Questions tagged [20th-century]

For questions spanning a significant proportion of the 20th century. Questions focused on the latter decades should consider using the contemporary-history tag. Individual tags exist for specific decades.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
4answers
13k views

How common were horses at the beginning of the 20th century?

From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, in North America and Australia, how common were horses? Was it easy for every man or boy to own a decent riding horse, or were they relatively expensive and ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

When did we figure out that Venus was too hot for humans?

Today it's well known that the surface of Venus is incredibly hot, over 800 °F (427 ºC). Depictions of Venus in fiction, however, used to portray it as something close to Earth temperatures, ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

World War 1: Why did Italy not fight until 1915?

Today I learnt history about World War 1 and I have a question that has been bothering me. According to what I have studied, the Triple Alliance (1882-1915) was an alliance between Germany, Austria-...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

When and what was the maximum extent of Nationalist China?

The Republic of China (1912–49) claimed a large area of land, the most notable difference compared to present-day China being the inclusion of Mongolia. However, it's my understanding that at no point ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Why did the attempts to keep Africa colonized after World War II fail?

After World War II, though the Attlee-led British government decided to give freedom to India, they held on to much of Africa. But why did this attempt at colonization fail? Wikipedia explains that ...
10
votes
1answer
919 views

In segregated South, would Asian-Americans be treated as “colored” or as whites?

During racial segregation in USA many businesses had signs that either restricted service to a particular race or that directed different races through different entrances. Some examples of this ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

Did the US quarter shrink in size?

I am confused by the size of a current US quarter. It is not a major problem, but it is baffling. It is smaller than a shilling, yet 5 shillings make a crown and 4 quarters make a dollar —...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

In WW2, which midget submarine program was the most successful?

In WW2, which midget submarine program was the most successful? I know at least Great Britain and Japan had midget submarines and used them during the course of the conflict. Which WW2 combatant had ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How to validate a historical source

You can learn and understand history various ways such as learning in a university, reading books, being taught by someone with a background in history, watching TV, browsing the internet, or, in my ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Was there anything like an African-American architectural style or symbolism at the beginning of the 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to northern states or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, ...
10
votes
1answer
295 views

When in September 1939 did the British diplomatic mission leave Warsaw?

On September first 1939, at 4:45 in the morning, the Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on Danzig/Gdansk. September twenty-second is when German troops completed their encirclement of Warsaw. Somewhere in ...
10
votes
1answer
860 views

Where was the U.S. president when Captain McGonagle was awarded?

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How were dogs used in WW1

I know that dogs were used in WW1. I know that they weren’t vital, but didn’t play a reasonable role in helping the soldiers in the trenches. However, there is one thing that confuses me: How were ...
10
votes
2answers
552 views

In Francoist Spain, what steps were required for non-Catholics to marry?

In Francoist Spain, if I understand correctly, the Roman Catholic Church had significant authority over many religious aspects of life, including marriage. On Wikipedia, I read: Civil marriages ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

What was Lenin's major criticism of or differences with Marx?

I'm interested in what specific differences in Lenin's writing might address what he perceived to be the shortcomings of Marx's work. Wikipedia is weak on this topic.
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Why did J. Edgar Hoover publicly deny the existence of the Mafia for so long?

According to Wikipedia, Hoover denied or ignored the existence of the Mafia as a criminal organization until the Apalachin Meeting in late 1957, when it became impossible to ignore. What good did ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why were there more Muslims in East Bengal than in West Bengal

When India and Pakistan were partitioned, Muslims were in a majority in east Bengal whereas Hindus were in a majority in west Bengal. What is the historical reason behind this demographic statistic?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How did diplomats of the Axis powers travel and communicate among themselves in World War II

In World War II, Japan and the European Axis powers had to communicate over strategy and other things. Also, their diplomats must have had to go to their own countries sometimes. After the USSR ...
10
votes
1answer
635 views

How was the relation between the Ottoman Empire and Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro during the Second Balkan War?

As pointed out by Tom Au in this answer to "Has there ever been a truly multi-sided war?", Turkey fought and lost to Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in the First Balkan War. However, shortly ...
10
votes
1answer
208 views

How was the transfer of personnel from British women's military services managed?

In the 1990's,the former women's services - WRNS, WRAC, and WRAF - were disbanded and women absorbed into the regular services. Whilst women still cannot serve in combat roles, they are armed and ...
10
votes
2answers
403 views

How did the Chinese help Khrushchev?

I read this in the source cited in this answer Initially the Soviet assistance in China’s nuclear programme was limited to the civil nuclear energy field. However, Moscow’s attitude shifted in ...
10
votes
1answer
914 views

Argentina's involvement with the League of Nations

Argentina was a founding member of the League of Nations. However, Argentina left in 1921 when an Argentine resolution was rejected. Why, and through what procedure (if any), was Argentina allowed to ...
10
votes
1answer
871 views

What was it like to have type 1 diabetes in the early 20th century?

Someone in my family died in 1924 of type 1 diabetes at the age of 26. What would life have been like for her? Would she have been in the hospital frequently? What was the average life-expectancy for ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What do “zones of influence” mean, according to the Treaty of Sevres after WWI?

After its defeat in World War I, European powers partitioned the Ottoman Empire, annexing some of its territories, and setting up other territories as their "zones of influence". What do the zones of ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why was an independant Saarland country created twice after each world war?

