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11
votes
2answers
1k views

What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

What advanced educational opportunities were available to native Africans in the early 1890's?

I remember reading once that there were universities in India that were managed or run by the British, and that these schools permitted native Africans to attend. However, it was a long time ago and I ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What types of weapons did the British army use in the late 1890's?

I am particularly interested in the types of rifles that troops serving in Africa would use, especially during the 1890's. Did they have any kind of repeating rifles, or were they still using single ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

How long would it take to travel from England to western Africa in the late 1890's?

I am trying to do some research for a book I am planning to write, and I would like to know how long it would take for a troop transport ship to travel from England to the Gold Coast region of Africa. ...
5
votes
3answers
405 views

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?
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Has mercantilism ever been successful?

Mercantilism, which includes protectionism, industrial policy, capital controls, and other distortions to trade, is generally viewed by economists today as unsound economic policy. An overwhelming ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

When was the earliest recorded battle with the usage of gunpowder as an offensive weapon?

When was the earliest recorded battle (on script) with the usage of gunpowder (in any form) as an offensive weapon?
13
votes
1answer
392 views

What were the rights of various classes of people in the Roman Republic?

Ancient Rome is often cited as a republic/democracy, and one of the earliest examples of a civilisation enforcing some degree of human rights. However, it's no secret that slavery was present in Rome. ...
9
votes
2answers
822 views

What are the scholarly opinions on the idea of the “European Civil War”?

On Wikipedia, I ran into an article talking about World War I to World War II and some of the adjacent wars before WWI as being a "European Civil War" or a "Second Thirty Years War". What is the ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

What post 18thC countries rulers escaped to a remote/separate region and hung on while the country collapsed under revolution?

Other than Taiwan/China, what other countries had revolutions where the ruling party/rulers escaped to a remote area or region and held onto power as a country/government while the rest of the country ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

What factors permitted Buddhism to be successful in Japan but Christianity less so?

From reading The Samurai and the Sacred, it looks like Buddhism achieved acceptance into Japanese culture due to its willingness to assimilate with the (already present) Shinto religion. Conversely, ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Were Shakespeare's plays written for “high culture” or “entertain the bawdy masses” during his time?

Currently, the plays of William Shakespeare are viewed as great English literature, and viewed as "high culture". However I heard someone say that Shakespeare was writing "bawdy, violence filled plays ...
-5
votes
3answers
595 views

Is there actual debate over which country (Brazil or Portugal) is the successor state to the original Portugal? [closed]

I heard that "Portugal is so lame, it had to declare independece from it's colony (Brasil)", which was elaborated to saying that it's not actually obvious which state (Brazil or Portugal) are the ...
21
votes
8answers
6k views

Even though Spain and Portugal had many colonies (15th/16th C), what factors permitted UK/France to become world powers later (18th/19th C)?

Some of the first European countries to acquire colonies in the "New World" (and elsewhere) were Spain and Portugal. They "discovered America" (as the euro-centric interpretation goes), and had ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Quantitative comparison of transportation cost per kilometer over the centuries? [closed]

I am interested to see research on the development of transportation costs over the centuries. I realize the difficulty with researching this topic so I am interested in anything, which can enlighten ...
4
votes
3answers
819 views

Did the roman conquerors have directives/guidelines to either integrate or assimilate foreign tribes/folks?

It is likely that Romans made no distinction between today's terms integration and assimilation. They did everything that was necessary for the expansion of the Roman empire and worked from experience....
7
votes
1answer
794 views

When was divorce made illegal again in Ireland?

Divorce has been legal in the UK for a long time (since Henry VII obviously). Ireland was part of the UK since 1800 (Act of Union of 1800), so I assume that civil divorce was legal in Ireland in the ...
18
votes
4answers
10k views

Are there any records that indicate a submarine vs submarine battle?

I am aware of only one which is the U-864 was sunk by the HMS Venturer but that was when both were being submerged -- according to wikipedia. Is that accurate? Which battles did happen between two (...
26
votes
2answers
12k views

When did homosexuality become unacceptable in Europe?

In the ancient greek world male homosexuality was common and didn't attract the same scorn as it did even 100 years ago. So 2,000 years ago, it was acceptable, and 100 years ago it was unacceptable. ...
26
votes
11answers
12k views

Why wasn't the Republic of Ireland invaded (by either side) in WW2?

Ireland was neutral in WW2, however it was never invaded (by either side). How come? Why wasn't Ireland invaded by the UK to prevent the Germans invading? Why didn't germany invade ireland? It would ...
2
votes
0answers
170 views

Were Pope John Paul I's views anything that could imply a support for contraception? [closed]

Pope John Paul I was a short lived pope (only 33 days). There are rumours that he was assasinated. Someone told me that he was quite liberal (as catholic popes can go), and some of his teachings/...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

How were dagger axes used in battle?

During the Chinese warring states, weapons knowns as dagger axes were used and there is a wide body of evidence that those were common at one time -- so so I believe. Is there any record of fighting ...
8
votes
2answers
585 views

What was the first recorded use of Aerial Weapons in warfare?

Fighter planes were popularised by their extensive use in WWI. What Aerial weapons were used before that period (if any)? What is earliest recorded use of Aerial Attacking and what was the technology ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

How did a besieged city/castle defend itself vs. catapulting diseased dead bodies into it?

I was a bit shocked to read that diseased dead bodies/animals where catapulted into besieged castles/towns. Biological warfare in the middle ages. But this "method" of warfare had probably a lot of ...
16
votes
1answer
7k views

What was the life expectancy of an ancient Roman child and adult?

