Questions tagged [economy]

Questions which concern the historical management, distribution, and usage of resources; why a particular resource, or state of production, occurred in a certain way.

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44 views

Have any major building projects recouped their costs from tourism?

Many building projects throughout history seem to have been economically ill-advised. For instance, Wikipedia identifies the construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace as one of the factors contributing to ...
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2answers
530 views

Why are the historical large cities in the southern US not the large cities in the South today?

When you think about the large and prosperous cities in the historical Southern United States, you think of cities like Charleston, Richmond, Savannah, and New Orleans. However, when you look at the ...
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2answers
236 views

What was special in interwar Austria-Hungary?

I recently spoke with someone claiming that the tail end of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was an especially fertile breeding ground for inventors and entrepreneurs, especially in the ...
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2answers
135 views

Why did South Korea not go the same way as South Vietnam? [closed]

Currently, democratic South Korea is separated from communist North Korea, while Vietnam is united. These two countries had seemingly similar situations. Their former rulers, Japan and France ...
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2answers
131 views

How to you reply to Henry Ford and Otto von Bismarck? [closed]

All history is bunk -- Ford All history is fairy tales rewritten by the winner of the last war -- Bismarck There is a LOT of truth to what they say. And with PhD thesis like the courtmartial of ...
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1answer
85 views

Did Robert Devereux's monopoly on sweet wine encroach upon Sir Christopher Hatton's monopoly on wine?

I know that Robert Devereux was given a monopoly on sweet wine following the death of Robert Dudley, his step-father and the previous holder of this monopoly, but I recently read that Sir Christopher ...
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109 views

How did a new Inka recover from being cut off from his inheritance?

When a reigning Inka ("Inka" is the quechua spelling, matter of preference) died, his successor was disinherited and all properties, servants and lands were split among the Inka's other offspring. The ...
6
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1answer
276 views

How did medieval serfs obtain their iron goods?

Serfs were farmers who paid taxes in agricultural produce and subsisted on the remainder. As I understand it, they (unlike freeholders) did not sell their produce or manufactured goods for personal ...
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2answers
344 views

Before the Civil War, did the USA ever offer something like a “5-year plan” for the South to abolish slavery?

Before the U.S. Civil War broke out, did the North ever offer any sort of gradual slavery abolishment deal to the South, instead of demanding that the South stop slavery immediately? I imagine the ...
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95 views

Are there any records of Foreign investments or Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in history from pre-medieval or medieval period?

A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. If we look at the articles about the ...
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143 views

After the end of slavery at the closure of the US civil war, what percentage of former slaves stayed at their previous workplaces?

Upon the abolition of slavery in the USA, there were suddenly millions of former slaves set free. But they were left without an obvious workplace. On the other side, millions of jobs done previously ...
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3answers
619 views

Is it true that Nazi Germany replaced prices ending in .99 by round prices and called this “Aryan pricing”?

On a questionable website full of revisionist pro-nazi propaganda, which is not worth linking to (*), I found the following statement: Along the same lines, I remember a National Socialist ...
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4answers
825 views

Was WW2 necessary for Germany economically?

Many point to improvements in Germany's economy that took place under Hitler prior to WW2. To a certain extent, some of this must have been attributable to theft of Jewish property and the jobs in ...
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1answer
235 views

Was the introduction of paper money controversial like cryptocurrency?

I dont know much about cryptocurrency, but I know it is controversial. There are people on both sides. Is there historical evidence that paper money faced a similar thing? Were there people that ...
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2answers
620 views

Why did conquered countries after WWII recover, but countries conquered later continue suffering? [closed]

Nations damaged severely in WWII (suffered major economic collapse and civilian casualties) such as Japan, Germany and Poland have not only recovered but are doing better than ever before. Most of ...
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474 views

Why did towns became ghost towns after the mines dried up?

