Questions tagged [international-relations]

For questions about interactions between sovereign states.

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15
votes
3answers
2k views

When passports/border checks became widespread?

I was reading the Wikipedia on passports, and there were numerous important dates in passport history, but I didn't find any date when passports became widely used documents for travelling. I see ...
131
votes
9answers
21k views

Why was France granted an equal status among victors of World War II?

How is it that France emerged from World War II with a similar status as the U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, and China in terms of possession of a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, ...
34
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6answers
143k views

Why did Italy abandon its alliance with Germany in WW1 and join the Allied side?

Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. Why did Italy do this? ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
5
votes
1answer
741 views

Why don't the Americas use ISO paper sizes?

In the mid-sixties, most countries standardized on ISO paper sizes (A-series, B-series, etc.). The Americas didn't. Why not? (Around the same time there was a failed push in the US to switch to ...
4
votes
3answers
540 views

Is there a precedent for private companies maintaining a military force? [closed]

In general we think of Corporations as not acting on nations with force, simply with legal power. (Perhaps they maintain a fleet of security guards). We generally think of Corporations as leaving the ...
31
votes
5answers
13k views

Why didn't China assist in the Vietnam War like they did in Korea?

In the Korean War (1950 - 1953), China sent in about 1 million troops fairly quickly and actually fought the American and UN forces. In the Vietnam War (1950's - 1975), the only Chinese assistance I ...
5
votes
2answers
550 views

When and why China started to make a difference in the superpower arena?

China is starting to be more and more remarked on as a superpower, but this surely didn't happen overnight, so what would be that decade that was very auspicious for China and why?
22
votes
1answer
3k views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Why was France given such a lenient peace after Napoleon was defeated?

For two decades revolutionary France had attacked and conquered many nations in Europe. Millions were killed. But when the allies finally defeated France, the peace was very lenient. France didn't ...
11
votes
2answers
523 views

Chiang's allies were “a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully” but which was which?

Chiang Kai-shek complained bitterly about his allies Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (the latter admittedly not at war with Japan till the very end). But when he stated that China's ...
8
votes
1answer
698 views

Who thought there might be a war between the British Empire and the United States of America in the 1920s?

A naval arms race in the 1920s grew ugly enough that commentators on both sides of the Atlantic were claiming war “not unthinkable.” This quote is from a lecture by an academic called John Moser; ...
29
votes
4answers
14k views

Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?

It was virtually impossible for citizens of Soviet Union to move or travel abroad. Only some ethnic minorities (e.g. Jewish) with family members abroad could move out, yet with great difficulty. Why ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany after WW2?

These areas have always been German, in fact Pomerania and Brandenburg were both part of Prussia since the 1700's. Why did the Soviet Union do this, and how did the victorious powers justify taking ...
13
votes
2answers
844 views

How did France worsen its relationship with Turkey?

Several years back Turkey barred some French companies to participate in one of its arms procurement tender. Turkey doesn't allow French military air-crafts or ships to pass its territorial space. ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
5
votes
1answer
437 views

Why was the duration of territorial contracts often 99 years?

This is based on this Reddit question, but I rectified its mistakes. For example, some European colonies in China were leased for 99 years, like German Kiautschou and the New Territories (but not ...
3
votes
2answers
600 views

Why didn't America “rent” parts of China? [closed]

After the Opium War, Britain and France signed treaties with China that said they could establish "spheres of influence" over parts of China. Britain and France went this way, but why didn't America?