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103

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 ...


49

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 ...


49

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 American movie "Fall of the Roman empire" (1964) shows a fictionalized version of these events. Of course ...


46

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, ...


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 ...


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, ...


45

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

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 ...


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

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.


35

During World War 2, Germany carried out Operation Bernhard-- one of the biggest currency counterfeit attempt in history-- to destabilize the economy of Britain and the United States. The operation was named after (and started by) NSDAP member and SS Major Bernhard Krüger, who led the operation from a segregated factory built at Sachsenhausen concentration ...


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 ...


32

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 ...


32

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 ...


32

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 "...


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

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 Mongols were pastoralists. Livestock herders. As such, their culture naturally thrived on steppe (or grassland) territory. A pastoral nation is not tied to any one place, but rather moves around with its herds to find the best grazing. A militarily dominant pastoralist society will naturally attempt to take over all good grassland territory for itself. ...


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

Maybe someone more knowledgeable about the economics of a society like the medieval Mongols might expand on this, but to me it seems that such a civilization could generate much more income by conquering and looting new territory than what they could produce internally. This is also true to the nomadic people in the migration period some centuries earlier: ...


27

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]


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

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 ...


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