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112

In 1699, Johann Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein bought Schellenberg and in 1712 the county of Vaduz. The county was operating under feudal principles, thus perhaps might not be considered a country in the modern meaning, but comes close. Schellenberg and Vaduz have been united in 1718, got the status of Fürstentum and were renamed to Liechtenstein, the name ...


60

I can't speak to the specifics of the Soviet Union, but I want to address the opening assumption of the question. Generally, Communism believed in economic central planning, with each field being serviced by one "company" (to avoid waste). This is untrue of (or at least unnecessary for) both communism and centrally planned economies. A centrally planned ...


51

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 ...


51

In certain sense yes. Didius Julianus purchased the position of the Roman emperor in 193. This position was actually auctioned by Praetorian guards to the highest bidder, the Wikipedia article on Didius Julianus contains a short account. The story is described in detail by Dio Cassius, in his Roman history, book 74, 11-17. The American movie "Fall of ...


47

Company vs Design Bureau It's important to distinguish between a company and a design bureau. Organisations such as MiG (Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau), Yakolev (JSC A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau), Tupolev (OKB-156 or Tupolev Design Bureau) and Sukhoi (OKB-51 / Sukhoi Design Bureau) where, as the names suggest, "design bureaus." They designed aircraft, ...


46

The funds for the Autobahn project came from the Reinhardt Program, a credit finance scheme originated by Kurt von Schleicher. The contractors who built the highways were paid not in Reichsmark, but with debentures issued by the Reich Finance Ministry which could be redeemed at a discount at certain banks that formed a work creation consortium. These banks, ...


45

tl;dr Modern industrial warfare pushes the economy to 100% utilization; this cures the effect of an economic downturn (which is effectively suboptimal economic utilization). Wars in general, and the civil war in particular create stimulus spending - governments buy bullets and boots. Governments drive the economy to 100% utilization. Unemployment ...


44

SHORT ANSWERS In terms of impact, the influx of precious metals into Spain (and then to the rest of Europe) from South America from the late 15th to the 16th century is hard to match. For a while, this made Spain enormously wealthy and enabled it to finance armies and conquests on a scale not seen since at least the Roman Empire. It turned Spain into a ...


44

The film said this un-extraordinary working man had the vote, my calculations show it was possible he had the vote. But the 1918 act gave "working men the vote". So one of these 2 statements must be wrong, why didn't working men already have the vote in 1918? These statements are not as contradictory as you seem to think. The key here is that "working men" ...


42

The governance model for early corporations is the chartered city; a community granted town privileges and, if also free, independence from feudal obligations to local sovereigns or lords and debt of fealty only to the reigning monarch (ie king or emperor). In such communities the interests of its residents were represented by a council of the leading ...


38

Richard Meinertzhagen is known to be a serious liar. Refer to his Wikipedia article: for example, he stole numerous biological samples and presented them as his own in Europe. That said, the Meinertzhagens were a wealthy family and there's no reason to presume the army salary was Richard's sole source of income. According to The Meinertzhagen Mystery by ...


37

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, Indiana University Press, 2000). McPherson says in Battle Cry that slavery was more firmly entrenched in 1860 ...


37

Japan had a small domestic oil production, a few million barrels, but not nearly enough to meet their peacetime needs let alone war. What they did have is enough oil refineries with a capacity of almost a year's peacetime consumption. If they could get the oil to Japan, they could refine it into fuel. They were also heavily invested in synthetic oil plants ...


36

I think this is a color error (in reproduction, printing, fading, etc.) It is a 19th Century Venezuelan flag with the cluster of stars visible on the blue bar.


34

Good question with several answers. First a nod to Lennart for pointing out that Germany grew just like France and Britain and the USA, so a certain amount of "a rising tide floats all boats." However there were some factors that advantaged Germany more than the others: Highly educated, savings-minded workforce whose population losses were instantly ...


