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Questions tagged [social-history]

Social history is a methodological approach to history that focuses on examining what the 'ordinary' people in a given time and place were doing. It is strongly influenced by the mindset and techniques of sociology and often makes heavy use of quantitative methods to make statements about groups of ...

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What does MLK mean by “lonely island” and “vast ocean”?

In the speech, "I have a dream", M.L. King says the following: One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. What ...
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73 views

What social relationships existed between the popular mobility and the political elites in the revolutionary American colonies?

What social relationships existed between the popular mobility and the political elites in the revolutionary and potentially revolutionary British American colonies? For those unfamiliar with 18th ...
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141 views

Why, and how, was the Catholic Church in Spain reactionary in the early 20th century? [closed]

Right now I'm trying to learn about Spain's transition to democracy in the 20th century. To start, I'm looking at the civil war that took place in the '30s. And the question I'm trying to answer is: ...
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294 views

How can we be certain of customs in the primitive age?

I am currently reading Our Oriental Heritage by William Durant. In Chapter IV. The Family, Durant writes of woman: In the hunting stage she did almost all the work except the actual capture of the ...
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1answer
279 views

Why conceal the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus?

If Alfred Dreyfus was innocent and the people in the general staff knew it, why did they try to cover it up and protect the guilty man? Weren't they concerned that there was still a mole present?
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180 views

How were interracial relationships between African-Americans and Latinos treated in Southern states before the Loving decision?

There are two states in the American south that historically had large numbers of both African-Americans and Latinos, as well as laws banning marriage between black people and white people: Texas and ...
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2answers
233 views

Is there a historic reason for why the Balkans are so fragmented? [closed]

Is there a historic reason for why the Balkans are so fragmented? Because while I can't name any of the top of my head, I'm sure there are regions that are just as ethnically diverse, but with less ...
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146 views

In Edwardian England, did poor families arrange to have their children buried in the graves of unrelated adults?

In Max Arthur’s Lost Voices of the Edwardians, a "compilation of memories from the turn of the century" (1901 - 1910), one Florence Hannah Warn relates how her brother Gilbert was buried: When a ...
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184 views

Historical accuracy of gulag archipelago [closed]

How empirically and historically accurate is The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?
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1answer
298 views

Were Arctic communities aware how different daylight cycles were elsewhere?

At extreme latitudes, what we would think of as the typical day/night cycle becomes very different. The sun remains continuously visible for one day during the summer solstice at the polar circle, ...
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7answers
15k views

Was race really unimportant in the 1660's?

There's this quote by Lerone Bennett Jr. where he said: Back there [in the 1660s], before Jim Crow, before the invention of the Negro or the white man or the words and concepts to describe them, ...
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299 views

In a challenge to duel, what happened if a thrown gauntlet (and later, glove) was refused?

What would become of a gauntlet or glove after a denied duel? I'm not finding any hints on Google. Would the challenger abandon it after throwing it to their challengee's feet, as a matter of honor? ...
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790 views

What was the perception of the average British person of the Boston Tea Party?

Do we have any record of the reaction of the average British person to the Boston Tea Party? Would the proverbial man on the street have been aware of the event? If so, what was their perception of it ...
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364 views

In segregated South, would Asian-Americans be treated as “colored” or as whites?

During racial segregation in USA many businesses had signs that either restricted service to a particular race or that directed different races through different entrances. Some examples of this ...
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2answers
65 views

Historic leisure activities (especially the elderly) [closed]

I am curious to know how people, especially elderly people, used to spend their time in the past. Did they work until their death? It would also be interesting how these were different concerning ...
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1answer
195 views

Khagantes, Aghas, and Sultanates, a feudalism of the east?

I'm confused about these terms, to keep it simple I've heard of people refer to khagantes and the system of Aghas in Kurdistan and sultanates as a kind of feudalism of the East with a pretty close ...
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2answers
297 views

What was the first recorded instance of sex or violence being inappropriate for children to see?

