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98

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 ...


67

Banking existed in the era of the Romans and earlier. In ancient Greece and Asia Minor temples served as a sanctuary where individuals could make deposits for safekeeping. This practice continued with the Romans (see this article titled "Temple Banking In Rome"). For instance, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was the largest depository in Asia and served as ...


59

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 ...


46

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

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 ...


46

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. Of course one can argue in what sense a Roman emperor "owned" the country. But at that time the emperors were absolute ...


45

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, ...


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, ...


41

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 ...


41

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

I think the Great Depression was quite irrelevant for Germany in 1939 similarly to for other countries that took measures at state regulation. As for the income, Germany was a well-developed industrial country with advanced technology. It was a pioneering country at chemistry, electrical engineering, machine-tool construction, railroads and transportation, ...


38

Frederick II the Great, king IN Prussia 1740–1786 used to counterfeit currency of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (PLC) on a large scale, for profit and to economically weaken Polish state. Officially PLC wasn't at war with Prussia but the only reason that this and other hostile activities of Frederick the Great were unanswered by PLC was the weakness of ...


35

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.


33

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 ...


31

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 ...


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 ...


30

The recent book Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State by Götz Aly offers a new and very important look at this question. It is the subject of an ongoing academic debate but many of the factual findings seem to be indisputable, if I understand correctly (haven't read it but read very detailed reviews). Very brief summary: ...


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

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 "...


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".


28

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 ...


27

Seems like the questioner was asking for a bit more than just an idea of conversion rates, so here is some background on how the pre-decimal currency worked. 4 farthings = one penny 2 halfpennies = one penny tuppence = colloquial two pence thruppence = colloquial three pence 240 pence = one pound 6 pence = sixpence (aka a Tanner), or half a shilling. ...


27

The US government alleges that this has occurred - see Superdollars. Very high quality counterfeit $100 bills flooded the US market. Although it may be that these were merely a way that the responsible institution was funding operations, it is commonly believed that these were also intended to cause inflation within the US by increasing the money supply. I ...


26

The USSR growth rate during the 50's was not exceptionally high. The claims of more than 10% growth, although certainly theoretically possible, were simply not true, but Soviet propaganda. Real growth rates during the 50's and 60's were rather 4-7% depending on time period and who is doing the estimation. This can be compared to average OECD and average ...


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. ...


26

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]


25

To begin, the following passage from Britain, the Commonwealth and the End of Empire by Dr John Darwin discusses the "staggering blow" Great Britain felt after granting independence to India. ... Repairing Britain The huge sense of relief at a more or less dignified exit, and much platitudinous rhetoric, disguised the fact that the end of the ...


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 ...


24

The ORIGINAL Roman Republic (prior to the Punic Wars) was a prosperous, self-sufficient economy based on affluent, independent, and relatively free yeoman farmers enjoying a steady rate of technological advances. Because of this, Rome had a relatively representative government (the "veto" was originally a device to protect the common people). One can argue ...


24

This is an addition to Mike Rodney's answer. The Twelve Tables, traditionally written in 450 BC, were some of Rome's most ancient laws. The majority of Table III deals with banking. In particular Law I says that bankers can't steal deposits; Law II forbids usury†; Laws V through X concern treatment of delinquent debtors. So banking was common enough 2500 ...


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