33

No. Cities were simply too small physically to feed themselves. Constantinople was one of the biggest cities of its time, at 2.3 sq miles. This works out to around 1500 acres. To feed a single person you need, at minimum 6-8 acres of land. This means that if the entire area of the city were farmland, it would feed at best around 250 people. Even with ...


31

The Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) is generally seen as the first company with stocks, shareholders and board members. It didn't have 1 director, it had 17: "De Heren XVII", 'The Lords Seventeen' in English. Why was it formed? First of all because of the huge investment and risks involved. Sending one ship from Holland all the ...


31

In 1846, The East India Company annexed the Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, and Gilgit-Baltistan from the Sikhs, and then transferred it to Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu in return for an indemnity payment of 7.5 Million (Nanakshahee) Rupees, making it an interesting incident in the history when a private company (annexed and) sold a state. [1][2]


29

I suppose you are asking about real radios (wireless). They were quite bulky decorated wooden boxes. They had vacuum tubes instead of transistors. They were considered (somewhat) luxury items and not every family owned them. They had long, medium and short waves ranges. Later ultra-short (AM and FM were added). First transistor radios appeared in 1960s. They ...


29

Firstly, there's no reason to think it didn't. In fact, it's fairly routine for afflicted regions to receive government subsidies in Imperial China. As early as AD 218, the Book of the Later Han records that Cao Cao issued an edict ordering welfare measures for survivors of a plague in the preceding winter. The next year, the Record of the Three Kingdoms ...


28

The United States abandoned the gold standard on 15 August 1971. Since then it has been using fiat money, which is not backed by any commodity. It derives its value solely from government authority. This is sometimes also known as a "managed currency standard".


27

The first book google hit for "cablegram price" is The Bolsheviks: Twilight of the Romanov Dynasty by John D. Loscher which contains a discussion of the prices and comparison to today's money. If I understand it correctly, it is one shilling a word and "five letters in conjunction counted as one word". One shilling (1/20 of pound sterling) was $3.11 of "...


26

They were not free. In 1961 there was a currency reform, so the answer is about post-1961 period. A price of ride depended on the mode of transportation. For city public transport the price varied from 3 kopecks (tram) to 4 kopecks (trolleybus) to 5 kopecks (bus and metro). This was the country wide standard but in certain places the charge could vary. ...


25

Mentions of Bandits and robbers: Bandits and robbers were a constant threat on the Silk Road. Xuanzang mentions several encounters with bandits. Near Dunhuang, the Silk Road split in two to skirt the rim of the Taklamakan Desert. The roads met again 1400 miles west at Kashgar. But between these two oases lay the Silk Road's most dangerous terrain. ...


25

how did it stay competitive with West Germany, which would be free of West Berlin's particular logistical challenges? Or were they being directly subsidized by the Federal Republic and/or the western allies, for political reasons? Yes. There was a Berlinförderungsgesetz (Law of Promotion of Berlin). Daher entschied sich die Bundesregierung, die ...


25

Sugar cane in the Caribbean comes to mind. The islands were sporting single purpose economies for all practical intents, much like a number of OPEC countries do. It was extremely valuable, too. In the aftermath of the 7 years war, France preferred to give up its Canadian possessions to keep Guadeloupe and Martinique. The parallel extends somewhat in that ...


25

(disclaimer: I am not an economist, but I think I have got my head around this) Two questions: is the claim correct on the basis of the data, and how plausible are those estimates? The GDP estimates used here are published by the Bank of England, as part of their "millennium of macroeconomic data" dataset (here). You can also get a similar (and ...


24

What did Germany do to become more prosperous than its victors after World War II? The boring answer to that it the rather simple: It didn't. The economy of both Germany and France were devastated by the war, the UK and US economy much less. Germany and France both recovered quickly, and Germany, France and the UK ended up with very similar levels of ...


24

They lived in shanty towns and makeshift shelters until the government built apartment blocks. In many cases families lived in shacks or even tents for years. When I was a young boy I was friends with two girls whose mother had come from Germany and had been a little girl during the war. Once they showed me a handful of photographs her mother had saved. One ...


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