Featured Answers

Active contributors today


The threat of James I establishing a catholic dynasty in England and Scotland


James I came to the throne on the death of his brother Charles II, James was Roman Catholic in a country that was protestant since Henry VIII's reformation and had adopted a more radical Protestantism after the English Civil War of the 1640s

While James promoted religious tolerance he also promoted closer ties with France which the English Parliament were not happy about, the crisis erupted when James son was born and created the prospect of a catholic Stuart dynasty ruing England with the prospect of potential loss of religious freedom - James's son also displaced Mary (a protestant, married to William "king" of the United Provinces modern day Holland) in the line of succession

A significant proportion of Parliament was so alarmed at the prospect of this dynasty the secretly conspired with William and promised him support should he inade

William had also been so alarmed by the prospect of an Anglo-French Alliance (which would threaten Holland) that he had been considering military intervention into England anyway

Given the promise of internal support in England he landed troops in Torbay in 1688 and after a few minor clashes with troops loyal to James coupled with the eruption of anti catholic riots in many towns James;s regime collapsed and after an escape attempt was captured and eventually exiled to France

The revolutions significance is both economic and social

Economically it transferred over a relatively short time the dominance of Holland to England laying the foundations for global empire in the later centuries by ending Anglo Dutch enmity

Socially it stamped England as a permanently Protestant country and religious freedoms were curtailed and Catholics excluded from voting and civil affairs or commissions in the Army, the Monarch was expressly forbidden from being Catholic or marrying a Catholic a ruling that would have repercussions in the 1930 when Edward wished to Marry Mrs Simpson and was forced to abdicate or give her up


Alexander and many of his successors promoted Greek culture in many different ways thus creating a huge swath of land where Greek language and culture had huge influence over the people.


Alexander was of course a huge advocate for Greek culture since he himself was a Macedonian. So when, in his conquest of the middle east and India, he made sure to spread the Greek culture and Language. This process is often referred to as the "Hellenisation", the name comes from the Greek word for Greece, "Hellas".

Alexander took great care in spreading Greek Civilzation in his conquered territories especially into former Persia where he tried to create a mix of Greek and Persian cultures. This can be clearly seen in the many Greek cities that were founded in his name throughout Asia (see Alexandria, Antioch and Selucia).

The Greek culture was also heavily promoted by many of the successor states (like the Indo-Greek civilization) that formed after the collapse of Alexander's empire where many Greek ideas and concept were taught by great thinkers and tutors in the new lands. This also affected the art of these new states heavily, thus promoting it even further. Greek even became the common/trade language for communication between peoples in trade and other exchanges throughout pretty much all of Alexander's lands.

The reason for the Greek influence over these lands was so prevalent even after Alexander's death was that many of the new states that appeared after the collapse of his empire had Alexander's old generals as their leaders, who were mostly Greek. Who promoted the culture and language just as he had done.

To summarize:

  • Leaders of the lands were Greek.
  • Greek culture, language and ideas were heavily promoted.
  • Many monuments and buildings were Greek.
  • Greeks moved to these new lands and in doing so spreading their culture.
  • Greek was the standard language for academic texts and literature.

It's important to remember that the Greek culture didn't just take over these new lands but instead mixed with the already established cultures, creating many different mixes of local culture and Greek.

Hope this helped :)


Combating post injury infections


Prior to the discovery of Penicillin the survival rate of trauma injuries was comparatively low (but had been increasing since Lister discovered antiseptics and cleanliness became standard in medical facilities)

But battlefield wounds are almost inevitably incredibly dirty wounds - oil and powder residue on the projectile, fragments of dirty clothing carried into the wound etc - so the likelihood of infection was extremely high - Penicillin was able to fight these infections to a large extent

Other advances - McIndoe's treatment of deep burns and reconstructive surgery https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea_Pig_Club

Discovery of Sulfanilamide to combat infection

Blood Plasma - Although proposed in WW1 it wasn't available until WW2

Use of Morphine although used in WW1 it was extensively used in WW2

Recognition of PTSD (but called "Battle Fatigue") - no longer were sufferers accused of cowardice. (Not well handle by the US but other nations learned from there WW1 experiences).