It seems that the gold rushes on every country produced a number of ghost mining towns, when the mines that supported said towns produced no more ore, or it was too expensive to continue mining. My ...
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98 views

What was the most expensive war of the 20th century? [closed]

Putting aside the enormous "cost" of wars in terms of human life and suffering, what about the economic costs? Once I studied the Vietnam war and Gabriel Kolko in one of his books described how much ...
3
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2answers
253 views

The history of rivalry between US and Britain in late 19th Century and early 20th Century [closed]

I have read the references from Wikipedia. But they were mostly talking about the American oversea trade in the Europe market. But I am more interested in Britain's reactions to the challenge posed by ...
3
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1answer
260 views

How did currency exchange work in the Middle Ages, especially if the coins are not recognized?

According to Wikipedia, there were a wide range of currencies in the Middle Ages: The various Germanic states in the west all had coinages that imitated existing Roman and Byzantine forms. Gold ...
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3answers
164 views

How did redenomination prevent the Weimar Republic from further decline?

My school is currently teaching us European History in the 20th century, and we were on the topic of the Weimar Republic. It got me thinking, how exactly did redenomination of currency save the ...
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5answers
1k views

Were there any developed countries that became “undeveloped” for reasons other than war? [closed]

From what I know developed countries seem to have stayed developed (or at least recovered quickly) even if there was a devastating war, e.g. Germany after WW2. If it's indeed the case that developed ...
6
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3answers
334 views

How did the Romans mint coins?

I would like to understand how the Romans minted coins. Mining, smelting and refining are no mystery; I can envision ways in which uniform coin-blanks might have been made : but the big problems are (...
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204 views

What was the economic impact of Notre Dame When it was built?

After visiting Notre Dame a while back I became curious about the economic impacts behind building a cathedral in the middle ages. The literature and the guides talked about a variety of motivations ...
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5answers
642 views

What's the origin of the movement to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union?

Who first proposed that the UK should leave the EU, and why? How did this movement grow in support?
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2answers
325 views

Why was agriculture more conducive to slavery in U.S. South than the North?

The most common explanation I hear for why there was more slavery in the South than the North in is that farming was more profitable in the South due to climate, soil quality etc. and the North had ...
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3answers
296 views

Economic status of whites in the US South at the height of slavery?

In Tony Horwitz' book Midnight Rising about John Brown's raid, on page 23 discusses Calhoun's stance on slavery: he asserted that slavery freed Whites from drudgery and class conflict. I wonder if at ...
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1answer
80 views

How did public debt financing through annuities work in the States General of the Netherlands?

We're going through some readings regarding how the formation of modern states was structured through the many wars throughout Europe across the centuries, and one of the points that concerns me - ...
3
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1answer
153 views

Were there socioeconomic reasons for the decline of Athenian democracy?

Historians often emphasize socioeconomic causes when describing the fall of the Roman republic, which began centuries before Augustus won the civil wars. For example, the sudden influx of wealth and ...
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84 views

How much would it cost to bribe a prison warden in New England in the year 1800?

The value of money from one decade to another is a very confusing topic - in my opinion, anyway. For instance, something called the CPI Inflation Calculator states that $1 in 1800 was the equivalent ...
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3answers
582 views

Why didn't Spain and Portugal become industrial powerhouses in the 20th century?

Although Spain experienced a gruesome civil war, neither Spain nor Portugal participated in either the first or the second world wars. Despite their losses of millions of people, widespread ...
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2answers
392 views

Did the Axis engage in trade with other countries during the war?

In Europe, Germany had occupied several countries while actively being at war with the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States while Japan had been expanding through most the ...
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152 views

What are some of the earliest examples of welfare states?

I was reading about Welfare States and came across this on Wikipedia: Emperor Ashoka of India put forward his idea of a welfare state in the 3rd century BCE. [...] The concepts of welfare and ...
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1answer
270 views

What explains this dip in Indonesian GDP growth rate in 1982?

In the years preceding it, Indonesia had been growing swimmingly, with rates as high as 9.9%, and just 8.1% in 1981. Suddenly, a solitary dip to 2.2% occurred in 1982: Google helpfully produced a ...
5
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1answer
267 views

Is there any economic history account of the role of Japan's precious metal deposits in the roles of the country's early industrialization?

