Hot answers tagged

99

Despite common misconception, both Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, via the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking, respectively. London was under no legal obligation to return them to China. However, most of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong actually consists of the New Territories. That was ...


59

I can tell you why Spain was neutral. (Sorry, I don't know much about Portugal) Germany and Italy helped Franco during the Spanish Civil War. When the Second World War started, Germany of 1939 was not very interested in Spain. As you know in May 1940 Italy joined the Axis while France was being conquered. After defeat the Germans prepared themselves to ...


58

They're maintained as a matter of tradition, which is not unusual in monarchies. It's used both for prestige and as a relic of an era when European diplomacy revolved around territorial claims of the monarchs. That said, most titles do have clear geographical or dynastic sources. If you do find one that seems strange, leave a comment and I'll see if I can ...


51

WW II was primarily a power struggle, and to a lesser degree an ideological struggle. This means that your assumption about the motivations of WW II are incorrect. If it had been an ideological struggle, the US would not have allied with the Communist Soviet Union. (Read up on the Red Scare in the US: anti-Communist sentiment in the US was significant). ...


47

Columbus was not, in fact, the first to cross the Atlantic. There were Norse communities living in Greenland from the 10th Century. They even had some temporary settlements in North America proper. However, the Norse weren't as good at eking out a living in the North Atlantic as the Inuit, and (after 500 years) eventually got wiped out by some combination of ...


35

Complimentary to Tom's answer, you have to ask yourself which side they'd come in on. There's nothing really useful in terms of territory they could get out of Germany or Austria-Hungary, since both were way on the other side of Europe. If they'd gone in on the other side, they could perhaps have gotten useful territory from France. However, French forces ...


30

I mean if the people felt they were Portuguese how could they accept kings with Asturian origins? Because they didn't feel they were "Portuguese" until later on. Firstly, you are taking the modern approach of the nation-state which was absent at the time of the creation of Portugal. At that time, what counted was the relationships of loyalty between the ...


29

The OP said this in a comment: technically speaking, Spain was a satellite state. However, the treaty was mainly intended for the countries within the big blocks so I assume it was just ignored. The second statement, that Spain was overlooked, is flatly not true as will be demonstrated once we look at the text of the agreements and the historical arguing ...


27

I find it interesting that many answers belong to "armchair generals", that point only to the military power, and logistics, *1 but forget to mention the issues that could lead to a war in the first place. Remember, war is the continuation of politics.... First of all, I would point the main issue would be noticing how these issues affect the internal ...


26

Actually, Portugal and England have the longest alliance in the world -- one signed in the Treaty of Windsor (1386). The Portuguese and English agreed that neutrality for Portugal was the most viable stance though Portugal helped the alliance in other ways like evacuating civilians from Gilbraltar to Madeira and allowing later in the war, bases in the Azores....


25

Got it, is a Spanish M1969 Bayonet, check it here: https://www.preferredarms.com/weapons/daggers.php


23

Short answer: The latest flareup is the most recent of many that have taken place over the centuries. More details are found in this wiki article on Catalonia. But basically, Catalonia was always the "non-mainstream part of Spain. It formed the heart of the Kingdom of Aragon, which was united to the rest of Spain (Castile) by the marriage of Ferdinand of ...


22

Sure, it's possible. Many things are possible. Likely, however, is another question. The link you posted describes a vague story of sailing west into the Atlantic, finding an island, trading with the locals, and returning home. Could the island be in the New World? It could, but it could just as easily be one of the islands in the Atlantic. For me to ...


22

It is commonly accepted that the Spanish Empire, which rose to the pinnacle of its strength under Charles V/I and Philip II was in decline by early seventeenth century and, in spite (or perhaps because?) of strenuous efforts to arrest and reverse that decline during the early 17th century, it declined and by 1643 or 1659 (not random dates..) it was a shadow ...


21

The most important "paradigm shift" of the early 19th century was the Industrial Revolution. That was the harnessing of the steam, and later, internal combustion engines, for manufacturing advances that led to an "order of magnitude" gains (five to ten times) in the standard of living. The great powers of the time were also among the earliest beneficiaries ...