I'm assuming the average life expectancy of a Roman did not change very much between 500 BC - 500 AD (?), as there was probably no significant progress in medical knowledge or nutrition. Do historians ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What factors contributed to earlier democratic states failing?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the superior form of government. If this is true, then factors might have contributed to earlier democratic states like Athens in 500 BCE and the Roman ...
60
votes
4answers
33k views

How did Israel win the Six-Day War?

Considering Israel fought several Arab countries, which had troops largely outnumbering the Israeli, how did they manage to win the war decisively, with much fewer casualties than the Arab countries? ...
4
votes
1answer
543 views

Are the Xibe people the same as the Manchu?

Xibe people living in Xinjiang are Qing dynasty colonists in the region. They clearly speak the same language as the Manchu did, which bears a question: Are the Xibe and Manchu people the same ethnic ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

What set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the other border checkpoints in Berlin during the Cold War?

How did "Checkpoint Charlie" become known as the border crossing between East and West Berlin? Out of the countless border checkpoints, what set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the rest for defectors?
0
votes
1answer
632 views

Historically accurate WW2 simulation [closed]

Does anyone of a good and historically accurate large scale WW2 simulation? This could be either a computer or board game. Note: I am not sure if this should be on topic, of instead of downvoting if ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?

Does anyone know of any battles where war elephants played either a major or decisive part in the victory of whoever had them? As far as I know, they were mostly used for the fear factor and were ...
25
votes
1answer
8k views

When and why did war chariots stopped being used?

Many cultures (Egypt, Celts, etc...) had war chariots either as mobile platforms or as troop transport. What other advance in warfare made them obsolete?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the origins of the Shinto religion?

Shinto's recorded history is typically dated to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, but most sources suggest that oral traditions go back much further than this. What evidence is there to support this - ...
45
votes
3answers
5k views

What was the typical peasant's diet like in Europe during the High Middle Ages?

I know that wheat, barley, rye, onions, lettuce-like plants and turnips were common but how common were other things like meat or cheese? I've heard the "plowman's lunch" was a concoction of the dairy ...
4
votes
1answer
726 views

How was Australia able to start to demobilize in 1944?

Frank Welsh's mammoth history of Australia, Great Southern Land notes that From June 1944 ... the Australian government began demobilising its soldiers. Welsh doesn't go into detail but I'm ...
17
votes
5answers
14k views

Which 11 countries were democratic in 1941?

Relistening to the BBC's History of Democracy broadcast in July 2011. The historian on the show talked about the low point for democracies being 1941 when there were just 11 parliamentary democracies ...
6
votes
1answer
359 views

Is there any evidence of Edward VIII trying to influence the UK Government?

Edward VIII was King of the UK, however he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorced woman. Someone told me that the "real reason" was that he was trying to influence the UK government and/or ...
15
votes
2answers
637 views

Is the “youth bulge” hypothesis an evident explanation for imperialistic/rebellious historic movements and genocides?

The "youth bulge" hypothesis says that whenever the proportion of young men in the population was very high, their unhappiness with their future prospects - i.e., their inability to get jobs and ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How frequently were homing pigeons used in the World Wars?

It seems that the strategic weight of specially bred pigeons is much higher than I thought at first, based on the number of pigeons used and the effort to stop them. (In WW2 Germans even trained ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What was the reason for inflation in Britain after the Black Death?

According to the Wikipedia article Ordinance of Labourers 1349 During this outbreak [of Black Death], an estimated 30-40% of the population died. The decline in population left surviving workers in ...
10
votes
1answer
413 views

How did Magnus IV of Sweden come of age at 15?

According to the Wikipedia article Magnus IV of Sweden Magnus was declared to have come of age at 15 in 1331. This caused resistance in Norway, where a statute from 1302 made clear that kings came ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Where and how did the concept of “incorporation” originate?

Wikipedia states that "The alleged oldest commercial corporation in the world, the Stora Kopparberg mining community in Falun, Sweden, obtained a charter from King Magnus Eriksson in 1347". Is this ...
52
votes
14answers
25k views

When were swords last used in European warfare?

Specifically, I'm interested in the last documented occurrence of swords (of any sort) being used as a primary weapon by infantrymen or cavalrymen in Western warfare. That is, when did any European or ...
9
votes
1answer
594 views

Evidence of cross contamination between Japanese and Western sword fighting styles?

Are there any documented cases of cross pollination between western sword fighting techniques and Japanese ones? Such cross contamination could have happened during the Sengoku-jidai. This period ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

When did blade fuller appear?

A fuller is the rounded or beveled groove or slot in the flat side of a blade which make the blade lighter -- not as some suggest a blood groove. When did the practice start? I suspect it was a ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Was the Battle of Tours really the turning point for the Umayyad expansion into Europe?

Considering how far the Umayyad Empire had come into Europe, and their defeat at the Battle of Tours could they have pushed further into Europe? Did Tours really stop their advance or were there ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Who started the “katana is the soul of the Samurai” meme?

Samurai used to be defined by their ability to use horses and bows in the early history of Japan. This moved to using the sword, first tachi then katana. Within the Tokugawa period, the katana ...
13
votes
1answer
930 views

Who was the first military force to use teppo (guns) in mass battles during the Sengoku-jidai?

Oda clan used guns to great efficency against the Takeda clan but which warlord (or faction) used them for the first time? I seem to recall that some of the sohei order had access to firearms and ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

During the Sengoku-jidai, what were shinobi (aka ninja) used for?

During the Japan Sengoku-jidai, several clans of shinobi were recruited by various war lords to help their military campaigns. What were they primarily used for? Was it covert espionage, ...
12
votes
3answers
439 views

Who compared giving women the vote to giving cows the vote (& in what context)?

I recall hearing (in History class) that when women were campaigning to get the vote, some (powerful?) people suggested that if women were given the right to vote, you might as well give the vote to ...

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