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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How did the “Forty Niners” get to California in 1849?

How did the "Forty Niners" get to California in 1849? In 1849, the Panama Canal would not have been built for over 50 years, meaning that ships from the U.S. east coast would have had to sail all the ...
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What precipitated the rise of social safety nets in the United States?

In the United States we received changes in the social safety net over the past century with the big changes coming in the form of social security and medicaid/medicate as well as other programs. The ...
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What is the meaning behind Thomas Nast's political cartoon “Compromise--Indeed!”?

I'm struggling even with this explaination here: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/harp/0127.html Who is holding the gun? That website explains: Dominating this picture is the ...
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Have there been gay riots in the US?

I was wondering has there ever been uprisings in the history of the US that were for gay rights or started by gay people?
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What are historical examples of globalization in action? [closed]

What specific things in society demonstrate globalization to the fullest extent? For example, every country in the world has electricity. Would this be a successful candidate for the representation ...
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Did Ted Kennedy turn to the Soviet Union for help winning an election?

Reading an interesting article in Forbes, I was dumbfounded by the idea that Ted Kennedy might have sought out Yuri Andropov's help to run for president against Ronald Reagan in 1984. A relevant ...
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Did the Soviet Union know when DEFCON levels changed?

The US military uses a scale of alert readiness called DEFCON, with DEFCON 5 being the lowest alert level and DEFCON 1 being the highest, preparing for imminent nuclear war. At least once during the ...
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Why did Jefferson have to 'Stretch the Constitutional Breaking Point' for the Louisiana Purchase?

Because the U.S. Constitution did not explicitly grant the president the power to purchase territory, when the 'Now or Never' moment came to purchase the Louisiana territory, he had 'stretched ...
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Is the USA Congress explicitly patterned after the British Parliament?

I have always presumed this to be the case. They have a similar form: two chambers, the lower representing "all the people" and the upper representing, very roughly speaking, "institutional forces" (...
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Upper-class male cohabitation in mid-19th century USA

James Buchanan is often considered to be the first (and only so far?) gay American president. The major piece of evidence for this (at least according to wikipedia and some popular articles on this I'...
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Did the founding fathers think civil wars would be frequent?

I think I remember learning that one of the founding fathers (Thomas Jefferson maybe?) wrote (in a Federalist Paper maybe?) that there would need to be a civil war about once a generation to sustain ...
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Natural born citizen

From what I understand, the so-called "birther movement" in the US asserts that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president of the USA because he allegedly wasn't born in the US and therefore is not ...
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How significant was the US military role during the NATO campaign in Libya?

The NATO campaign in Libya was started by the UK and France, and the US was later also involved. How significant and vital was the US assistance in this campaign? Edit: I am primarily interested in ...
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What kind of wood was the standard decking for Aircraft Carriers in World War 2?

I know that both Japan and the United States used wooden decks on their WWII Aircraft Carriers. Was there a specific, "ideal" standard type of wood that was utilized by either country? If so, what ...
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When did USA start to help developing countries?

In 2006, the United States government gave $23.53 billion in overseas development assistance. When did these programs start?
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What was the basis for valuating large territorial purchases by USA?

There were at least 2 times when USA extended its territory by purchasing it outright - Louisiana+ from French and Alaska from Russians. The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United ...
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Which technologies/commodities were available during the 30s on USA?

This is for a RPG story, so I don't need too much accuracy, but the common stuff would be very useful :) I've already found this site: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/ but would like more ...
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Which battle enabled Andrew Jackson to become the President of USA?

Which significant battle enabled Andrew Jackson to become the President of the USA? Considering his leadership and contribution to this war he was catapulted to the White House.
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What courses would have been required to get a B.A. in America in the 1930s?

I know in the early 20th century the liberal arts curriculum was focused much more on the classics, but am interested in knowing specifically what courses were required to graduate during the Great ...
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Has the US Congress's power to declare war been rendered superfluous by recent conflicts?

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the Congress of the United States formally declared war on Japan. After Germany declared war on the United States, the Congress then formally declared war on ...
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Was the US Navy larger in 1917, and if so, why?

Following the recent discussion in the third US Presidental Debate about the size of the Navy, there actually seemed to be a good discussion buried in there. How does the US Navy compare to its ...
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Did most pants in the late 1800s have plackets at the ankle?

Recently, while at the New York Public Library, I spotted this painting: In it, Charles Astor Bristed is, in his youth, sporting pantaloons that appear to have a placket from ankle to knee. Did all ...
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Why was the number of U.S. Representatives limited?

According to this Wikipedia article, the number of Representatives was limited to 435 in 1911 (bumped to 437 when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted and then bumped back to 435 four years later). How (...
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Did liberalism in the USA degenerate into something more totalitarian than liberal? [closed]

I'm not US resident, so that's a real question rather than pre-election discussion. Where I live liberalism never seriously changed meaning in public debate (yet) - it is still more or less faithul ...
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What was the average US unemployment rate for Democrat and Republican presidents?

Starting with the end of World War 1, what was the average unemployment rate for each United States President? Was the overall average different for Republican and Democratic presidents, and if so, by ...
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The Great Compromise, is there analysis on the outcome?

