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.

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52
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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 ...
33
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1answer
7k views

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 ...
31
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3answers
14k views

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 ...
29
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
28
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5answers
5k views

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 ...
28
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
28
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1answer
26k views

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 ...
20
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1answer
829 views

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 ...
16
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3answers
24k views

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 ...
15
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2answers
3k views

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 "...
15
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
14
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8answers
7k views

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 ...
14
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
14
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3answers
824 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 ...
12
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3answers
3k views

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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2answers
1k views

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 ...
11
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
10
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1answer
291 views

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 ...
9
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6answers
520 views

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-...
9
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1answer
3k views

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, ...
9
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2answers
949 views

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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2answers
8k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
8
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7answers
2k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
450 views

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 ...
8
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3answers
877 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
492 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 ...
8
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2answers
189 views

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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4answers
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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 ...
7
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2answers
469 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 ...
7
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2answers
197 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
408 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Which country had the first constitution adopted by referendum?

Which country was the first to adopt a codified constitution by a reasonably democratic public referendum? I'm including in this non-binding referendums, such as those held in the Australian colonies ...
6
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1answer
751 views

Could Bill Clinton have won a third term?

This may straddle the line between politics and history at this point, but if we didn't have the 22nd Amendment, which limits Presidents to two terms, could Bill Clinton have won a third term? ...
6
votes
1answer
489 views

Why do NOAA and the USPHS have uniformed services?

Most Americans (and likely many folks around the world) think of the US military as comprising the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. However, there are also the United States ...
6
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1answer
193 views

Was Conservatism Edmund Burke's child?

As I understand it, Conservatism, as a term and ideology, can be traced back to Anglo-Irish politician Edmund Burke. He espoused a civil society upheld by, as he saw it, the then pillars of ...
6
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1answer
158 views

Was the Corwin Amendment's use of the term “domestic institutions” intended to apply to more than just slavery?

The Corwin Amendment was a proposed amendment to the US Constitution introduced in March 2, 1861 as an attempt to end the Civil War. The text is as follows: No amendment shall be made to the ...
5
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1answer
199 views

What are the political challenges in defeating organized crime?

Fighting organized crime is in the best interests of everybody and after all, for politicians, less crime will make your electorate happier. On the other hand, countries have been wildly unsuccessful ...
5
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3answers
607 views

Is Trump's focus on Clinton's emails beneficial to his campaign?

As most know, Trump has been making a significant deal out of the Clinton email issue, with a resurgence on the topic occurring recently due to certain comments from the FBI investigator. Is there ...
5
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1answer
145 views

How did the Russian Politburo (Bolshevik) elect its leaders?

As far as I understand, when Stalin got to lead the Politburo there was not a vote for leadership but it was whoever showed that they had the most power. But how can you quantify power? Did they find ...
5
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1answer
62 views

Books for understanding the government of ancient Athens and the Roman Empire?

I'm studying political science, and I was curious of what sort of books I should read to understand the functions, and perhaps the history of these countries, as they are very usual case studies. I'...
5
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1answer
319 views

Countries where rich people have more votes?

For example: one man with income 1,000$/month has only one vote, another man with income 5,000$/month has 5 votes. Are/were there any such countries? There were many countries where diffrent ...
4
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3answers
522 views

How often have majority parties plummeted in support in one election in democracies?

While voters in democracies usually only incrementally change the party that they support relative to a prior election, every now and then, a party will go from being a leading or majority party, to ...
4
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2answers
401 views

Precedent for a sitting President not residing in the White House?

Was there ever any precedent set, for a sitting President of the United States to not have resided in the White House during the entirety or parts of his tenure ? Note : Other than when it was ...
4
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1answer
335 views

Have any other Republican candidates for Congress accepted only the Democratic nomination? vice versa?

Bill Shuster inherited PA's 9th congressional district from his father in 2002. In most election cycles, he runs unopposed as the district is mostly Republican. This primary season he won the ...
4
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3answers
325 views

What were the names of political movements championing small institutions over large institutions (instead of conventional left vs. right spectrum)?

I recall reading about a political movement in the U.S. that, rather than being defined by contemporary left-right cleavages, was about championing small institutions (smaller, more local governments ...