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Apr
11
comment Why did it take so long for humanity to be able to cross the oceans?
@sds - There were theories. Columbus didn't come up with his size by himself. He just purposely chose the estimates (both of Earth size, and the size of Asia) that helped his case. But even if everyone knew the right size, you're actually making my point here. If you used the actual size of the earth and Asia (rather than Columbus' huge underestimation), and there hadn't been any intervening land until the Indies, everyone on board Columbus' three ships would have died. That's why nobody else was foolish enough to try it.
Apr
11
comment Why did it take so long for humanity to be able to cross the oceans?
@BenCrowell - I'm rather impatient with those arguments (and their implicit implication). There's no land bridge now, and the natives who live in the Aleutians make the crossing with native boats daily. Island chains like the Aleutians are hardly a barrier at all for Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
Apr
11
comment Why did it take so long for humanity to be able to cross the oceans?
Mostly agree with this, although there is also the mental problem not knowing what's over there yet (and thus how much food and water you need to bring to avoid everyone involved slowly dying).
Apr
9
comment Were Tories “Catholics” and “Whigs” Anglican?
Note also that there are those who say that the northnern American colonies tended to get populated with transplanted Whigs and Dissenters, and the southern with transplanted Tories (eg: The Virginia Cavaliers), thus creating the germ of the North/South cultural divide the USA maintains to this day.
Apr
9
comment Roman Gladiators using an axe
Actually, part of the spectacle of the gladitorial games was that they'd pit fighters with different (and exotic) styles against each other. Since Germans were known to use axes in battle, it beggars belief that they'd never used one equipped with his native armament in a contest.
Apr
8
comment Have there been other examples of reunification/annexation, such as in the Crimea, that succeeded without using deadly force?
What is your evidence that it would have been any less successful if they had fought? If left as a bald statement like this, its going to be tough not to address that assertion. If that isn't what you want to happen, you might consider removing it.
Apr
8
comment What factors made Austria adhere to “Diplomacy through marriage” doctrine?
I'm not necessarily against answers that attack the premises of the question. However it seems to me in this case that the examples cited actually strengthen the question's case.
Apr
7
comment What language did Petlura speak casually?
@DVK - Yeah, the more I read up on this, the more I'm thinking the writer quite likely did this with a character of his on purpose.
Apr
7
revised What language did Petlura speak casually?
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Apr
7
revised What language did Petlura speak casually?
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Apr
7
answered What language did Petlura speak casually?
Apr
4
revised Did the Glaswegian tobacco lords help precipitate the American war of independence?
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Apr
4
revised Did the Glaswegian tobacco lords help precipitate the American war of independence?
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Apr
4
revised Did the Glaswegian tobacco lords help precipitate the American war of independence?
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Apr
4
revised Did the Glaswegian tobacco lords help precipitate the American war of independence?
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Apr
4
answered Did the Glaswegian tobacco lords help precipitate the American war of independence?
Apr
3
awarded  Yearling
Apr
3
comment Which came first, the shield or the sword?
@RazieMah - Consider asking this as a question. Addressing it here would make for an over long (and quite off-topic) comment.
Apr
3
comment Are there wars still going on, but officially ended? (found two)
@CsBalazsHungary - Not sure which you mean by "it". But in both cases there was actual up-and-up conflict with opposing military units that happened and had a definite end date one can point to, even though there's no official peace.
Apr
3
comment Are there wars still going on, but officially ended? (found two)
Cyprus is another good one I'm tempted to steal in my answer. I think the issue there is that the two main parties (Greece and Turkey) have no interest in resolving it, as they aren't the poor saps who have to live there.