After World War I, some territories were removed from Germany, most of them had either a majority or a significant minority of non-german-speaking populations. The exception that comes to mind to me ...
10
votes
1answer
241 views

How were British personnel employed in the colonies after independence

A lot of colonies continued to employ British citizens in their government even after attaining independence. But how were these employees paid (in local currency, or in pounds)? Was it not considered ...
10
votes
0answers
564 views

What is this old dual-disc metal object with a spindle? [more pictures added]

[Updated: There are now pictures of both top and side views. Scroll to bottom of post to see the side views.] While sorting through family artifacts, I found a black metal two-layer disc with a long ...
9
votes
12answers
2k views

Were iconic structures intentionally destroyed in 20th century wars?

I was thinking about this question I just asked, and I wonder whether the potential destruction of such an iconic building is even a realistic fear. Has there been any incident of deliberate ...
9
votes
6answers
16k views

Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How did the US fall behind in airplane technology from 1909-1917?

In December 1902 a Wright brothers built glider flew 600 feet. A World Record December 17, 1903 The Wright built the first successful powered airplane and Wilbur Wright flew 852 feet (260 m) in 59 ...
9
votes
2answers
916 views

Why was the Me262 not suited for a bomber role?

A documentary at Radio-Canada named "mégastructures nazies" mentioned the Me262 as not being suited for a bomber role. Also, Albert Speer was against the decision to convert the Me262 to this role, as ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Why were Austria-Hungary's Slavic minorities put into multinational states?

From the perspective of the post-Cold War generation that saw Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia break up over ethnic squabbles (peacefully in the case of the former, acrimoniously in the case of the ...
9
votes
2answers
729 views

Could you help me identify this photograph that was taken shortly after World War 2?

Could you help me identify this photograph? All I know is that it was taken shortly after World War 2.
9
votes
2answers
659 views

Did the Portuguese get anything in return when they handed back Macau?

In 1999, Portugal fully returned Macau to China. However, did they get something for giving Macau back to China, or was it just a sign of good faith and decolonization in general?
9
votes
3answers
911 views

Why was the capital of Ukraine moved in 1934?

The Russian Revolution is fairly famous for moving the capital from Petrograd (St. Petersburg) to Moscow. But I was surprised to learn that the capital of Ukraine was Kharkiv until it was switched to ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did Churchill accept the Order of the Garter in 1953?

Churchill had refused the Order of the Garter in 1945, quipping that he couldn't accept the garter from the king after the people gave him the boot. But in 1953 he relented and accepted the honour? Is ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War?

Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War? Or were there times where there wasn't such a fear? Possibly during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente, or ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Who was head of Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1907-1908

Do we know the names of people who would have made the decision not to admit Hitler in 1907 and 1908? Who was President of the Academy?
9
votes
2answers
522 views

What universities existed in Dutch East Indies, and how available were they to the native population?

In the introduction of his translation to the historical novel Footsteps, the translator Max Lane (who is also described as a researcher on Indonesia) said that in the beginning of the novel, the ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Who are the 20th century painters on this t-shirt?

I bought this t-shirt for a friend who is really into arts, but actually I don't know all the painters that are pictured on this shirt. Clock-wise, I recognize: René Magritte Edvard Munch Salvador ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did the Italians (and to some extent Jewish & Irish) dominate organized crime in the US in the 20th century?

Immigrants of a great many nationalities came to American shores, so why was it the Italians who reached such elaborate levels of criminal organization? (The Jewish & Irish seem to have come in ...
9
votes
1answer
766 views

Is there a way to find who died and what American plane crashed over a spot in Romania in 1942/1943?

My grandparents told me, that in the nearby forest, there was an American plane crash when American planes got back from bombing Ploiești. This is the place on Google Maps. To put things in a bit of ...
9
votes
3answers
556 views

Did the break up of AT & T in 1984 lead to technological innovation?

Are there examples of technologies developed since 1984 that would not have been likely to be developed had the Bell system stayed intact rather than being broken up by the US government? Let's pose ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

To what extent did Gandhi affect the factors that led to the partition of India?

From the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, we can learn that he was not as vehemently opposed to the Partition of India as one would expect. (See here) Probably no one is more distressed than I am ...
9
votes
2answers
908 views

What are the scholarly opinions on the idea of the “European Civil War”?

On Wikipedia, I ran into an article talking about World War I to World War II and some of the adjacent wars before WWI as being a "European Civil War" or a "Second Thirty Years War". What is the ...
9
votes
1answer
275 views

Why were the Yellow River dyke repairs delayed?

In 1938, in a desperate bid to slow the Japanese advance, Chinese forces breached the Yellow River dykes at Huayuankou, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing millions more. The ...
9
votes
1answer
288 views

When did passenger ships first have an on board duty-free shop?

According to several sites, the first duty-free shop opened at Shannon Airport in Ireland in 1947, since when duty-free shopping has become an enormous international business even though some airlines ...
9
votes
1answer
559 views

Did Radio Free Europe say that the Allies would come to the rescue during the Hungarian Revolution?

I found this video (in Spanish) where a woman claims that Radio Free Europe encouraged the Hungarians to resist, and that aid was on its way. Is this true? Is there any evidence? And if it is true, ...
9
votes
1answer
524 views

Did hanging tyres from Mostar's bridge help at all to protect it?

At various points (e.g. 00:14) in this BBC documentary on Mostar's Stari Most (Old Bridge) you can see dozens of car tyres hanging from the bridge prior to its destruction in the Croat-Bosniak ...

1
3 4
5
6 7
12