Questions tagged [political-history]

Political history is the history of: political events, politicians, political bodies, political movements and anything else related to politics. Questions on topic will be related to the significance, evolution, or veracity of things of historical consequence related to politics.

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115
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10answers
23k views

Were there women who were against giving women the right to vote?

The TV show Sherlock prompted an interesting question about the historical role of women during the United Kingdom's road to women's suffrage. In the episode "The Abominable Bride" (set in Victorian ...
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10answers
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Has a sovereign Communist government ever run, and conceded loss, on a fair election?

Have there been cases where a sovereign Communist government ran in an open and fair multi-party election and conceded a loss? The reason for the sovereign qualifier is simple. If, for example, the ...
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When has a sovereign state last given territory to another as a gift?

There is a very popular ongoing Norwegian petition to give Finland a mountaintop for the 100th anniversary of its independence (6 December 2017), by moving the border a short distance. The barren ...
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When did the Romans finally acknowledge that they were living in an empire?

The Romans, during the time of the Republic, were a famously anti-monarchical society. There are plenty of stories of Roman politicians gaining favor by refusing crowns, or condemning kings, etc. As ...
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3answers
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When did FDR announce he was running a 3rd time, and was there any outrage?

When did President Franklin Roosevelt announce he was running again for a 3rd term? And was there any shock or outrage at this? I noticed the Vice President, John Garner, actually ran against FDR in ...
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What is the logic for the map maker classifying the map this way, specifically in Canada?

I recently came across the map displayed above. It is a map showing the spread of totalitarian and authoritarian governments right before WWII. The countries that are black are totalitarian ...
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Is there a historical precedent to the vaccine scare?

Today many people believe that vaccines cause autism. Is there a historical equivalent to this conspiracy theory, in that people believe something to be harmful when it has been proven benign by ...
34
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4answers
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Why could China keep most of the lands it conquered after 17th century but European powers could not?

If we look at the map of Ming dynasty, we see a much smaller China. Most of the northern and western part of today's China was conquered during Qing dynasty. In contrast, many European powers have ...
32
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2answers
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When did the term “Nationality” first come into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? By ethnicity?

When was the term "Nationality" first came into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? When we refer to Ancient Civilizations, did they consider themselves a nation in the modern ...
32
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2answers
933 views

Who, if any, in JFK's inner circle argued against the plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion?

Political discussions leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion are a notorious example of 'groupthink' and the failure of a committee in coming to a well-informed decision. Accounts of the decision-...
32
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1answer
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Did Kim Jong-Il wrest away power (rather than inherit it) from Kim Il-Sung in a power struggle?

I know little about North Korean history, but their official narrative and what I had also believed is that - long story short - Kim Jong-Il basically just inherited his dictatorial powers from his ...
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Why did Chamberlain remain Prime Minister of Britain until 10 May, 1940?

WW2 officially began on 1 September 1939, but Churchill did not become Prime Minister until 10 May 1940. Neville Chamberlain, the same leader of appeasement with Hitler, remained Prime Minister all ...
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When did the hypocrisy to call a dictatorship “free, democratic, republic etc.” start?

If we take a look at country designations, with depressing regularity the most repressive ones call themselves e.g.: Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) Democratic Republic of the ...
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Did any British working class men have the vote before 1918?

I was watching the film Suffragette recently and she mentioned her husband having the vote. I thought he looked too poor to already have the vote, but this didn't look like a film to just ignore ...
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Were secret treaties ratified? How did they become official while remaining secret?

Up to early 20th century, secret treaties or secret protocols seemed to be common. For example: The Russian-French alliance before WW I was partly based on a "a secret treaty in 1894" The secret ...
29
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1answer
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When did countries begin making up a pretext before starting a war?

In the past few centuries an unwritten rule has been followed where countries make up some sort of plausible-sounding excuse before starting a war. As an example, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939 ...
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Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
29
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Why was language not used to establish dominance throughout England 1066 AD–1360s CE?

Why didn’t the Normans enforce the use of their native tongue throughout the whole of England after William the Conqueror (of Normandy) became king of England? During William’s reign as king he ...
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Are there precedents of 'I am not a racist' from US Presidents?

Prior to Trump, has a US President ever explicitly denied being a racist?
28
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1answer
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Why was Kaliningrad placed under the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR?

Kaliningrad was (and still is) Russia's only (non-trivial*) exclave. Why did Stalin and the Soviet leaders transfer Kaliningrad to the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR (with which ...
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2answers
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Why did Switzerland not grant votes to women until 1971?

I was shocked to learn yesterday that Switzerland didn't grant votes to women until 1971. Other European foot-draggers like France granted this right at the end of the second world war, making ...
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Why are the USA and Canada's states border so straight?

Many states within the USA and Canada have straight lines as a border, completely ignoring natural borders like mountains or rivers. Many American states and Canadian provinces are just rectangle-...
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What is the context for Napoleon's quote “[the Austrians] did not know the value of five minutes”?

Is this a real quote from Napoleon, and if so, what is the context? “The reason I beat the Austrians is, they did not know the value of five minutes.” Found on many 'quotes' sites like azquotes
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Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?

The House of Representatives originally did not pass the 13th Amendment, and on January 1, 1865 it was reconsidered and passed. Evidently, the House first voted that day on whether to reconsider the ...
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Why did the Federalist Party collapse?

