Questions tagged [history]

Questions on the history of politics, political action and political debate, as well as historical political figures, heads of state etc. Also including any historical political actions and situations which may be of relevance to modern-day scenarios. Consider before posting whether your question is better suited to History.SE.

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138 views

In the West, how has freedom been defined historically?

I stumbled upon this video earlier today. Here, starting at around 0:50, the Funky Academic claims that freedom used to be defined as having the ability to do your duty. Contrarily, again according to ...
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A textbook of (the history of) political thought [migrated]

I am looking for a textbook or a book covering the history of political thought in Europe up to the current times. Could you recommend one that is readable for a lay person and offers a good ...
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Why does British Indian Ocean Territory follow RHT?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-_and_right-hand_traffic Why do cars in the British Indian Ocean Territory drive on the right-hand side of the road (as in the US) instead of on the left-hand side of ...
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Do political systems evolve with economic progress?

Do political systems evolve with economic progress? In a lot of sci-fi movies you don't see government evolve with technology and economy, but in Star Trek, I believe, the political system ended up ...
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3answers
249 views

Is there anything that prevents popular opinion from becoming fact as it's written in history? [closed]

I've seen over the last few years, members of congress and others, using news articles as sources of factual information in official testimonies. Additionally, news organizations regularly repeat ...
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2answers
177 views

What did the Framers intend the meaning of “probable cause” to be? [closed]

The 4th amendment reads The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall ...
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907 views

In what way(s) was US Judge Royce Lamberth a “pain in the butt” to the Clinton Administration?

After 06:27 in the CNN video Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York state commentator Paul Kane, Senior Congressional Correspondent for The Washington Post said (my transcription): ...
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2answers
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When was the last time that a major party in GB polled <2% in a constituency?

The Labour Party garnered just 1.6% of the vote in the Chesham and Amersham by-election. When was the last time that a major party (Conservative or Labour) received <2% of the vote in a Great ...
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What conditions must happen to end a cult of personality?

Background Cults of Personality are a long standing phenomenon going back to at least the Roman Emperor Commodus. However the term really only entered popular lexicon after Nikita Khrushchev's Secret ...
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129 views

How did FDR upend the political climate in the USA?

In my history class, we learned that pre Roosevelt, Republicans were more or less the more liberal party and Democrats the conservative party. Today such an idea seems hard to imagine in today's ...
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196 views

Why are/were Jews targets of religious hatred? [closed]

I am wondering why Jews have been targeted just for ... being Jewish. There are stereotypes about Jewish individuals like having tall noses, pale skin, saying certain words, etc. Why exactly, were ...
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What is the context where these Theodore Hertzl sentences were written?

I have found this paragraph in the diary of Theodore Herzl (12 June 1895): It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of property. To the people they ...
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Of what importance was the Westland affair?

I've been reading M. Thatcher's book The_Downing_Street_Years, and she spends a lot of time discussing the Westland affair. Her account seems completely orthogonal to the one given in the Wikipedia (...
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210 views

When was the last time the US Government openly voiced support for waiving a private company's intellectual property protections?

According to a recent statement by the US Trade Representative: “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The ...
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278 views

Why didn't the USA topple Saddam Hussain in the 90s?

Why did the US government topple Saddam Hussain in 2003, rather than in the 90s? Why did they wait 13 years?
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How many constitutions refer to the Declaration of the Rights of Man?

I'm curious how many countries cite the document in their own constitution, as I'm aware that some do (Senegal, for example). Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
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Why was the USA planning on attacking Japan *before* Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour? [closed]

According to Wikipedia, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour to prevent the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with its actions in South-East Asia. However, Noam Chomsky, referring to Michael Sherry's The ...
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356 views

Has there ever been a true constitutional crisis in the United States?

There have been crisis such as the 1876 tied election, but they still could be solved because Congress has the power to certify the electoral college votes and reject them. Has there been any ...
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167 views

What did the Framers of the Constitution have to say about court packing?

Trump has repeatedly said that Biden wants to pack the courts, this likely wouldn’t work because of the Senate filibuster. Although hard, if one party were able to obtain 60 seats in the Senate, ...
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3answers
480 views

Why didn't Nazis have their own constitution?

Nazis didn't write a constitution and adopted The Weimar Constitution that was in force since 1919. The Enabling Act of 1933 was the only implemented reform to this constitution. Given that Nazis were ...
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Have any Senators boycotted an impeachment vote?

This answer to What would happen if Senators boycotted the Impeachment Vote points out that the Constitution does not compel Senators to vote in an impeachment trial: The Senate shall have the sole ...
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Has politics always been so polarized?

Looking at American politics, it seems like there is a tremendous animosity between people with different political leanings. Was it always this polarized? If not, when did this trend begin and why? *...
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1answer
121 views

Empirical cases of kleptocracies [closed]

From the definition of kleptocracy: a society whose leaders make themselves rich and powerful by stealing from the rest of the people And the definition of government: the group of people with the ...
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246 views

What happened at the Blackpool Labour Party Conference in 1980?

I came across Thatcher's infamous The Lady's Not For Turning speech at the Tory Party Conference in 1980. She starts and ends her speech with references to the Labour Party Conference that had ...
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1answer
196 views

When was the idea of universal adult suffrage first conceived, and by whom?

I understand that universal adult suffrage has its basis in universal manhood suffrage (1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen). It was then extended to include all adult women, ...
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Did the Founding Fathers consider creating something similar to the current filibuster?

In the US Senate, the current filibuster rules mean that, with a few specific exceptions, all Senate business requires an effective 60-vote super-majority to pass. Many people treat this as an ...
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Is there precedent for Puerto Rico being admitted as state with such high levels of internal disagreement?

