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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What source explains the norms, rules, and conventions of conservative society? [closed]

I am looking for literature in Social Science that discuss or explains why various norms, rules, convention of society are/were created, i.e. explain the reason of various norms, rules, convention in ...
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What was the ratio of people who were atheist prior to the French revolution or who adopted atheism as a result of the Cult of Reason?

I'm interested in the way the French people reacted to the religious policies during the French revolution, i. e. dechristianization and establishment of the Cult of Reason. Are there any estimates ...
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What was the importance of the patrician class in the Roman Empire?

This is a question that has puzzled me in my research of the history of the Roman Empire. During the Roman Republic the Patrician class was obviously of paramount importance, & history of the ...
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What is the most advanced nonliterate society?

I got to thinking some more recently about the interrelation of societal advancement and information availability. That got me wondering about the limits. In short, what is the most advanced society ...
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What happens to the women left behind by polyandry? [closed]

I'm asking specifically about the practice of polyandry in Himalayan civilisations, such as Bhutan. But I'd welcome insights from other polyandrous societies too. It's often been said that, however ...
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Did Northern troops attempt to re-enslave African Americans in Southern plantations during the Civil War?

In Black Reconstruction in America, W.E.B. Du Bois argues that during the war, Northern troops - in this case under the command of Nathaniel P. Banks - sometimes tried to get enslaved people back to ...
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What was the fate of the planters and their plantations following the American Civil War?

I had a question about the fate of the Southern planter class following the American civil war. The question was sparked by W.E.B. Du Bois's Black Reconstruction in America. Du Bois argues that they ...
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How was agricultural labour organised in Victorian England?

I'm asking, more specifically, three things: What might the leadership of a typical farm look like in terms of job titles and responsibilities? Within a given farm, how were workers divided into ...
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Why women in medieval India was topless? [closed]

I heard that women in medieval India was topless upto 1200 AD.. Why ? India was developed in many areas on that time , but women were topless.. Why ?
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Was homosexuality rarer in ancient Sparta than in any other Greek state?

I have been told that this was illegal under the law that No man shall submit to another However, this does not sound to me like it is banning homosexuals, perhaps banning one from being a ...
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When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
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What does a wife call her husband when addressing him in their household in 1600s England if he is a member of the peerage? [closed]

I am writing a novel that takes place in 1600s England during the time of the English Civil War, and the main characters are aristocracy with fairly vast land holdings in York. If the husband and ...
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Perception of the state by an average person in pre-modern times [closed]

I would like to better understand the experience of being governed and interaction with the centralized state (or lack thereof) in pre-modern times. A cursory search did not return anything ...
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What were birthdays like in Medieval times?

I considered putting this question on Worldbuilding SE, but decided it would be better suited here, as it is about history. I am doing some research for a fantasy medieval novel, and I was wondering ...
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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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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 ...
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What did typical mid-18th century housing look like in English villages?

There seems to be a plethora of resources available that describe what mid-18th / early 19th century housing looked like in major English cities, particularly London. But, I cannot find much ...
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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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What were the most popular destinations for British and American tourists on the Continent in the period 1880-1900?

How common was English and American travel to the Continent of Europe between 1880-1900? By businessmen, families, debutantes, honeymooners, politicians etc.
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Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year?

During the New Years days, the Japanese have a curious custom where they perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. This has produced some stunning sights on youtube But there's nothing particularly festive ...
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Whatever happened to Turing's friend 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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Was there anything like an African-American architectural style or symbolism at the beginning of the 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to northern states or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, ...
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At what age did samurai children start going into battles in the Sengoku era?

Exactly as the title says, from what age did a child of a samurai start to join his father in battles? I suspect it is when the child was considered an adult, but what age was considered an adult ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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Was hitchhiking common in ancient Rome?

I am writing a story about a soldier who survived an ambush and he hid several days. Then he walked to a village. While he was on the way (walking on a road) he saw a caravan ... So my question is: ...
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What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
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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. ...
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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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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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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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Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
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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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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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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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When did challenging to a duel cease to be a practice in English culture?

In the Aubrey Maturin series of novels, there are at least two scenes where the protagonists are challenged to a duel: Post-Captain - Aubrey and Maturin about Aubrey's reputation with the Admiralty ...
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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,...
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When did formal social dance fall out of favor in the US?

Up until about the 1950s, one can see instances of social dance (especially ballroom) dominating the social scene. This includes instances such as the tennis court scene with Humphrey Bogart and ...
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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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What's the correlation between an excessive unmarried male population and a big war breaking out?

I recently heard a commentator talking about the effects of the one-child policy in China. It went basically like this: For various economic and cultural reasons, it's considered better to have a ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...

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