Questions tagged [europe]

It is the second smallest continent, forming the Western extension of Eurasia.

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Why did US Foreign policy in Europe and France rely on the French military?

I was reading a book called "When France Fell" and it says in the early pages that the US policy around Europe in the interwar period was relying on the French military until a more ...
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Was Ottoman control a factor in the voyage taken by Christopher Columbus? [duplicate]

I am reading A People's History of The United States by Howard Zinn and it says after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople they controlled the land routes to Asia, making sea routes necessary. But I ...
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When did the cost of living differences between Switzerland and neighboring countries became noticeable?

Today it is widely known that prices of general goods in Switzerland are somewhat double those of Europe (rough generalization). There are a number of factors that contribute to this, notably the ...
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Did European elites train natives from colonial lands to help spread western values?

In 1961 Frantz Fanon wrote a book called "The Wretched of the Earth". In the preface of the book Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the following: The European elite decided to fabricate a native elite;...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Marriage for executioners in Medieval times

I recently heard from a city guide in Franconia, Germany, that executioners were well-paid but outcast from the Medieval society. Apparently, it was quite hard for them to get a wife because nobody ...
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Is this cairn/mound-like structure in Germany real or imagined?

EDIT: I have found the answer - it was Waldviertel Pyramid. I have provided details in the answer. The thing is that I have either read about or seen on a TV documentary about a certain cairn-like ...
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Are there any estimates of military spending as a percentage of total government expenditure anywhere in 15th century Europe?

A little piece of information stuck in my head about the military expenditure. Namely, the current expenditure on the military is incredibly low when compared to that in the middle ages. I am not sure,...
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How large is a 19th century stage house near Kaluga, Russia?

On creating a fiction story I wanted to visit a stage house in the 19th century, and I don't have a reference for how large such an establishment can be on a main road. My fictional history setting is ...
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Do wars in Europe rarely start on a Wednesday? [closed]

When the Russian ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, was asked by the German newspaper Die Welt whether Russian armed forces would start to invade the Ukraine on Wednesday February 16th, as ...
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1 answer
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How were "Wehrbauern" (soldier peasants) in medieval Europe even a thing, at all?

Wehrbauer (German pronunciation: [ˈveːɐ̯ˌbaʊ.ɐ], defensive peasant), plural Wehrbauern, is a German term for settlers living on the marches of a realm, who were tasked with holding back foreign ...
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What was the earliest legitimate ancient Satanist sect / cult?

According to this recount of Satanism, the belief system is a modern phenomenon. The only confirmed "Satanic Church" wasn't formed until the 1960s. I suppose we can concede that part of this ...
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Was it uncommon to see an Englishman with a cane or walking stick during WW1? Specifically, in Europe

Was it uncommon, during the WW1 era to see a man, with a cane or walking stick in Europe?
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2 answers
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Was it common in Europe in the modern era that proper names were translated?

My question is partially motivated by this question. I know that up until early 20th century in Hungarian many (or even most) foreign names were translated. For example this poster from 1864 mentions &...
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1 answer
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How colonialism have been done right (benevolently)? [closed]

The British Empire (& Europeans, Arabs etc.) colonised many countries but the colonial experience, advertised as a "westernizing the backward people for their own good" masked the ...
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36 votes
4 answers
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How literate were common people in Medieval Europe?

I stumbled upon a youtube video some time ago about literacy in Medieval Europe. The guy argues that probably at least one person per household was able to read - contrary to common belief. His ...
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Why were French maids apparently so common outside France?

Wikipedia article doesn't help at all. It's surprisingly thin and essentially doesn't explain anything. It's only vaguely implied that this was a thing outside of France. Why exactly did so many ...
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2 answers
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How did Medieval European river passenger transport develop?

I read some sources that transport by boat over European rivers developed already in the early medieval period, ie after having developed ships with low draft as well as the invention of a ...
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Where can I find Information about small businesses in Europe who formed 'co-op' currency & traded among each other between WW1/2?

Several years ago I read an essay on a small/independent website about companies in Europe which got together during the hyper-inflationary 1920s & 30s and negotiated amongst each other for ...
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Who are the "Two Parties" of the Protestants in the Treaty of Westphalia?

The seventh section of this linked selection of the Treaty of Westphalia includes this: But because certain religious controversies prevailing among the above-mentioned Protestants have not yet been …...
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When did Josef Mysliveček compose his harpsichord concertos?

At the title says, I'm trying to find an approximate date for Josef Mysliveček's two harpsichord/keyboard concertos. Mysliveček died in 1781, but otherwise I haven't found anything via IMSLP, All ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why were Muslims in Western Thrace and Christians in Constantinople excluded from the population exchange?

In the 1923 compulsory population exchange between Greece and Turkey, most Muslims living in Greece were forcibly moved to Turkey, and most Christians living in Turkey were forcibly moved to Greece. ...
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What's a good general history book on Italy, 1400-1600? [closed]

I'm an artist with an interest in artists of the Italian Renaissance. After reading several biographies it's clear that in order to really understand their lives I need to know more about their world....
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10 votes
3 answers
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How aware was Europe nobility of the danger of consanguinity?

If my understanding of history is correct, it was common for much of European history for nobles and royalty to need to keep the blood 'pure' by marrying only people of similar standing. This ...
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In what countries were plague doctor masks were most common?

Based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_doctor_costume: The clothing worn by plague doctors was intended to protect them from airborne diseases during outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague in Europe. ...
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6 votes
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What is this lapel pin logo?

I got this lapel pin in the mid-1980s from a retired communist partisan in Hungary. He had more pins, mostly of communist/socialist organisations, trade fairs, and combines.[1] cold-war era Eastern ...
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4 votes
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How common was cannibalism in Christian Europe until the 17th century?

