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18
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
446 views

Wales and Ireland in medieval times [closed]

There is a very interesting article on wikipedia on Welsh Law. Though it defines the structure of the Court in Wales in the late medieval period, it says nothing of the status of other nobles and ...
7
votes
3answers
688 views

During 1790-1800, was it legal to pay workers using whiskey?

As is well known, in frontier regions whiskey was regarded as an indispensable necessity to life, health and happiness, at the point that it usually had to substute for specie as a medium of exchange: ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Pigs in ancient Israel

(all Bible citations are from KJV) [Leviticus, chapter 11] Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

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" ...
132
votes
9answers
21k views

Why was France granted an equal status among victors of World War II?

How is it that France emerged from World War II with a similar status as the U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, and China in terms of possession of a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Did Native Americans really use fish as fertilizer?

Tisquantum (January 1, 1585 – November 30, 1622), also known as Squanto, was the Native American who assisted the Pilgrims after their first winter in the New World and was integral to their survival. ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Are there any reasonable sources of data on numbers of religious adherents, for different religions, throughout history?

I'm interested in historical trends in religion and wondered if anyone knows of any reasonable sources of data on the number of adherents, for any/all different religions, throughout human history. ...
12
votes
5answers
22k views

What caused the decline of the Spanish empire?

What caused the gradual decline of the Spanish colonial empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? A post I read claimed that the Spanish overestimated their wealth, and my teacher pointed ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
362 views

Incentive to ban women having more than one husband?

I'm currently reading "The Cartoon History of the universe" by Larry Gonick. When talking about Sumer, the author says that "around 2400 B.C., the reformer Urukagina banned the practice [women ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Who was head of Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1907-1908

Do we know the names of people who would have made the decision not to admit Hitler in 1907 and 1908? Who was President of the Academy?
8
votes
2answers
326 views

Why pretend Elser, Thalmann & other dissidents had been killed in air raids?

Richard Evans' The Third Reich at War, like most other substantial histories of the twilight years of Third Reich, paints a picture of quite startling brutality directed against its own population (...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Was Nicholas II Romanov the last king of Poland?

Nicholas II Romanov, the last Emperor of All-Russia, used also (among many others) titles: Grand Prince of Lithuania, and King of Poland. The Wikipedia states he was "a titular" King of Poland. In ...
19
votes
7answers
6k views

Bow shape of WW1 warships

As ship's bow is designed to break the waves, the physics (something like hydrokinetics) makes it should look like a wedge. And it really is, if we look from above. This should be also kept if look ...
6
votes
1answer
919 views

How did IKEA design evolve?

How did IKEA develop the characteristic style? I know there is a catalog each year, but I'm looking more for a summary and overview of the design evolution. I understand it's not as significant as, ...
8
votes
1answer
280 views

By what right/legitimacy did the Republic of Indonesia come to rule the country?

Before the Dutch rule, Indonesia consists of various sovereign kingdoms and sultanates. The Dutch left after armed fighting, so it was not like they peacefully left the sovereignty to a designated ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Context for this 1871 humorous map of Europe?

The following map is from (circa) 1871, according to this source, and it was published in Bologna, Italy. Could you please provide some context for it? Parts of the map are self evident, as for ...
7
votes
1answer
604 views

What was the League of Sublime and Perfect Masters?

What was the League of the Sublime and Perfect Masters, created when the Congress of Viena was finished? What role did it play in Italian Reunification?
8
votes
2answers
728 views

How did France balance the budget by 1738?

I recently read (Citizens by Simon Schama) that France had a per capita debt of two-thirds of the annual income of a carpenter or tailor in 1714. By 1738 France had managed to balance the budget (more-...
17
votes
1answer
928 views

Did Noah Webster ever state why he Americanized spelling?

I am aware that Noah Webster (1758--1843 AD) is responsible for the majority of the differences between British and American spelling (IE: "color" v "colour"). Over time, it seems, in his Speller ...
2
votes
1answer
297 views

Did Ben-Gurion attend a lecture by Trotsky in New York in 1917?

I came across this statement: 1917 B-G (at 30) meets Russian-born Paula Munweis at Trotsky lecture, who works with B-G on political articles. In Dec. they marry in City Hall. The author of the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Were Greek columns hollow?

I remember learning in elementary school that at some point in their history, the Greeks were building hollow columns to support their building, because they thought that hollow columns would provide ...
1
vote
1answer
901 views

Good Introductory World History book? [closed]

I'm a total novice in humanities and I want to start learning world history. Which do you guys recommend (looking for introductory and didactic books). Thank's in advance
8
votes
7answers
4k views

Is this theory on origins of modern-day Romania plausible?

I watched a documentary which basically claims that modern-day Romanians are not the descendants of Rome, but that the Romans and the Romanians share a common ancestor with the same language. One of ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Were the problems Fibonacci solved in his work “Flos” posed specifically for him?

According to Wikipedia, Fibonacci wrote "Flos", a work which contained solutions to problems posed by Johannes of Palermo. Did Johannes pose a challenge to all European mathematicians of the time, or ...
25
votes
3answers
8k views

What were the Allies' plans if they caught Hitler alive?

Hitler committed suicide in 1945, but I'm curious as to what would have happened to him if he hadn't. Did the Allies have any formal plans as to what they would do with Hitler if they caught him alive?...
16
votes
2answers
898 views

Why did the Spanish take the island of Annobon in the Treaty of El Pardo in 1778?

