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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Was literacy ever used as a tool to oppress the population by higher social classes? [closed]

In this question, one of the answers stated that Actually, states can interact well enough with their subjects in the villages without widespread literacy. It helps to have someone literate who can ...
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What factors contributed to Korea's Modernization? [closed]

The only thing I can really come up with is the Japanese Occupation. Horrible as it was, it helped the Korean economy and growth greatly. But I cannot find anything else to attribute to its ...
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What was the typical range of travel of a Pennsylvanian resident for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century Pennsylvania?

How much traveling did a typical Pennsylvanian resident do for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century (1775-1825) Pennsylvania, and what was the 'typical' range (in miles) from their home ...
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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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What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas?

What is the historical relationship between Yule and Christmas? Yule is in part a set of secular and religious observances of a festival, arising out of pagan Germanic cultures. Christmas is in part ...
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Did civilian cold war bunkers plan for inclusion of family pets?

At the height of the Cold War, total extermination was considered a possibility. In which case any beloved domestic pets like dogs and cats would presumably die unless included in the civilian bunker ...
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Were new forms of communication and media usually condemned similar to how television/video games are now?

I'm sure anyone who is reading this has read at least an article, blog, or book condemning the consumption of television and video games as harmful to children, the behavior of teenagers, intelligence ...
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When did waving become a part of human interaction? [closed]

When did waving to others to say hello or goodbye first enter the historical record as part of a culturally accepted form of human interaction?
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What were the cultures of peasants in China during the Hundred Schools period (600-221BCE)?

During the Hundred Schools period (600-221 BCE) Chinese cultures changed significantly as ideas were contested amongst the ruling elite. What do we know of peasant cultures in China during this ...
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What are modern theoretical approaches towards history? [closed]

There were/are different ways to describe history and what the most important forces are behind history. some say "history is the result of great men", some "history can be only understood under the ...
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What toilet facilities were available at large formal gatherings in 19th century America?

I have seen many woodcuts and engravings of large groups of 19th century partygoers dressed in their finery enjoying themselves at parties or balls. Sooner or later in any gathering, nature calls. ...
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During the U.S. Prohibition, how did they get away with drinking alcohol?

I have heard about countless stories talking about people drinking during the Prohibition. How was this possible? How did they get away with drinking alcohol without getting caught?
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Did the fairy craze overlap the UFO one?

One theory goes that cultural interest in technologic UFOs* derived from the same paranormal sensibilities as fairies and elves of previous centuries; and as such when one waxed in interest (...
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Why did meat and dairy drop out of the working people in Britain's diet during the industrial enclosures period?

During the industrial enclosures period (1750-1832) meats and dairy dropped out of the diet of working people in Britain. This change was regional (oatmeal regions maintained milk consumption, bread ...
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What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule in Anatolia?

What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule (1300-1450) in Anatolia? How was social surplus extracted from peasants, by who, with what ...
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why Israel has not used its nuclear arsenal against hamas? [closed]

If Israel has a nuclear arsenal, why has not used its against Hamas? If the Palestinian had nuclear weapons would have surely used to erase Israel from the map.
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Why is it that the maiden name is traditionally dropped when a woman is getting married?

Haven't seen anything online, even after googling. Wikipedia seems to only list the countries that support the practice, but offers no history. Why is it that the maiden name is traditionally dropped ...
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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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What was the social and cultural role of a “country squire” in Victorian/Edwardian England?

In Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", the following passage appears: Ackroyd has always interested me by being a man more impossibly like a country squire than any country squire ...
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What are some early examples of local businesses advertising?

Today we see advertisements at sporting events, roadsides, menus, and pretty much everywhere else. What are some early (you define early, but I was specifically thinking of the hey-day of the ...
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Were early accounts of ancient child prostitution accurate?

Well I'm doing a research about the history and background of Child Sexual Abuse and due to the few sources related to the topic, I've been stucked ,but recently a I found this book "The Encyclopedia ...
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When did nose-picking became socially condemned?

Nose-picking is a common and well known socially condemmed habit. However, this condemnation seems to be a purely social behavior with very little grounds on medical risks; it is even done by other ...
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What was the role of a 'Tidy Man' and what might their duties have been?

In Hawthorne's 'Main Street' I came across the following passage: there goes the tithingman, lugging in a couple ot small boys, whom he has caught at play beneath God's blessed sunshine, in a back ...
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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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Why don't people without access to clean water drink beer anymore?

In the medieval ages, peasants used to drink beer instead of water because the plain water wasn't safe to drink. Why do people in countries where the water sources are polluted not do this today? Why ...
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Were Uncles referred to by surname in Victorian England?

