Questions tagged [north-america]

For questions related to northern part of America, ie. pre-Columbian era, age of Spanish, English and French colonization, to modern day countries of Canada, the United States and Mexico.

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75
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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 ...
62
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4answers
19k views

Why did stock brokers go bankrupt after the crash of 1929?

If the sole purpose of a broker is simply to buy and sell for others, why would they go bankrupt? It's not like they have money invested in the cause, they just play with other people's money (or is ...
58
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11answers
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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 ...
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8answers
37k views

Did Native Americans ever fight the indigenous people living in Mexico before Europeans arrived?

From elementary school, my history teacher used to talk about the fighting between native American tribes. Then, later in the semester, we would briefly discuss the rise of Aztecs, Olmecs, Mayans, etc....
28
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4answers
3k views

Was there a Viking Exchange as well as a Columbian one?

In the Columbian Exchange, many tropical and temperate species crossed the Atlantic for the first time. Was there previously a Viking Exchange at higher latitudes? According to Jesse Byock's Viking ...
28
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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 ...
25
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5answers
21k views

Why did native Americans and Europeans mix in South America but not in North America?

A large part of the current population of South America are descendants of both native Americans and Europeans. In contrast, in north America the intermingling of native Americans and Europeans was ...
25
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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 ...
24
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3answers
5k views

Why was the Aztec Empire known as an Empire?

Wikipedia defines an Empire as following: The term "empire" does not have a precise definition, but is generally applied to political entities that are considered to be especially large by the ...
18
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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 ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Why did civilisation/city states never take root in Australia and North America?

I recently read that the Australian Aborigines numbered close to a million during the time of Botany Bay and comprised of ~250 tribes/nations. The Native Americans of North America also boasted ...
16
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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 ...
16
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2answers
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Why did the Mayflower leave so late in the year?

According to Wikipedia, the Mayflower began its voyage in July of 1620, was delayed while waiting for the Speedwell, and then ultimately left for America in September. This put them in America at the ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Why did Native Americans originally migrate to the Americas?

Native Americans migrated to America around 13000 or 15000 years ago just around the last ice age. I read that during the first wave of migration, they used the Beringia strait to travel across from ...
14
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1answer
3k views

What are the occurences of total war in the Native Americans?

In this article from Wikipedia, a war between the Pawnees on one side, and the Sioux and Cheyennes on the other side, is represented. It is claimed this war was a total war because the "non fighters" ...
14
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5answers
8k views

What are the French gains after the American Revolutionary War

Did France gain anything significant (territories or other concessions) at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War? I tried to look up for it, but what I found were very minor (Senegal in ...
12
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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-...
11
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2answers
576 views

Is there any evidence of post-landbridge travel across the Bering Strait?

During the era of the landbridge across the Bering Strait, evidence suggests that people traveled from Asia to North America by foot, becoming the first humans in the Americas and the ancestors of the ...
10
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3answers
7k views

Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country?

Originally, everyone in the area claimed the Oregon Country: the British, Americans, Spanish, and Russians. Why did Russia give up its claim to the region? What did they get in return?
10
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3answers
768 views

What did indigenous North Americans trade amongst themselves before Europeans arrived?

Once the colonial era began around 1500 or 1600, Europeans and Native Americans started trading. As far as I'm aware, the principal trade was beaver pelts in exchange for iron axes. But I'm ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Law enforcement vs KKK

What measures (if any) did law enforcement agents take against the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the south after the Civil War? From what I have read there seems to have been a lot of unrest in that ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Maintaining the status quo throughout the British Colonies of North America

Though Nathanial Bacon himself may not have been poor, the rebellion he became a leader of in 1676 eventually proved to be evidence of the class envy that existed in the British colonies of North ...
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3answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
572 views

Did the treasure ship Cortes first sent from Mexico ever arrive in Spain?

When Cortes first arrived in Mexico in 1519, some of his men threatened mutiny, saying they'd return to Cuba instead of fighting Indians. To prevent this, Cortes committed one of the most daring acts ...
9
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1answer
503 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 ...
9
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1answer
308 views

Why are Quebeckers different from Acadians?

