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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Plotinus, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. r16

    r16 not deity

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    ı have quite by chance discovered that 1£ was about 4.8 US$ in 1914 ; would love a hint for places to look so that ı could get a basic understanding of convertibility of the times to get a view on the size of economic effort . Namely a value to Frank , Mark and Rouble of the times , ı already have the Frank / Turkish lira rate somewhere .
     
  2. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    About the ship selling, last night after I went to bed I started thinking about the Kidd class destroyers. Originally ordered and paid for by Iran, built in the US, the US confiscated them after the Iranian Revolution, used them for near 20 years, and then sold them to Taiwan.
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    How about comparing prices? Not perfect, but I bet there's a sort of primitive 'Big Mac index' that you could use.
     
  4. SeekTruthFromFacts

    SeekTruthFromFacts King

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    If you have access to an academic library, they may have back issues (old editions) of 'The Economist' which would have the information.

    Alternatively, exchange rates for 1925 are in Table 90 of the 'League of Nations Statistical Yearbook', available here: http://digital.library.northwestern.edu/league/le0262ag.pdf
     
  5. SeekTruthFromFacts

    SeekTruthFromFacts King

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  6. r16

    r16 not deity

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    thanks for all the posts and links . Saved two pdf files which ı quickly checked . While Ottoman data seesm to be not available ı think ı can work it out from the value of Frank and a bare comparision would indeed suffice considering ı am not particularly into economics .
     
  7. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

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    Did Ancient Egypt have no need for slaves?
     
  8. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    What?
     
  9. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

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    In a documentary about the pyramids I recently watched, it mentioned that the Ancient Egyptians had no need for slaves, and that the pyramids were build by conscripted farmers during the flood seasons.
     
  10. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    I don't know much about Ancient Egypt, but nearly all ancient societies had slavery in some form. That said, there's no good reason to take the Bible's assertion that the Jews were pressed into slavery to build them (or is that just The Prince of Egypt?) at face value. From a quick Google, it looks as if the pyramids were built before the Jews came to Egypt, and by people of reasonably high status - they had good housing, were fed well, and were buried in stone tombs when they died. That makes sense, when you think about it - cutting stone that precisely and operating the machines to move it is skilled work; not something that you can just whip somebody into doing. Now, that doesn't actually rule out it being done by slaves, but it does invite us to consider how we view 'slavery' and 'freedom'. In many ancient (and quite a few relatively modern) societies, it's been possible for slaves to rise to quite high positions of wealth and status, even while remaining enslaved - the Trimalchios and Tiros of Rome would be one example, but so would the Ottoman eunuchs. Also, as you've touched on, 'free' people can be compelled (by force or simply economic necessity) to do things that they don't want to do by arbitrarily powerful rulers. In the absence of anything actually written down telling you who is who, then, it might not always be straightforward to tell the difference.

    'Need for slaves' is another interesting one - do societies only take slaves because they have no other choice? Was the only thing motivating Calhoun to spit fire in the Senate a lack of free labour in the South? Personally I doubt it.
     
  11. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Using conscript farmers and having no need for slaves are different things. I must acknowledge that my knowledge of Ancient Egypt is rudimentary at best, but I am fairly certain that slavery did exist.
     
  12. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    "Need" for slaves is always a somewhat ambiguous thing since slavery is almost something done out of convenience, not need.

    The Pyramids were not built through slavery so I think it's a safe bet that there was no need for slavery to built the Pyramids. However, Ancient Egypt did have slavery in general. So the documentary is only half right.
     
  13. SeekTruthFromFacts

    SeekTruthFromFacts King

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    It's Hollywood, not Holy Writ.

    "8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves." (English Standard Version)

    So the Biblical account is that the Hebrew slaves built cities - there's no specific mention of the Pyramids. It also suggests that there was no need for slaves, but that a settled Hebraic population was enslaved as a form of social and political control driven by xenophobia. Sadly, it's very much the template repeated in Europe centuries later.
     
  14. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Yes - as far as I can tell from Google, there's no good extra-Biblical reason to believe that there were ever large numbers of Hebrews enslaved in Egypt at all, and certainly no reason to think that an 'Exodus' ever happened.
     
  15. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I think the reason for that is that while the Egyptians had slaves, they were mostly used as craftsmen or domestic servants, so they would have been employed all year round, while farmers would have been idle in the flood season (which is to say, they wouldn't have been doing anything useful to the aristocracy), so they represented a supply of "spare" labour that could be put to work on the pyramids.

    (Some historians think they may actually have been a way of keeping farmers employed during the flood and preventing social unrest, a sort of bronze age version of a Public Works programme.)
     
  16. Michkov

    Michkov Emperor

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    When did capturing enemy ships fall out of favour? What changed to make it obsolete?

    I imagine it has to do with the advent of long range guns.
     
  17. gay_Aleks

    gay_Aleks communism will win.

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    I believe that the fact that ships didn't get close at all due to aircraft carriers helped towards that.
     
  18. Michkov

    Michkov Emperor

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    That's WW2, that seems way too late. I recall a couple of commercial vessel getting captured by the German raiders but that's it.
     
  19. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    Even before that you had Dreadnoughts firing at each other from miles away.
     
  20. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    From the latter part of the 19th century on the opportunity simply rarely presented itself. With the switch from cannonballs to explosive shells and torpedoes, there weren't a lot of ships where the crew was beaten into submission, but the ship was still salvageable. With steam powered ships, you had bunkers full of fuel. And so a battered ship was likely to be a sinking and a burning ship. And then you had the scuttling of ships by their own crews to prevent them from being taken. At the end of WWI, Germany scuttled most of it's remaining navy rather than turn it over to the enemy. In WWII Bismark was battered to wreckage, and the crew scuttled it rather than surrendering it. Submarines stopped taking prizes, because they lacked the means to do so. In WWII in the Pacific, both sides would scuttle their own ships rather than leave them at risk of capture.

    That's not to say that ships wouldn't be captured if possible. But rather than possible had essentially stopped being an option.
     

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