The Federalist Party in the United States was a significant political force during the early years of the United States' history. Wikipedia doesn't really cite reasons why the party declined and ...
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Who named the Democratic Party?

Which politician or organization was the first to formally use the name "Democratic Party" for the party of Andrew Jackson? When and where did this happen? Background: Thomas Jefferson's political ...
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Has there ever been a serious effort to reform the US Electoral College system?

There seems to be widespread feeling that the US Electoral College distorts the will of the people in presidential elections. Of course, that ability was part of the reason that our founding fathers ...
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Was the concept of religious freedom in the early United States applied to native American faiths?

When the nascent United States was drafting and adopting its supreme laws, several references to religion were made. For example, in the Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law respecting an ...
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Why was Harry Truman chosen to be Vice President in 1944?

In 1944, FDR was running for his fourth and final election. He was starting to age rapidly, he would be dead in just 82 days from being sworn in to his fourth term. Henry Wallace had been FDR's VP ...
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Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated?

The shapes of the Länder territories in Germany were very complicated. There was hundreds exclaves and enclaves all over the place to the point it became ridiculous. Notably the shape of Prussia, ...
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Was Kaliningrad offered to the Lithuanian SSR; was this offer rejected; and if so, why?

This is a follow up to this other question Why was Kaliningrad placed under the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR? Semaphore's answer states: ... a similar offer was made to give ...
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What events led to the fall of the Zhou Dynasty during the Warring States period?

The title above is fairly broad, so more specifically, what specific events led to the Warring States period experienced towards the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty in ancient China? As the lineage ...
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To what extent was prohibition supported by the American public?

I read an answer here that said the prohibition was imposed on cities against their will. A bit of research on Google seem to say that it was pushed through because people didn't realize even wine ...
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3answers
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In the early 1900s, how did US politicians treat black dignitaries from other countries?

Are there any historical records of US politicians (especially southern politicians) treating black dignitaries (especially royalty) with great pomp and ceremony, while simultaneously and ...
20
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1answer
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What were the key factors to the fall of domestic socialism in the USA?

During the late 1800s, and early 1900s the United States saw the rise of trade union membership, the coming and going of the populist party, and watched the progressive era come to institute reforms ...
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What is the truth behind this speech by (Lord Macaulay)?

Was this speech was delivered by Macaulay in British parliament? Got many articles saying that this speech was not delivered by Macaulay. Is it true? What are the facts behind this speech? I have ...
18
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1answer
919 views

Who voted against German reunification, and why?

The reunification of Germany in 1990 was effected by a treaty between the governments of East and West Germany (the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, respectively). The ...
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3answers
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Post-war indictment of ex-Confederates in the Confederate States of America

Why was the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, or any other Confederate soldier, not tried for high treason?
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1answer
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What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...
17
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1answer
975 views

What was the political consciousness of a 15th century English peasant?

How did they feel about the monarchy and living under lords? Were they are aware of alternative political structures? Did they believe their lives were fair?
17
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1answer
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Why did Thomas Hendricks win the majority of Horace Greeley's electoral votes in 1872?

In researching my answer to Can electors "flip the ticket?", I re-examined the results of the election of 1872. As stated in that answer, 1872 was an interesting election, not for the result (Grant ...
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1answer
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Why did Robert F. Kennedy loathe Lyndon B. Johnson?

Robert Kennedy despised Lyndon Johnson but it's not clear to me why. Johnson was a dutiful vice-president and honored JFK's legacy by passing the civil rights act that Kennedy would likely have been ...
16
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5answers
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What does it mean that the early supreme court “gave themselves” the power of judicial review?

I'm watching the "Crash Course: American History" youtube series, and I like, it, but it obviously skips over a ton because it's packing decades at a time into 10 minutes. So he just (briefly) ...
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How did Hitler imagine his succession? (for the case nazis would win the war)

I am not asking about any resolution he might have made in the feverish April of 1945. Do we have any information how Hitler imagined the government of his Reich after he would have died from old ...
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3answers
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Who was the first head of government to support same-sex marriage?

Earlier today, Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage. He told ABC News: "...for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able ...
16
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1answer
311 views

Whig party identification in the House of Lords

After the Whigs became subsumed into the Liberal party, did the label survive in the House of Lords? As of today, the longest serving current peer began his tenure during the Second World War. It ...
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When was the last time (if ever) an elector was faithless in US presidential elections?

With regards to the ongoing US presidential elections, I just read this on electoral-vote.com: Could There Be Faithless Electors? Presidential electors are supposed to vote for the person who ...
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Do most of today's democratic nations with two-party system exhibit a civil war in recent past?

I was thinking about the two-party system in USA and comparing it to mostly multi-party systems in Europe and was wondering, if this national state of democracy is mainly caused by political decisions ...
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What do I need to know about Syria's history to understand the 2011-2012 uprising?

Syria is in the news a lot lately due to the current uprising, but it's not a country that many people know much about. It can trace its history back to the origins of civilization, and as a result ...
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Why didn't Nixon erase the smoking gun?

Given that President Nixon was bold enough to erase 18 minutes of the "Nixon tapes" before turning them over to the Watergate investigators, why didn't he also erase the "smoking gun," the ...