I'm doing a research about the Great Compromise and how it originated from the Virginia and the New Jersey Plan. Has there been any analysis on which side got the better part of the compromise. (The ...
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Can Bill Clinton run for president of France?

Bill Clinton says in an interview (Bill Clinton on running for political office again) : Because I was born in Arkansas, which is part of Louisiana Purchase, any person anywhere in the world that ...
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How have changes in taxation affected philanthropy in the US?

Every so often, I see a newspaper article which states that the wealthiest people in my country make less substantial contributions to philanthropy (relative to their wealth) than do their American ...
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How Many Members of US Congress Have Died While In Office?

As best I can tell, Leo Ryan of California is the only U.S. Member of Congress murdered while in office. He was killed by members of the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978. What I'm looking for are how ...
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Was Brown v Board of Education the only major decision that changed educational choice in America?

Brown v Board of Education was the landmark Supreme Court case in America that was supposed to allow more educational choice for all Americans, basically stopping segregational policies and on a legal ...
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When was federal sovereign immunity in the U.S. established?

Lawsuits against the federal government can be dismissed under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. For example, Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama was recently dismissed (Appeals court dismisses ...
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Recommended Reading 19th Century US Settler Daily Life?

At the time of this writing, I am riding in the comfort of an air conditioned minivan, traveling through the deserts of Arizona and California along I-10. I began to think about 19th century settlers ...
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President proposes bills: provenance

The President of the United States sends proposed bills to members of Congress, that they may introduce the bills on his behalf. There's no provision for this in the Constitution (AFAICT). What was ...
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Were mattress labels inspired by public outcry?

If you're an American consumer, you likely know the "mattress tag", labels attached to mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals, and pet beds, which often begin "This tag may not be removed under penalty ...
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What factors enabled the New York Journal to survive the yellow journalism wars?

The height of yellow journalism was a battle waged between the Joseph Pulitzer owned New York World, and the William Hearst owned New York Journal. However, even though these two papers boasted large ...
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Where is the location shown in this picture on a modern day map?

This image from this site is named Traffic Jam at the New York Entrance of the Holland Tunnel. New York City, 1920s As I understand, this is at Manhattan end of Holland Tunnel. I've tried, without ...
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What was the American policy on colonisation and why?

What was the official policy of the USA on colonisation? How well did America follow it officially and non-officially? What were the reasons behind it?
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United States Incarceration Rate

How many people were sentenced to prison in 2011 in the United States? This statistic is hard to come by online. The only measured incarceration rate I've come across is the amount of people ...
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Who were some famous Vietnam War Hawks and Doves? [closed]

Who were some famous people who opposed/supported the Vietnam War?
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During the American Civil War, could you send mail to someone across the border?

Before the Civil War, there was mail service between all the different states. During the war, could you still send a letter from, say New York to Georgia, or did the post office shut down services ...
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Is there evidence that working for the Pony Express was dangerous, or not dangerous?

So I was thinking about what it was like working for the Pony Express and I am wondering was it an extremely dangerous job? I'm thinking that given the success of the Pony Express it must not have ...
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Where were the Mormons going?

From what I've heard, when the Mormons left Illinois in 1846 they hadn't decided where exactly they were going to settle. Did they have some choices they were looking at? Did they have a route they ...
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Where did the railroad companies find workers to build the rails?

In the building of the various transcontinental railroads in the western US during the late 1800s, how did the railroad companies find workers? I suppose I'm looking for an answer like "They paid a ...
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What differences led to Technicolor becoming the dominant color filming technology in Hollywood?

Apparently another technology, Kinemacolor, was invented first in the UK, but it never caught on in Hollywood. Kinemacolor was expensive, and had some other glitches involved, but the fact that it was ...
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Has there ever been a serious effort to reform the US Electoral College system?

There seems to be widespread feeling that the US Electoral College distorts the will of the people in presidential elections. Of course, that ability was part of the reason that our founding fathers ...
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Is the Cold War still going on? [closed]

Do any historians consider the Cold War, or Cold War II, to be going on? I'm asking because some features of the Cold War still exist, such as an antagonism between Russia and the Western world, and ...
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Why are lower court jurists, judges, and supreme court jurists, justices?

I cannot find any information explaining why judges that sit on a Supreme Court are referred to as "justices," and judges that sit on a lower court are "judges." Everything I've found seems to ...
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Has the United States ever been formally condemned by the United Nations?

Presumably, due to its veto power, the United States has never been condemned by the UN Security Council, but has it has it ever been formally condemned by another UN governing body, like the General ...
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Did the USA win the counter insurgency war in the Vietnam war?

What happened in the aftermath of the Tet offensive to the Viet Cong? Was it actually broken or did it just incorporate into the North Viet Nam army? Edit: I am fully aware that the USA lost the ...
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When the United States Congress passes an amendment, how are its votes counted?

For a constitutional amendment to pass in the United States Congress, must the two-thirds vote include those present only (i.e., abstentions count against) or those present and voting (i.e., ...

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