These two French-speaking peoples of Canada are quite distinct, both in linguistic as well as historical terms. How did this difference arise? Did they arrive at different times to Canada? Do they ...
8
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1answer
711 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 ...
8
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5answers
10k views

Why were North Native Americans less urban than Central or South?

I was taught that the Native Americans (both North, then South) primarily came down from Canada from what is now Russia. Whether or not that is true, why did the Native American civilizations from the ...
8
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1answer
229 views

Were any of the early settlements in America attacked from the sea?

I have a textbook which describes various considerations colonists made in selecting sights for settlements. For example, it says that Jamestown was too swampy, so there were many mosquitoes and ...
8
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1answer
337 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 ...
8
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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 ...
7
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1answer
256 views

What was the ratio of French to English speakers in Upper Canada before and after the American Revolution?

Immediately before the American Revolution, the area that would become Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario) was largely French-speaking, having been a French colony until 1763 when the British took over. ...
6
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2answers
8k views

Why was there a reference to the Battle of Hastings in Harper Lee's novel?

I am unfamiliar with details of European history; how is the Battle of Hastings relevant to the historical background in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird? Chapter 1, Paragraph 4: Being ...
6
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2answers
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How was silver/gold mining done in colonial Americas?

I've heard a lot about the vast amounts of silver and gold that Spain brought back from the Americas. I imagine that they looted the Aztecs and other peoples at first, but silver/gold exports ...
6
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2answers
367 views

Did Canada or Mexico have an equivalent of Manifest Destiny at some stage in their development?

The term Manifest Destiny is defined as an outlook of the United States. However, the other two major nations on the North American continent also grew from port settlements and trading posts; so I ...
6
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1answer
394 views

Which side of the Atlantic does the jack-o'-lantern come from?

There is an often-repeated 'fact' that although the pumpkin is an American plant, the Jack-o-Lantern tradition is an older Irish tradition (e.g., in today's Washington Post) in which turnips were ...
6
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1answer
167 views

Proportion of population that works in agriculture (1000 - today)

I wonder what was the proportion of people that worked in agriculture (growing food and raising livestock, not processing food in a factory plant) throughout the past centuries in Europe and also, to ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Looking for a symbol for Southern USA communism [closed]

For a novel I'm writing I'm looking for a symbol, akin to hammer and sickle, that would represent a socialist republic created in Florida plus a but of Alabama and surrounding states. The hammer in ...
5
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3answers
196 views

Population disparities between New York City and Boston

Both Boston and New York City are incredibly important early settlements that still thrive to this day. Given the early advantages of Boston I would assume that it would be one of the top 5 largest ...
5
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0answers
91 views

What type and size of paper, and corresponding to which modern font, would have been used for typewriters in 1896?

I am going to be doing a first-person performance of an 1896 lecture; the subject being "impersonated" (Mark Twain) sometimes carried sheaves of paper onto the platform; some of these sheets contained ...
4
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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) ...
4
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1answer
416 views

What is the extent to which Malcolm X's activism was influenced by his Muslim beliefs?

Have been researching the role of religion on the Civil Rights movement and while I am aware that Malcolm X identified as a Muslim it is unclear as to how this belief influenced his (and his ...
4
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1answer
255 views

What were the dominant Native American cultures in Eastern Canada and New England in the late 900s?

It's an oddly specific question, I know. Just to lay my cards on the table I'm writing a piece of short fiction about a small band of vikings that penetrates deeper into the American interior than any ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Why were North American Native Americans Underdeveloped

During the Pre-Columbian period of the New World the Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, and many more civilizations roamed the land of south North America and all of South America. They were far more advanced and ...
4
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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 ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Why Mexico is not part of NATO? [closed]

Being a North American country and aligned, by and large with US??
3
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1answer
418 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 ...
3
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1answer
247 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
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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 ...
3
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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 ...