Questions tagged [united-states]

The United States of America is a nation-state stretching across North America between Canada and Mexico, plus Alaska in the continent's northwest, the mid-Pacific archipelago of Hawaii and several territories in the Pacific & Caribbean. Founded by European émigrés rebelling from British control in the 1700s, the US spread across the continent by conquest and land-purchase to become the most powerful country on the planet after the Cold War in the 1900s.

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108
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On 1941 Dec 7, could Japan have targeted the Panama Canal instead of Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack?

This question comes from a slightly related one. At the time of WW2, most US industry was on the East Coast, including all of the shipbuilding for Carriers and Battleships. If the Panama Canal went ...
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Why did the Confederacy think they could win the American Civil War?

The early Confederacy (The 7 founding states) attacked Fort Sumter in April 1861, starting the American Civil War. The Confederacy knew this would lead to war with the Union, yet they seemed to be ...
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Why did North America economically prosper, and maintain stable government and South/Central America didn't?

Disclaimer: I understand this is a generalized statement and doesn't account for every scenario (for example: the US civil war). In general, why over the course of our whole history has the United ...
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Is there any evidence to support the claim that the United States was “suckered into WW1” by Zionists, made by Benjamin Freedman in his 1961 speech?

In the comments to another question another user of History:SE made a remarkable, if unbelievable, claim: Actually, Germany was shocked when the US declared war and entered on the side of Great ...
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Why, in the US, is Japanese brutality ignored compared with the Nazi brutality in WW2?

Instead of accepting too much of what I have read in my textbooks, I have read up a bit about WW2 on my own and have always pondered, why in the USA is the brutality and actions of the Japanese during ...
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Identify the era or any other clues from this soldier's picture?

I am going through my parents' photo box and found this. I don't think it's a relative. Right breast says "Ritchie" and it looks like left says "USARMY". The marking on the back says "Myself at Iujin-...
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Why didn’t Japan attack the West Coast of the United States during World War II?

In the early months of World War II, the United Stated spent several millions of dollars to fortify the West Coast against possible Japanese attack, going as far as to stretch a gigantic submarine net ...
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Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?

Putting aside their reasons for wanting to do so and all the emotional responses they would provoke, was the secession of states from the Union to eventually form the Confederacy an illegal act in ...
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Why did LBJ, a staunch segregationist, champion and sign the 1964 Civil Rights Bill?

Lyndon B. Johnson with regards to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.. From the Atlantic The times called for a leader who could subdue the vast political and administrative forces arrayed against change—...
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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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Why did Britain not purchase Alaska when Russia had it up for sale?

One thing that comes up often when discussing "what-ifs" with family or friends is why the British government never nabbed Alaska when Russia had placed it up for sale and made it into Canada's fourth ...
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Why does Japan use the same type of AC power outlet as the US?

Does it have something to do with the US taking part in aiding reconstruction of the country after WWII? I've tried googling around for an answer, but every site I find simply states the outlet style, ...
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Why did Hitler declare war on the USA?

Since there had not been any offensives launched by either side against the other, why declare war just because Japan had attacked the USA?
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What was the historical context of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution?

The 2nd amendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. There is a lot of ...
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Why didn't the USA move to the left after WWII? [closed]

After the second world war, and after the full impact of what the Nazis had done became clear, it seems like international politics moved to the left: in the east and far-east, support for communist ...
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Was murdering a slave illegal in American slavery, and if so, what punishments were given for it?

Was there any punishment for killing slaves, and what punishment was given for it, and was it enforced?
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When and how did the USA and the UK become allies?

You may remember that the United States and Great Britain had a minor spat in 1776, which shall we say, did not put them on the friendliest of terms. In 1812, while Britain was focused on its war with ...
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Has the United States ever had a non-Christian President?

If Bernie Sanders wins the 2020 election, he would be the first Jewish POTUS in American history (regardless of how 'cultural' his Judaism may be). Given this, would him being the first Jewish POTUS ...
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Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

Leaving aside the naval battles of the Pacific, why did the Japanese army do so poorly against allied forces (specifically United states and Australian forces) when on the defensive. While logistics ...
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Why were there no Internment camps for German-American Citizens in USA during WW2?

I am certainly aware of Japanese-americans being detained in Internment camps , after the attack on Pearl Harbor , and subsequent declaration of war on United States , by the empire of Japan. About ...
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How did the Nazis plan to defeat America during World War II?

Yamamoto famously advised against a war with the United States, because he could tell how powerful they would be once they got going. The Nazis, however, declared war on the United States of their ...
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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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Why did Germany officially acknowledge the contents of the Zimmerman telegram?

The Zimmerman telegram was a diplomatic message from officials in Germany to the Mexican president, sent in 1917. After being intercepted and decoded by Britain's intelligence community, its contents ...
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What did the Emancipation Proclamation exactly do?

I'm a bit confused about what Lincoln's proclamation did exactly. It's thought by some the Emancipation Proclamation gave all slaves the status of free. However from reading the introduction of the ...
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Previous examples of large scale protests after presidential elections in the US?

