77 votes

How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty?

Art does not exist in a vacuum, but is rather only one part of the historical record. Just as people comment on our modern standard of beauty today, so does early modern writers on theirs. Fortunately,...
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50 votes
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Were there luxury restaurants in East Germany?

Yes, there was 'luxury' in gastronomical areas in East-Germany. This yes comes with a slight caveat: that was more rare than in the West and also in a 'reduced amount', often catering to international ...
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44 votes
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Did any British working class men have the vote before 1918?

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 ...
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  • 96.2k
25 votes

How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty?

A lot of the paintings were commissioned as portraits, why would people pay for themselves to be depicted in an ugly way? Wealth nowadays is associated with a slim, tanned, and shaped body because ...
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  • 251
20 votes
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What do Marxists mean by "class basis of law"? As seen in linked article

Marxist Theory Marxism, as taught and practiced in the USSR, claims that human society consists of base: economic structure (ownership of means of production, relationships between the owners and ...
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  • 25.6k
19 votes
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How many British navy officers were from lower classes at the end of 18th century?

In his book "A Social History of the Navy 1793-1815", Michael Lewis gives the following breakdown of the background of Navy officers based on their parents' social status. Social Status of R.N. ...
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18 votes

Was the 35 year age minimum chosen for US president roughly equal to the average life expectancy for a reason?

The Wikipedia article about life expectancy incudes the following: Life expectancy increases with age as the individual survives the higher mortality rates associated with childhood. For instance,...
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17 votes

Have fair-skinned peoples ever been the lower/oppressed class?

Well here is an African example of the darker the better. Southern Africa was invaded from the north by black tribes (intentionally no names as there were a number) who then oppressed the lighter ...
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  • 346
15 votes

Were freedmen part of the "familia"?

Short Answer How true Jeanne Marie Neumann's statement is depends on, firstly, the definition of familia used and, secondly, the circumstances of individual freedmen and freedwomen. As one classicist ...
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13 votes

How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty?

Q How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty? Do we really? We don't. The anthropological constant to be observed is: "women are considered 'attractive' ...
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  • 77.2k
12 votes
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Historical, academic explanations for the near-universal second-class citizenship of women?

In his momentous study L'origine des systèmes familiaux, Emmanuel Todd notes that, to the best of a rather sparse archival knowledge, first, the status of women in Eurasia in the 5000BC-1500CE ...
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  • 3,513
12 votes

Historical, academic explanations for the near-universal second-class citizenship of women?

Scholars have noted that pre-agricultural societies often have more egalitarian gender norms than agricultural societies. This had led to theories that agriculture led to the development of ...
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  • 17.9k
12 votes

Were there luxury restaurants in East Germany?

In addition to @LangLangC answer, some background information. Restaurants were clasified into Preisstufen (price levels) which were clearly specified outside on the shown menu. The higher the number, ...
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  • 6,896
10 votes
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Why were gravediggers, actors and former gladiators (but not slaves) banned from the Colosseum?

Slaves and prostitutes weren't of such a low status modern people like to assume. At least, not all of them. Also, some actors (like senators or even the 'bad' emperors, like Nero, and others fighting ...
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  • 77.2k
8 votes

Have fair-skinned peoples ever been the lower/oppressed class?

It's important to remember that the concept of "white people" (or fair-skinned people) as a single, all-encompassing term for Caucasians is a fairly recent development. As recently as a hundred years ...
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  • 7,508
8 votes

What do Marxists mean by "class basis of law"? As seen in linked article

I remember a British TV episode where someone sarcastically remarked on the majestic equality of English law, where the millionaire and homeless man are equally forbidden to sleep under bridges. That ...
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  • 17.4k
7 votes
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Was literacy ever used as a tool to oppress the population by higher social classes?

The slaveholding colonies and states of the American South are one such example, where the slaveholding class used illiteracy as a way to make it easier to control the enslaved population. An act ...
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  • 17.9k
7 votes

How did the upper class stay wealthy in the past?

The upper classes who stayed wealthy did so because of their economic practices. The global economy today is a recent invention; economies tended to have less interaction on a broader scale in the ...
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  • 1,212
7 votes

Who was a "gentleman" in USA in the times of Tom Sawyer?

In the 19th century U.S., there were basically two types of "gentlemen." The first was the landed gentry. Obvious enough, the idea came from England and Europe generally. This may have represented 1% ...
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  • 103k
7 votes

Did any British working class men have the vote before 1918?

All men over 21, with no property restrictions, and women over 30 or some property owning women. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representation_of_the_People_Act_1918
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  • 7,699
7 votes
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Until when did Castile consider all Basques to be noble?

Apparently, it is still valid. If you can read Spanish and you have a stomach for legalese, you can try to digest this. It is a relatively long but definitely dull exposition on what you should do in ...
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  • 493
7 votes

Was the 35 year age minimum chosen for US president roughly equal to the average life expectancy for a reason?

The other answers touch on this point, but I think it needs to be emphasized: The quote in the question demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the concept of average life expectancy. Overall ...
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6 votes
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Which French Revolutionary figure thought black slaves could oversee monkeys for labor?

There are many mentions from French Enlightenment writers, which is not the same as Revolutionary, but I think more adequate to what you are looking for. This is because influences of Linnaeus and ...
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  • 2,008
5 votes
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What was the social class of priests' children in Imperial Russia?

There is a very detailed discussion of this issue on pages 281-284 of Законы о состояниях (Св. зак., т. IX изд. 1899 г., по прод 1906, 1908 и 1909 гг.). / Сост. Я.А.Канторович. — СПб.: Право, 1911. —...
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  • 6,030
5 votes

How did the upper class stay wealthy in the past?

"In the past" is a little vague. I'll concentrate on the West because I have no acquaintance with this in the New World and little with Asia In 500 BC, when there was no primogeniture in Athens, men ...
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  • 2,202
5 votes
Accepted

How did the upper class stay wealthy in the past?

The reason that the upper class was able to preserve itself was because only a handful of the descendants obtained most of the property of the founders. For instance, Genghis Khan was prolific in his ...
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  • 103k
5 votes

Was literacy ever used as a tool to oppress the population by higher social classes?

I interpret the question as, "where and when in world history, was the lack of literacy of a population held against it, despite other qualities? One example was in 14th century England, where ...
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  • 103k
5 votes

What do Marxists mean by "class basis of law"? As seen in linked article

Marxists claimed that all aspects of the social life were determined by the class struggle. This included law. In other words, they claimed that all laws and all legal procedures were established to ...
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