The conditions of the Treaty of El Pardo (1778) have always been a mystery to me. From Wikipedia: The Treaty of El Pardo was signed on March 11, 1778 between Queen Maria I of Portugal and King ...
42
votes
6answers
6k views

Why were there no religious wars in Poland?

During the 16th and 17th centuries, there were many religious wars in Europe. In countries, were it was very close to Rome (like Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italian states), they did not occur. In ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Who suppressed the Book of Jubilees and why?

Wikipedia says the Book of Jubilees was suppressed in 4th century CE: The Book of Jubilees (Hebrew: ספר היובלים Sepher hayYobelim), sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did people in 18th century wear wigs?

In many movies (and also drawings) that take place in the 18th century people use wigs. Why? Was it necessary?
5
votes
3answers
541 views

What was the reason for the near-mutiny on the Georgios Averof in 1911?

On June 19, 1911 there was a near-mutiny on the armored cruiser Georgios Averof, while she was undergoing repairs after running aground at Spithead (near Portsmouth, UK). Wikipedia alleges the reason ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why were “holding out” outposts a feature of the European war in 1944-5 but not 1940-1?

Many far flung garrisons and especially islands were still in German hands at the end of the war in May 1945. Parts of Crete, Dunkirk, the Channel Islands, La Rochelle, St Nazaire and several other ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

What did contemporary countries in Europe call the Ottoman Empire?

In present texts, it is common to call it "the Ottoman Empire", although the name refers to the ruling dynasty rather than the nation, people or the region. This is not the case with other ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Did the US government officially apologize for Indian Removal Act and Native American Indian genocide?

Have the US government officially apologized for Indian Removal Act and Native American Indian genocide? If yes, could you provide more information when did it happen and who (which president or ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

A memorial Georgia (U.S.) plaque

This memorial plaque lists the numbers of Georgians who served in various wars and details the casualties. What I find odd is that for WWI, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf round numbers are given for the ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What were the crime rates In the American Old West?

Hollywood filmography presented a violent and morally complex vision of the American West during circa 1850 to 1900, according to which the West was a place where life was insecure and where property ...
3
votes
3answers
199 views

Is there a common name for periods between Medieval and 19th century?

Time up to fall of the Roman Empire is called Ancient. The following 1000 years is "Medieval". Since Napoleonic times we can say it is "modern history". Is there a common name for the time between ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Do photos of Wernher von Braun and Neil Armstrong exist? Have they ever met?

A quick google search for the term "Korolev and Gagarin" reveals many photos of the two together - surprisingly, as Korolev's identity was kept strictly secret up to his death. When searching for "...
5
votes
3answers
748 views

Did people near antebellum Asheville N.C. own slaves?

In 'The Hills Beyond' T. Wolfe, a native of Asheville, suggest that in many mountain counties of the Appalachia people had not owned slaves and that blacks were unknown before the civil war. Is the ...
20
votes
3answers
8k views

Why did the Native American city of Cahokia die out?

From AD 600-1400, the Mississippian native Americans had a massive city near the present site of St. Louis, MO. It was one of the world's largest cities at the time, and was the largest pre-Columbian ...
11
votes
3answers
39k views

In the British empire, what was the difference between a Governor General and a Viceroy?

In the many colonies of the British empire, it seems that the rulers of some were known as Governors General and others were officially titled as Viceroys. Was there a practical distinction between ...
3
votes
1answer
348 views

When did ancient religions start to experience dropping numbers of adherents in Europe?

I am talking about ancient Greek, Roman and Norwegian religions. When did ancient religions start to lose ground to modern religions such as Catholicism in Europe?
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Pre-1901/1902 US Presidential Protection

I've spent a little while looking around online about the origins of US Presidential protection - while it has become apparent that the US Secret Service became officially responsible for Presidential ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Where was the furthest extent of Arabian trade explorations?

Traders from Arabia travelled to and traded with Roman and Asian empires and this Nabataean Sea Merchants article. How far did Arabian traders travel - where was the furthest extent of their ...
27
votes
5answers
22k views

How did the gold of the new world cause the Spanish Empire to collapse?

There are some arguments that Spain over-exploited the precious metal deposits of the new world, leading to wide-scale inflation. This, coupled with their expulsion of Jewish money lenders, caused ...
26
votes
5answers
5k views

How true is the statement “Soviet troops got into Berlin riding American trucks, walking in American boots and using American trains”?

In other words, how significant was American lend-lease in helping the Soviet front? Would the Soviets be suffering a lot more had lend-lease not happen, or was it not as significant as people make ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How high was the morale of non-Soviet Warsaw Pact states' armies and governments in the '80s?

Does anyone with any relevant expertise know the general mood of the armies during the time? Is there documentation of any concerns from high ranking Soviet military officers, or of their Warsaw Pact ...
20
votes
4answers
8k views

What was the size of surface of a cereal crop needed per man per year during the Dark Ages in Western Europe?

If I'm a peasant during the dark ages, what surface (in meters (<- I am in advance on my time)) I need to farm to get enough cereal (for bread and brew) ? how many cereals (in kg (<- again, I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

Where and why were capital letters first used in English headlines?

The words in headlines are capitalized. I'm interested in the history of this. Where and why were capital letters first used in headlines? Where is this practice of capitalization of words in English ...

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