Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
84

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 ...


80

Because Russia had been at war with Britain for most of the preceding two decades. One of Russia's problems in owning Alaska was defending it against it being used as a British route to invade Russia (militarily insane - but that's politics) - remember Canada was British at the time. By selling it to America they installed one of Britain's adversaries in ...


64

In Moscow under former mayor Yuriy Luzhkov it was built a line (Butovo line) which is mostly elevated. I think the practice was not considered quite successful as a result. There are many drawbacks: The elevated line still consumes ground area. Even though one can lay highways and streets under it, one has to demolish buildings. Not much different from a ...


55

This is mostly about urban planning, and how much change the local government can or will be able to make to the existing streets. In London, the central parts of the city (Westminster and the City) still have their street plan from medieval days, as the 1666 fire didn't burn the foundations. The streets there are far too narrow, and the buildings too ...


52

I don't know uniforms well enough to be completely affirmative, but all your clues and the physionomy of the boy remind me of French Imperial Prince Napoleon, son of Napoleon III. He was born in 1856 and the pictures on his wiki page show a strong ressemblance (in my humble opinion) with the boy on your photo. On this picture, he even wears a similar ...


48

The sale of Louisiana was a FIRE SALE for France, and specifically, its self-appointed ruler, Napoleon Bonaparte, for these reasons: 1) France had gotten "burned" with her earlier misadventures in North America. The French and Indian war cost her Canada and all of her other possessions on the east bank of the Mississippi. (She had managed to save "Louisiana"...


47

Short Answer: The Canadiens were tired of war and content with British rule. Long Answer: Twenty-some years before the American Revolution (1754), which was just before the Seven Years War, this is what the map of British Colonies looked like: Only a few areas of modern-day Canada were British then: Nova-Scotia, Labrador-Newfoundland, and around James' ...


47

They were not regular construction, but exhibits for the Exposition Universelle (1900), showing different cultures side by side: Each country funded, designed and on occasion constructed their pavilions, carrying the burden of some of the cost of the fair and the also the glory that followed in the praise of their homeland contributions. They were ...


44

After President Lincoln's election on the 6th of November 1860, the eleven Confederate states did not secede immediately. South Carolina, and then the remaining six states of the lower south (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas) seceded from the Union between the 20th of November and 1st of February 1861, leaving Arkansas, Tennessee, ...


44

No, slavery was not on its way out. Historians like Dunning and Phillip are writing half a century before the cliometric revolution in economic history, which has completely changed how we view this question. Fogel and Engerman's 1974 "Time on the Cross" was quite influential in showing how profitable slavery was for those who practiced it. In particular, ...


42

Looking at this slightly backwards, you could ask what are the factors that have enabled the supply of body armor to the modern infantry soldier? Modern ballistic materials, such as kevlar, are comparatively lightweight and flexible, so armor can be manufactured in a small range of sizes and self-tailored (with straps, velcro, elastic, etc) to fit and so ...


39

Yes, and this wikipedia article and this other one describe it. The first article talks about ice boats in America (invented in Poughkeepsie, etc), but the second makes it clear that the Dutch had this technology down cold a very long time ago. Verne, one suspects, read 19th century equivalents of Wikipedia for plot elements; maybe he read an equivalent of ...


37

As far as Union states go, this table seems to provide accurate information. However, the info on Confederate army is very incomplete. You can find statements that North Carolina supplied the most soldiers (125,000) to the Confederate army all over the Internet. The original source seems to be a speech from 1904 by Hon. Theodore F. Davidson in Raleigh: ...


35

Snow removal takes a lot of effort. It was easier to switch out wheeled carriages for sleighs. Sleighs work better with more snow, so that according to this article: in the 18th and 19th centuries, "snow was never a threat" to road travel, "but rather it was an asset." The more densely packed snow became, the better. Some municipalities even had ...


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 ...


33

Quality of steel was not sufficient enough to be practicable for body armor and helmets Historically speaking, use of armor, shields and helmets declined with advance of firearms. During the Napoleonic era, they were almost completely abandoned, except in heavy cavalry units that used them to protect themselves from cold weapons (swords, sabres, spears ...) ...


32

Actually, by 1881 the use of children as chimney sweeps had been abolished in the UK. In 1840, the UK Parliament had passed a revised Chimney Sweeps Act which had raised the minimum age at which children could be "apprenticed" to chimney sweeps to 16. Unfortunately, the act was never enforced, and it was widely ignored. Finally, the Chimney Sweepers Act ...


30

(A little background for others reading this post) In 1868 Emperor Meiji re-established imperial rule. To move Japan into the modern era, he encouraged his people to explore and learn from the more technologically advanced cultures of the world. Even in the late 1800s, English was the language of international commerce. Emperor Meiji's push to learn ...


30

It's a "single pot lime kiln", adjacent to the beach, at Wallog. Coal and limestone would have been landed on the beach from small sailing vessels. The burnt lime would then be used to improve the local acidic soils. There are a number of these kilns in Ceredigion. This particular kiln dates to the early nineteenth century, and is described by Cadw as "a ...


29

I would date the transition to aircraft carrier domination to the Battle of Midway, in June 1942. The Japanese fought an old style battle in four ship waves. In the first wave as a carrier task force, plus supporting cruisers and battleships, whose main task was to soften up Midway by air bombardment, and then screen the rest of the Japanese fleet. In the ...


29

Several historians/economists hold several factors responsible. I know two works that discuss this in great depth: The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith. Nation, State and the Industrial Revolution: The Visible Hand, Lars Magnusson. Personally, I believe the following factors played a crucial role: Wars: Britain's isolation from continental Europe meant ...


29

Many Italians emigrated to Argentina because many Italians emigrated. Argentina, like Brazil and the United States could offer economic opportunities not to be found in the old country, but equally importantly, had policies that were open to immigration. Italian Emigration 1876-1926 Many Italians left Italy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; it is ...


29

No, not even close. Alan T Nolan lists this as one of the components of the Lost Cause Myth in his essay "The Anatomy of the Myth", collected in the book The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History (ed by Gary Gallagher and Nolan). McPherson says in Battle Cry that slavery was more firmly entrenched in 1860 than it had been in 1820. By 1860 the "...


29

There is some truth to the claims, but the numbers are extremely prima facie distorted. Especially since they are (apparently) given in terms of "households", with no immediately obvious method by which such figures were fitted to a preconception "estimated" calculated[Note 1]. Even if his numbers are accurate however, they do not necessarily reflect the ...


29

For New York, the answer is related to real estate value. In New York City, the construction of the metro was performed by real estate developers. The idea was to build homes, then connect them to the city with a subway. Sales of the new homes, in principle, then funded the metro system. Above ground trains were not conducive to high priced luxury ...


26

Abe Lincoln did fight a duel in 1842. He was blamed by James Shields for an editorial. He chose extremely large broadswords, to improve his reach. I have heard that he joked at the choice of weapons "How about cow dung at 50 paces?" I personally haven't heard the cannon joke, but he might have used it as well. Since Lincoln was challenged by Shields he ...


26

A decade is simply a time span of 10 years and a century a span of 100 years. The start dates of each are determined by how they are being used. The first decade of 21st century is 2000s I think that statement is where the problem lies. Strictly speaking it isn't true. Under the Gregorian calendar, the 21st Century started on January 1, 2001. The date ...


26

The first place that I would search is the British Newspaper Archive. Note that this site requires a subscription to actually view the newspapers, although it is free to search. If you have a subscription, it is possible to zoom in on the high-resolution scans of the newspapers, making it easier to read the stories than it is with many of the originals! ...


26

Note that a satirical sketch like this does not necessarily portray the actually participants at a conference. Often, they feature a personification of the nations involved. In this case, as Denis commented, green, blue, white and red are the colours for Russia, France, Austria and England, respectively, derived mainly from their military uniform colours. So:...


25

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 ...


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