Questions tagged [united-states]

The United States of America is a sovereign state stretching across North America between Canada and Mexico, 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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Did small rural newspaper offices in 1895 use rotary presses with rolls of paper or sheets?

I'm trying to find out what kind of press would have been used for the Troutdale Champion in Troutdale, Oregon (population 300), which printed for a few years in the mid 1890s. After researching some, ...
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What portion of tariffs was paid by Southern states before American Civil War?

My question is very narrow and specific: I am looking for records on value of imported goods unloaded at Northern ports (predominantly NY) and subsequently transported to South and sold to Southern ...
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How would an American returning from international travel prove his citizenship before 1914?

Apparently, international travelers didn't need any papers to travel (before WW1), at least in the USA and most parts of Europe. So how did a person 'prove' their nationality? From OP's comments: I'm ...
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Why are the USA and Canada's states border so straight?

Many states within the USA and Canada have straight lines as a border, completely ignoring natural borders like mountains or rivers. Many American states and Canadian provinces are just rectangle-...
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When did the United States ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty? [closed]

According to Wikipedia the United States are a signatory state of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was signed on 1968-07-01 and came into effect on 1970-03-05. But when did the USA ratify it?
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Was the M4 Sherman used frequently in artillery capacity?

I've heard the M4 Sherman had instruments on it that allowed it to act as an artillery piece. Is there any evidence to suggest this was effective? I've heard that the Sherman had of course, its High ...
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Who were the four US Federal Deputy Marshals escorting Ruby Bridges?

Four US Marshalls escorted Ruby Bridges into a Louisiana school, ending the New Orleans school desegregation crisis. One of the Marshals was Charles Burks but who were the other three?
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Did Midway provide the strategic opportunity Japan sought? [closed]

We all know that the Battle of Midway was a disaster for the Japanese Empire, and a turning point of the Pacific War. Events did not turn out as the IJN had hoped. But the result by no means was a ...
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Why are many African-Americans in Mississippi concentrated in the northwestern area?

I was looking at a 2016 election map of Mississippi. I saw a that most of it was red, but the western part looked very blue. I looked up one of those counties, and not surprisingly for an American ...
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Was American slavery economically advantageous primarily due to being able to also sell offspring?

It seems to me that the cost of a slave, which might have been 800 dollars, was something like 2 or 3 years salary for a Chinese laborer on the transcontinental railroad project -- they made literally ...
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What were the criteria for class ranking at West Point prior to the Civil War?

I was watching Grant on The History Channel last night, and it was mentioned that Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class, while Grant was in the middle*. They also made a point of pointing out ...
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What post-photographic 19th US century dark skirted stripe embroidered jacket, hard brim and top forage cap, light trousers, sword uniform is this?

What US uniform is this? Post-photographic 19th US century dark skirted stripe embroidered jacket, hard brim and top forage cap, light trousers, sword. (click to enlarge; picture purchased as part ...
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What do the phone number suffixes J, M, R, W in 1940 New York phone book mean?

Browsing through the Staten Island, NY telephone directory of January 1940, I found that certain phone numbers were printed with a suffix J, M, R or W. What do these mean? I've marked a few of them in ...
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How many pens were used by MacArthur to end the final chapter of World War II and where are they now?

General Douglas MacArthur counter-signs the Japanese instrument of surrender as Supreme Allied Commander aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. Standing behind him are Generals ...
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Why does the USA only have two political parties?

This question sounds naive at first, but let me explain: In most sources it is argued that the "first past the post" system of voting favours the existence of just two (relevant) political parties. ...
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When was the concept of the “border wall” between the United States and Mexico first proposed?

The current American president Donald Trump has become notorious for (among other things) championing the idea to build a 18+ foot concrete wall across the entire US/Mexican border. Where did this ...
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Were Communists drafted for the Vietnam war?

Given that it wasn't illegal to be a member of a Communist party in the US, how did the military handle draftees who might be sympathetic to North Vietnam? Were men who were members of the Communist ...
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Did war bonds have better investment alternatives during WWII?

The American government put a lot of effort into convincing the American populace to purchase WWII bonds. But did American citizens have good alternatives for investment during the same years? For ...
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Was the danger of Germany bombing the US East Coast taken seriously and were measures taken to address it?

In this CNN article an old lady from Dillon, South Carolina, recalls her memories from World War II and mentions not just fearing bombs from airplanes, but actual measures being taken against aerial ...
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Why was the Federal Reserve District in the United States so skewed in division?

I am always wondering why the Federal Reserve district in the United States is so unevenly divided. Is it by the population? Any historic reason? As see on image here I initially thought it was by ...
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Have primary voters in US overseas territories or their delegates ever had a noteworthy influence in any primary election or convention?

While watching Ken Burns' The Roosevelts I noticed that from the days of TR up through the early 1960s, footage of the party conventions where presidential candidates were nominated seemed to ...
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Did the leaflets from the US to Hiroshima/Nagasaki civilians on bombing cities reduce the civilian casualties of the two nuclear bombs in August 1945?

I read on Wikipedia Various leaflets were dropped on Japan, three versions showing the names of 11 or 12 Japanese cities targeted for destruction by firebombing. The other side contained text stating ...
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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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At what point did the United States have a truly federal army?

Wikipedia states that: The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784. But how much was it truly a federal force? I assume it had one central command from ...
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Why does Brazil have many more Italian descendants than the U.S. or Argentina when the latter two received more Italian immigrants?

