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 people who left behind few written records.

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8
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1answer
170 views

What sort of temples existed in small Greek villages?

Context: I am going to be starting a D&D campaign in a world based on ancient Greece, rather than your classic western european medieval fantasy land. This will probably not be the only question ...
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88 views

Did the ancient Greeks have “taverns”?

Context: I am going to be starting a D&D campaign in a world based on ancient Greece, rather than your classic western european medieval fantasy land. This will probably not be the only question ...
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0answers
63 views

Who are some people (or well-known fictional characters) that drew a lot of media attention in 18th/19th century Europe/US?

Suppose someone is suddenly exposed to a barrage of media attention today, they might say something like "I feel like a Kardashian". What if I have a character (in Europe) experiencing something ...
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132 views

How did Adam Worth make sure his crooks didn't keep what they stole?

I'm currently reading through the The Life and Times of Adam Worth and as much as I'm fascinated by Adam Worth and his mastermind for 19th century crime, there is one thing that the book fails to ...
2
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0answers
76 views

What would an ancient Greek village (small settlement) have looked like?

Context: I am preparing a D&D campaign, and because I find "medieval western europe fantasy land" to be a bit over-used, I'd like to make my setting more of an ancient greek setting. However, ...
6
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2answers
223 views

Were medieval and renaissance era jesters commonly disabled?

In Hilary Mantel's famous historical fiction Wolf Hall, she implies more than once that the court fools of figures in the era of Henry VIII often had some form of learning difficulty. Indeed in one ...
6
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1answer
191 views

Were surname upgrades a well known practice in the Spanish Empire?

People everywhere have names, and some seek to change their name. Spanish speaking people in particular generally have two surnames, paternal and maternal, in that order. Whether the maternal one ...
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0answers
82 views

Who was the Scottish philosopher that came up with the idea of a Scottish militia?

I read a book on the Scottish Enlightenment a couple of weeks ago and am trying to remember the name of the Scottish Philosopher that feared the ideas of a polite society would weaken the British ...
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1answer
103 views

Historically, what has happened to emergency services (other than the police) in corrupt/authoritarian states? [closed]

Everyone knows what happens to the police and the military in corrupt states: these are the kind of places where you carry extra cash for bribes. Everyone knows what happens to the police and the ...
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3answers
313 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 ...
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0answers
137 views

Is there a meaning in a name marked on the rear of a headstone rather than the front?

I have found a family headstone with the names of the deceased on the front (with many details), and a military cross (for their son) in front of the stone. On the rear of the stone is a name and age,...
2
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1answer
131 views

Has anyone written Australian history from the perspective of the original inhabitants - the aborigines?

I once read that an aboriginal man from Australia in an ironic gesture planted a flag on English soul and proclaimed it now was a part of the aboriginal empire. I’m curious as to whether there have ...
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1answer
3k views

Was touching your nose a greeting in second millenium Mesopotamia?

I ran across a curious sentence today, in a Mesopotamian prayer to a personal god (the grammar looked better in verse format): "Daily worship your god with offerings, prayers and appropriate ...
2
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1answer
256 views

Did 9/11 change people's behavior during the playing of the national anthem?

The Star-Spangled Banner was adopted as the official national anthem of the United States in 1931. Up until June 1942 there were no guidelines given as to how people were to behave during the playing ...
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1answer
180 views

How old is the practice of a woman accompanying another woman to the ladies restroom? [closed]

I am curious to know how old is the practice of a woman accompanying another woman to the ladies restroom. I assume that this practice began in America and Europe when indoor plumbing and indoor ...
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2answers
240 views

A question about the definition of heresy (13th. C)

I write considering a definition of heresy, given by Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (fl. 1235), who's words are widely cited in regards to the history of the inquisition: An opinion created by human ...
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1answer
137 views

History of monogamy [closed]

Is monogamy a feature of advanced cultures that emphasize a person’s individuality? I mean cultures that treat someone as person and not as an anonymous part of something else, e.g. nature or a tribe.
18
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543 views

Did men and women feast together in the early medieval East Francia?

I am interested in important feasts of the upper classes (nobility), e.g., Easter or the baptism of important heirs, in the Eastern Frankish kingdom around 900 AD, specifically the Duchy of Saxony. ...
6
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1answer
671 views

What were the most common reactions to Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott?

I'm curious about the general reactions to historical events in civil rights by people wanting to keep the status quo. However, this information is hard to find. News clippings I can find are ...
23
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1answer
3k views

Is the scarlet letter 'A' a real historical thing?

I've heard someone say something like: It's not a scarlet letter, it's not a mark on your forehead you keep for life. Obviously this was said in terms of permanency of a badge of shame, or ...
1
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1answer
182 views

What is the social history of British popular opposition to Thatcher over the miner’s strike?

I tend to watch a lot of UK panel shows and while most of the comedians are Labour/liberal I'm still surprised at just how much they seem to hate Margaret Thatcher. Particularly this seems to be about ...
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0answers
172 views

Christmas trees - real or fake? When did the U.S. Christmas tree consumer begin preferring artificial trees to real trees?

Source: National Christmas Tree Association via Statista. Background Our family was watching (again) A Christmas Story last night, and during the scene where the Old Man is bargaining to purchase a ...
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2answers
1k views

When (and where) did public polling start taking place on topics other than elections?

Image Source: The Roper Center on Cornell.edu Question When did public opinion polling on topics other than elections begin? Are there examples prior to the 1930's when Gallup and Roper began ...
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1answer
247 views

Who Is to Be Served First, Duchess or Son?

Suppose this is England in the Victorian Era and there are two individuals, a duchess and her son, dining together. The son, roughly thirty or so years of age, is seated across the table from his ...
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1answer
695 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
88 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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2answers
227 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: ...
8
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2answers
331 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 ...
4
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1answer
352 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?
11
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1answer
347 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
405 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 ...
16
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1answer
274 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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1answer
476 views

Historical accuracy of gulag archipelago [closed]

How empirically and historically accurate is The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?
17
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1answer
423 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, ...
52
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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, ...
5
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1answer
487 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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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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1answer
483 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
118 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 ...
2
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1answer
212 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 ...
8
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2answers
356 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)? ...
2
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1answer
181 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 ...
6
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1answer
1k 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 ...
2
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1answer
214 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 ...
18
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4answers
7k views

What defined a Jew in the context of WW2? [closed]

What made a Jew? It's a complex question, primarily because borders in Central and Eastern Europe were moving back and forth in the 150 years preceding WW2, mostly because Poland was annexed for over ...
5
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0answers
116 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 Japanese Satsuma clan. How did this affect the everyday life of commoners (Everybody not noble or a ...
4
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1answer
201 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 ...
8
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1answer
610 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 ...
7
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2answers
827 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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0answers
73 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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