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Mar
11
comment What is the band beneath Nefertitis crown?
@TylerDurden - Point well made! And you thought this had nothing to do with history...
Mar
11
comment What is the band beneath Nefertitis crown?
@TylerDurden - Pretty sure it's a crown, and crowns are headdresses when you get down to it. The history of clothing and adornment is very much a thing that is studied and written about, and as this was a notable figure in history, wondering about her dress and accouterments is most certainly fair game here.
Mar
1
comment How did the gold of the new world cause the Spanish Empire to collapse?
While it was a benefit for the British, who used their windfall wisely, the risk inherent in the treasure fleets was understood and planned for by the Spanish - that wasn't the first or last time a fortune went missing from the New World en route to the Old.
Mar
1
comment How did Nazi Germany finance itself during WW2?
@MarkC.Wallace - A broken clock shows the right time twice a day. The thirteen Federal Reserve Banks are privately owned entities, specifically, they're owned by the regional institutions they lend to. They have no controlling interest to go along with their ownership, and can take no profit from it, either. The Fed is reeeeeeaaall complicated. Similarly, the Reichsbank was privately owned, and then commandeered by Hitler personally in '39, and used Oeffa and MEFFO dummy currency expansion to strengthen the Reichsmark fraudulently. So, no upvote, but it's not way out there, either.
Feb
23
comment Capital Punishment in the Ancient World
It's an answerable question, an interesting one, and one not readily resolved with a quick trip to Wikipedia. What this stack exchange is about, really.
Feb
19
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@Semaphore - Yup. It began with the co-option of the cinnamon trade in particular, and moved to the vast cash-crop plantations that were still going strong in the early 20th (rubber and tea). You can trip over the details in piece but they're still parts of the larger whole. The British Empire used violence, starvation and forced labor to coerce the island to produce revenue and resources for itself at the expense of the Sri Lankans. Toss in a few examples from the beginning, middle and end, and citations, and we're done.
Feb
19
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@Semaphore - No, it's pretty much one answer; violent transformation from a culture based on spice cultivation and trade to a vast plantation system reliant on enormous amounts of imported labor. The details in how they did this are many and horrible, but this is what it boils down to. Answerable, and nominated for re-opening.
Feb
19
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@Semaphore Oh, good grief. Well let me just google that for you. Here, a well maintained wiki page with a lot of scholarly references to follow up with - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine_in_India
Feb
19
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@Semaphore The British made it drastically worse is the entire point, the magnitude of suffering was unheard of before the Raj got involved for the reasons pointed out above - restrictions on storing food as a buffer for famines, imposing a "free market" that made what food there was too expensive for fieldworkers and artisans, replacing food crops with opium production. Famines happen. I get it. They don't happen with the same frequency or massive severity before or after the British. Famines and their causes and contributing factors are pretty well studied and understood.
Feb
19
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@jamesqf YUP! Almost 11 million dead in the Bengali Famine alone, between 300k and 2 million dead in the Bangladesh War of Independence.
Feb
18
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@SteveBird - The Great Rebellion was a delightful affair. The British murdered every adult male in Uva and systematically dismantled their irrigation systems to impoverish, starve and displace the rest. Lots of evidence from this one colonial war alone.
Feb
18
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
@jamesqf - This is pretty well covered under the Bengali Famine wiki page. The British outlawed "hoarding" rice and other staples ("harding" defined as storing it for lean years in case of famine, as had been the custom for centuries, because the British demanded a bigger cut of the harvest and its profits) and what arable land there was during the drought had their food crops ripped up and devoted to opium production. So, yes, let's do compare.
Feb
18
comment How did Britain rule Sri Lanka?
Once every few decades, hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions would die of famine due to British mismanagement - think of the various Irish "famines" on a grander scale. Worth it for that sweet, sweet GDP! (that was taken at bayonet-point and shipped back to England.) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Feb
9
comment Did the Soviets excel in one area of weaponry during World War II?
The British had a clear advantage in cryptography and counter-cryptography and RADAR, and the US had superior logistics - these are lethal weapons unmatched by other powers in the war, even tho they may not seem like weapons. The US also had the atomic bomb, but that came to late to impact the war in Europe.
Jan
21
comment Where were Racka sheep brought to Europe from and when?
@TylerDurden - The origin and distribution of crops and livestock is an active and lively field of historical research - not all history revolves around kings and battles.
Jan
18
comment Why didn't Native Americans have big sailing ships?
@JonofAllTrades - No, the answer is incomplete, but not incorrect. There was nothing in the Caribbean until the Europeans brought sugarcane. No reason to risk sea travel on regular trade routes - there was no equivalent to the Mediterranean, Black, Red, Baltic or Caspian seas, ringed by civilizations, no equivalent of the great archipelagos of South and East Asia. The Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence didn't have enough population to make maritime trade worth the considerable risk.
Jan
18
comment Why didn't Native Americans have big sailing ships?
@JonofAllTrades - North America would not see a city larger than Cahokia until Philadelphia in 1780. At its peak, it was twice the size of London. The book "1491" may help give you a better understanding of the technological level of pre-contact civilizations in the Americas.
Dec
18
comment Was Otto Carius fair in his assessment of American forces vs. Russians?
+1 for "Otto was still the one inside the pocket." The number of Americans lost, considering there were more than 8 million Germans killed or captured in the West, is so low it's surreal. The difference between fighting decisive engagements and achieving strategic goals, one wins the day, the other wins the war.
Dec
17
comment Why was slavery profitable in the Southern colonies and not New England?
That, and the technology made available in the 18th C. favored the crops grown in the cold north - the seed drill, the Dutch plow, the horse-hoe, canning - and new public infrastructure like improved roads, rivers and canals allowed frontier farmers to sell crops and livestock to urban markets. This made free farms of the North competitive with the slave plantations in the South, despite the climate.
Dec
16
comment Why was slavery profitable in the Southern colonies and not New England?
@TylerDurden - I'm in Rhode Island right now, born and raised. South County was a very small area of a very small New England colony that had proportionately high population of slaves in the mid 18thc, similar to the 19thc South. We're still talking less than 4k slaves in the colony entire. Slave-owning was ended in the State of RI after the revolution, only 384 remained by 1800. Almost all of the stone walls in NE were built by farmers from stones they tilled up from their fields from the early 17thc up until the middle of the 20thc. So, the answer is mostly un-researched baloney.