According to the wikipedia page about Italian emigration (in Portuguese, but the table with immigrants to each country is very easy to read) the U.S. received 5.6 million Italians between 1870 and ...
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Why is the nuclear powered USS Nautilus (SSN-571) a museum, when nuclear aircraft carriers are not converted to museums?

My understanding is that the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine is now a museum. This boat was a real nuclear vessel, so it should have all the hazards associated with a decommissioned nuclear ...
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When the 'speedy trial' amendment was written, how long did trials usually take?

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution promises "the right to a speedy and public trial," to prevent the accused from being held without a conviction for a long pretrial period. What ...
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Did American leaders give any serious consideration to proceeding with Nixon's impeachment and trial after he resigned?

After President Nixon resigned, was any serious consideration (e.g. by members of Congress or important opinion leaders) given to proceeding with his impeachment and trial? The motive, of course, ...
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Why didn't Nixon erase the smoking gun?

Given that President Nixon was bold enough to erase 18 minutes of the "Nixon tapes" before turning them over to the Watergate investigators, why didn't he also erase the "smoking gun," the ...
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Was Nixon's Vietnam claim right before the 1968 election true?

In Richard Nixon's final appeal to voters on NBC right before the 1968 Presidential Election, he made an explosive claim about the Vietnam war. Here is how the Eugene Register-Guard reported it: [...
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Are “swirlies” really a thing in schools, or were they ever? [closed]

A school prank involving holding a person upside down over a toilet bowl, submerging their head, then flushing water. Wiktionary If I had ever had my head/face go anywhere near a toilet bowl, I ...
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Why did Americans oppose Richard Nixon's visit to China? What “past policies” were Nixon going against? [closed]

Many people opposed Nixon's visit to China. Why? I read an article saying people complained that Nixon's visit to China was going against past policies. What policies were they referring to? Article ...
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Why is president Nixon considered worst president in the history of US? [closed]

I have listened from people that Nixon is considered the worst president of US. I also watched a Doctor Who episode in which Nixon asks The Doctor whether he would be remembered or not. Then, The ...
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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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Do we know what the Watergate burglars were after?

On June 17, 1972, four months before the Presidential election, five men were caught breaking into Democratic National Committee's offices in the Watergate office building, in Washington D.C. They ...
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Watergate, the burglars - why bring crisp cash with them to the break-in?

My question, however technical it may be: why did the burglars bring crisp new dollar bills with them to the actual break-in? It might be an obscure Watergate question but no one has focused or even ...
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Were US exports in the early 1800s paid for with metal or with paper?

In the early 1800s, when people in the US exported goods to Europe, how were those goods paid for? What did the buyers actually send back on ships crossing the Atlantic to pay for the goods? I can ...
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What was located at the site of Madison Square Garden in 1850?

What was located at the site of Madison Square Garden in New York City in the year 1850? The location is between 7th and 8th avenues and between 32nd and 33rd streets. I have found an old map with ...
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Why did James Baldwin call it “magnificent twenties”?

In his "Many Thousands Gone", Baldwin wrote The Negro, who had been during the magnificent twenties a passionate and delightful primitive, now became, as one of the things we were most self-...
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Has the U.S. Navy ever commissioned the building of a warship overseas?

Many foreign navies have commissioned foreign shipyards to build warships and submarines for them. Most recently, Russia purchased to amphibious dock landing ships from France (that sale is currently ...
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Were there reasons for Japan to go to war with the US aside from the US owning Philippines?

Right after the Spanish-American War in 1898, the US acquired the Philippines from Spain. At that time, local leaders desired Philippine independence. The Philippine - American War was fought around ...
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If the Allies had invaded Japan in 1945, would they have been fighting the “weakest” Japanese troops?

Sources such as Basil Collier's "The Second World War: A Military History" list the Japanese forces during the war as being 6 million. My understanding is that the background of these troops is ...
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Did the USA have a plan to defeat Germany without Britain?

If Britain had surrendered during World War II (eg. during the May 1940 crisis), what was the American plan for defeating Germany? Without the British Islands as a staging area, an amphibious assault ...
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How did recognition by Morocco influence the history of the USA?

In my personal experience when having studied the early history of the American Republic, I learned about The Treaty of Marrakech in my U.S. Diplomatic History Graduate course. Prior to that time, ...
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U.S. Marine Corps and Why does the Navy’s army need its own air force?

A recent interview by C-SPAN host Brian Lamb with Washington Post staff writer Rajiv Chandrasekaran touched on many controversial issues of the F-35 acquisition program where evidently a lot of pork ...
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How many vehicles were involved in Operation Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, October 3-4, 1993)?

I wanted to know how many vehicles (include their model and which country used it), aircraft and infantry were deployed in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu in October 1993. Specific numbers of: ...
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Why didn't America “rent” parts of China? [closed]

After the Opium War, Britain and France signed treaties with China that said they could establish "spheres of influence" over parts of China. Britain and France went this way, but why didn't America?
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Did the Great Society programs ameliorate poverty or exacerbate it?

Once time ago Martin Luther King Jr., in his "I Have a Dream" speech, said: We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of ...
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Why is Britain the only country called “perfidious”?

The UK is designated as Perfidious Albion, allegedly, because of its duplicity in diplomatic affairs during its imperial times. Why did only the UK receive this derogatory designation? Didn't all ...
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Is there any way to get a list of Germans who were interned in American camps during WWII?

I am trying to see if any ancestors that immigrated from Germany in the 1800's were sent to the American interment camps during WWII. Is there a list of names for the Germans who were considered “...

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