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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50
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8answers
11k views

Do/did non-dictatorial Communist societies exist?

I've often heard the following two points of view: Communism is a failed philosophy, and it has always failed (e.g. USSR, China, Cuba etc...). Therefore it's simply wrong. Communism has never been ...
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1answer
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Were there any U.S. Presidents that were very unpopular when elected?

I've read in a few news sources that whoever wins the current 2016 presidential election will already have generally low (below 45%) favorability among the general U.S. population, even among people ...
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Has a Nobel Peace laureate ever been accused of war crimes?

Nobel Prizes aren't without controversy, and I was wondering if a Nobel Peace laureate has ever been accused of war crimes. For the purpose of this question, I will accept accusations of war crimes ...
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Why is Japan more revisionist about its World War II era actions than Germany?

Germany and Japan both committed horrific crimes against humanity in the lead up to, and during world war II. Both countries are now more or less democracies. Yet the two countries seem to have dealt ...
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In the Weimar Republic what was the role of the people sitting on the left side of the speaker?

I know that in the Weimar republic the chancellor and other ministers of government sit in front of the members of parliament on the right side of the speaker but was the role of the people who sit to ...
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What caused a massive shift in Republican ideological trajectories in the late '70s?

On a post on Skeptics.SE I saw recently, there was a chart showing the ideological position of the political parties over time: (source) As you can see, both parties were drifting more liberal ...
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1answer
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When, how and why did the stars in the logo of the Republican Party get turned upside down?

Note: I'm not making any claims here, I'm simply asking for the story behind the logo change. Here is the current logo of the US Republican Party: The stars used to point upwards, like this: This ...
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Congressman Jeff Van Drew is switching parties over Trump impeachment: has this ever happened before?

New Jersey Representative Jeff Van Drew has switched parties from Democrat to Republican over the House of Representatives' vote to impeach President Trump, citing its partisan nature and the ...
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1answer
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How applicable is the “Biden rule” to McConnell's arguments?

Mitch McConnell recently cited the "Biden rule" as justification for rejecting a SCOTUS nomination. What are the parallels between the current situation, and the situation when Biden made the cited ...
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3answers
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Did past presidential impeachment inquiries have basic defendant's rights?

In a recent letter on behalf of the president to the House committees on impeachment, the president's counsel Pat A. Cipollone wrote: I write on behalf of President Donald J. Trump in response to ...
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Must all democratic countries have a constitution?

It seems to me that all democratic countries, e.g. republics and representative monarchies, also have a constitution of sorts. On the other hand, what defines a democratic country is the "power to ...
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Why do Americans care so much about their constitution?

The constitution is evidently a major deal in American politics. It shows up all the time in the political discourse, often used to defend certain opinions and views, or to highlight the grandeur of ...
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Who coined the term “madman theory”?

Madman theory revolves around the idea of appearing more "crazy" than one actually is. It is actually a signaling game in its simplest form. At least nowadays such games are exemplified with a "...
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In what sense did Jefferson consider the right to life “unalienable” in light of his support for capital punishment?

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in the 1776 Declaration of Independence that, "All men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the ...
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Did right-wing politician Franz Josef Strauss ever explain why he gave a 3 billion loan to East Germany in 1983?

Economist Manfred Melzer described East Germany's economy in the 1980s like this (1): The economy performed fairly well in the first half of the 1980's, raising exports while conserving raw ...
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Was the 1800 US presidential election the first intentional, peaceful transfer of national control?

Historians say the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800 was the first time a nation's ruling faction willingly ceded authority to their opposition, simply because they agreed to do so, rather than due ...
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1answer
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Is Iran missile strike the first unanswered strike to the US after Cuban crisis?

As everyone already heard, recently Iran launched a missile strike on US military bases in Iraq. US didn't answer with anything but tweets. Is it the first time after Cuban Missile Crisis, when armed ...
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1answer
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Has any relevant American politician ever publicly admitted that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie?

During an interview (video here) celebrity and former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura said that "they" were admitting that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie. There are somewhat credible ...
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3answers
851 views

Is the Russian legislature unusually enthusiastic about Trump's victory?

It has been widely reported that, upon the announcement of Donald Trump's victory in the American presidential election, the Russian Duma erupted into applause. These reports are sometimes alarmist ...
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Why do some countries recognise Taiwan as the sole legitimate government of China?

There are some countries that recognise Taiwan (Republic of China) as the sole legitimate government of China instead of the People's Republic of China. Recently, just a few days ago, São Tomé and ...
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Why do members of parliament address the speaker instead of speaking normally?

This seems to be a common tradition across many legislatures and houses of parliament, there is a "speaker" (a bit of a misnomer as this person is more of a listener), and the actual person doing the ...
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How significant was Chernobyl in the collapse of the Soviet Union?

In 2006, Mikhail Gorbachev called the Chernobyl accident the "real cause" for the collapse of the Soviet Union: The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month, even more than my launch ...
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1answer
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Are there precedents for Congresspersons going in uninvited to closed-doors committee proceedings?

According to CNN: Roughly two-dozen House Republicans on Wednesday stormed a closed-door deposition in secure House Intelligence Committee spaces to rail against the Democratic-led impeachment ...
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Has there ever been a true instance of unregulated capitalism?

Has there ever been any place that used unregulated capitalism? No regulations. No restrictions. No government interference.
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Are/were there any countries where rich people have more votes?

Are/were there any countries where richer people have more active votes than poorer people? For example: someone with an income of $5,000/month would have 5x more votes than a person with an income of ...
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1answer
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Has a law or amendment been passed without a vote in Parliament because there were no tellers before?

