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Jun
10
comment Why did Argentina seize South Georgia immediately prior to the Falklands invasion?
I read this answer as a general comment on the Falklands War, and how the entire strategy was devised a) to boost domestic support as much as to actually make military sense and b) with the illusion that the UK would have a hard time responding. The "set of worthless rocks" I take to include both South Georgia and the Falklands. However, the answer is not very clearly formulated, so it is hard to say. But no downvote from me.
May
28
comment Is Taiwan always a part of People's Republic of China?
I wanted to make an answer based more on international law than Taiwan-specific history, but have neither the time nor competence. It seems to me that things changed dramatically after 1945. There were several border adjustments / new countries in 1945 that "everyone" accepted, but a lot of conflicts after that seem to have been "frozen": formally, both the Israel/Palestine conflict and Taiwan's independence have been settled in military / "de facto" terms but are still in legal limbo. Tibet is formally resolved but there is still some debate in the West. Kashmir is not resolved. Etc...
May
23
comment Were there any battles in Continental Europe that were decided by “peasants with pitchforks?”
You refer to guns as "government-issued weapons" At the 1612 Battle of Kringen a band of Norwegian peasants, supposedly "spontaneously" organized, defeated a group of Scottish mercenaries. The farmers decidedly had guns, but that would be part of the tools they used for a living, in hunting and doing other 17-th-century farming stuff. So it might be a bit strict to rule out guns when defining "farmers with pitchforks".
May
22
comment What was the most recent country to be conquered and dissapear
@horsh as far as I could tell no UN member nation has been "conquered and ceased to exist as a country" (though of course there have been foreign-induced regime changes). I now looked at the member states of the League of Nations and all of these also appear to exist in some form today.
May
22
comment What was the most recent country to be conquered and dissapear
@ClintEastwood sorry, perhaps bad phrasing by me: my point was just that Zanzibar+Tanganyika=Tanzania can probably not be termed a "conquest" and that (as far as I know) the merger itself was peaceful, even though atrocities occurred earlier in the process. In any case, feel free to let me know if "South Vietnam" does not answer your question.
May
14
comment Was there pre-Viking European contact with the Canadian Arctic?
Also see this article: counter-currents.com/2013/02/… which goes throught some of Sutherland's research. The (to my unlearned eyes, plausible) claims seem to be more about the extent of Norse exploration/colonization in the general Greenland/Baffin area in the previously accepted post-1000AD timeframe rather than any extension of this timeframe to earlier than 1000AD.
May
14
comment Was there pre-Viking European contact with the Canadian Arctic?
The article you link is pretty vague on timing, talking about " from 1000 AD to 1450 AD or even earlier." and only later about dating of some yarn that "predates the Vikings". It it not clear that Sutherland (the archaeologist) believes that the finds pre-date the Vikings. Not sure that this article: tinyurl.com/m3jlcnu refers to the same site, but it says "Sutherland uncovered strong evidence that an archeological site called Nanook, on southern Baffin Island, was a Norse settlement established around 1300 AD and was likely used by Vikings based in Greenland to trade with the Dorset."
Jan
10
comment How did Henry Knox retrieve the cannons that fell into the river?
Isn't it likely that they tied ropes around the cannons before crossing the river, on the off-chance that the ice wouldn't hold? (You would expect that for the second time in particular....)
Oct
23
comment What is the oldest state/nation that has abolished the death penalty?
People accused of (some types of) crimes in Michigan are still at risk of the federal death penalty of the United States, so I would say Venezuela "wins" (if Olivier's answer is correct), even if abolition took place at a later point in time.
Sep
27
comment How many different countries could a person alive today have lived in without leaving their hometown?
Now if you could find some pre-1939 border adjustments between Czechoslovakia or A-H and Poland or Romania...
Sep
27
comment How many different countries could a person alive today have lived in without leaving their hometown?
@TeaDrinker Fine, nice answer and nice map! Upvoted :-)
Sep
26
comment How many different countries could a person alive today have lived in without leaving their hometown?
You will likely find your city in Eastern Europe. For example, Carpatho-Ukraine appears to have been part of A-H, then Czechoslovakia, then declared independent, then Hungary, then Soviet Union, then Ukraine. Of course, it depends on how you define "change of countries" - is Hungary distinct from A-H, is Ukrainian SSR distinct from Ukraine, is Croatia distinct from Yugoslavia?
Aug
20
comment Was it common practice in Victorian London or other Western European cities to name locations as places where fictional characters lived and acted?
Mas a Tierra in the South Pacific was the place where Alexander Selkirk, inspiration for the fictional character Robinson Crusoe, was marooned in 1704. Fittingly, in 1966 Chile changed the name to Robinson Crusoe Island.
May
30
comment Looking for a symbol for Southern USA communism
I second T.E.D's suggestion of the raised fist. However, I think the symbolism should also depend on a) the republic's attitude to Native Americans (Seminole symbolism perhaps? Didn't find any in Wikipedia) and b) slavery/African Americans. Theoretical socialism/Marxism should be sympathetic to these groups, but of course that might no be the case in practice. Also, is the Republic pro-Spanish/Mexican? Predominantly industrial (hammer) or agricultural (palms? oranges? cotton)?
May
15
comment Was there a state in history where influence of sport fans on politics was greater than in medieval Byzantine Empire?
Vaguely related: the 1969 "Football War" between El Salvador and Honduras. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_war . I have heard stated that a football (soccer) game was a triggering factor of the war, but the Wikipedia article appears to tone this down a bit.
May
14
comment Emigration restrictions in history
@jwenting: yes, but in the case described here you could also be denied an emigration permit for "precautionary" reasons. Also, do you have a reference that most countries require a passport to leave? At least in Norway this was not the case until after the enactment of the Schengen treaty in the late 1990s (and then only for leaving the Schengen area). Of course most airlines (and other means of transport) will enforce passport control but that is for fear of fines/problems in the receiving country.
May
10
comment Was the N.E.P. of Russia successful in terms of economics?
Sorry. Didn't have the book at hand when I wrote the answer. I now see that the book's Chapter 4 (around 20 pages) deals with NEP. Do not have time to read all the details right now, and from the concluding sections it seems rather inconclusive. The author is, however, more concerned with getting the numbers of production growth right than about actual evaluation of the policies.
Jan
18
comment What is the state of the art historical analysis of claims that Carthaginians discovered America?
There is probably some relevant information in the Wikipedia article on Atlantis: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis . A landmass in the Atlantic was commonly mentioned in ancient times, without that being proof that anyone sailed to America. I don't see how an image of this landmass on a coin changes anything, but I'm no expert. (Also, I do not think there is any evidence for Carthaginicians circumnavigating Africa, just going to Cameroon. At least, that what it says in the link you give.)
Nov
27
comment What was the reason for Soviet troops to withdraw from Yugoslavia in World War II?
Thanks! Source for that last statement? While it might be cronologically correct, I've never heard it cited as a reason for their departure (you can be read as implying a causal connection, but maybe you don't mean it that way)
Nov
27
comment What was the reason for Soviet troops to withdraw from Yugoslavia in World War II?
Good question. Allow me to point out that the Soviets also occupied a part of Norway: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… and left without fuss after Germany capitulated.