Discovery of Penicillin as a cure for VD - and VD was a significant cause of loss of manpower to the armies particularly in Italy


India conquest by Mongolian converts.
Anatolia conquest by Seljuk and Ottoman Turks
Spain conquest (711)


India ethnic and religious intolerance. Hindus were allowed to practice because the caste system helped maintain political control of the population.

Anatolia religious intolerance Christian Children were "drafted into the military and served as Janisaries slaves of the Sultan.

Spain religious tolerance. Christians and jews were allowed to practice their religion but were treated as second class citizens.

Africa religious tolerance. Traditional African religions were practiced along side of Islam.

India governed by the Muslims Maharies assisted by the higher caste Hindus

Anatolia ruled by the Sultan Muslim Sharia law.

Africa ruled by traditional Afri can Kings, and local chiefs.

Spain ruled by the Caliph of the Umajan empire

Spain dominance by Islam from 711 to 1492 architecture and art greatly influenced. Hatred of Islam because of the rule of Islam lead to the Spainish Inquestion.

Anatolia still a Muslim country Armenian Christian genocide Extinction of existing Christian communities and cultures.

Africa brought literacy and trade, Islam was essential in the development of advanced West African Kingdoms.

India little lasting effect Islam was at the top of the society the lower Hindu classes were little effected by Islam ( later the partition between Islamic Pakistan and Hindu India caused much violence and strive. )


The Great depression caused much social strife- which caused extremist/radical ideologies to gain traction as they promised solutions to the problems caused by the great depression.

Warning: Very long explanation!


Communism, Fascism, and Nazism and Japanese militarism all promised solutions to the troubles caused by the Great Depression, and most nations fell under far-right ideologies characterized by military conquest and expansionism (Italy, Japan, and Germany). Communism also had their own solutions to the economic troubles by putting everyone to work in the 5-year plans. (Although only the USSR was communist at this point, communism still had many supporters in other countries- but they had already embraced communism during WWI so I would not count it for this question)

There is actually a lot of evidence to suggest that the Warmongering/totalitarian nations (Japan, Italy, Germany) were actually relatively peaceful up until 1929- right after the Stock Market crash occurred in Manhattan on black Tuesday, which was the start of the great depression. I will go through the European nations first and then Japan, which was although not as totalitarian as Germany or Italy, was a great cause for aggression in Asia due to their strong, independent army.

Germany , although having been punished by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, gradually opened up to the rest of Europe- which was officially settled with the Locarno treaty of 1925, where Germany, Britain, France, and others settled the post-war relations, causing widespread enthusiasm for the future. Germany joined the League of Nations a year later in 1926. This can be attributed to the skillful handling by German politician Gustav Stresemann. The German economy was also helped by the American Dawes plan by 1923, and later by the Young plan in 1929, both of which provided economic aid. Here we can see that Germany was still peaceful and was starting to rebuild- but then the depression happened and the American economic aid was halted to Germany, causing much misery in the country due to hyperinflation (people's money became worthless).

The Nazis capitalized on the depression and people's disappointments and promised solutions to Germany's problems- and Hitler was a frantic campaigner who used extensive propaganda.

In 1928 the Nazi party only gained 4% of the vote share in the German election (prior to the depression), but in the next election of 1932(after the depression began), they gained 32% of the vote share. (See the connection?) Hence Hitler became chancellor in 1933 and started taking more control of Germany- turning it into a totalitarian state. People did not anticipate this and probably thought that it cannot possibly get worse- and to some extent, this was right, as Hitler initiated the building of the autobahn to stimulate the economy, which helped to alleviate the economy.

