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When and why did the use of the lifespans of royalty to limit clauses in contracts come about?
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46 votes

This is an attempt to escape the rule against perpetuities. No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after some life in being at the creation of the ...

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What is Charles Babbage referring to when he talks about the 'College of Laputa'?
16 votes

Gulliver's Travels. In particular, the reference is to one man there: He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically ...

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How was law enforcement handled in large US cities before professional police?
15 votes

Crime investigation was minimal, particularly because forensic science was non-existent or very crude. No fingerprinting. No autopsies to determine cause of death. No investigation of the crime ...

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How did the Boston Tea Party protest affect the British?
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12 votes

They prevented the tax from being paid, since it was paid on the sale. This paralleled the earlier boycotts on the much large number of items that Parliament attempted to tax. To make it clear that ...

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What did the Greeks call their gods while under Roman rule?
6 votes

The Romans did not "inherit" the Greek gods. The Romans practiced the interpretatio romana whereby they identified foreign gods as being their own under different names, just as the Greeks ...

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At what age did girls start wearing corsets in 1880s-1890s Britain?
5 votes

How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life by Ruth Goodman discusses this. The newborn would wear a binder, a simple strap, until about nine months, where it would be replaced -- ...

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Why is the term "Ancestral Puebloans" used and not simply "Puebloans"?
3 votes

This culture was distinct from modern Pueblo cultures in many respects, and in particular, was found in many ares where it no longer persists. For a long period, this culture was known as the "...

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How did Nazi Germany justify the attempted invasion of Britain?
2 votes

Technically, given that Britain had declared war on them and then rejected terms, Germany didn't have to give any reasons. As for persuading the people to keep on fighting, they touted their prior ...

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How would “distraint of knighthood” law in medieval England fit with the fact that all knights must be of noble birth?
1 votes

Knights were not peers. Indeed, even though baronetcies were inheritable, baronets were not peers either. When a knight was sent to Parliament, it was to sit in the House of Commons, not the House ...

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Why did European alchemists seek metal transmutation in addition to the Elixir Of Life?
-1 votes

This is because gold doesn't rust, or tarnish, or corrode. It is, in fact, incorruptible. A substance that made things immortal would turn metal into gold and men into incorruptible men.

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