72 votes
Accepted

Has there ever been a cold war other than between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.?

The Great Game, fought between Britain and Russia from 1830 to 1895, is a very close analogue. Like the US-Soviet Cold War, the two powers competed for dominance in Central Asia through a full ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
55 votes
Accepted

Why was the Aztec Empire known as an Empire?

First of all, as the definition you cited states, The term empire does not have a precise definition. The Aztec Empire was large by the standards of their time in their part of the world. It ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
49 votes

Why was the US so pro-China and so anti-Japan before WW2?

Japan was a threat to the US's Pacific territories, and those of other European powers. China was not. Unlike China, and every other Asian nation at the time, Japan had defeated and humiliated a ...
user avatar
  • 53k
48 votes
Accepted

Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?

The answers to 1, 2 are very simple. The Soviet Union presented itself as a "communist paradise." That is, a country where life was better than in capitalist countries. This was the main ...
user avatar
  • 37.3k
46 votes

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

British policy on the continent has traditionally been to maintain the balance of power (this is also really a general European thing). This amounted to shifting alliances all over the continent. ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
42 votes

When has a sovereign state last given territory to another as a gift?

The UK transferred full sovereignty of its colony of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997. While the UK was already obligated by treaty to turn over the areas of the territory ...
user avatar
  • 3,478
42 votes

Has there ever been a cold war other than between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.?

I consider the conflict between Sunni and Shiite Islam as a current "Cold War". Saudi Arabia considers themselves the leaders of Sunni Islam, while Iran considers themselves the people who speak for ...
user avatar
  • 971
40 votes
Accepted

Why didn't China assist in the Vietnam War like they did in Korea?

Everyone learnt from the Korean War and wished to avoid a repeat of a bloody direct Chinese-American fighting. At the onset of the escalated American involvement in 1965, Beijing made it clear where ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
39 votes

When has a sovereign state last given territory to another as a gift?

The Tiran and Sanafir islands, are being given by Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Since this is ongoing, it is certainly the most recent such transfer. As of this writing, all the interested sovereign states (...
user avatar
38 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the participants of the Korean War also fight in the Vietnam War?

The Korean War and the Vietnam War are fundamentally very different conflicts. With the former, South Korea was unambiguously invaded by North Korea in an explicit war of conquest. Due to lucky ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
37 votes
Accepted

Why was France given such a lenient peace after Napoleon was defeated?

The attitude in the early 19 century was somewhat different. No one considered these wars as wars "against France", I mean against the French people. These were the wars against Napoleon, and earlier ...
user avatar
  • 37.3k
37 votes
Accepted

Why did the original Carthage never become a Roman city?

First of all, Carthage did not fall in the First or Second Punic Wars. The Carthaginians were defeated twice, and compelled to surrender to particularly harsh terms the second time, but the City of ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
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 ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
31 votes

When has a sovereign state last given territory to another as a gift?

My proposal has to be considered with a grain of salt, and is earlier than TheHonRose's answer. That said, given the consequences it has had lately, I am a little surprised that nobody has written ...
user avatar
  • 12.1k
31 votes
Accepted

Why was Franklin D. Roosevelt pro-intervention?

Because FDR belonged to a school of thought that felt that the primary goal of US foreign policy should be to promote and defend US ideals abroad. I know the common narrative is to divide US foreign ...
user avatar
  • 110k
28 votes
Accepted

Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long?

Because China was actually pretty far from India. For most of the past millennia, China and India were not "neighbouring countries" in any meaningful sense of the word. Most Chinese empires did not ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
28 votes

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

I agree with much of Semaphore's answer, which shows that actually Britain and France were not in a state of perpetual war. But I think your question really relates to "What changed?" so I'll try to ...
user avatar
  • 607
25 votes
Accepted

Why did Nepal and Bhutan not become a part of India like other princely states when colonial rule ended?

Legalities Modern India evolved out of the transitionary Dominion of India, which was created from territories of the British Raj. It is important to note that neither Bhutan nor Nepal were princely ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
22 votes

Has any country won a war, but lost a non-trivial portion of its territory?

I have read your question as "Has a country ever won a war, and still "lost" territory, and if so, why?" One example was the Austro-Sardinian War, otherwise known as the Second War of Italian ...
user avatar
  • 103k
22 votes

Has any country won a war, but lost a non-trivial portion of its territory?

Some examples from WW2: Poland was on the winning side but lost the eastern half of the country to the USSR. Yes they got compensated by German territories, but we could have some fun debating the ...
user avatar
  • 2,314
20 votes
Accepted

What was unreasonable about Austria's ultimatum to Serbia?

Short answer: points 4-6 were unreasonable to the point of being unacceptable, because they gave Vienna so much power over Serbia that it amounted to a forfeiture of Serbian independence. This isn't ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
20 votes

When has a sovereign state last given territory to another as a gift?

Here's my best shot so far: The areas occupied by American and Canadian military cemeteries in Normandy were voluntarily conceded by France to the respective ally in 1944 as a gesture of gratitude. ...
user avatar
  • 743
20 votes

Has there ever been a cold war other than between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.?

(Nazi) Germany - Soviet Union It would be hard to pinpoint the beginning of the "cold war" since the Soviet Union was actively supporting left-wing fractions during the Weimar Republic, but of course,...
user avatar
  • 3,118
20 votes

Why was the US so pro-China and so anti-Japan before WW2?

One angle I think a lot of people miss (particularly non US people) is that, being a former colony that had to fight for independence itself, the USA during that period very much liked to identify ...
user avatar
  • 110k
17 votes

Why didn't the participants of the Korean War also fight in the Vietnam War?

Let me add a few details to Semaphore's answer. One is that the Vietnam war actually ended with the North Vietnam invasion of South Vietnam. This happened soon after the US withdrawal, and in ...
user avatar
  • 37.3k
17 votes
Accepted

Did the Pope's crossbow and archery bans have any effect?

Concerning the question -Did any contemporaries actually take note of the ruling? An article cited by the OP brings up a couple of possible groups which may have complied with this, The Holy Roman ...
user avatar
  • 34.1k
16 votes
Accepted

How did Germany claim self-defense in WW1?

By naming Russian mobilisation as the initial aggression. One needs to look no further than the German declaration of war itself. That document succinctly laid out Berlin's position that the Russian ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
15 votes

Before entering WW II, why was the US so against Japanese aggression in China but did nothing about Germany in Europe?

Two Problems There are really two issues you raise: 1) The contrast in the American voice (I limit myself to diplomatic and political, since the press was arguably equally anti-Japanese and anti-...
user avatar
  • 3,893
15 votes
Accepted

Chiang's allies were "a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully" but which was which?

Short Answer The Kidnapper is the United States/Roosevelt. The Hooligan is Britain/Churchill. The Bully was the Soviet Union/Stalin. For reference, this is the original passage from Chiang's diary: ...
user avatar
  • 95.9k
15 votes
Accepted

Why is China a member of the UN Security Council?

China (at the time) was one of the "Big Four" Allies (France was not) during World War II. (The "United Nations" originally meant the united, anti-Axis nations.) It's true that the "Big Three" were ...
user avatar
  • 103k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible