50 votes
Accepted

Was there ever a treaty between 2 entities with significantly different translations to the detriment of one party?

The Treaty of Waitangi (1840) between the British and Maori chiefs of North Island, New Zealand This treaty has "long been the subject of debate". Wikipedia's Treaty of Waitangi article goes into ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
42 votes

Was there ever a treaty between 2 entities with significantly different translations to the detriment of one party?

Many examples throughout history but of the top of my head I can think of- The Treaty of Wuchale between Italy and Ethiopia, where in the Italian version Ethiopia became a vassal or protectorate, but ...
turoo's user avatar
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33 votes

Were secret treaties ratified? How did they become official while remaining secret?

There are some misconceptions about what ratification means. Though it is now common for treaties to be ratified by a legislature, that has never been essential to the ratification process. In ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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26 votes

Was there ever a treaty between 2 entities with significantly different translations to the detriment of one party?

UN Resolution 242 demanding withdrawal from the occupied territories in Palestine after the 1967 war. Wikipedia entry The English text has a different emphasis on territories, some might fit, ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

What other one word responses have been made to military ultimatums besides "Nuts!", "Mokusatsu" and "If"?

The most famous one in France is le mot de Cambronne (Cambronne's word), supposedly uttered when he was surrounded with Napoleon's Old Guard in Waterloo, June the 18th, 1815: Colville insisted and ...
Evargalo's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

Did the Soviet Union protest against Italy building or acquiring submarines after WW2?

A paper in Diplomatic History titled "From Disarmament to Rearmament: The United States and the Revision of the Italian Peace Treaty of 1947" covers the issue fairly well. The bottom line is ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

How was Switzerland able to stay neutral during WWI and WWII?

By not being a threat, and having no strategic benefit to either side worth fighting a professional army on excellent defensive terrain. Take a good at Switzerland and you'll notice one thing: ...
Schwern's user avatar
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19 votes

What other one word responses have been made to military ultimatums besides "Nuts!", "Mokusatsu" and "If"?

"No" or "Ohi" In Greece they celebrate "Ohi Day" or "No Day" to commemorate the day that Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas rejected the ultimatum made by ...
AllInOne's user avatar
  • 3,183
18 votes
Accepted

Why did the British think a 99-year lease on Hong Kong's New Territories was "as good as forever"?

They didn't. Wikipedia is misleading. In fact, Britain had set out with the intent of securing a cession in perpetuity (i.e. forever), and was negotiated down to a 99-year lease by the Chinese. [...
Semaphore's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

Why did the Roberts Treaty of 1833 have a Portuguese translation annexed to it?

The Portuguese were the first westerners to reside in (then) Siam (now) Thailand. The Portuguese embassy is the oldest embassy in the kingdom, and now a monument. Do mind that the relations go back ...
Jos's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

Why was Colonel Bill Eddy kneeling in front of FDR and King Saud?

I wouldn't read too much into it. Kneeling with one leg during a military briefing is quite common for all army ranks when you are close to a combat zone. In my time as an army officer I have been ...
gdir's user avatar
  • 793
15 votes

What other one word responses have been made to military ultimatums besides "Nuts!", "Mokusatsu" and "If"?

Maybe not an ultimatum, but the British general Charles Napier is reputed to have replied "Peccavi" (latin for "I have sinned") after accidentally conquering the Indian region of 'Sindh' when he ...
ConanTheGerbil's user avatar
15 votes

Was Nixon's "Madman Theory" effective?

Well, by Nixon's own standard, his implementation of it certainly wasn't very effective. As quoted by his chief of staff: I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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15 votes

Was there ever a treaty between 2 entities with significantly different translations to the detriment of one party?

First Nations in Canada didn't really understand what they were signing for Treaty 6. The reference for this is (I quoted a bit below) An important factor was the cultural and language differences ...
user39035's user avatar
  • 151
13 votes
Accepted

What is the first known instance of gift-giving backfiring across cultures?

An incident leading to the First Opium War comes to mind. The setting is China in the late 1700s. European traders want free trade with China, but China has restricted them to a single port: Canton. ...
Schwern's user avatar
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13 votes
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Have map projections and distortions ever affected treaties?

One example would seem to be the 1867 treaty by which the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. The issues that arose are described Michael Byers and James Baker by in their book International ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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13 votes

Was there ever a treaty between 2 entities with significantly different translations to the detriment of one party?

Another angle would be that a treaty text is in just one language, but held ambiguous, on purpose, and the explanation of content presented to one party made unambiguous, and misleading on purpose, ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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12 votes

Why did Theodore Roosevelt send his daughter Alice with Taft on a diplomatic mission to Asia?

Alice Roosevelt was a wild young woman who smoked and drank as the "First Daughter." Teddy Roosevelt sent her with Taft to Asia as a version of the "grand tour" that the daughters of most wealthy ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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11 votes

What's the earliest example of a permanent embassy?

Although I am late to the party since there is no accepted answer I will try to give mine. There are two cases I can think that might answer the question. In ancient Greek city-states there were ...
YokedSinger8062's user avatar
11 votes

How did recognition by Morocco influence the history of the USA?

It is indeed unfortunate that the influence of Morocco (and nearby countries of the Maghreb) on the early history of the United States was overlooked, because it was overshadowed by even larger events....
Tom Au's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

What happened to Caesar's hostages in Gaul?

they were not killed or sold into slavery unless a breach of loyality occured. That would end Caesars ability to hold the givers in sway through them, and enrage the gauls (hostages were demanded to ...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
  • 4,364
9 votes
Accepted

Why did Anwar Sadat establish diplomatic relationship with Israel and did that decision pay off?

The answer is a combination of military and political reasons. Israel had survived several wars up to this point, from enemies who outnumbered and wanted to completely destroy them. Their success ...
user2259716's user avatar
9 votes

Which Catholic priests were given diplomatic missions?

If it was common to have priests at high positions the court, then it was also common to have priests traveling in behalf of the King. Cardinal Wolsey He travelled to Scotland. I also think he ...
Luiz's user avatar
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8 votes

Why did Theodore Roosevelt send his daughter Alice with Taft on a diplomatic mission to Asia?

I have to debate some contentions made by this question. It states that the US isn't a monarchy, and that Alice Roosevelt Longworth had no position in the administration. The question seems to imply ...
justCal's user avatar
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8 votes

Did Spain and the Republic of China (Kuomintang) have diplomatic relations between 1931 and 1939? Were they friendly or unfriendly?

Backstage I think you place far too much emphasis on ideology. The right/left dichotomy is fairly euro-centric. The differences between Nationalists/Chiang vs Communists/Mao were quite unlike the ...
sds's user avatar
  • 27k
8 votes
Accepted

What was the Catholic Church's opinion of Diệm's South Vietnam?

The Vatican's opinion of Diem's regime, in public, seems to have been one of 'no comment' judging by the lack of public statements. In private, Diem may have initially enjoyed at least some support ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Did the Dominion of Newfoundland establish diplomatic missions?

The Dominion of Newfoundland sent High Commissioners to the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1934 when the Dominion was abolished[1]. It is of note that, unlike other Dominions of the United Kingdom ...
FiringSquadWitness's user avatar
8 votes

Was there ever a treaty between 2 entities with significantly different translations to the detriment of one party?

On July 3, 1754, British Colonel George Washington surrendered the improvised Fort Necessity to the French. The articles of capitulation that he signed were in French, and included an admission of ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 1,547
7 votes

Why did the Roberts Treaty of 1833 have a Portuguese translation annexed to it?

Portugal had trading relations in Southeast Asia going back to the 16th century. The main Portuguese outpost was Macau, off the coast of China, but Siam was also an important "port of call." Either ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
7 votes

What other one word responses have been made to military ultimatums besides "Nuts!", "Mokusatsu" and "If"?

A runner-up must be "Μολών λαβέ" (usually translated as "come and get them") by Leonidas of Sparta after being told by the Persians (ridiculously outnumbering them) to surrender their weapons at the ...
user33939's user avatar

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