Merry Christmas, everybody! And speaking of Christmas ... In Charles Dickens' novelette, A Christmas Carol, the main character Ebeneezer Scrooge is referred to several times by others as "Uncle ...
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How influential was the Jewish boycott against Nazi Germany?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_boycott_of_German_goods While I understand that Germans probably needed Jewish traders, there are many other traders out there besides Jews, so how could a small ...
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Conscientious objectors in Germany during WWI

Was there a special treatment for conscientious objectors in Germany during WWI? I know that Britain had a process of exemptions, which was however rather harshly and sparingly administered (see wiki)....
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What is the meaning of “£10 per cent” in the early 19th century in relation to a wage (30/- fortnight)

Reading Hammond and Hammond (1919) The Skilled labourer I came across the expression of £10% in the quoted primary sources, ie, at 34: The Duke of Northumberland wrote to the H.O. on May 26 that work ...
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First-hand sources for medieval urban life in central Europe

I am a teacher and I would like to do an exercise with my students concerning the urban life in the Middle Ages. I am looking for original, first-hand sources who describe urban life from the 11th ...
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Was it widespread practice to grant freedom to slaves in early Roman Empire?

If a citizen owned a slave, he or she could free him / her. The Wikipedia article gives some reasons for doing this: Slaves were freed for a variety of reasons; for a particularly good deed toward ...
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Were any drugs (except alcohol) forbidden during medieval or ancient times?

I assume that some drugs where known to humanity in some way or other for a long time, but I think actually prohibiting certain drugs would require a state that (for reasons of morals, public health, ...
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When and how did English become the Lingua Franca? [closed]

Specifically, how did it supplant French as the international language? Even in the height of Pax Britannica, many English upperclassmen still saw French as the more romantic language. How was this ...
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When did dueling with weapons become socially unacceptable in the western world?

Now in the modern days, the phrase "lets settle this like men" would imply a fist fight. Yet as little as 200 years ago, "settling it like men" would either involve swords or pistols; the fist was the ...
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Did indebted families commonly sell daughters into prostitution in Japan?

I'm writing a Graphic novel with a segment in 1930's and 40's japan. I've looked around on the web but have been unable to find specific answers. I've heard girls were often sold to brothels by their ...
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How did the French take the Republican Calendar?

I've been wondering what the reactions were in France to the new Republican Calendar. When I learned about it in school, it seemed ridiculously overzealous to me, and this notion hasn't left me since. ...
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How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?

I've heard the claim that the current Chinese calendar was introduced some times around 2637 BCE by Emperor Huang Di. Apparently, written records date back to about 4,000 years ago and before that the ...
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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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Why did Soviet soldiers who plundered occupied territories during WW2 prefer watches to other valuables?

EDIT: text in bold was added later to not suggest that this practice was common. I'd known from stories told by my Grandmother and other people of Her age, that after entering pre-war Polish ...
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How educated were the clergy during the Medieval period?

I understand that Latin was common language of clergy in Medieval times. I presume that bishops could read and write. There were also some monks responsible of copying books. What about "normal" ...
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Spanish-American war from Spain's perspective?

What did the Spanish-American war look like from Spain's perspective? Did the general population support the war? What were the reasons why Spain lost, was the general public aware of these reasons ...
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In U.S. military forces, did black soldiers suffer a heavy racial segregation during World War II?

Source: BBC In his book, Mr Hitchcock raises another issue that rarely features in euphoric folk-memories of liberation: Allied looting, and worse. "The theft and looting of Normandy ...
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Have any armies equipped/fed their officers and enlisted men equally?

In the Soviet army during WW2 the officers had bigger food rations. They also had better boots (kirza vs. leather). The air force pilots were fed even better (but that is not very relevant). What ...
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When were soldiers compensated with land grants?

In what times and places was it common to give land to soldiers, as a form of payment for their army service? I have learned in school that this was common in Rome. However, in the wikipedia article ...
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Les Misérables historical setting

What is the period in French history portrayed in Les Misérables in the early 1800s? Also, who was the French King at that time - the restored King? I thought the French Revolution was in the late ...
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What role did the United States government and major corporations have in controlling dissent and protest starting in the late 1940s? [closed]

After the Second World War, numerous movements of dissent and protest amongst workers or soldiers which had been kept in check by the profits of war developed into significant movements, such as the ...
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How did the First French Empire and allies differ from the other European monarchies at that time?

During the Napoleonic Wars (especially towards the end), France and most of its allies (e.g. Kingdom of Italy, Duchy of Warsaw, Kingdom of Spain) are absolute monarchies. However, they seemed to ...
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Historical and biblical names for bottles of wine

According to sources like the linked sizes list at Wikipedia entry about bottles of champagne and other kinds of wine, various sizes of bottles took their names after ancient Jewish kings and other ...
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How did ancient Nomadic communities conduct trade? [closed]

Given that nomads are always on the move, how would you conduct trade with one another? Or maybe a better question did they even conduct trade with one another? Were there always cities/villages ...
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When has serious unemployment among educated young populations not led to revolution or war?

For background: The Eurozone crisis has moved on to the next chapter and we hear a lot of bad news this time from Cyprus. While I empathize with the people of Cyprus, I have little doubt that also ...