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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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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" ...
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3answers
302 views

Why did Native Americans never unify into a single country? [closed]

At a time when Europe and Asia had already united into several powerful military nations, the American Indian still lived in a tribal society which numbered over 2000 tribes. Why, in over 10,000 years ...
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 ...
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3answers
769 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 ...
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1answer
82 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
85 views

Why don't the Americas use ISO paper sizes? [duplicate]

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 ...
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1answer
335 views

Why did European people settle in America and later create another nation of their own? [closed]

Now, in North America, mostly white people live. They are not the real natives—it's the American Indians. They are mostly from England and other powerful European nations at that time who were ...
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 ...
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15answers
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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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
257 views

Around 1750, How many Native Americans (if any) spent the winter in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan?

This is the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan: I've been reading about it's history during the colonial era. Apparently the Native Americans mined copper from this area because there were great copper ...
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2answers
2k views

What form of cookware did Inuits use in the old days?

I have read that Inuits used some lamps carved from soapstone for heating (driftwood was too precious to be burned). They got some oil for the lamp from blubber. They used a particular species of moss ...
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
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, ...
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. ...
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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 ...
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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
560 views

How did silk manufacturing become a major industry in medieval Europe?

In the beginning of the Middle Ages, silk in Europe was known only as the expensive fabric imported from Asia. But by the end of The Middle Ages, silk had become one of Europe's major industries. How ...
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
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 ...
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...
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2answers
218 views

How did the different regions' cultures in colonial America eventually begin to unify?

There were a myriad of differences between the Northern and Southern regions, but I still don't understand how or why they grew similarities and united over time. Does it have something to do with ...
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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 ...
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2answers
336 views

Are there good examples of American frontier gangs terrorizing towns?

There's a cliche in western cinematography about a gang of bad guys terrorizing a small town. My question is: did such things really happen? Thought behind my question is that settlers might be tough ...
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0answers
117 views

What is the difference between a Russian serf and an American slave? [duplicate]

What were the legal and practical differences between say a Russian or Hungarian serf in the 18th century and an American Slave at the same time?
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
129 views

What, if anything, did Native Americans know about the rest of the world? [duplicate]

Did the indigenous tribes of North America know anything at all about civilization outside the continent before the fifteenth century? If so, how much did they know, and what international relations ...
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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 ...
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0answers
298 views

What was the relationship between the Tories and Quakers?

During the period of the American Revolution, most Quakers supported the British cause. But unlike many of the Tories, they were strict pacifists. What was the relationship between the British ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
415 views

New York City as “the greatest city in the world” in 1776?

In the musical "Hamilton," the Schuyler sisters sing of New York City as "the greatest city in the world". The scene is set in 1776, I believe. This feels like an anachronism. Was New York regarded ...
2
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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 ...
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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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2answers
368 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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...