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8
votes
1answer
217 views

When was bicycle ridership highest in North America?

Bike commuting share in the United States is currently less than 1%; but in some cities (college towns, really) it is 10% or higher (source). Is there a time in US history when bicycle ridership was ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Who kept official records in 19th century America? [closed]

I'm curious about records and archives in America during the 19th century. Was there any record keeping done? Who did it? Was there a place people could have gone to view public records? For example ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

Was there a European response to the trail of tears?

This question is pretty straightforward. While looking into Victorian British beliefs about Americans and American history I began to wonder about European attitudes toward American Indians; and more ...
75
votes
15answers
26k views

Why did North America economically prosper, and maintain stable government and South/Central America didn't?

Disclaimer: I understand this is a generalized statement and doesn't account for every scenario (for example: the US civil war). In general, why over the course of our whole history has the United ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

How did early America collect taxes?

How did the early United States (from about the time of their founding to about 1800) collect their taxes from their citizens? I read through this article and found no mention of how they actually, ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Historically, was the War of 1812 ever called by another name?

In the wildly popular Youtube chanel Crash Course, the narrator states that the War of 1812 bears that title only because of the historians' "great imagination" and mentions three humorous names that ...
28
votes
4answers
30k views

Why did Mexico encourage the settlement of Texas by Americans?

Beginning in the 1820's, Mexico encouraged Americans (such as Moses and Stephen Austin) to settle in their territory of Texas. It was this that led to Texas becoming independent of Mexico—something ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Why was the last battle of the War of 1812 fought fully half a year after the official end of the war?

As part of my research to answer this question, I came across a mention of the June 30, 1815 battle between the USS Peacock and the East India cruiser Nautilus (in the Indian Ocean) as being ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Was there anything in common between the War of 1812 between Britain and America and the War of 1812 between Napoleon and Russia?

Were the War of 1812 between Britain and America and the War of 1812 between Napoleon and Russia at all related? They were not only fought in the same year but also over the same general reason, trade ...
3
votes
1answer
417 views

Why did an American-Filipino war follow the Spanish-American War?

Immediately after the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, a three-year guerrilla war between the United States and its new territory of the Philippines began. What caused this war? The United ...
9
votes
1answer
501 views

Is there any documentation on the creation of Article 1 Section II of the US constitution

I'm doing some personal research on the electoral college as it has been becoming more and more relevant in modern US elections. I've seen tons of people talking about how it was designed to protect ...
58
votes
11answers
47k views

Why didn’t Japan attack the West Coast of the United States during World War II?

In the early months of World War II, the United Stated spent several millions of dollars to fortify the West Coast against possible Japanese attack, going as far as to stretch a gigantic submarine net ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Why was the Nihonmachi sector of Seattle selected for the Yesler Housing Project of the 1930s?

In the late 1930s the Seattle community of Japanese suffered a substantial loss when large parts of Nihonmachi (the city's Japanese district) were confiscated and torn down to make way for the Yesler ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

Why was Washington State an attractive site for aluminum production during World War II?

Some months ago I read that many aluminum manufacturing plants were attracted to Washington State during the 1930's and 40's. What made Washington so different from other states that these companies ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Meaning of 19th-century American parlour games

I would really appreciate it if someone could explain to me the meaning of three American parlour games of the 19th century. I am now translating a novel where these games are mentioned and would like ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What nullified the Missouri Compromise?

I always thought it was the Dred Scott decision in 1857, when Chief Justice Roger Taney declared the compromise unconstitutional. But I've also heard it was nullified by the Kansas Nebraska act in ...
2
votes
1answer
472 views

Why did Meriwether Lewis think that William Clark was coming to help him just before he killed himself?

It is well known that Meriwether Lewis suffered from some kind of mental illness, and that the his symptoms were especially pronounced during his final days of life, in the weeks leading up to his ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the estimated population of the Mississippi Valley before contact with European?

According to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel (p. 211), the Mississippi Valley used to contain populous Indian societies: When we in the United States think of the most populous New World ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How many acres per person were needed for the early American settlers vs. the native Americans?

Clearly the lifestyle of the native peoples of North America was less intensive than that of the European settlers and thus required more land per person. However, theirs was not exclusively a hunter-...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Time zones in USA

Time zones are demarcations of solar hours (15 degrees) on the planet (a few are offset by 30 or 45 minutes) used by many nations. Solar noon moves closer on average (depending on the month and day) ...
8
votes
1answer
336 views

Did most pants in the late 1800s have plackets at the ankle?

Recently, while at the New York Public Library, I spotted this painting: In it, Charles Astor Bristed is, in his youth, sporting pantaloons that appear to have a placket from ankle to knee. Did all ...