In the most recent (nonbinding) 2020 referendum, Puerto Ricans voted for statehood by a 52.5% to 47.5% margin. Including abstentions, the margin was 50.8% to 49.2%. And of course, you have to account ...
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Have there been any instances where both of a state's Senate seats flipped to the opposing party in a single election?

The Democratic candidates flipped both of Georgia's Senate seats, previously held by Republicans, in the 2021 runoff elections. Such a situation where both Senate seats of a state change party in a ...
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2answers
671 views

How many presidents had decided not to attend the inauguration of their successor?

Pres. Donald Trump announced that he will not be attending the inauguration of Joe Biden. How many presidents have not attended the inauguration of their successor?
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2answers
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Under what circumstances has the USA invoked martial law?

The idea that martial law could be imposed by Trump to rerun the election is currently topical (see In what way would invoking martial law help Trump overturn the election?). In the interview where ...
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2answers
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Have Texas voters ever selected a Democrat for President?

This last American election gave me the impression that Texas voters were awfully close to electing a liberal, which is something to me that would be incredible. Apparently Biden got 46% of the vote ...
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237 views

How normal is it to have a ministry for a specific disability?

Bernie Finn MP is Shadow Assistant Minister for Autism. There is no (Assistant) Minister for Autism in the Victorian Government, nor is there a (Shadow) Minister for Depression, Spina Bifida, Neurosis,...
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585 views

Has anyone gained power via election fraud?

Elections are generally associated with democracy, but they do happen in dictatorships as well. The difference is that the election result in a dictatorship is manipulated to confirm the current ...
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What are some cases of US politicians going back to more 'junior' positions?

So for the purposes of this question there is sort of a loose hierarchy of US political positions in terms of responsibility and power. Like this: State legislator < House representative < ...
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117 views

Is it uncommon for a party to win presidency, but lose house seats?

In the United States' 2020 Presidential election, it appears as if Joe Biden and the Democrats have won the presidency, however as of writing this, have lost 5 seats in the house, and will likely lose ...
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1answer
181 views

Smallest MOV in Georgia history for president?

The election for president is very close in Georgia. What was the smallest margin of victory in both percentage points and raw votes for a presidential election in the US state of Georgia?
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Why does New Mexico resolve election ties with a game of Poker?

I just learned today that, according to the New Mexico Constitution, if an election ends in a tie, the race will be decided by a game of chance, either a coin-flip, high-card draw, or a single hand of ...
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1answer
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Has a recount ever changed the winner of a state during a presidential election?

The Trump campaign stated that they'll ask for a recount in Wisconsin (and it wouldn't surprise me when either of the candidates will ask for one in other states). I'm wondering how often a recount ...
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5answers
5k views

The politicization of the supreme court

It seems that both the Republican and Democratic parties look at the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice as a political move. Optimally, a judge has no part in politics. Their personal opinion ...
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1answer
263 views

Has any US state legislature ever disregarded the outcome of a presidential election in that state to appoint all electors of a losing party?

Article 2 of the constitution has a clause saying: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and ...
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2answers
176 views

What Problems are the UN facing and what Reforms will be needed to boost UN's efficiency?

I have been watching the recent 75th General Debate and I have seen some presidents (Ghanaian President...) urging and proclaiming for UN Reforms to boost UN efficiency on dealing with problems but ...
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Is the US age gap of voting behaviour unprecedented, and will it lead to a drastic shift of the political mainstream in foreseeable future?

According to the Pew Research center, young people in the USA leaned heavily towards voting for Democrats in the 2018 election. Notable are not only the 2018's (Compared to because of its historic ...
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Are there any good longitudinal studies of contested elections at the national level?

No electoral result happens in a vacuum -- and worldwide analogs to current events can provide interesting insights on what may happen with upcoming global national elections in an era when the ...
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6answers
5k views

In the United States, why aren't both legislative chambers involved in the Supreme Court confirmation process?

I'm following the situation around the recent Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a non-American, what's strange to me is that confirming a new SCOTUS Justice ...
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5answers
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Why is changing the size of the Supreme Court considered dangerous today, when it has been done in the past?

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about "court packing", the process of increasing the size of the Supreme Court, thereby creating openings to be filled with new justices. A common ...
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3answers
5k views

Is there historical precedent for the US Senate to confirm a SCOTUS nominee from a POTUS of their own party in an election year?

There is debate over whether it is right for Donald Trump to try to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the SCOTUS now, because the election is coming up. Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he will still ...
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3answers
605 views

How does 9/11 compare with the fire in the Reichstag, Berlin – in terms of consequences? [closed]

Is there a similarity between 9/11 and the USA PATRIOT act and the Reichstag Fire in 1933, after Hitler used democracy to seize absolute power (although 67% didn't vote for him)? After 9/11 the ...
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Where On The Political Spectrum Do The Old US Political Parties Fall

I'm not a poly-sci major so I need some help to figure out a seemingly simple thing. I've been given a list of presidents and have to do some data visualizing with them. There is a list of parties, ...
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1answer
389 views

Why Is The U.S. Supreme Court Reviewing So Few Cases On The Merits?

The U.S. Supreme Court in recent years has been deciding fewer cases on the merits than it has at any time since the end of the U.S. Civil War. (Source) Yet, the volume of cases eligible for its ...
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1answer
180 views

Why is the USA so much more religious then other developed nations [duplicate]

The USA is an outlier in it's overall religiosity (ie percentage of citizens that consider religion a major factor in their lives) when it comes to developed & wealthy nations, being nearly twice ...

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