If the breaking news is correct, MPs started voting on Stephen Kinnock’s amendment 6. But then, a few minutes into voting, Lindsay Hoyle, announced that the division had been called off because ...
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Evidence of Democratic-Republican Party Realignment Circa 1950?

What evidence is there of a Democratic-Republican party realignment during the 1950's in the US? Usually, references to the Southern strategy are made, but I haven't been able to find any peer review ...
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Have politicians' identicons been brute forced?

Disclaimer: I am hesitant to ask this question. If it doesn't belong, let me know. In this comment on Security.SE, @Anders wrote: On a side note, a couple of years ago a bunch of far-right ...
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Have any politicians been elected to the government of two different countries during their career?

After the recent elections in Czech Republic it became apparent that Andrej Babiš is going to become the next Prime Minister of the country. The curious thing about him is that he holds dual Czech-...
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Why are US state legislatures (as opposed to the federal one) bicameral?

The federal legislature in the USA is bicameral, with the Senate (supposedly) representing states, with equal voting power among state, and the House of Representatives (supposedly) representing the ...
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Did 'State' mean the same thing as today's 'country' during the time of the foundation of the USA?

It has been said that during the 18th century, the term State meant what we now refer to as countries. In other words, modern developments notwithstanding, did each US State start out as countries, ...
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1answer
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What has been the historical trend of U.S. congresspeople voting as blocks?

It feels as though every time I've looked at voting records from the U.S. congress, I notice that virtually everyone votes with their party; that is, for any given bill, every Republican votes the ...
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Who had more power in the Weimar Government? The President or the Chancellor?

This is referring to the Weimar government before Hitler rose to power- how much power did the original constitution give to each?
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Did the British government call American revolutionaries terrorists?

Did the British government officially call American revolutionaries "terrorists" or any acts of theirs "terrorism"? If they did, was it justified under modern common-denominator definition of ...
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3answers
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Why do some muslim countries ban polygamy?

Islam allows men to have up to 4 wives (simultaneously). Why would an overwhelmingly Muslim country, such as Turkey or Tunisia, ban polygamy? Not banning it would of course not prevent most people to ...
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7answers
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What is a Republic?

The question "What is a Republic?" has been half-asked more than once on this website (see this question, this one and last but not least this other one). However, it seems it has never been answered ...
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2answers
641 views

Why aren't the Jewish settlements legal under International Law, Canon Law, US domestic law, and historic rules for obtaining sovereignty?

The Supreme Council of the Allied Principal War Powers recognized the Jewish People as the owners of the political rights to Palestine, but put them in trust for World Jewry until they attained a ...
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3answers
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Why won't UK Prime Ministers formally apologise for the Amritsar massacre?

A BBC article today recalls the trapping and shooting to death of 379 - 1000 Indian protesters by British troops in 1919. While Winston Churchill called it "monstrous" in 1920, David Cameron paid his ...
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3answers
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Who are early critics of democracy?

I've been reading Henry David Thoreau's Resistance to Civil Government recently. It's a very interesting essay from 1849 and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in progressive thoughts on ...
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1answer
549 views

Is Obama the first American president to ever visit Hiroshima?

In most articles about Obama's visit to Hiroshima, they say that the visit is the first to Hiroshima by a sitting U.S. president. This implies that there may have been visits by presidents before or ...
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Why did 19th-cent. US presidents have less role in government than Congress or the states, and were more executives than leaders?

The European Union: Politics and Policies (2017 6 edn). pp 102 Bottom - 103 Middle.         Serving a renewable five-year term, the president of the Commission oversees ...
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Why do many international organizations have their headquarters in Geneva?

Geneva was the headquarters of League of Nations even though it did not participate in WWI. It has the UNOG from 1946 though Switzerland has not joined UN till 2002. It was the headquarters of OPEC ...
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1answer
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Were there no leaked phone calls of US presidents before Trump's presidency?

Rep. Nunes said in a committee hearing that to his knowledge the details/transcripts of Trump's phone calls with the Australian PM and the Mexican President were the first leaks of this kind. Acting ...
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2answers
842 views

Why does Russia bother to justify the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?

According to this Guardian article, Russia is trying to justify the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact which is a very complex matter that was not even recognized until the end of the Soviet Union: Eighty ...
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2answers
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Is the dispute over the naming of Macedonia unique in recent history?

The dispute between Greece and Macedonia over who gets to keep the name "Macedonia" has been ongoing for 20 years now. Is this a unique dispute or have there been any other similar disputes in recent ...
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1answer
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Why are only certain professions able to countersign passport photos in the UK?

Current law says that passport photographs may only be countersigned by persons within certain professions, and only once such a person has know the applicant for at least two years, specifically the ...
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Was there any war Russia has ignited that was NOT explained by its “support” of a newly-created “People's Republic”?

This excerpt of a Russian newspaper says: On December 4 {1939}, comrade Molotov has telegraphed to Avenol. In his answer, he stated that there are no reasons for raising "Finnish question", since ...
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1answer
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Who swears in the Speaker of the House when the speaker-elect is Dean of the House?

What are the rules on this matter? In 1955, who sworn in Sam Rayburn? Sam Rayburn was Dean of the House during January 3, 1953 to November 16, 1961. Where can I find the official records on the ...
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1answer
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Federalist 57 suggests voting open to everyone in the early republic?

I recently read The Accessible Federalist by Adam Seagrave (a great resource to avoid archaic English). In the Federalist 57, I came upon something interesting. James Madison appears to have been ...
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1answer
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What are reasons for a country to apologise long after the fact?

Background In comments under the question about the UK's refusal to apologise for the Amritsar massacre there has been some discussion in the comments about whether there is any point in apologising ...