Italy is a similar case. In 1915 they were promised a great amount of territory by Britain if they joined WW1 on the Entente side by the treaty of London, but they did not get everything that was promised in the treaty of Versailles- causing them to feel cheated. This was facilitated by the fact that during the Italian election of 1919 the two biggest parties failed to form a government- causing even more unrest.

Having formed the Fascist party in Milan in 1919, Benito Mussolini promised stability and a hard-line policy to restore Italy's former glory through conquest and military expansion( though this came later). In 1922 the Fascists had their "March on Rome",- which arguably was a coup, but Mussolini was appointed prime minister by the Italian king as, according to the king, Mussolini represented much-needed stability for Italy. This caused Mussolini to gain great power and he began turning Italy into a totalitarian state- although he was initially pretty peaceful during the 1920's.

However after the depression began in 1929, Italy became more expansionist. In 1935 Italy invaded Ethiopia due to their lack of resources at home,(and partially for Mussolini to gain prestige)- causing more tension in Europe and showing the ineffectiveness of the league of nations.

Finally, we have Japan. Although perhaps not authoritarian, the Japanese War Party and the Japanese army gained more and more autonomy- to the point of near totalitarianism. Although Japan was comparable to Germany in the sense that thanks to some politicians, like their Foreign minister Sidehara, they signed many international treaties- Versailles in 1919, Washington naval treaty and the 9-power treaty of 1922(restricting navies and to respect Chinese sovereignty), and the Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 (outlawing war) and they were thus pretty internationalist rather than nationalist prior to 1929.

However, owing to Japan's growing population and lack of resources they sought a "life-line" even before the depression- and found it in Manchuria (the region North of the Korean peninsula). Japan was dependent on trade for their well-being, Hence when the depression hit in 1929 and nations stopped trading due to tariff barriers and protectionism, the Japanese economy suffered. The War Party and Japanese army gained tremendous traction and more or less acted out of the Government's control. They then managed to stage an attack on themselves (The Mukden incident of 1931) to motivate an invasion of Manchuria- starting the Japanese expansion in Asia.

Hopefully, this gave some perspectives into why the three "Key nations" behind WW2 became expansionist and totalitarian.


Sub-Saharan Africa prior to the 19th Century largely consisted of large tribes, save in West Africa where -- ironically -- the Slave Trade had led to the creation of larger social organizations.


Sub-Saharan Africa had largely been handicapped by nature in two particulars. One was its isolation due to distance, disease barriers, and a shortage of harbours with navigable rivers permitting inland access. While -- at great cost -- the Sahara Desert could be crossed, Tse-tse flies and altitude (in Ethiopia) were formidable barriers to travel much beyond it.

The consequence was that Sub-Saharan Africa never really had the chance to advance beyond tribal iron age cultures except on the very edge of the Sahara (Mali, the Sudan and Ethiopia).

The other barrier was the natural shortage of domesticable plants. Wheat, maize, rice, millet, barley and potatoes had allowed other civilizations to appear, but Sorghum was not reliable enough to allow civic culture to be maintained in most of Sub-Saharan Africa: Save were coastal enclaves let Arabs (from 700 AD) and Europeans (from 1450 AD or so) set up trading posts for slaves, gold and ivory.

Cattle had been domesticated for millennia in Europe and Asia, but disease resistant strains that could survive in Sub-Saharan Africa only appeared around 1000 AD -- allowing Bantu pastoralists to slowly spread through much of the continent.

The back-handed gift of the Slave Trade from both the Arabs and the Europeans was the importation of new food-crops: Yams, Rice, Millet, Maize, etc. That finally allowed greater concentrations of people, and new kingdoms were emerging just as Europeans got quinine, breech-loading firearms, and other advantages that let them go far beyond the coastal enclaves.

View more
Ask a question Filters
This filter has no results, see all questions.
Question type

Use these controls to find questions to answer

Need double-checking
Practice problems
Conceptual questions