When was the first time in history (that we have a record for) that sex and/or violence became inappropriate for children to see and/or know about (more than it was inappropriate in front of adults)? ...
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1answer
160 views

How did close-knit and urban society function before the advent of daily bathing?

I was watching a fictional drama about 1920 and, seeing the characters fighting and sweating and dressed in heavy woolen clothes, it piqued my interest about human bathing. How did societies cope ...
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1answer
395 views

Were there cases of bride kidnapping in the medieval period?

In the Medieval period in Europe was there ever been any occurrence of a royal/nobleman capturing a fellow high-born woman (potentially from another country) for the sake of marrying her (and thus ...
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1answer
150 views

Education during World War 2

I'm currently working on a research paper for my World War II class and I've decided that I wanted to pursue the topic of education in Nazi occupied Europe during WWII. However, after doing loads of ...
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58 views

How did life for commoners in Okinawa change with the Satsuma invasion?

In 1609, the kingdom of Ryukyu which covers what is today known as Okinawa, was invaded by the Japanse Satsuma clan. How did this affect the everyday life of commoners (Everybody not noble or a ...
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1answer
147 views

Were there distinctions between Arab, Berbers and Iberian Muslims in 10th century Islamic Spain?

The Muslims of al-Andalus (Islamic Iberia) consisted of Arabs, Berbers and native Iberians who converted to Islam (+descendants). Were there significant social distinctions between the three ethnic ...
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1answer
491 views

How many hours a week did the Tolpuddle Martyrs work?

I can find lots of references to the pay rate of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (originally 10 shillings a week, then reduced to seven shillings and were due to be further reduced to six) but how many hours a ...
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2answers
503 views

In historical slave societies, what jobs were left over for poor free laborers?

And what laws or institutions sprang up to deal with them? Slaves have the effect of depressing wages for poor workers. If this has been a universal, I'm curious whether slave-owning cultures have ...
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62 views

How accurate was the depiction of the Japanese Canadian community in the movie Vancouver Asahi?

In the movie "Vancouver Asahi", it is shown that Japanese Canadians in Vancouver lived in their ethnic neighborhood and did not mingle with white Canadians at work. second generation "Nisei" people ...
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4answers
345 views

How were laws promulgated in the Middle Ages?

These days, new laws are usually announced to the public through the publication of government gazettes and/or on official government websites. How did the public find out about new laws before ...
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87 views

What is the earliest evidence of vocation and birth based social stratification?

The caste system in India as practiced today has several layers of complexities, mostly undesirable ones. But it's a reality. Now, it's commonly accepted that the Indus Valley civilization involved ...
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4answers
7k views

How could Jews integrate into Western modern society back when Saturday was a normal working day?

My understanding is that Saturday has only become day off for most people since the 60s-70s, and before World War II it was a working day just like Monday-Friday are today. Also my understanding is ...
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0answers
1k views

Where and how did pinky promises / swear originate?

So I found this article around it, but does not mentioned references and not sure if its comprehensive. The pinky-promise, more serious than we thought Posted by Camayak plug-in | Nov 4, 2015 | ...
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1answer
3k views

Did classical Romans wear any sort of swimwear?

Say that a classical Roman decided they wanted to go for a swim in a lake or at a beach, and they expected other people to be able to see them. Would they have worn some sort of swimwear or gone nude? ...
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1answer
156 views

Did any U.S. states or cities (outside of New York) ever make a decision to construct nuclear fallout shelters for their population?

According to this Wikipedia article on fallout shelters Germany has protected shelters for 3% of its population, Austria for 30%, Finland for 70%, Sweden for 81% and Switzerland for 114% Above ...
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2answers
75 views

Is there evidence to suggest that the strike of the Matchwomen in 1888 gave rise to the modern union movement?