After the elections there were many news reports of large-scale, mass protests throughout the US, for example: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-us-election-2016-live-...
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When/how did Harry Truman give the order to bomb Hiroshima?

Am I correct in assuming that Truman and only Truman had the authority to order the bombing of Hiroshima? After all, it was the very first A-bomb and procedures may not have been formalized yet. It ...
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Why didn't the US choose to demolish Tokyo with an atom bomb?

Tokyo was Japan's capital. Why didn't the US choose Tokyo to demolish with Atom Bomb? Bonus Question: What factors decided to bring Hiroshima and Nagasaki on table?
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What is the origin of the stereotype that Polish people lack intelligence?

A quick glance at Wikipedia's list of Polish people demonstrates the stereotype as false. Poland has produced notable minds in such diverse areas of knowledge as Astronomy (Nicolaus Copernicus), ...
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Was it militarily possible to “island hop” the Philippines if not for MacArthur?

The battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines led to the destruction of half of what remained of the Japanese navy. It also "sucked in" all the troops that Japanese could spare from elsewhere, leading ...
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How did the American Civil War help the U.S economy recover from the Panic of 1857 given that civil wars are extremely destructive?

From the Wikipedia article on the Panic of 1857: Beginning in September 1857, the financial downturn did not last long; however, a proper recovery was not seen until the American Civil War. ...
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Why did the population of Anchorage, Alaska, increase by so much in the 1970s?

Between 1970 and 1980, the population of Anchorage, Alaska, increased by more than 260%, around 130,000 people. What caused this? There had been previous increases of approximately the same in ...
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When did official documentation stop referring to black people as Negros in the States?

Watching Why does the US have so many child brides?, there was an interesting part where marriage licenses were shown: where under race, in two places, it is clearly written as: Negro The ...
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What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?

After Lincoln was elected president, 11 states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What circumstances surrounding this secession led to the first battle of the war, and ...
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Why was there a surge in the US incarceration rate during the 1990s?

This surge seems to only have stabilized in the last decade and spans roughly 1980–2005. What is its cause? Even when accounting for population growth, the graph does not look much different. (Image ...
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Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...
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Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan?

On 15 August, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan announced its surrender to the United States, signing the instrument of surrender on 2 September, officially ending the war. The question ...
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Was slavery in the United States legally limited to blacks?

Was slavery legally exclusive to race? That is, could blacks and only blacks in the United States be considered slaves under the law? As an example, if an owner were to import into the United States ...
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What were the reasons for making Prohibition a constitutional amendment?

What were the reasons that the Prohibition in the United States was passed as a constitutional amendment, rather than a normal federal law, or a set of state laws?
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Were Russians in the cold war era USA discriminated against for their ethnicity?

As a Chinese living in the western world, I am a little bit concerned about the next decades where there might be a war or a series of conflicts between the rising Chinese power and the current world ...
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Is there evidence to suggest the “war on drugs” was a cover for class warfare? [closed]

In the April 2016 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Dan Baum writes about interviewing John Ehrlichman: At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask ...
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How beneficial were war bonds to the US during WWII

I've been watching classic cartoon shorts from Disney and Warner Brothers. So many devoted time to encouraging Americans to buy war bonds. Did money collected from war bonds amount to a significant ...
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Why did the French sell Louisiana?

Why did an imperialistic country like France (at that time) sell a territory so large for so cheap? Was it an important region at the time? I heard that the port of New Orleans was particularly ...
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How much were telegraphists in the 1950s paid?

I'm doing some research for a small project, and am having some difficulty finding information on telegraphists as a whole. The information I'm trying to find is rather specific, and I can't seem to ...
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How would a family travel from Indiana to Texas in 1911?

What trails and/or travel modes would an Indiana farm family--2 adults, 4 children-- use to get to Texas in 1911? I can find detailed information about traveling East to West, but I have found nothing ...
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Were there ethnic Russians in Alaska when the US purchased it 1867? Did they stay?

How many ethnic Russians, or inhabitants with recent roots in Russia, were there in Alaska when US bought it? Were they hunters, farmers, traders? How many stayed and became Americans?
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Did Churchill and Roosevelt know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the following secret pacts between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany prior to, and during WWII. It seems that the actions of the two countries after the invasion of Poland ...
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Why are the signatures on the United States Declaration of Independence structured as they are?

When looking at the United States Declaration of Independence its easy to notice that John Hancock's signature is more prominent than the others: From my readings I know John Hancock did sign one of ...
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How many people in the US starved to death during the Great Depression?

I was trying to look this up earlier and could not easily find reliable information on the internet, mostly due to a new popular claim that 7 million people starved to death in the Great Depression! ...
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How was the United States able to produce excellent tanks in 1942?

Most military histories of the war in North Africa, and especially those produced from a British point-of-view, emphasise the greenness of the American troops which landed there in 1942. There is a ...
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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?