142

Yes, a trained archer can probably put more effective shots on an unarmored target than a trained musketman of the 18th century. The problem is that word trained. Consider that most nations in the 18th century did not have a standing army. Men were called up, served their time, and left. That means you either need to use skills they already have (in WWII ...


93

Yes, murder of a slave was illegal in the antebellum South, and it was a capital offence. An example is the case of John Hoover of North Carolina. He was arrested on 28 March 1839 for the murder of one of his slaves named Mira. He was brought to trial on 12 September 1839 before a jury of his peers (i.e. 12 male slaveholders). At his trial, it was ...


72

That's actually exactly what they did. In the early 17th century, Maurice of Orange reformed the Dutch army and drilled them to use volley fire. This involved the first rank (i.e. the first row of the line) firing and moving to the back of the line. For obvious reasons, this harmed the cohesion of the formation. By 1670, the French had begun firing by ranks....


60

The time period of interest is entirely prior to the rise of the railways, and even to the construction of such infrastructure as the Erie Canal (completed 1825). Thus anything regarded as a typical or common drink would have been strictly what could be produced with local produce. Consumption of wines, beers, ciders, whisk[e]ys and other liquors and ...


56

The whole point of the reign of Peter the Great was to "modernize" (westernize) Russia. Per the wikipedia article, "Peter implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia.[10] Heavily influenced by his advisors from Western Europe, Peter reorganized the Russian army along modern lines and dreamed of making Russia a maritime power. He faced much ...


52

Rum was easily obtained in the sugarcane rich Caribbean and olden day South Seas Pirates, who would drink anything they could get their hands on if it had a kick, were associated with the drinking of rum. So, while they would drink other forms of liquor if they could obtain it, the average Pirate crew member drank what he could afford, and that's what made ...


38

Yes, George I was indeed able to speak English. Not particularly well, mind you, but also not nearly as incapably as popular history portrays. In fact, he even opened his first Parliament in English: George is reported, when seated on the throne, to have uttered the words following; but, notwithstanding all the drilling to which he submitted, it must have ...


36

This answer is based on the assumption that the OP is referring to the HBO miniseries Catherine the Great and, more specifically, the following segment of the script: [Catherine:] But in these more enlightened times, I believe we need laws that everyone respects and obeys. The rich and the powerful, as well as the poor and dispossessed. And so ...


35

There were several names for the war depending on the belligerent. Here are a few: Prussia and Austria: Dritter Schlesischer Krieg (third Sileasian war) (refers to Austria trying to reconquer Silesia) France: La guerre de la Conquête (War of Conquest) Britain: French and Indian War or Great War for the Empire Sweden: Pommerska kriget (Pomeranian War) (...


35

The French Postal Service started operation in the fifteenth century and by 1632 - 150 years before your inquiry - there was already a network of over 623 coaching inns operated by it across the length and breadth of France - typically about seven miles apart. These coaching inns provided refreshment, accommodation and fresh teams for all travelers, not just ...


33

The situation is complex. While the pike-or-equivalent must be of a sufficient length and density to be effective against cavalry, the longer the weapon the more difficult it is to adjust formation and facing. Cavalry's most effective weapon on the battlefield is its speed. A mass of spearmen facing one direction are easily flanked and broken up, and then ...


30

There's a typographical distinction between an actual f and the ſ you're referring to in the text. See for instance the difference between 'magiſtrats' and 'behalf' in the second paragraph. The 'ſ' is a long 's'; the Wikipedia article has a very long section on its history and decline of use. In general, the long s fell out of use in Roman and italic ...


30

The peopling of Hawaii in the 1100s or 1200s may qualify. Drifters or shipwrecks could have arrived in the following centuries (for which see Braden's On the Probability of Pre-1778 Japanese Drifts to Hawaii), but the local culture was seemingly isolated from its Polynesian relatives, with its language and religion diverging significantly. James Cook's ...


28

The problem was that during the 18th Century, they didn't know that scurvy was caused by lack of Vitamin C (mainly because they didn't know what vitamins were). Therefore, they didn't go looking for foods that were rich in Vitamin C to cure it. It should also be noted that there was no clear relationship between a food's acidity and its Vitamin C content. ...


28

There's no universally recognised "father of scientific racism", though a number of names could be suggested. One example is the French noble Arthur de Gobineau, best remembered today for pioneering the concept of an Aryan master race. His infamous An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, published in 1853, inspired a host of other racial theories ...