We read: I had thought that the union movement had more to do with the strikes of Ned Ludd. My question is: Is there evidence to suggest that the strike of the Matchwomen in 1888 gave rise to ...
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2answers
528 views

How long did it take to make a 16th Century arrow?

While researching 16th Century arrow making, I read an article on the length of time to produce a complete arrow. My computer crashed before I secured the article, so if anyone can help it would be ...
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2answers
190 views

Was the “music man” on target with his claims of “pool” being trouble in 1912?

The American show, "the Music Man," was first staged in 1957. (The movie was made in 1962.) In the show, the protagonist characterized the local pool or billiard hall as a place for gambling, swearing,...
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195 views

Can anyone identify this sword?

It's been around for years in the attic and I would love to find out where it's from. Thank you.
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1answer
133 views

What did the Russian ambassador to Japan do during his trip to London?

The Nadezhda stopped September 28th, 1803 in Falmouth, Cornwall to obtain salt meat [Voyage Round the World in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, & 1806, pp. 35]. Imperial ambassador to Japan Nikolai ...
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197 views

Did they have a word for psychopath in ancient Rome?

The word psychopath only dates back to the 19th Century. It is difficult to imagine, given the Romans' sophistication level in all kinds of matters, that they could not differentiate among various ...
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95 views

What did British workhouses produce during the Napoleonic wars?

To a lesser extent also: same question for the preceding century or two; how did the mix of workhouse products change during this period; did output grow or change in response to wartime requirements?...
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1answer
456 views

Intuitive misconceptions [closed]

Are there any ideas that one would have in History intuitively that would be disproven by analysis? On the other hand, are there any intuitive historical ideas that have been verified by historians? ...
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2answers
7k views

Why was the Scout movement so successful?

I find it amazing how fast the scout movement spread after its creation. What I got from Wikipedia: Robert Baden-Powell became famous (rightly or not) at home for his activity in the British Army. ...
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1answer
190 views

How could a prisoner get lessons to read, write and do mathematics in jail, while innocent people didn't get the basic knowledge in 18th-19th century?

I am currently reading Les Miserables manga version ( Which takes place in France, as I recall). In the picture below, the main character has just got his freedom from Toulon Jail. The officer said ...
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1answer
153 views

Has there ever been a society with impartial distribution of privilege and punishment where all members of the society have equal status.

It seems from my non-expert knowledge of history that most societies are characterized by a privileged elite class exploiting an oppressed class to some degree. Are there examples of societies where ...
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1answer
244 views

How many people died of hunger and malnutrition in the post WWII 20th century?

I'm looking for a global overview of hunger and malnourishment deaths in the half century following WWII. While Wikipedia helpfully provides a list of famines, this only lists famine events - ...
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5answers
7k views

How does one wash with sand?

Maimonides refers to washing with sand. He may wash his clothes in water, but not with soap or using sand. Does anyone know how this was done?
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1answer
99 views

What constituted citizenship in the year of Jesus birth?

As Paul's trial was in Rome, because he was a Roman citizen, I wonder why Jesus trial was in Jerusalem, considering his father was taxed by Rome, and was of Nazareth. As Paul was Saul of Tarsus, did ...
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2answers
3k views

How did life change for the average American as a result of the end of World War 1?

Every year, the Daughters of the American Revolution host an essay contest concerning American History. I'll disclose that I'm not a student seeking internet help with the essay, but rather just ...
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1k views

Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
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1answer
896 views

Alan Turing and Arnold Murray

Whatever happened to Arnold Murray, Alan Turing's friend who was convicted for theft. I could not find any later information on Murray or any recorded interview of his reminiscence of Turing. Thanks.
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3k views

What is the name of the theory opposite to the Great Man theory?

The Great Man theory is a 19th-century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes; highly influential individuals. In nearly every lecture on ...
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233 views

Did stock adventure groups ever exist in history?

If you are playing Role-playing games then you will know the stock adventure group by heart, but for all others here are the core concepts: The adventure group is tight and stable: some people may ...