The Japanese archipelago is generally scarce in natural resources, but Japan has a large deposit of precious metals in the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, and a few other mines, to a smaller extent. Japan ...
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0answers
89 views

How did tobacco affect the English colonies economically during the 17th Century?

During the Age of Exploration (focusing on 17th century), England went and colonized the Americas, founding the original 13 colonies. They brought back many new wonders, namely, tobacco. I know that ...
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4answers
5k views

What do historians mean when they talk about “supply side” and “demand side” explanations of the industrial revolution?

Joel Mokyr writes in Demand vs. Supply in the Industrial Revolution that The determination of 'when,' 'where,' and 'how fast' are to be sought first and foremost in supply, not demand-related ...
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1answer
152 views

For U.S. history 1800-1830, what was GDP by sector and industry?

The U.S. Census Bureau's Historical Statistics of the United States does not appear to break GDP down. I'm aware that the terminology is imprecise: GDP is a modern term, but is much shorter than the ...
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1answer
124 views

How did production of grain change with Hellenistic Egypt coming under Roman rule?

As far as I know Egypt, under the Ptolemies, became famous in Hellenistic world for vast agricultural production due to the strict and harsh administration installed there by Greeks. Still I wonder - ...
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2answers
520 views

How did agricultural productivity change in Italy with the fall of the Roman Empire and through the early Middle Ages?

I have heard that overall agricultural productivity decreased with the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. In part at least it must be in relation to a general decrease of population - less people ...
2
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3answers
430 views

Who was the first to point out that transmutation of gold would be mostly useless, since it would simply lead to inflation?

For millenia it was a goal of princes and alchemists to produce the Philosopher's Stone, a device by which common metals could be transmuted into gold. To modern people who know about economics, it ...
13
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3answers
902 views

What factors led to much higher US war bond sales and participation rates in WWII over that of WWI?

Sample US WWI Liberty Bond poster (left) and WWII War Bond poster (right). Source: Wikipedia Financing World Wars I & II in the United States In reviewing the United States efforts to finance ...
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1answer
320 views

How could Germany afford waging WWII? [duplicate]

I have been asked on several occasions how could Germany afford to start such a big war as WWII. Of course, they mean multiple aspects such money and other actors (countries) allowing it. Also, ...
3
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1answer
338 views

What expenses did a village have?

I'm trying to research the incomes and expenditures of a small village in medieval England. The village occupies a formerly abandoned settlement situated against an abandoned castle. The village is a ...
8
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1answer
308 views

Did indentured servants in British North America have job security?

Most people know about the practice of Indentured Servitude in the British North American colonies - that workers would receive "free" passage to the Colonies in exchange for working for the ...
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1answer
2k views

What was the effect of the Civil War on the cost of cotton?

If you look at contemporary sources discussing slavery as practiced in the antebellum American South, a couple recurring themes pop up again and again: Cotton. Cotton farming requires large amounts ...
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2answers
455 views

When has the U.S. refused to pay its debts?

In the late 1700s the U.S. refused to pay a large debt to France for money loaned during the American Revolution. (In this instance Congress decided. I do not know if the President had the ability ...
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1answer
238 views

How did old international loans work?

On June 11, 1782, John Adams secured a much needed loan for the new Republic from Holland. How exactly did this work in the days of strictly paper currency? What did it mean to loan internationally ...
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6answers
16k views

Has an individual ever purchased an entire country?

At any point in history, has an individual ever purchased an entire country - using their private wealth? Specifically, I'm looking for any examples of somebody who has purchased an entire already-...
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0answers
92 views

Economic aftermath in Europe and the Middle East of the Black Death

The following excerpt is from Blinkist's summary of The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan: Europe after the plague was an altogether different place. The population had fallen dramatically, but this ...
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2answers
200 views

What portion of the finance industry was British prior to WWI?

It's sometimes stated that Britain was the financial capital of the world prior to the First World War, and that it took extraordinary war spending like that in the Great War to shift the capital to ...