like filling water tanks with diesel just to get enough range to hunt convoys. The bigger, less maneuverable Type IX did have better range, but they were also clumsier and more detectable. ...


8

I would say all those possibilities you listed are correct. Trade could be paid in paper money, which could then be redeemed for metal and shipped home. But even in the early 1800s, trade could be conducted on credit. Of course, under normal trading conditions, credit earned from exports was credit that could then be used to pay for imports of other goods ...


8

The American dollar is now Fiat Money, unbacked by any physical asset


8

Religion as a motivation for Armstrong's solo visit is very unlikely. Armstrong was actually the 2nd U.S. Astronaut that travelled to the Soviet Union - the first was Frank Borman, who arrived in Moscow on July 2nd, 1969 after being invited by the U.S.S.R. Institute for Soviet-American Relations.1 Borman was among the more religious of the Apollo ...


8

The young woman quoted likely misunderstood the real reason the windows were kept shut: to keep the mills humid. This was explained to me on a recent visit to Lowell, but I found a few published sources that match what the tour guides told me. Here's one: Work conditions in the mills were poor. To provide the humidity necessary to keep the threads from ...


7

I know this is an old question, but I feel the need to comment for those who might find this. First, there is a really good book on the origins of baseball -- Baseball Before We Knew It, by David Block. If you have an interest in the topic I highly recommend it. It is not so much that one of the two games was invented first, but more likely that they both ...


7

The Western allies were not clueless about the Soviet espionage. However, they could not prevent it and were probably underestimating its extent. The reason they were unable to prevent it is manifold. The nature of science (and the Manhattan project was much more an open-ended research enterprise than a typical modern-style DARPA project) as understood ...



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