28

John Adams recorded this event in detail in his diary under "Monday, September 9": The taverns were so full we could with difficulty obtain entertainment. At Brunswick, but one bed could be procured for Dr. Franklin and me, in a chamber little larger than the bed, without a chimney and with only one small window. The window was open, and I, who was ...


27

Historical evidence suggests, and I am writing from the wiki article of origin of Rum, that during the late 16th and early 17th century, sugarcane plantation slaves in the Caribbean islands discovered a byproduct of sugar-making i.e. Molasses can be converted to an alcoholic beverage. After fine tuning the distillation process they produced the refined Rum. ...


26

An important aspect that seems to be neglected in many of the answers here is that while technical aspects cannot be completely dismissed, they are secondary to other concerns. To be specific, the primary weapon of heavy cavalry is its momentum, while heavy infantry (among which musketeers from 18th century onward are counted) relies on its discipline in ...


26

The London Enemies List seems to have been a list of 59 men who were considered to be a danger to the crown. I found a couple of sources that suggest the list was drawn up by London Tories, but these both use David Fischers "Paul Revere's Ride" as their source. The table in the question is reproduced in full in this paper. The footnotes to the table state ...


25

One often missed factor is that arrows are delicate and require skilled fletchers to make them. The English invasion of France under Edward IV in 1475 required two years lead time producing enough arrows to supply his troops on campaign. Also the logistics of transporting arrows is problematic. A sheaf of 24 arrows takes up considerably more space than a ...


25

The short answer is yes. The detail will depend on where in the world you are based. In the UK, for example, we have the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. Their website includes a search form to help you find a researcher who can help you with this kind of research. However, having said that, I suggest having a look at the ...


24

Before considering how to disengage from a boarding action, I think you have to consider the difficulties and risks of bringing about a boarding action in the first place. To evade a boarding attempt by manoeuvre was relatively easy. It was in practice very difficult to get near enough to a ship to attempt to board her unless it was also her intention to ...


23

As sempaiscuba has said, it was illegal to kill a slave in the slave-holding states of the United States. Premeditated murder of a slave has always been illegal in the slave-holding states. However, it was not until December 20th, 1821 that all of the slave-holding states held that the first degree murder of a slave was a capital offense. Slave law has a ...


22

Yes it's Samuel Johnson. There is an idealized view that 18th century London coffee-houses were full of great men exchanging dazzling repartee on the popular matters of the day. These meetings led to political clubs and eventually to the formation of a London intelligentsia which had significant political influence particularly on the Whigs. Steele and ...


22

Weaving generally had been a fairly common occupation during the medieval period in Scotland. The skills were taught to apprentices, who may or may not have been related to the master weaver. This remained the normal way of teaching skilled trades right up to the industrial revolution. In 1587 the Scottish Parliament passed an Act intended to encourage ...


21

They got their weapons from the Hôtel national des Invalides, which were stormed by a Parisian mob earlier the same day. Much of the armaments previously stored there had been removed just two days earlier, but the revolutionaries still managed to acquire ~28,000-32,000 (sources vary) muskets hidden in the cellars and the church. They also found several ...


20

Acknowledgement: this answer owes a debt to some of the comments posted under the question and under this answer, especially Kimchilover. There is conclusive evidence that all three images are from after the 1789 revolution and strong evidence that at least one was made no later than 1834. However, there appears to be conflicting evidence on a more precise ...


20

That's roughly what they did. Both sides would line up their men, where the defender had the advantage: they could form two or more lines. The first line fired, then reloaded, while the second line fired, etc. The attacker can't do that. The second row would be shooting their own men in the first row. But their advantage was the bayonet. Fire one volley ...


19

Wigs became almost instantly fashionable after Louis XIII started wearing one in 1624 to hide his baldness, and were almost universal for European upper & middle class men by the beginning of the 18th century. Their main purpose was to mask receding or graying hair, and as a fashion item. One excellent source is the very detailed diary of Samuel Pepys (...


19

Several memoirs of the period suggest that the Berlin to Vienna journey very likely could be completed in 12 days or less. This matches up fairly closely to @Eugene's estimate of two weeks. However, one account suggests that someone with more limited resources and unexpected delays could easily take much more time. The route they [1,2,3,4] usually seem to ...


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