21

Gibraltar was defensible, but Hong Kong was not. In the 1990s, the distance from the UK would have made Hong Hong impossible to defend. Also, Hong Kong is primarily occupied by Chinese, unlike Gibraltar, which is occupied by UK citizens, many of whom are soldiers. Gibraltar is a fortress, and it is relatively close to the UK and hence easily suppliable. ...


19

As mentioned in the comments, the Wikipedia entry on this subject does not adequately describe the situation and causes of the foundation of Portugal. The creation of Portugal was nothing short of a miracle which was accomplished by a single man, Alfonso Henrique (1109-1185), known as Alfonso Henry in English. His deeds are best known from the massive tomes ...


18

(Note that there are definitively many traces of Germanic influence on Spanish/Portuguese. For example, as @AlbertYago's pointed out, the Iberian vocabulary contains several Germanic imports; Wikipedia even has a section on this subject. Nonetheless, the underlying question is valid: the Germanic influence is obviously way, way weaker in Iberia than it is in ...


17

There were two power blocs, the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy), and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia). Spain was part of neither and had no reason to support one or the other.(Italy later switched sides). Spain was fortunate to be outside of the main battle areas: France, Belgium, Poland, the Balkans, western Russia. It had no ...


17

Spain is in the western end of the Central European Time. This means despite the same clock, they have later actual sun cycle (e.g. later actual sunrise, noon, sunset, etc.) than other countries. Human activities are partly influenced by the sun cycle, so it is logical that their meal schedule is later than the rest of Europe as well. For example, for 21 ...


16

In "Mein Kampf," Hitler opined, "We stop the endless German movement to the south and west, and turn our gaze toward the land in the east...If we speak of the soil of Europe today, we can have primarily in mind the soil of Russia and her vassal border states." He was concerned primarily with conquering Russia and eastern Europe. Fought France and Britain (...


16

"The best thing that Euskara could contribute to the humanity is to die out" - Miguel de Unamuno Euskara, Basque language, is a very interesting subject. It survived on two time levels. First, being an ancient language which is still in use, and now, being a minority language which is still in use in 21st century, where we have to deal with stronger and ...


16

It's actually not that unusual for monarchs to claim titles in pretence as a means of increasing their prestige. The Kings of England and Great Britain had famously claimed to also be Kings/Queens of France right up until the Act of Union in 1800, despite the minor detail that England had lost Calais, her sole remaining possession on the European mainland, ...


15

In 1940, Spain changed its time zone from GMT to GMT+1, as Franco thought that it would be a good idea to have the same time as Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy (his political allies) after Germany occupied France. The United Kingdom modified its time zone too, but reverted its decision in 1945. In the 80s, the PSOE (political party at government) ...


15

It seems to me that there are a number of variables to this, many of which would vary from beacon to beacon, so getting an 'accurate' transmission time for the information is going to be almost impossible. We know that the Spanish fleet were sighted by Captain Thomas Flemyng near the Lizard on the 19th July 1588 (State Papers relating to the Defeat of the ...


14

"The nail that sticks out gets hammer down" While a Japanese saying, it holds true for all the super powers. Be their outside enemies, inside corruption, or just economic bad luck, the hammers are numerous indeed. Spain in particular, was cripple by mega inflation due to all the gold coming from the Indies. Portugal was assimilated into Spain and then ...


14

I'm kind of suprised nobody has brought up the Siesta. In Spain and many other subtropical and tropical climes they have a tendency to nap during the hottest parts of the day. You'd logically have to then work that much later to put in the same amount of work. That would shift your entire calendar back likewise, including the evening meal. Its is actually ...


14

There are no medieval historic references to "Semites". The word did not exist until the late 18th Century. It was coined by Historian August Ludwig von Schlözer to have a useful word to describe that set of apparently related languages. The choice of name was derived from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah in the genealogical accounts of the biblical ...


14

I understand that there are four surviving accounts of de Soto's expedition. Three of those accounts were written by survivors: Rodrigo Rangel or Ranjel, who was de Soto’s personal secretary; Luys Hernández de Biedma, the Spanish King’s representative; and an individual known as the “Gentleman from Elvas”, who is believed to be a Portuguese mercenary ...


13

How would it matter if people support war when Spain was not the aggressor? They supported it as it was a defensive war. In these times it was obvious to fight. I read a Polish book, some years ago, later on the evening (I live in CET zone) I will provide this as a source if someone is interested, but the main idea was that Spanish knew they were about to ...


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