When hearing about cannibalism, a Robinson-Crusoean narrative usually comes to my mind, where primitive tribes would engage in limited warfare and probably ritualistically consume their prisoners. ...
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35 votes
1 answer
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How common were marital duels in medieval Europe?

On social media, I came across a post claiming that in medieval Germany spouses could settle a divorce outside of court, civic or religious, through trial by combat! Naturally, I was shocked (the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why do Eastern European countries have the greatest female-to-male ratio?

I'm taking a Data Analysis class where we go over some data samples. Today we went over the world population data from 1950 to 2015. We noticed that the proportion of females to males was the highest ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Have Germans expelled from Eastern Europe been re-enfranchised?

After World War II, large numbers of ethnic-Germans who had lived in Eastern Europe were expelled - by the local (post-Nazi-occupation) government, by the USSR and even with some Western power ...
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Were hag stones ever engraved?

I found a hag stone the other day and am planning on stringing it as an amulet. My research indicates such amulets were in use over much of Europe, particularly Western Europe, as well as Egypt and ...
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21 votes
5 answers
3k views

Were there any crops and livestock common to both the Old and New Worlds prior to the Columbian exchange?

The Columbian exchange (this is the correct spelling) transferred a diverse set of crops and livestock animals between the Old and New Worlds. However, I have begun to wonder if there were any crops ...
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To what extent did the Jewish tradition of debate influence the development of Classical Liberalism in Europe?

Judaism has a long tradition of valuing debate. My sense is that it is somewhat singular in this regard. Certainly there is debate within Islam or Christianity, but if I understand correctly, Judaism ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Can anyone help me identify this Coat of Arms?

Can anyone help me identify this coat of arms? As far as I can identify, there are 2 Lion Rampant regardant. A Pelican in her nest, a crown, a shield with stars. It is on a small galleried tray that I ...
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2 answers
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Is the depiction of the Stirling Castle Knight historically accurate?

For some reason BBC depicted him with a shaved head. I was wondering if it is historically accurate for a 700 year old English nobleman to have a shaved head?
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43 votes
6 answers
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Are there any accounts of everyday life during the Black Death?

How did everyday life looked like for people living during the Plague? I'm mostly interested in trying to understand things from the point of view of a regular person living in Europe. For example, I ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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How did medieval peasants decide where to build their houses?

When a person moved out of their parents' house, they needed a house. How was it decided where this house would be located? For example, did they just pick the next available spot on a path? Were ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Can you help identify this European military uniform?

This picture was found in the possessions of a great-aunt who immigrated from Volhynia, Russia to Canada around 1908. My family is ethnically German, and many of the Volhynian Germans originally came ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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How did the European public school system originate?

Are there any good sources for learning about the history of education in Europe? I am particularly interested in learning about the origins of the public schooling system, as it seems they should ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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Why did Britain, not the Netherlands, create the greatest overseas empire?

The usual answer is that control of the sea trade was wrestled by Britain in a sequence of fierce Anglo-Dutch wars 1652-84. However, one can easily make the case that the Dutch won in this conflict. ...
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Has a reenactment of the firing of a carcass projectile ever been filmed?

From a Scientific American blog, on a "carcass" round: an explosive mortar shell (developed by the French) wrapped with incendiary material, this round was fully engulfed in flame after ...
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Why did Western democracies sign the Munich Agreement?

Why did Western democracies sign the Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany when they knew the nature of Nazi regime? What did they want to obtain by signing this agreement? In 1938/1939, two pacts/...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Can you help identify this European military uniform and medals?

My husband and I moved into a house that was built in 1900 in Wisconsin. We found some old pictures down in the basement, and I'm curious if I can figure out who the couple is? I thought I could ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Did religious names catch on before or after the use of last names?

Last names are interesting. Once upon a time, people had only first names, until growing populations and ostentatious royals started a trend of including a second name, most commonly either patronymic ...
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1 vote
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Can you identify this European uniform or awards?

This is my great great grandfather. I am having trouble identifying the uniform. It should be from around 1860-1890 ish. It would be from a German speaking country. The story that was passed down was ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Where can I find a historic recipe for red cherry-onion jam?

A while back, I had duck with red cherry-onion jam at a medieval restaurant. Allegedly, it was a historic recipe, originally prepared in 1445 for the wedding of one of René d’Anjou’s daughters. As for ...
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1 answer
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Did the Roman government attempt to hide the collapse of the empire? [closed]

Did the late Roman government lie about the borders of their empire? Has this ever been argued by Roman historians? This question is different from this one. Michael Kulikowski refers to the Notitia ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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What factors accounted for the pattern of caranvanserai across Eurasia? [closed]

This is a question we had in an AP World History test last week: I was able to answer (c) correctly (improvements in sea navigation and technology caused more and more people to transition from land-...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What did the Gauls look like during the 1st century BC? [closed]

Right around the time of the Roman conquest of Gaul, contemporaneous accounts describe the Gauls as having looked like beasts or savages, with thick knotted cloaks and unkempt long hair and beards. ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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Was frequent bathing for personal hygiene in medieval Europe common or not?

The usual narrative: No bathing There is a frequently debunked claim that medieval Europeans did not bathe. Occasionally, the claim is connected to pandemics of the era and extended to the idea that ...
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What is the name for the very first Polish state likely established around 966 by Mieszko I through baptism of Poland?

In the year of likely around 966, Mieszko I united all of the tribes occupying a part of today's western Poland through Christianization of it, therefore making Poland an official sovereign state (at ...
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