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Jul
29
comment Does what Macaulay said or not said matter?
Whilst almost no historian today considers Macaulay's ('liberal') interpretation of history relevant, it is perhaps important to the extent that it was the history that all statesmen of the first half of the 20th century had read. For example, Macaulay was influential in informing the minds of British statesmen from Lloyd George to Churchill.
Jul
29
comment European colonization of India: contrast with America
British "colonisation" in the 18th and 19th centuries can be broadly divided into two types. There were those places which were considered suitable for British settlers to live and work the land. And there were those that were not, for reasons of climate, demography etc not considered suitable. In the first category were North America, Australasia, South Africa, Rhodesia, Kenya etc. India fell in the second category, and though it was governed by British people there was no large-scale European settlement.
Jun
12
comment When did the last Terra Nullius vanish from the earth?
@Drux This is the apparent position: The UK's claim to this portion of the Antarctic dates back to Letters patent of 1908 and 1917... Since the Antarctic Treaty came into force in 1961, Article 4 of which states "The treaty does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force", most countries do not recognise territorial claims in Antarctica.[1] The United Kingdom has ratified the treaty. For signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, click here
Jun
11
comment What is “Theoretical History”?
The essence of the Marxist theory of history, surely, is to see history in terms of a class struggle. Before industrialisation Marx saw society as divided between aristocrats and peasants. In the post-industrial world the earlier classes transmogrify into capitalists, bourgeoisie and proletariat. Irrespective of any belief or otherwise in a Marxist economic theory, (which I do not support), I have found his history theory a very convenient way of understanding what has taken place in western history over the last 250 years.
Jun
11
comment How did communist authorities decide who is “German” and who is “Polish” when expelling Germans from recovered territories?
I would think that the allegiance which individuals and families had adopted during the Nazi occupation played an important part. It was not only in eastern Europe that these sorts of post-war problems existed. In 1945 France was a country of erstwhile resisters and erstwhile collaborators.
Jun
11
comment Which of the participant states was benefited in the long run by the Congress of Vienna?
It was the 19th century as a whole which benefitted. One of the reasons for the stratospheric growth in living standards in Europe in the 19th century (1815-1914) was that it was a century of peace (well almost - there was the Crimean War, and the 1848 revolutions, I suppose) in which industry could develop and prosper.
Jun
11
comment When did the last Terra Nullius vanish from the earth?
@SJuan76 Antactica is divided in segments, between Britain, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, France, Chile and Argentina. So it may be 'white' in one sense but not in any other. Try building a hut there and you may have a London policeman knocking at your door asking if you have applied for planning consent.
Jun
11
comment When did the last Terra Nullius vanish from the earth?
What you are talking about here is the place which the English 17th-century philosopher, Thomas Hobbes described as the state of nature. In it, Hobbes said, life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. It was a recurrent theme among the so-called Social Contract Theorists such as Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Hobbes expresses most clearly that in order to remove ourselves from the state of nature we accept life under a sovereign, and must do as the sovereign tells us. (For 'sovereign', in this sense, include republican governments)
Apr
8
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Apr
5
comment Where were the Mormons going?
And perhaps somewhere their leaders would be able to practise polygamy i.e. outside the borders of the USA. Sarah Barringer in The Mormon Question (2002) goes into detail on the legal processes surrounding Mormon polygamy.
Mar
15
comment Did the Socialist and the Fascist party share the electoral programme in Italy?
You are quite right that it was Mussolini's opposition to the Italian Socialists' policy of neutrality in the war which caused his break with the party. The historian R.J.B.Bosworth believes that it was Mussolini's time spent as an Italian expatriate in Italy, before the first world war, mixing with the Italian community that had imbued him with feelings of nationalism. His father had been a blacksmith and a socialist, and the young Benito had grown up in the socialist way, and was passionately committed to revolution.
Mar
15
comment Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?
@Lohoris The title does not specify that the films have to be American. They appear to be looking for any films which were 'well regarded by American soldiers'. I am certain that most of those films will have been watched by American soldiers at some stage, at least the ones who served in Europe.
Mar
15
revised Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?
added 18 characters in body
Mar
15
answered Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?
Feb
25
comment Why women in English-speaking world commonly assume husband's family name after marriage, but women in China do not?
My wife is of Han descent, though an overseas Chinese born and brought up in Malaysia (when it was Malaya). It has certainly been the practice in her family for women to retain their maiden names after marriage. Her mother certainly did. Even though my wife has lived most of her life in Britain, and adopts my surname for most things, she still keeps important things, such as her passport in her birth name. It is also quite common for Chinese living in western countries (including such places as Malaysia and Singapore) to take a western Christian name. They therefore often have two names.
Feb
25
comment Why was the government expenditures of the Roman Empire very low compared to modern governments?
They certainly didn't run a National Health Service, performing 2015 state-of-the art surgery free of charge, and costing £110 billion per annum!
Feb
25
comment What lands have been called by names chosen to disassociate those lands from its inhabitants
The position has perhaps come full circle when Iranian students in western countries describe themselves as Persian in order to avoid opprobrium associated with identifying themselves as Iranian.
Feb
19
comment Why were “holding out” outposts a feature of the European war in 1944-5 but not 1940-1?
It also meant that the Italian Navy was not able to get out into the Atlantic where it was needed, and led to its being severely crippled by the joint action of the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy at the battle of Cape Matapan in 1941.
Feb
19
comment Why were “holding out” outposts a feature of the European war in 1944-5 but not 1940-1?
As regards Malta, I think many military historians see Hitler's failure to take Malta and Gibraltar early in the war when he had the opportunity to have been one of his greatest blunders, at least so far as his war in the west was concerned. As things turned out the Royal Navy controlled both entrances to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Port Suez throughout the duration of the war, and the RAF was able to use Malta to bomb the German convoys into North Africa. Without those Mediterranean bases Britain would have found it far more difficult to prevail in the North African campaign.
Feb
19
comment What is known about the possibility of a “real King Arthur”?
Next Friday evening our local Historical Association is hosting a lecture to be given by Anne Lawrence-Mather, a historian of the Early Middle Ages and author of The True History of Merlin the Magician. Merlin was the legendary magician at the court of King Arthur. The hardcover costs £22 from Amazon in the UK or $45 in the US. But you can read the introduction on-line using their 'look Inside' facility. I found that quite interesting.